Published On: Sat, Oct 31st, 2020

Equinor opens CO2 transport test facility in Porsgrunn, Norway

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Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg inaugurated what is claimed to be the largest CO2 transport test facility in the world, owned by in Porsgrunn, Norway.

According to Equinor, the test facility sends CO2 in pipelines in gas as well as liquid form. The objective of the CO2 transport test facility is to study more about how the gas behaves during pipeline transport, which is important knowledge for scaling up transport and storage of CO2 in the future, said the Norwegian oil and gas giant.

Erna Solberg said: “The work you do here is an important contribution to the government’s strategy for carbon capture and storage.”

Equinor said that it has been transporting CO2 from the Sleipner gas field in the North Sea since 1996 and from the Snøhvit facility in Hammerfest from 2009. The two projects are said to have given important information regarding the transport of CO2 to Equinor.

In the Sleipner gas project and the Snøhvit project, the CO2 is transported in gas and liquid form, respectively.

Equinor and its partners , Gassco, and Gassnova, have now modified the facility with an investment of NOK 7 million to enable the study of CO2 transportation as gas and liquid, simultaneously. This is expected to provide knowledge that is crucial in determining where a pipeline route can be laid, and which reservoirs can be utilized, said Equinor.

Equinor CO2 transport test facility - Prime minister Erna Solberg (right) and Sophie Hildebrand, Chief Technology Officer in Equinor.

Equinor CO2 transport test facility – Prime minister Erna Solberg (right) and Sophie Hildebrand, Chief Technology Officer in Equinor. Photo courtesy of Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor ASA.

According to the Norwegian oil and gas giant, testing and research can enhance the operation of the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project besides lowering the costs related to this new industry in the future.

Built in 1997, the test facility has been used for evaluating the transportation of multiple combinations of oil, gas, and water in the same pipeline.

This is the reason, why the facility is known as the Multiphase rig, said Equinor.

A total of over NOK 1 billion ($105.1 million) has been invested in the test facility, covering construction, adaptations and other activities during the operations period.

Equinor said that the facility is the core of research center in Porsgrunn.

The test facility is equipped with pipes that run in a 200-metre line.

Sophie Hildebrand – Chief Technology Officer at Equinor said: “This shows how infrastructure and competence from the oil and gas industry can be used to accelerate efforts to capture CO2 and store it in reservoir. This is an opportunity to create a new industry in Norway.”

Equinor said that initially the plan is to use the test facility for a couple of different CO2 transport tests – both tests of multiphase transport and evaluating of measuring instruments.

As per the plan, the tests will be carried out until the spring of next year. Following this, the test facility will be used for evaluating the transport of oil, gas and CO2, based on where the needs are greatest.

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