Commissioner Piebalgs visited North Sea Oil Platform

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs visited Norway 24 and 25 June for the EC-Norway energy dialogue. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) was a part of the discussion. The Commissioner was brought to the Sleipner offshore field where CO2 has been stored under the sea for more than 10 years.

26/06/2007 :: Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister Enoksen visited the Sleipner offshore field where carbon dioxide (CO2) for more than 10 years has been safely stored 1000 meters beneath the seabed. Photo: Ragnar Semundseth, EC delegation to Norway and Iceland.
The Norwegian Minister for Oil and Energy, Odd Roger Enoksen, received EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs in the Norway’s oil capital Stavanger. The discussion focused on the EUs recently adopted Energy Policy for Europe and its follow, up, as well as CCS, the liberalisation of the energy markets and the supply and demand for gas in the EEA. Both parts took note of the activites of the Joint Energy Cooperation Group, established in September 2006.

Following the presentation of the interim report on the EU – Norway joint study on supply and demand of gas in the European Economic Area, the Commissioner said:

– I am particularly encouraged by the planned increase in gas supplies from Norway which could reach 125 -140 bcm by the middle of the next decade from the current level of about 90 bcm. This is particularly important in view of the expected growth of gas consumption and the need for additional gas supplies in the EU in the years to come.
Both sides have agreed to finalise the study by the end of 2007 focusing on new pipeline projects and gas trade issues. Upon reviewing the cooperation between the two parties, both ministers agreed to further examine:

• The participation of Norway in EU dominated formal and informal groups;
• EU programmes relevant to Norway and cooperation in projects such as CCS, renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency;
• All aspects related to CCS (legal, research and public acceptance);
• The energy aspects of the Northern dimension.

Tuesday the Commissioner and the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, visited the Sleipner offshore field where carbon dioxide (CO2) for more than 10 years has been safely stored 1000 meters beneath the seabed in the Utsira sandstone formation (capable of storing over 600 billion tons of CO2). The Saline aquifer carbon dioxide storage (SACS) project – co-funded by the European Commission and hosted by Statoil – has demonstrated that the injected gas remains in place. Both the European Commission and Norway are working hard to get demonstration projects for carbon capture technology in place as soon as possible.

– Being an energy rich nation, which is strongly committed to combating the challenges of climate change, Norway aims to make Carbon Capture and Storage a reality. We are committed to supporting technological solutions in this field in cooperation with companies, research institutions, as well as other nations, declared Mr Enoksen.

– I am convinced that Carbon Capture and Storage could contribute substantially in to the reduction of the world’s CO2 emissions. The Sleipner field clearly demonstrates that it is indeed possible to store CO2 safely, added Commissioner Piebalgs.

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