Danish coast: TotalEnergies, Ineos and Wintershall Dea want to store CO₂ in the North Sea
Christian Beier / IMAGO
Denmark has issued initial permits to allow companies to store CO₂ under the seabed of the North Sea on a larger scale.
The Danish Ministry of Climate announced on Monday that the approvals had gone to the TotalEnergies group and a consortium of the companies Ineos and Wintershall Dea.
The work could then begin immediately.
It is therefore expected that as part of the two projects from 2030 up to 13 million tons of carbon dioxide can be stored annually under the Danish part of the North Sea.
"The industrialization of CO₂ storage means that it will be larger than we could do ourselves and that it will be cheaper for us to achieve our climate goals," said Climate and Energy Minister Lars Aagaard.
The Danish Energy Agency had recommended that the Ministry grant the first three permits for research into a larger CO₂ storage facility in the North Sea to the said companies.
It is an important step towards realizing Denmark's CCS strategy.
CCS stands for »Carbon capture and storage« (CO₂ capture and storage).
In the process, emitted CO₂ is captured and pumped underground.
The project by TotalEnergies is called Bifrost, that of the consortium of Ineos and Wintershall Dea is called Greensand.
Two months ago, Greensand received approval from the energy authority for a pilot project to store up to 15,000 tons of CO₂ in a former oil field in the North Sea.
Different views at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Greenpeace
The storage of CO₂ using CCS is controversial and still relatively expensive.
According to Greenpeace, for example, CCS is “untested, energy-intensive, risky and expensive”.
However, in its report on how the 1.5 degree target can be achieved, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assigned CCS a fundamental role: by 2100, around 700 billion tons of CO₂ are to be stored worldwide – that is more than all countries are currently in 15 years to emit.
Other countries are already building such CCS pilot plants.
In Norway, the oil company Equinor wants to introduce millions of tons of greenhouse gas from European industrial plants into a rock formation off the coast.
The Netherlands and Belgium also want to bring their greenhouse gases underground.
The ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Ghent are already planning and building CCS systems to pipe their CO₂ into two empty gas fields under the North Sea.