The Research Council of Norway has decided to establish the new research and knowledge center for petroleum activities in the northern areas and the Arctic in Tromsø.
The research team at the centre in Tromsø is to help find solutions to challenges relating to the extraction of petroleum resources in Arctic areas. The research is to be conducted in cooperation with other research groups in Norway and abroad. The centre is to be funded jointly by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Greater knowledge and new technology will serve to strengthen the burgeoning petroleum activities in the Arctic. The establishment of the new centre is a milestone in our competence-building efforts in North Norway. The application from Tromsø meets all the criteria we have set, and we are delighted that the work can now begin in earnest,” said Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe.
In addition to the funding from the Government, the centre will also receive contributions from the business sector.
“Norway aims to be at the forefront of knowledge development on the Arctic. The centre will strengthen Norway’s knowledge about petroleum activities in the Arctic, which is a key area in our efforts relating to the region,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide said.
The establishment of the centre is part of the follow-up of the white paper on Norway’s petroleum activities (Meld. St. 28 (2010–2011)), in which the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy stated that the need for a centre of this kind would be assessed. Facilitating the sound utilisation of the oil and gas resources in the High North is also one of the priorities set out in the white paper on the High North (Meld. St. 7 (2011-2012)).
The Research Council of Norway will be responsible for the technical follow-up of the new centre. Key criteria for deciding where the new centre would be based included the applicants’ professional expertise and quality of research, the involvement of the business sector and co-financing from private sector sources, and the applicants’ links to leading research groups in other parts of the country and abroad.