The new research centre for improved recovery of petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf will be established at the University of Stavanger. The centre will develop new knowledge and technology to increase recovery beyond projections under today's field operation plans.
"Enhanced recovery efforts are vital to the optimal exploitation of Norway's oil and gas resources. Investment in the development of new knowledge and technology in this area will lead to major revenues for society as a whole. We are looking forward to following the centre's efforts closely," states Fridtjof Unander, Executive Director of the Research Council of Norway's Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment.
Collaboration between research and industry
There has been widespread interest in the establishment of a centre for enhanced recovery within the industry itself. A number of petroleum companies and supplier companies have signed on as company partners in the centre. The International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) and the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) are participating as research partners.
The scientists behind the centre proposal have extensive experience in research on enhanced recovery. Their estimates exceed the amount of oil and gas reserves previously believed to be found at the Ekofisk oil field in the North Sea. The research group was awarded the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's prize for improved oil recovery (the IOR award) in 2010.
The centre will conduct basic research and establish an educational programme while also addressing practical applications in the field. The researchers will study the effects of injection at the microscopic level as well as processes on a larger scale. The centre will also develop methodology for selecting the optimal injection techniques to use in different fields.
Following up national priorities and needs
The Research Council issued a call for proposals for the establishment of a new petroleum research centre in spring 2013, in response to the national priorities and needs set out in the Government's white paper on petroleum activities in 2011 and the OG21 national technology strategy for the petroleum industry.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy will provide NOK 10 million (round about 1.3 Mio. Euro) in funding each year to the centre over a five-year period. Co-funding is provided by participants from trade and industry.