Photo taken on June 17, 2013 shows West Hercules drilling well number 100 at the Nunatak prospect in the Barents Sea, Finnmark, Norway. (Photo courtesy of Ole Jorgen Bratland/Statoil)
OSLO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has turned to the European Union (EU) for help in purifying carbon dioxide, online newspaper E24 reported Sunday.
The reason is that the project would require large amounts of money from Norway's state budget over the course of many years, the report said.
In the new budget proposal, the Norwegian government has cut the support for further work on the capture and storage of carbon dioxide by almost 95 percent.
According to Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Soviknes, the project would cost 2-4 billion kroner (246-492 million U.S. dollars) annually.
"It is a question that politicians have to deal with. But I am optimistic," Statoil's CEO Eldar Saetre told news agency NTB.
On Thursday he met European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete in Brussels, where they discussed the capture and storage of carbon dioxide, known as CCS.
"EU has many projects to deal with, but I think that, in any case, some of that we are working on and that is crossing international borders, could be projects that are relevant to EU funds," Saetre was quoted as saying.
He added that, should carbon dioxide purification become a reality, it requires someone to take the role of conductor.
"I really want Norway to take that role," Saetre said.
This picture shows the project of carbon capture and storage (CCS) planned by Statoil and its collaboration partners. (Photo courtesy of Statoil)
According to Statoil's project, carbon dioxide is to be captured at one or more industrial facilities and then shipped by boat to a reception facility at Kollsnes in western Norway. From there the carbon dioxide would be sent into the sea through a pipe and pumped into a reservoir deep below the seabed of the North Sea.
However, the plant can also receive carbon dioxide from other sources, and the reservoir has high capacity. The Norwegian continental shelf can therefore become storage of carbon dioxide from projects in several places in Europe, the report said.
In Belgium, Saetre also talked about the possibility of cooperation with the Netherlands.
Norway has namely planned to transform the gas-fired power plant Magnum in the Netherlands into a hydrogen power plant.
The idea is to remove carbon from natural gas, so that the power plant is run on pure hydrogen. The carbon can afterwards be stored under the Norwegian seabed.
Saetre expressed belief that carbon capture will be crucial to reaching climate goals, but the problem is that it "just happens too little today."
The most important is to increase the volume of the work. Only then the expenses shall decrease and development will go faster, Saetre said.