Equinor secures exploration permit for CO2 storage in Denmark

The awarded license is in the vicinity of Ørsted’s established shipping and storage terminal Ørsted Kalundborg CO2 hub.

Equinor secures exploration permit for CO2 storage in Denmark

Equinor has been awarded its first CCS exploration permit in Denmark as operator, together with partners Ørsted and Nordsøfonden. 

The partnership will start surveys to assess if the onshore license in the North West Zealand can be developed into a safe CO2 storage facility.

The partners were awarded permit holders for the project named CO2 Storage Kalundborg, with a reservoir approximately 1400 meters below ground, and with a potential capacity to store up to 12 million tons of CO2 per year.

If the partnership over the next years successfully develops the permit into a CO2 storage facility approved by the Danish authorities, it could start storage of CO2 at the end of this decade.

“We are delighted to receive this exploration permit together with Ørsted and Nordsøfonden. Developing large-scale CO2 solutions is critical for hard-to-abate industries to reduce emissions while maintaining industrial activity and value creation. Our first important task in the project is to ensure that environmental requirements are met before seismic and subsurface data collection can start. The exploration phase will last several years, before the Danish authorities approves the license area as suitable for safe and permanent CO2 storage,” says Grete Tveit, senior vice president for Low Carbon Solutions in Equinor.

Operator Equinor holds a 60 per cent share in the awarded exploration license, with partner Ørsted having a 20 percent stake, and the Danish state participating through Nordsøfonden with a 20 percent equity.

Equinor expect 4-8 per cent real base project returns for its early phase CO2 storage business, and further value uplift potential when commercial markets are developed.

“We will use our experience from safely storing CO2 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for nearly 30 years and other CCS developments when exploring the permit in Denmark. To mature more CO2 storage capacity aligns with our ambition of having 30 to 50 million tons of CO2 transport and storage capacity per year by 2035. A CO2 storage facility near Ørsted’s existing infrastructure is a good fit, as we are combining our strong capabilities as industry partners to establish a complete end-to-end CO2 capture, transport and storage value chain,” says Tveit.

The awarded license is in the vicinity of Ørsted’s established shipping and storage terminal Ørsted Kalundborg CO2 hub. Here the Danish energy company is constructing a CO2 capture facility at the Asnæs Power Plant, which is set to become operational from the beginning of 2026, with CO2 ship export to the Northern Lights storage facility in Norway. Ørsted’s terminal with its strategic position and scale will be a key component for reception and transport of CO2 to the potential CO2 storage facility the partnership will explore.

“We are pleased that we, along with Equinor and Nordsøfonden, have been awarded a license to explore whether the area in the municipality of Kalundborg is suitable for carbon storage. From 2026, we will capture 430,000 tons of biogenic CO2 from two of our combined heat and power plants, and being part of this collaboration is a natural next step in building our Ørsted Kalundborg CO2 Hub, as we are already establishing the logistics, infrastructure, and terminal solutions necessary for handling CO2 at Kalundborg. In this way, we are a good partner to Equinor, who will be operating the CO2 storage site" says Ole Thomsen, senior vice president and head of Ørsted’s Bioenergy business.