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Norway is already an established leader in CCS development.

By Daniel Graeber

Norwegian energy major Equinor said during a December 1 conference with the Reuters news service it expected to see carbon capture and storage (CCS) to get considerably cheaper within the next 10 years.

Torbjorg Fossum, a vice president for global CCS solutions at Equinor, told Reuters that large-scale industrial emitters could break even if emitting one metric ton of carbon costs €100 ($113) within the next 10 years.

"Today there is a gap between what it costs to emit CO2 and what it costs to implement CCS,” she said. “We believe that that gap is closing within the next 10 years."

Pollution permits on the EU's Emission Trading System (ETS) were trading at around €76/metric ton/year on December 1. The EU describes the ETS as a “cornerstone” of its efforts to address climate change. It is the world’s largest carbon market.

Fossum said government funding would be necessary until the cost structure improves.

Norway already has a leadership position in CCS technology, with several major projects in the works. The government estimates that there is the capacity to store as much as 80bn mt of CO2 in the Norwegian continental shelf.

Norway's former government unveiled an energy strategy in June, under which the country would continue exploring for and producing oil and gas for decades to come. But it also wants to embrace hydrogen and renewables as low-carbon energy sources, as well as CCS to decarbonise difficult-to-abate industries.

Most of the cost associated with CCS is at the sequestration end as pipelines and other accompanying infrastructure sometimes have already been built for oil and gas development and can be repurposed.