OSLO Energy groups Statoil and Shell have
dropped plans to bury carbon dioxide (CO2) in the seabed
beneath Shell's Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea to enhance
oil recovery because it is uneconomical, the companies said on
The companies reached that conclusion in a joint
feasibility study that they had begun in March 2006 and which
has cost them around 400 million Norwegian crowns ($67.72
The preliminary plans had envisaged capturing CO2 from a
big gas-fired power plant to be built at Statoil's
Tjeldbergodden methanol complex, piping it offshore to the
Draugen field and injecting it into the reservoir to boost oil
"The evaluation shows that though the value chain is
technically feasible, it is not commercially viable," Statoil
and Shell said in a joint statement.
"The extra oil volumes that the Draugen license operator
(Shell) believes to be recoverable are too low to justify the
necessary investments in the field," they said.
Modifications of the platform would have been extensive and
required a production shutdown for about one year, they said.
Statoil and Shell had said from the beginning that the
concept was highly challenging and that financial support from
the government would be needed to make it viable.
Carbon capture and storage is still in a pioneering phase.
Industry and governments have had high hopes that burying
CO2 underground or below the seabed could help reduce emissions
that are widely blamed for causing global warming.
Statoil has been burying CO2 separated from the natural gas
stream at its Sleipner field in the North Sea for a decade.
But capturing and burying CO2 emissions from power plants
would be a new step in Norway which is rich in hydropower and
is only now planning to build gas-fired plants.
"Gas-fired power production in Norway is in itself highly
challenging, and with carbon capture it is currently not
profitable," Statoil and Shell said.
"The companies will during this autumn complete the
technical studies on carbon capture, and continue to explore if
there is a possibility to establish the gas power plant at
Tjeldbergodden with CO2 capture and storage," they said.