In August 2005, Bellona published a report on CCS (which is currently available only in Norwegian). The recommendations included: The establishment of a value chain for CCS; the creation of a public-private partnership involving a new state-owned company to deal with CO2 capture, and the creation of a state-owned company to handle the transport and sale of CO2 to oil and gas fields on the Norwegian continental shelf for use in Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).

Meeting Norway’s Kyoto commitments

Under the Kyoto protocol, Norway has committed itself to keeping its CO2 emissions from rising more than one percent compared to1990 levels. At present, Norway is a long way from reaching this target and risks waking up to a major economic headache if no appropriate action is taken.

However, if the new government keeps its promises and follows Bellona’s recommendations, a cure is within reach. Indeed, Bellona’s recommendations mentioned above are included in the declaration. The infrastructure necessary for CCS will also make it possible to provide electric energy to the oil and gas rigs on the continental shelf.

This energy can in turn replace today’s polluting oil and gas based energy supply on the rigs. Properly planned and engineered, CCS infrastructure can make it possible to connect gas power plants and industry in EU countries around the North Sea to the CCS system.

Financial viability

The use of CCS for EOR will likely generate more funds than needed to compensate the Norwegian state for the costs associated with planning, engineering, and building the CCS infrastructure. Considering oil prices of $30, the state would stand to increase its earnings by approximately EUR 438 million. Even if the oil price were to dip as low as $18, the Norwegian state will still make a profit.

No time for complacency

In the years to come, Bellona will continue to remind the Norwegian government of its Kyoto commitments, as it is not confident that the government will stick to its obligations without external pressure. In addition, even with this victory, Bellona remains concerned about the environmental impact of other government policies.

Bellona’s CO2 report will soon be available in English translation.

Christer Gulbrandsen