The decision was announced on 30 August 2013 by Ola Borten Moe, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy. The University of Stavanger (UiS), the International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS) and Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) are the main partners in the new research consortium.
Borten Moe emphasised that UiS had the best application. Scientific quality was the main criterion that decided where the prestigious new centre would be placed.
The competing applications came from SINTEF together with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Uni Research (University of Bergen). An independent committee with members from industry and state institutions concluded that the IOR group in Stavanger was the best in the country.
Associate Professor Merete Vadla Madland will be the president of the new centre.
“This is the result of 30 years of hard work. We have elevated our IOR research to an elite international level, in close collaboration with industry partners. In addition, we have brought a group of excellent scientists, both domestic and foreign, together in this centre. Now we can expand our research further in finding the best solutions for increasing recovery rates on existing oil fields,” says Madland.
Could generate billions
The new centre will be funded by the Norwegian government with NOK 50 million over the next five years. Industry partners have already promised to come up with funding at least matching that amount. The UiS and IRIS research groups have had closed ties with the industry for decades. Several large oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Maersk, supported the application from Stavanger.
Increased oil recovery has huge potential in creating value for the Norwegian society. The average oil recovery rate on the Norwegian continental shelf is 46 percent as of 2013. An increase of only one percent would generate approximately NOK 300 billion in added value for the industry and the Norwegian state.