Photo: Asbjørn Jensen (UiS)

The National Centre for Improved Oil Recovery has kicked off!


Although it is taking some time to get the contracts in place and signed by the industrial partners, research activities in the new National Centre for Improved Oil Recovery have already started.

Recruitment of PhD students and talks with other research groups in Norway are ongoing. On Thursday 3 December, 19 researchers from the University of Stavanger (UiS), IRIS, the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and SINTEF convened at IRIS in Oslo Science Park to discuss the development of improved reservoir simulation tools. The following day the centre was presented on the OG21 Forum by Centre Director Merete V. Madland.

In the words of the press release from the Research Council of Norway to mark the announcement of the winners in August, “high scientific quality was main criterion for the award”. The importance of the assignment was underlined by Ola Borten Moe, the then Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, when he presented the award the same month. He pointed out that an increase of just one per cent in the recovery rate could generate additional gross revenues in excess of NOK 300 billion.
UiS is responsible for managing the centre, while Associate Professor Merete V. Madland is the Centre Director. Chief Scientists Aksel Hiorth and Geir Nævdal at IRIS will be in charge of their respective areas, and a total of seven research areas have been designated. UiS Professor Svein Skjæveland is managing the section that will work with academia and training, while Research Director Kristin Flornes is co-ordinating IRIS’ initiatives at the Centre. One representative from IFE is also part of the management team.
Support from the industry
UiS and IRIS, together with IFE, have more than 30 years’ experience of research into increased recovery. The centre will also utilise the expertise of renowned resource pools at other Norwegian and foreign universities and research institutes.
The assignment will require close collaboration with industry, which will be able to use the results of the work at the centre. Therefore it was a distinct advantage that as many as 14 companies, including oil companies like ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Mærsk Oil and service companies Halliburton and Schlumberger backed the application from Stavanger. This number is expected to have grown by the time work starts.
Extensive research activities
The activities performed at the centre include basic research and training and will focus on practical issues. The centre will develop methodology that makes it easier to select the best and most efficient injection methods for a given field.
The centre has now secured public financing of NOK 10 million a year, a corresponding amount in self-financing and at least twice that in industrial support. Thus the total budget for the eight-year-period has been estimated at a minimum of NOK 320 million.

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