Equinor ASA EQNR signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) with Microsoft MSFT to analyze different ways to bolster the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) project, allowing Microsoft as a technology partner to explore the transportation and storage of acquired carbon dioxide (CO2).
Equinor will develop the project in alliance with Shell RDS.A and TOTAL TOT as equal partners.
The project primarily includes the collection of CO2 from the Norwegian industrial capture and storage facilities, which mainly focus on transportation, receipt and the permanent storage of CO2 in a reservoir in the northern North Sea. By the means of the MoU, Equinor and Microsoft will explore different ways to incorporate the tech giant’s digital competence through the Northern Lights’ CO2 transport and storage facility as a part of Microsoft’s portfolio.
In May 2020, Equinor together with Shell and TOTAL made a conditional investment decision on the Northern Lights project. Following the approval, the project partners will establish an openly accessible, ship-based carbon transport and storage network in addition to various business model development to reserve CO2 from all corners of Europe. The final investment decision is subject to the Norwegian parliament’s approval, which is expected in late 2020, while the operation is most likely to commence in the first half of 2024.
Per Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president of Equinor, carbon capture and storage is a reliable technology and plays a crucial role in decarbonizing energy and industries across sectors to meet climate targets globally. The Northern Lights project will also help to exclude carbon from Microsoft’s operations as the company seeks to become carbon-negative by 2030.
Equinor also mentioned that the Norwegian government is expected to bear roughly 80% of $751 million, the expense associated with CO2 deposit’s first stage that is likely to store 1.5 million CO2 tonnes per year.
About the Company & Price Performance
Headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, Equinor is one of the premier integrated energy companies in the world, with operations across 30 countries. Apart from oil and gas, the company is trying to capitalize on the growing renewable energy space so that it could align its operations with the Paris Climate Agreement. Its shares have outperformed the industry in the past six months. The company’s shares have gained 17.9% against the industry’s 15.2% decline.
Equinor currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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