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Cash boost for R&D welcomed

October 6, 2004, 04:55 CEST

A Norwegian government proposal to increase appropriations for petroleum research and development in next year’s budget by more than 60 per cent has been welcomed by Statoil.

This commitment is described as very gratifying by Ingve Theodorsen, vice president for research and technology in the Technology & Projects business area.

Announced today, 6 October, the proposed increase via the petroleum and energy ministry will boost available funding from NOK 137.5 million to NOK 222.3 million in 2005.

The government also wants to earmark NOK 28 million of the increased return from the Fund for Research and Innovation to petroleum-related projects.

Overall, these proposals will increase government finance for R&D in the oil and gas sector next year by roughly NOK 113 million.

Mr Theodorsen believes that the non-socialist coalition’s desire to strengthen public funding for petroleum research will back further success on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“Statoil commits about NOK 1 billion per year to research and development,” he notes. “New technology is crucial for continued development of the NCS and for meeting the industry’s challenges.

“This contribution from the authorities to managing our petroleum resources in the best possible way represents a step in the right direction.

“It also demonstrates that the government has the ability to fulfil its expressed intentions.”

More cash for oil R&D will ensure that this sector remains an important contributor to funding the welfare state and industrial development, petroleum and energy minister Thorhild Widvey states in a press release.