PGNiG Upstream Norway, a subsidiary of Poland’s multinational oil group ORLEN (WSE: PKN), has been approved as the operator of the first Arctic carbon capture and storage (CCS) endeavor, known as the Polaris project, where it will partner with Norwegian energy company Horisont Energi.
The Norwegian Ministry of Energy’s endorsement marks a pivotal milestone in the development of the project, according to a statement by Horisont Energi on Wednesday.
The collaboration centers on extracting carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Barents Blue project, expected to be Europe’s first large-scale clean ammonia plant, for storage in the Polaris field, located in the Barents Sea, some 140 km (87 mi) off the town of Hammerfest.
PGNiG Upstream Norway joined the initiative as a license partner in December under a sales and purchase agreement.
In the CO2 exploration license EXL003, both PGNiG Upstream Norway and Horisont Energi possess a 50% stake.
Horisont Energi’s CEO, Bjørgulf Haukelidsæter Eidesen, expressed optimism about the joint endeavor, stating, “With PGNiG Upstream Norway now in place as operator and partner, we have a very strong fundament to unlock the potential of Polaris as a vehicle to reduce emissions on an industrial scale.”
Daniel Obajtek, CEO of Orlen, emphasized the significance of the Polaris carbon storage project, envisioning substantial emission management impact throughout Europe beyond the Norwegian continental shelf.
The Polaris field boasts the potential to store an estimated 100 million tons of CO2, ensuring operational longevity for 12 to 25 years, according to a prior statement from Orlen.
The development timeline aims to select a concept in 2024, with initial carbon injection scheduled for late 2028 or early 2029.
Horisont Energi is currently engaged in advanced talks with German energy major E.ON (ETR: EOAN) regarding CO2 storage capacity for the project.