CCS in Norway

CCS in Norway


Norway is one of the most highly developed countries in the world, often ranking first in measures of living standards and quality of life. It has the second highest GDP per-capita in the world, and in 2009, a survey in Foreign Policy Magazine judged Norway to be the world’s most well-functioning and stable nation.

The country is rich with natural resources – petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests and minerals. Its prosperous economy includes both a vibrant private sector and a large state sector, with petroleum its largest product. It is the biggest producer of oil and natural gas, per-capita, outside the Middle East.

Norway, a signatory to both the Kyoto and Copenhagen Accords, was the first country to pledge to cut carbon emissions in line with climate scientists' recommendations, committing to a greenhouse gas reduction of 30-40 per cent on their 1990 level by 2020.

As part of its commitment to a carbon neutral economy, Norway considers CCS a very high priority and has played an important role in the development of CCS technologies.

Emissions profile

While Norway contributed 0.6 per cent of Europe’s emissions in 2008, the global slowdown in economic activity has caused more than a one per cent drop in emissions from the previous year. Norway is emitting 33 per cent more CO2 than it was in 1990, and has a Kyoto target of just one per cent increase in emissions.

The manufacturing and construction industries account for the largest share (21 per cent) of CO2 emissions in Norway. Electricity and heat generation account for the smallest share, only about two per cent of emissions across the region in 2008. Hydro-power provides nearly all (98 per cent) of Norway’s electricity generation.

Figure 1 CO2 emissions by sector generation by fuel        

Source: CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, IEA, 2010 (2008 data) Mt CO2

CO2 Storage Capacity

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate developed a CO2 Storage Atlas of the Norwegian part of the North Sea, and will develop a similar atlas for the Norwegian Sea in 2012. In the North Sea, the storage capacity is estimated at about 72 Gt of CO2. About 12-15 million tonnes of CO2 have been injected into the Utsira Formation from the Sleipner project.

In regard to enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a study by the European Commission suggested that Norway could recover an additional 4.2 billion barrels of oil, while storing 6.2 Gt of CO2.

Policy Environment

The Norwegian Government has an ambitious environmental policy, with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 (or 2030 depending on global agreement). The Norwegian Government has stated that CCS is one of the ’three pillars‘ of its energy policy, announcing that all new gas-fired power plants will be required to implement CCS – a step further than the requirement of ‘CCS ready’ introduced by the EU.

Despite a number of years of dedicated support for CCS, the Government does not have specific legislation or regulations regarding CCS. The following initiatives however, impact the development of CCS in Norway.

  • The Sliepner and Snøhvit CO2 storage projects are regulated by the Norwegian Act Pertaining to Petroleum Activities (under the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy) and the Pollution Control Act (under the Ministry of Environment).
  • The Pollution Control Act is the most relevant piece of legislation, covering the application and withdrawal of permits, the authority’s responsibilities, inspection, provision of information, closure, and liability. The Act will also form the basis for CO2 storage legislation.
  • Matters such as the building and operation of pipelines, exploration of offshore reservoirs for permanent storage, the need for an environmental impact assessment, monitoring, or third party access to pipelines or storage will fall under new regulations in the Continental Shelf Act.
  • Norway is part of the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), and the Norwegian Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Act covers power plants, CO2 capture, transport and storage. CO2that is captured and stored will not be considered to have been 'emitted'.
  • Norway has ratified the CCS relevant amendments to the OSPAR Convention and the London Protocol.
  • In 2005, the UK and Norway established a North Sea Basin Task Force (NSBTF). This group is developing common principles for managing and regulating the transport, injection and permanent storage of CO2 in the North Sea sub-seabed. The group now includes government and industry representatives from the UK, Norway, Netherlands and Germany.
  • Although not a member of the European Union, Norway is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement), and has announced its intention to transpose the EU CCS Directive in national legislation and regulation.
  • The Norwegian state owns all natural underground resources. As such, the Petroleum Act would apply if CCS is a part of gas processing offshore or used for EOR activity. However, the Petroleum Act does not regulate land-based CCS activities.

Status of CCS

Norway is home to three large-scale CCS projects – including two operational storage projects and one project in the planning stage.

Sleipner CO2 Injection

Snøhvit CO2 Injection

Industrikraft Möre AS Norway

Members and Key Organizations

The Institute has nine Norwegian-based Members, representing a cross section of government, research and industry.

Government and Research

  • The Government of Norway
  • ZERO – Zero Emission Resource Organisation
  • Det Norske Veritas


  • Aker Clean Carbon
  • CO2 Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM)
  • Det Norske Veritas
  • Gassnova
  • Sargas
  • Statoil
  • Tel-Tek

Global CCS Institute Activities in Norway

In May 2012, the Institute held its first European Members' Meeting in Bergen, Norway, in conjunction with the opening of Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) – a testing facility for CO2 capture.

At the opening by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenber, the Institute’s CEO Brad Page, spoke on a panel with the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe, Statoil CEO Helge Lund, Head of the International Energy Association (IEA) Maria van der Hoeven, and the Norwegian Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.

Caption: Institute CEO Brad Page with the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe, Statoils CEO Helge Lund, and Head of IEA Maria van der Hoeven at the opening of Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM). Image courtesy of TCM.