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Daily Telegraph: Underground role for green villain

By Christopher Hope and Caroline Muspratt (Filed: 09/03/2006)
Shell and Statoil have come up with an ingenious way of producing more oil from two North Sea fields while cutting greenhouse gases at the same time.
The scheme involves capturing between 2m and 2.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from a specially-built power station and injecting the gas into the neighbouring fields, forcing oil to rise and be extracted more easily.
Shell said that the plan, to be used on the Draugem and Heidrum offshore oil and gas fields in the Norwegian North Sea, would increase the life of the fields by five years.
Jeroen van der Veer, Shell chief executive, said: “This is an important milestone for Shell towards our vision for greener fossil fuels with part of the carbon dioxide captured and sequestrated underground.”
But it will cost. The companies warned that the project in Norway, to be phased in during 2010-2012 was “technologically and commercially challenging” and that it would depend on government funding and involvement. A final investment decision for the project could be made by the end of 2008.
Statoil suggested the plan will cost up to £860m, half of which will be spent on the power plant and the remainder on the cost of trapping the gas. Helge Lund, Statoil's chief executive, said the project made financial sense because of the soaring cost of trading CO2.
He added: “The dilemma in the world today is that we have increased energy demand and for the foreseeable future have to cover that. There are some negative impacts of that, including CO2, and industry is part of that problem so we have to take an offensive approach.”

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