Countering lack of projects

July 27, 1999, 09:45 CEST

A NOK 100 million publicly-funded development programme aims to combat the shortage of new projects on the Norwegian continental shelf.

With Statoil represented on its steering committee, Demo 2000 focuses on deepwater technology, subsea processing and multiphase transport, drilling and well engineering, as well as reservoir description and interpretation.

The NOK 100 million was appropriated by the Storting (parliament) during its recent consideration of the revised national planning budget for 1999 in an effort to increase the number of profitable Norwegian offshore developments.

Research projects can apply for funding through Demo 2000, with a deadline of 27 August, and a possible continuation of the programme is likely to be considered in connection with the central government budgeting process for next year.

"The aim is to forge more direct links between researchers and suppliers, and between specific projects and fields under consideration," says Helge Hatlestad. He heads the early-phase project development arena in Statoil's Technology unit.

"Relevant Statoil fields could be Halten Bank South in the Norwegian Sea and various satellite fields in our core assets off Norway, as well as deepwater discoveries on the Atlantic Margin, off western Africa and in the Caspian."

Mr Hatlestad represents the group in the steering committee which will evaluate the project proposals submitted.

Funding for the selected projects will be channelled through the Research Council of Norway. Both suppliers and oil companies must also help finance each project.

Technology and solutions developed through Demo 2000 are intended for use in projects which can be approved for development within a few years. But Mr Hatlestad also sees international aspects to the programme.

"This is a contribution to the internationalisation process for Norwegian industry," he says. "Technologically innovative and cost-effective solutions delivered here in Norway will also be saleable internationally."