Two Norwegian majors exit Barents Blue ammonia/CCS venture

Feb. 1, 2023
Vår Energi and Equinor have withdrawn from Horisont Energi’s Barents Blue ammonia/CO2 capture and storage project in northern Norway.
Offshore staff

SANDNES, Norway  Vår Energi and Equinor have withdrawn from Horisont Energi’s Barents Blue ammonia/CO2 capture and storage project in northern Norway.

Ammonia production specialist Fertiberia has replaced them as a new partner.

The Polaris development in the Barents Sea had been selected as the CO2 storage solution.

Vår Energi said in recent years that it had examined various alternatives for exporting gas resources discovered in the offshore Alke and Goliat fields west of Hammerfest. The company decided to join Barents Blue in 2021, following an initiative by Equinor and Horisont Energi to establish an ammonia factory in Hammerfest, including CO2 capture and storage.

They had considered tying in the gas from Alke and Goliat to Barents Blue as part of a regional solution, but the company and Equinor decided to pull out due to the changing energy demand situation.

Vår Energi executive vice president of Project Development & SCM, Atle Reinseth, said, “Development of the proven resources in the region, including Goliat, Alke and Lupa, will require an export solution with greater capacity than what we deem realistic within the scope of the project."

The company said it would continue exploration in the area, along with further development of Goliat and efforts to reach an optimal solution for gas exports.

Rune Oldervoll, executive vice president of Exploration & Production, said, “Our goal is to establish an export solution for gas in the Barents Sea with the capacity to both utilize proven resources as well as contribute to a larger area solution for further development and value creation in the region. Cooperation between the players in the region and the authorities is the key to this.

“Establishing sufficient export capacity can give new momentum to our northernmost petroleum province, increase value creation on land and strengthen the energy supply to Europe in the long term.”

Equinor said it was open to further gas supply solutions from Hammerfest LNG to the Barents Blue project following the changes in the partnership.

The company has various hydrogen and CCS projects in Norway and elsewhere, such as the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project, part of the Longship scheme in the Norwegian North Sea, due to be ready to receive CO2 in 2024.

Horisont Energi said it would invite new partners to enter the Polaris CO2 storage licence, including a qualified operator, with a view to advancing the project toward submission of a plan for development. It will coordinate changes in the license group with the relevant authorities.