An Arctic petroleum research center has been launched in Tromso, Norway, to increase knowledge about hydrocarbon exploration in the region.
The Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration (ARCEx) is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the Research Council of Norway, and is affiliated with UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø.
Its activities will include the development of methodologies and technology for environmentally sound exploration in the Arctic and will be based on national and international cooperation.
Many of the centre’s industrial partners will be contributing funding as well. Researcher training and dissemination activities will also be given high priority.
"The centre has the important task of contributing to research-based industrial development in North Norway," says Fridtjof Fossum Unander, Executive Director of the Research Council's Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment.
The Research Council has defined the northern areas and the Arctic as one of its priority focus areas, added Mr Unander, and the ARCEx centre is a key initiative in this context.
“The centre has the important task of contributing to research-based industrial development in North Norway. At the same time the investment here must be supported by a nationwide focus on generating new knowledge in which the entire Norwegian research community and all relevant sectors take part,” he says.
The centre was formally opened by Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tord Lien. In his remarks the Minister stressed the importance of further developing technology and routines in order to minimise the impacts and risks of petroleum activities in the Arctic environment.
“This will make it possible to ensure that resources are utilised sustainably,” Lien said. “The essential ingredients are cooperation, knowledge, creativity and innovation, and ARCEx will play a pivotal role in all of this.”