Former Danish oil field now used to store CO2

Posted on 17 Mar 2023

To achieve climate objectives, it’s important to capture and store CO2 wherever possible, especially underground. One of the options is to store that CO2 in oil and gas fields under the seabed. The Zwijndrecht branch of the British chemical group Ineos recently shipped its first shipment of CO2 to Denmark’s former Nini West oil field.

First foreign CO2 cargo

This was the first cargo of carbon dioxide to be pumped into the Danish underground oil field. It was a historic occasion for multiple reasons. It was the first “foreign” cargo, and “the first time that CO2 was stored purely for climate reasons,” said Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lars Aagaard. It was also historic politically, because although Denmark is playing an exemplary role in the green energy transition, the country sees no ecological obstacles to CO2 storage. “Denmark wants to play a crucial role in CO2 storage,” we read.

London Convention

CO2 capture and storage will play a major role in the green energy transition in the future, but many technical, economic and legal challenges still have to be overcome. In the first place, the process of capturing carbon dioxide is very energy intensive. Sometimes CO2 is easy to capture, but that’s not always the case. Secondly, CO2 storage is expensive at the moment, and there’s no obvious method to make it profitable.

There are also legal hurdles in the way. This first transport of CO2 required a special agreement between the Belgian and Flemish governments on the one hand, and the Danish government on the other. The reason? The London Convention does not allow waste, such as CO2, to be transported from one country to another. It’s also difficult to equate sea transport of CO2 with ecological objectives.

Nevertheless, it’s our duty to convert the many former oil and gas fields in European waters into important storage areas for captured CO2. It obviously benefits the environment, and current high prices for storage are expected to fall in the future. The EU is also laying money on the table, as it has approved about 2.8 billion euros of financing for no less than 24 storage projects. To be continued, no doubt.

Source: De Standaard

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