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Denmark's Bulk Carbon Storage Plan

Denmark is to reverse the direction of an oil rig and pump in millions of tons of liquefied CO2 to keep it permanently out of our atmosphere. It's a clever idea.


Illustration of an oil rig pumping CO2 below the seabed
Credit: Semco Maritime

Not content with just building two new artificial islands to help solve Europe's energy problems, it's now initiating a plan to help solve the problem of how to sequester CO2 emissions - also on a vast scale.


The Scandinavian country is now moving forward with Project Greensands, an initiative that will take huge quantities of captured carbon out to an oil rig in the North Sea, and pump it down to sequester it in the sandstone formations that once held oil and gas. Greensands will repurpose a decommissioned oil platform off the cost of Denmark in the North Sea, by reversing its previous direction of flow to pump liquefied CO2 some 1,800m (1.1 miles) below the sea bed. Here it will begin refilling the Paleocene sandstone reservoir known as the Siri Field, which has done a fine job containing oil and gas for the last 20 million years, and which has been identified as an excellent spot for carbon sequestration.


Once fully operational, Denmark will be sequestering carbon here at a rate 8 million tons a year - that's more than 13% of the country's current known emissions.


The project website claims there's enough space in this single reservoir to store all the carbon Denmark has ever created in its history, and then some. Indeed, it says there's enough sequestration potential in the Danish subsoil to stow 500 year's worth of emissions at today's rate.

 

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