Netting better contact

October 27, 1998, 08:00 CET

A network intended to simplify electronic information exchange in Norway's oil industry has its official launch on 2 November.

While the Secure Oil Information Network (Soil) will initially provide an infrastructure for the Norwegian offshore business, a similar industry network could later be set up internationally.

Internet technology allows companies to communicate more effectively in such areas as licence collaboration, development projects and operation of installations. The system also permits electronic commerce via the net.

Statoil, Norsk Hydro and Saga Petroleum are already collaborating to develop a new system for offshore air transport.

Soil is a closed network with built-in safety routines which allows companies to send electronic mail to each other across corporate and national boundaries.

Considerable demands have been posed for traffic flow to avoid queues on the network, reports Arnvid Underlid, who is project manager for Soil in Statoil.

In addition to the three Norwegian members mentioned above, the collaboration currently embraces Amoco, BP, Shell, Procon and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Other oil companies and a number of suppliers also have specific plans to join the network in the near future. "We hope to have at least a hundred members within a year," says Mr Underlid.

Norwegian information technology specialist Fellesdata is responsible for operating the network.