As part of the national budget for 2019, Norway’s government has proposed to increase funding to geological surveying with NOK 50 million ($6.04M).
The government said on Monday that this was being done to continue the acquisition of knowledge through mapping of the petroleum resources in the Northern parts of the Barents Sea off Norway.
Norway’s recently appointed Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Kjell-Børge Freiberg, said: “Knowledge is crucial both for good resource management and to safeguard national economic interests. Therefore, it is important to continue the mapping of the petroleum resources in the Barents Sea in general, and in areas with possible border crossing resources in particular.”
According to the government, only the Norwegian authorities are allowed to conduct mapping of resources in areas not opened for petroleum activities by the Norwegian Parliament.
The proposed geological surveying includes acquisition and analysis of seismic data, which will provide important information about the geology of the Barents Sea, particularly for areas close to the delimitation line between Norway and Russia, where there might be border-crossing petroleum resources.
The proposal is a continuation of the geological surveying conducted by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate over the past years to gather new and additional knowledge about the geology of the Barents Sea. More knowledge about petroleum resources requires collection of additional geological data.
New and better data provides the authorities with a better understanding of the entirety of the petroleum systems. As explained by the Norwegian government, this is important both with regards to good resource management and to safeguard national economic interests when it comes to border-crossing petroleum resources.