SLB, Northern Lights, Microsoft to collaborate to advance carbon capture and storage

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SLB and Northern Lights Joint Venture (NL) have marked a milestone in the carbon capture and storage (CCS) sector by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Microsoft. This collaboration aims to optimize integrated cloud-based workflows for the operation of Northern Lights, a pioneering CO2 transport and storage provider enabling cross-border CCS solutions.

Børre Jacobsen, Managing Director of Northern Lights, said “Digital workflows are a key component to successfully managing CO2 through the end-to-end value chain, from capture point to permanent storage. Northern Lights is very pleased to partner with industry leading tech companies, SLB and Microsoft, on the development of digital CCS solutions.”

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In the initial collaboration phase, SLB will enhance its digital CCS workflows and numerical simulation systems on the Delfi™ digital platform. This platform was instrumental in streamlining the subsurface workflows of Northern Lights in 2022.

Trygve Randen, Senior Vice President of Digital Products and Solutions at SLB, highlighted the critical role of digital solutions in CCS scalability. He stated, “In less than three decades, CCS must scale up by 100–200 times to have the expected impact on global net zero ambitions. Digital solutions have a key role to play in enabling the necessary speed and scale for CCS, and we are excited to work closely with Microsoft and the Northern Lights JV to facilitate the complex digitalization of the CCS value chain.”

Microsoft will extend its Azure platform to support scalable cloud services for Northern Lights’ business and SLB’s digital CCS workflows. The collaboration includes developing an Azure-compliant open-source data platform as the digital infrastructure for Northern Lights.

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Sverre Brandsberg Dahl, Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft Energy and Resources Industry, remarked, “Microsoft is thrilled to partner closely with SLB and Northern Lights to drive tangible CO2 reductions at scale in 2024 and beyond. We are confident this lighthouse project can help accelerate the CCS industry and the digital infrastructure that is needed to reach global climate goals.”

CCS is critical in reducing or removing CO2 emissions, offering realistic decarbonization options for industrial emitters. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has stated, “reaching net zero will be virtually impossible without CCUS”.

Northern Lights Joint Venture, established by Equinor, TotalEnergies, and Shell, focuses on accelerating industry decarbonization. With the development of transport and storage facilities on schedule, Northern Lights is set to store CO2 from industrial emitters by 2024. The first phase has a capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes CO2 per year, with existing agreements with Yara and Ørsted and plans for further expansion.

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