OSLO (Reuters) - The Norwegian government has asked oil and gas firm Statoil to conduct new studies on carbon storage on the Norwegian continental shelf, the firm said on Monday.
Some 195 nations agreed last month in Paris to limit rising temperatures. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), which captures carbon dioxide and stores it underground so it won't slip into the atmosphere, is seen as an important tool to achieve that.
The Norwegian oil major, which is involved in four large-scale CCS projects, was the only tender for the contract, worth 35 million Norwegian crowns ($3.96 million).
"We're moving from pure research and development, out-of-the-lab and into the physical deployment of this, we're excited about that," Stephen Bull, senior vice president of wind power and CCS for Statoil said.
The feasibility studies will be carried out at three locations in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea and the work will be completed by June 1, Statoil said in a statement.
"The results from the storage studies, together with feasibility studies within CO2 capture and CO2 transport, will form the basis for a decision by the Norwegian government on further progress for full-scale CCS in Norway," Statoil said.
Norway has previously said it has an ambition to realize at least one full-scale CCS demonstration project by 2020.
The International Energy Agency has said that by 2040, four billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions must be captured to keep global warming at bay, which is 100 times more than the total CCS projects expected to be online in the next 18 months.
CCS technology is still small scale and very costly. There are 15 projects in operation worldwide and seven due to become operational in 2016 and 2017 according to the Global CSS Institute..
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen, editing by William Hardy)