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Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage is a key tool in reaching climate goals

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Meeting the aims of the Paris Agreement calls for a scaling-up of Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) by a factor of 120. Here’s why and how we get there.

Putting carbon dioxide (CO2) back in the ground

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology captures carbon dioxide from industrial sites, transports it, and stores it in geological formations underground. Injected CO2 dissolves in water and sinks due to its density, preventing it from escaping. Over time, it reacts with minerals and becomes a permanent part of the rock formation. CCS has been used safely since the 1970s. Safety is further ensured by ongoing, long-term monitoring of projects.

Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) goes a step further by converting captured CO2 into valuable new products and materials. Together, CCS and CCU help reduce atmospheric carbon levels and create new resources.

Today, there are around 45 commercial facilities applying CCUS in operation, with hundreds more in various stages of development.

An ‘unavoidable’ technology

There is an ongoing debate around the role CCUS has to play in efforts against climate change. Critics argue that CCUS is a distraction from reducing carbon emissions, and that it could even risk becoming a get-out-of-jail-free card for emitters to continue their business as usual.

The reality is that, alongside deep emissions reductions, CCUS is a must-have tool for reaching climate goals.

Evidence shows that the Paris Agreement ambition – to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, keeping temperature rises to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – can no longer be achieved without CCUS. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s landmark 2022 report stated that deployment of the technology is ‘unavoidable if net-zero […] emissions are to achieved’, due to continued CO2 emissions from hard-to-abate industries like cement, petrochemicals, steel, waste incineration or shipping. They have no viable alternatives to CCS for achieving meaningful emissions reductions. This is because CO2 is not only generated through the use of fuels in these industries, but also through their production processes.

Although exciting progress is being made in developing new low- or zero-carbon technologies for these industries – such as battery-powered ships and hydrogen-based ironmaking – it is unlikely that these can be scaled up quickly enough for these industries to end their dependence on fossil fuels by 2050. It is therefore critical to take measures to minimize how much of their emissions reach the atmosphere.

The many benefits of CCUS


If deployed effectively, CCUS could reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 14 per cent by 2050 and thus help to improve air quality. What is more, it could also help ease other decarbonization efforts.

It supports sustainable industrial growth by allowing hard-to-abate industries to continue their CO2-critical operations while they invest in green technologies, preventing their facilities becoming stranded assets with challenging social and economic consequences.

The development and deployment of CCUS technologies also drive technological advancements and encourage research in new materials, processes, and methods. This promotes innovation and creates job opportunities in related industries.

Moreover, CCUS allows for the conversion of CO2 into valuable products, effectively turning a waste stream into a valuable resource. This helps maximize resource efficiency, reduces the need for extracting and consuming additional natural resources and enables the development of a circular carbon economy.

A tranquil lake reflects forested hills and majestic snow-capped mountains under a clear sky.

We are investing in CCUS…


We are committed to becoming a net-zero company, and we plan to reach that by investing in renewable energy and CCUS.

We are well-placed to develop and expand the technology, having deep expertise in geology, geoscience, advanced drilling, subsurface, surface and advanced production technologies, low carbon technologies and digitalization.

In 2023 we were awarded a license for a CCS project called ‘Poseidon’ on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, in collaboration with Aker BP ASA. This project alone has the potential to store 5 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030. The Norwegian Ministry of Energy awarded us a second CO2 storage license in partnership with Vår Energi and Lime Petroleum AS in 2024. The license, called Iroko, is located in the Central Norwegian North Sea and can store around 215 million metric tons of CO2. We are continuing to evaluate new license opportunities.

… and call on partnerships, investment and innovation

Poseidon is one of many CCS projects in development. We can see momentum growing behind CCUS, with companies investing in projects and policymakers developing the legal framework to support the CCUS technology. However, CCUS remains at a relatively early stage of deployment. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement will mean scaling up annual carbon capture capacity by a factor of 120 by 2050, with capacity continuing to grow in the decades following.

There is a need for a collective effort that brings together public and private actors to support the establishment of CCUS value chains and to build a strong network of expertise. Dialogue between these actors will be necessary to secure financing, plan the requisite infrastructure, and navigate the policy patchwork between different jurisdictions – all essential parts of making CCUS available on the necessary scale and unlocking innovation to achieve real progress. We look forward to playing our part in those partnerships.

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