Equinor and Vår Energi withdraw from Barents Blue

Today operator Horisont Energi announced Fertiberia as a new partner to join the Barents Blue project.

Equinor and Vår Energi withdraw from Barents Blue
Photo: Horisont Energi

Horisont Energi enters into partnership with Fertiberia to join the Barents Blue project. Simultaneously Vår Energi and Equinor withdraw from the projectas the cooperation agreement expires on 31th January 2023.

The previous partners Equinor and Vår Energi leaves the project as the cooperation agreement expired on 31 January.

The Barents Blue concept is to make ammonia from natural gas from the Barents Sea, capture the CO2 and store it under the seabed.

The Polaris CO2 storage under the Barents Sea was selected as the CO2 storage solution for the Barents Blue project, and it has had the same partners as for the Barents Blue project.

Vår Energi EVP Project Development & SCM, Atle Reinseth says:

We have great faith in the Barents Sea as a petroleum province. However, after thorough assessment of the project and our overall portfolio, we have concluded that it is no longer appropriate to proceed with the Barents Blue concept. 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. We would like to thank Equinor and Horisont Energi for the collaboration and wish the operator all the best in further maturing Barents Blue.

Grete Tveit, senior vice president Low carbon solutions, in Equinor, says:

“We are pleased to see that Horisont Energi will continue to mature the Barents Blue project with a new partner and build on the progress and experiences from our partnership. I wish to thank the Barents Blue operator Horisont Energi and our partner Vår Energi for the collaboration we have had in the project.”

Vår Energi remains steadfast in its ambitions for the Barents Sea, with continued exploration, further development of the Goliat field and efforts to establish an optimal solution for gas exports. 

Vår Energi EVP Exploration & Production, Rune Oldervoll explains:

"Our goal is to establish an export solution for gas in the Barents Sea with the capacity to both utilise 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 remains positive to explore gas supply solutions from Hammerfest LNG to the Barents Blue project following the changes in the partnership.

Equinor has several hydrogen and CCS projects in different phases in Norway and in other markets. In Norway, the Northern Lights CO2 transport and storage project, part of the Longship project, is already under construction and on track to be ready to receive CO2 in 2024.

Recently, Equinor and RWE announced that the companies have agreed to work together to develop large-scale value chains for low carbon hydrogen, with a production facility in Norway and an export pipeline to Germany.

By 2030, Equinor has an ambition that 50 per cent of the company’s gross investments will be dedicated to renewables and low carbon solutions, such as CCS and hydrogen.