Carbon capture and storage

Transocean Selected To Drill Carbon-Injection Wells for Northern Lights

Equinor will use the semisubmersible rig Transocean Enabler, which is already under contract, for the work planned for later this year.

Semisubmersible rig Transocean Enabler will drill the carbon-injection well and sidetrack for Northern Lights later in 2022.

Offshore driller Transocean has been tapped by Norwegian operator Equinor to drill one carbon-injection well and a sidetrack for another that was drilled in early 2020 in support of the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, a joint venture created by Equinor, Shell, and TotalEnergies. The drilling program will begin later this year as part of the contractor’s current drilling commitment with Equinor for use of the semisubmersible rig Transocean Enabler. The rig is under contract with Equinor until 2024.

The Northern Lights project aims to mitigate emissions and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by creating the first cross-border, open-source carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure network in the European Union.

“We are proud to participate in this important carbon capture and storage project in support of the EU’s energy policy and climate objectives,” said Janelle Daniel, Transocean’s vice president of human resources, sustainability, and communications. “Beyond our core business of drilling ultradeepwater and harsh-environment wells, this is an excellent example of how we can further leverage our rigs and core competencies in support of renewable and alternative energy projects in offshore markets across the globe.”

The Northern Lights project is part of the Norwegian full-scale CCS project. The full-scale project includes capture of CO2 from industrial capture sources in the Oslo-fjord region (cement and waste-to-energy) and shipping of liquid CO2 from these industrial capture sites to an onshore terminal on the Norwegian west coast. From there, the liquified CO2 will be transported by pipeline to an offshore storage location subsea in the North Sea, for permanent storage.

Northern Lights builds on more than 23 years of safe carbon dioxide storage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The goal upon completion is for the carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure network to offer companies across Europe the opportunity to store carbon dioxide safely and permanently underground. It is considered a Project of Common Interest by the EU because it is a key cross-border infrastructure program that links European energy systems and works toward achieving the EU’s energy policy and climate objectives.