OSLO A store for greenhouse gases under the seabed off Norway, the first such industrial project in the world, has stashed away 10 million tonnes since it began in 1996, operator StatoilHydro said on Tuesday.
StatoilHydro said there were no signs of leaks from the porous rocks beneath the seabed at the Sleipner gas field. It was looking at the possibility of receiving carbon dioxide from other sources, including from the mainland, for injection.
"Ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide are now stored underground at Sleipner in the North Sea," StatoilHydro said in a statement, adding that 2,800 tonnes a day were being pumped into the rocks.
"Sleipner documents that carbon storage is feasible and safe," said Rolf Haakon Holmboe, StatoilHydro's head of health, safety and the environment at the Sleipner field.
The U.N. Climate Panel says that capturing and burying carbon dioxide, for instance from coal-fired power plants or factories, could be one of the main ways for combating global warming this century.
The natural gas at Sleipner has an unusually high mix of carbon dioxide and the company began injecting carbon dioxide back into the ground rather than emit it to the atmosphere after Norway imposed a tax on greenhouse gas emissions in the 1990s.
A million tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, corresponds to about 2 percent of Norway's total emissions.
A tonne of carbon dioxide would fill a balloon about 10 meters across.
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(Editing by William Hardy)