Equinor and Microsoft Partner on Northern Lights CCS Project

Equinor signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to support the Northern Lights carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. Microsoft will work to enable the transportation and storage of captured CO₂ on the project while Equinor develops the project with Shell and Total as equal partners.

Equinor and Microsoft have agreed to the following:

  • Explore a technology collaboration to integrate Microsoft’s digital expertise.

  • Microsoft will explore the use of Northern Lights' CO2- transport-and-storage facility as part of its portfolio of carbon capture, transportation, and storage projects.

  • Explore ways for Microsoft to invest in the development of the project.

  • Explore and establish advocacy of policies that help accelerate the contribution CCS can make to meeting Europe’s climate goals.

“This is a challenge that no one government or corporation can solve alone,” said Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer for Microsoft. “We all need to do more, and those of us who can move faster should. We’re excited by the potential of new approaches like the Northern Lights project. Together with our partners we can work to scale the transportation and storage of captured carbon to help achieve the business needs of a net-zero-carbon future.”

The agreement follows a conditional investment decision in May made by Equinor, Shell, and Total. Pending regulatory approval, the partners will form a joint venture responsible for creating an open-source, ship-based carbon-transport-and-storage network and developing business models to store captured CO2 in Europe. Final investment decision, subject to the Norwegian approval, is expected late 2020 with startup expected in 1H 2024.

Additional MoUs have been signed with eight European companies in different industries including Air Liquide, Arcelor Mittal, Ervia, Fortum Oyj, HeidelbergCement AG, Preem, Stockholm Exergi, and ETH Zürich.

These MoUs also target solutions for CO₂ delivery, transport, and storage of CO2, including logistics, CO2 specifications, and roadmaps toward potential startups.


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