Norway's Equinor and Microsoft signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the use of carbon capture and storage in the Northern Lights project, the energy company announced on Wednesday.
The world's largest software company will become a technology partner in the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage project, which is part of the Norwegian full-scale carbon capture and storage project Langskip, supported by the Norwegian government.
Microsoft will explore using the project to enable the transportation and storage of captured carbon dioxide (CO2).
"We look forward to working together with Microsoft and the Northern Lights partners to develop digital technologies for Northern Lights. We are also happy to partner with Microsoft to explore opportunities for the Northern Light project to remove carbon from Microsoft’s operations," said Equinor Executive Vice President Irene Rummelhoff.
In January, the tech firm pledged to become carbon negative by 2030 and to remove from the environment all the carbon by 2050 that the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.
"Our goal is not only to contribute our technology and know-how, but explore how new solutions like the Northern Lights project can help us meet our own carbon-negative goals by 2030," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.
The project, which will initially include the capture of CO2 from Norwegian industrial capture sources, comprises transportation, receipt and permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the northern North Sea.
Equinor is developing the project together with Shell and Total as equal partners. The parties made a conditional investment decision on the project in May 2020.
Pending approval by regulatory authorities, the project partners will form a joint venture and will be responsible for creating an open-source, ship-based carbon transport and storage network including developing business models to store captured CO2 from across Europe.
The final investment decision is subject to the Norwegian parliament's approval, anticipated late 2020, while the plan is to start operations in the first half of 2024.
By Firdevs Yuksel