Applications are expected to be processed by this summer.

By Joseph Murphy

Norway's petroleum ministry has received applications from six companies – Aker BP, Altera Infrastructure, Horisont Energi, Neptune Energy, OMV and Wintershall Dea – for licences to potentially store COoff the country's coast.

"By facilitating profitable, large-scale CO2 storage, Norway can contribute to Europe reaching its emission targets and to the establishment of a new industry in Norway," oil minister Terje Aasland said in a statement on January 11, adding the aim was to award licences before the summer.

Norway estimates that its continental shelf could store the equivalent of as much as 1,000 years of the country's annual emissions, and wants to offer up this capacity to other European countries.

Germany is interested in using Norwegian CO2 storage space, with the two countries signing an agreement on January 5 to expand their cooperation on carbon capture and storage (CCS) and other low-carbon technologies such as offshore wind power, hydrogen and battery technology.