Equinor has been awarded the operatorships for the development of two new CO2 storages in the North Sea.

The new licenses are important building blocks for developing the Norwegian Continental Shelf into a leading area for CO2 storage in Europe.

On June 20, the Ministry of Energy announced the award of new CO2 storage licenses. Equinor was awarded operatorships and a 100 per cent share for the two licenses referred to as Albondigas and Kinno.

The new licenses are each expected to have the capacity to store around five million tons of CO2 per year when in operation. This estimate will be further determined in the exploration phase.

Grete Tveit, senior vice president for Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor said: "We are very pleased to see the Norwegian authorities have made new CCS storage acreage available for exploration and that we have been awarded these two licenses.

"We see that demand for CO2 storage is increasing in several countries, and it is crucial to bring forward new CO2 storages quickly, so that we can offer industrial solutions that can support large scale decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industries in Europe."

Equinor expect 4-8% real base project returns for its early phase CO2 storage business, and further value uplift potential when commercial markets are developed.

The award of the Albondigas and Kinno licenses adds to Equinor’s ambitions to develop more storage licenses in the North Sea in the coming years.

Equinor is maturing a ship-based solution as well as a large pipeline to connect industrial emissions in Europe with storage opportunities at the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The planned pipeline named CO2 Highway Europe will have capacity to transport 25-35 million tons of CO2 per year from Belgium and France.

The Smeaheia storage license, awarded to Equinor in 2022, is the anchor storage for this pipeline development and Albondigas and Kinno will be additional storage opportunities that can be connected.

Equinor is also about to complete the first phase of the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage facility together with Shell and Total Energies. It will be ready to receive CO2 by the second half of this year.

"Scale-up of CO2 transport and storage is essential to meet the interest and demand for this type of services. Gaining access to more CO2 storage capacity aligns well with our ambition of having 30 to 50 million tons of CO2 transport and storage capacity per year by 2035," says Tveit.

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