An official report released on Friday indicated the great potential of the Norwegian Sea to store up to 100 times the country’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Locations such as Sleipner field in the North Sea would have the largest benefit, considering the high quantities of natural gas found there.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) created an atlas, which shows that around 5.5 billion metric tons (6.06 billion tons) of carbon dioxide could be stored beneath the Norwegian Sea, when the current Norwegian annual emissions of the gas are about 50 million metric tons.
The capacity of storage space only below the Norway’s part of the North Sea is estimated to be around 70 billion metric tons.
According to Oil and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe, there are several sites that can be used for carbon storage. Considering that Norway is the second largest gas supplier in Europe, and the country has introduced taxes on carbon emissions, such locations should be identified and carbon should be re-injected below the ground.
The NPD stated that, if producing fields are located near such storage sites, excess carbon dioxide from gas production will not be released in the atmosphere and the taxes will be avoided.
The best location for storage, according to the Atlas, is the Troendelag platform, including the Nordland Ridge, and the NPD is still mapping storage sites in the Arctic Barents Sea.
Studies that focus on capturing and storing greenhouse gases might be the key to limiting climate change. The U.N have estimated that emission penalties should be at least $25 to $30 a metric ton to make these projects work.