Statoil spends big in R&D

June 27, 2014

Statoil opened a new improved oil recovery (IOR) center in Trondheim the same day it announced an R&D-focused strategic agreement between subsidiary Statoil Technology Invest (STI) and Scottish Enterprise. The new IOR center will be the largest center of its kind in the country, according to Statoil.

The Norwegian giant said that the new facility, adjacent to an existing research facility, will provide new technology to maximize production on Statoil developments and improve drilling efficiency. Present for the opening was Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Minister Tord Lien and Rita Ottervik, mayor of Trondheim, with Lien calling the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) the “workplace for the future.”

 “Research and technology development have been key elements in achieving the record-high recovery rate we already see on the NCS. If the recovery rate increases by 1%, it will increase our income from the NCS by NOK 300 billion (almost US$49 billion)” he said.

Construction began on the new center in late September 2012. Statoil calls its new a new industrial scanner, which monitors oil movement, “the heart of the center.” With resolution 500 times higher than a medical-grade scanner, personnel can examine reservoirs to evaluate which IOR method to employ.

Statoil wants to increase the recovery rate on the NCS by 10% to 60%, and it seems to be upping its investment in R&D to help achieve its goal. More than half of its research portfolio is invested in IOR, the company said.

As part of its partnership with Scottish Enterprise, STI will sink more than £80 million (upwards of US$136 million) to encourage investment in early development projects. It, too, is part of a larger campaign: It is one of a number of new initiatives being delivered by Scottish Enterprise to help increase Scotland’s gross value added by £1.5 billion (more than US$2.5 billion).

“[Between] 2012-2013, we awarded in excess of £2.7 million of innovation funding to the oil and gas sector, supporting 53 projects. STI’s experience of a similar scheme in Norway makes them the perfect strategic partner to help increase and improve the number of projects we deliver in Scotland each year,” Scottish Enterprise chief executive, Lena Wilson, said.

Photo of Oil and Energy minister Ola Borten Moe setting a core sample in the ground of the IOR research center during groundbreaking. Photo from Statoil/ Geir Otto Johansen/NTB SCANPIX.



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