Denmark’s underwater graveyard for imported CO2

COPEHHAGEN: Denmark on Wednesday inaugurated a carbon dioxide storage project 1,800 meters under the North Sea, the first country in the world to bury CO2 imported from abroad.
The CO2 graveyard, where carbon is injected to prevent further warming of the atmosphere, is on the site of an abandoned oil field. Led by the British chemical giant Ineos and the German oil company Wintershall Dea, the “Greensand” project should store up to eight million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.
In December, it received an operating license to start its pilot phase. Still in its infancy and costly, carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects aim to capture and then trap CO2 in order to mitigate global warming. About thirty projects are currently operational or under development in Europe.
But unlike other projects that store CO2 emissions from nearby industrial sites, Greensand stands out by bringing the carbon in from afar. First captured at source, the CO2 is then liquefied – in Belgium in the case of Greensand – then transported, currently by ship but potentially by pipelines, and stored in reservoirs such as geological cavities or depleted oil and gas fields .
At Greensand, the carbon is transported in special containers to the Nini West platform, where it is injected into an existing reservoir 1.8 kilometers below the seabed.
Once the pilot phase is completed, it is planned to use the neighboring Siri field as well. Danish officials, who are seeking to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, say it is “an indispensable tool in our climate toolbox”. “This will help us achieve our goals. Since our subsoil has much more storage potential than our emissions, we are also able to store carbon from other countries,” said the climate minister. Lars Aagaard said.
The North Sea is particularly suitable for this type of project because the region already has pipelines and potential storage sites after decades of oil and gas production.
“Depleted oil and gas deposits have many advantages because they are well understood and infrastructure already exists that can most likely be reused,” said Morten Jeppesendirector of the Danish Center for Offshore Technology at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
Near the Greensand site, the French TotalEnergies is also studying the possibility of burying CO2 with the objective of trapping five million tonnes per year by 2030.
In neighboring Norway, carbon capture and storage facilities are already operational to offset domestic emissions, but the country will also receive tons of liquefied CO2 in a few years, transported from Europe by ship. As Western Europe’s largest oil producer, Norway also has the continent’s greatest CO2 storage potential, especially in its depleted oilfields.


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