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PETROSENTR-Forskningssentre for petroleum

National Centre for Sustainable Subsurface Utilization of The Norwegian Continental Shelf

Alternative title: Nasjonalt senter for bærekraftig utnyttelse av norsk sokkel

Awarded: NOK 80.0 mill.

NCS2030 – National Centre for Sustainable Subsurface Utilization of the Norwegian Continental Shelf is one out of three research centres within petroleum (“petrosenter”) in Norway today. NCS2030 was awarded in 2021 by the Research Council of Norway and started up 01.01.2022. The University of Stavanger (UiS) is hosting the centre and NORCE, IFE and the University of Bergen are its research partners. The centre is financed by the Ministry of Oil and Energy, and six oil and energy companies, and with resources from the four academic partners and two technology companies. NCS2030 is thereby one of the largest research and industry consortia in Norway. The centre includes more than 60 interdisciplinary researchers and shall, during the centre lifetime (5-8 years), educate the future experts within subsurface understanding. The centre aim is to educate 17 PhD-students and 40 master students. Centre researchers have, in collaboration with the industry partners, during the first year defined 26 subprojects within the centre activities. The centre vision is to create a sustainable subsurface value chain for reaching national and global net-zero emission targets and providing energy security. This requires interdisciplinary work. Through the partners’ competence within petroleum, geology, offshore technology, economy, and digitalization, and building on tools and competence developed within the IOR-Centre (a research centre previously hosted by UiS), NCS2030 will contribute to solving the sustainability dilemma; utilizing the nation’s subsurface resources for energy security while at the same time reducing emissions through energy-efficient recovery methods, cost-efficient CO2 storage and reusing existing infrastructure. Four research areas have been emphasized in the centre: subsurface energy systems, net-zero emission production, digitalization, and society. Visibility has been central this first year. The centre was officially opened during the Energy Norway 2022 conference. Since then, centre researchers have been present at Arendalsuka, ONS in Stavanger, FORCE at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), and given technical presentations at international conferences. In November, the international IEA-EOR workshop was arranged by the NPD in collaboration with NCS2030. In the time to come, the centre will have continued focus on visibility, also for the public, particularly for pupils and students. The Energy Norway conference will be arranged yearly, with ambition of being Norway’s most important meeting place for industry and researchers working for a sustainable utilization of the subsurface. In 2023 the conference will be arranged in collaboration with NPF (Norwegian Petroleum Society) for increased outreach, which is expected to increase the number of participants to pre-covid-levels and above. The conference will in 2023 take place 13th-15th of March at UiS, with participation from the international centre partners. In addition to contributing to the programme, the guests will be meeting centre researchers for knowledge-sharing, discussions, and future collaboration. The main results from the centre this first year are defined projects and plans, and established routines and arenas for discussion and collaboration with the partners. In addition, the following project results have been obtained: • Within energy systems and digitalization, a collaboration with centre’s technology companies have been established to use their expertise and tools for mapping mature near-field resources for optimal use of existing infrastructure. • Within digitalization new methods for safe data sharing and handling are being developed to avoid data transport from the host institutions’ data storage. • Possible areas for hydrogen storage in salt caverns in the North Sea have been mapped using seismic and well logging data, rock samples and structural maps. Customizing safety procedures for experimental work with hydrogen has commenced. • Potential fields for CO2 storage and utilization are being mapped for the planning of experiments at realistic conditions with respect to pressure, temperature, rock type and chemical compositions of water, oil, and gas. • IORSim, the modelling tool developed in the IOR-centre, has been modified for full-field modelling of enhanced oil recovery projects (Snorre and Ekofisk) and for near-well modelling. • Naturally present tracers (87Sr/86Sr isotopes) are investigated for their usefulness in mapping the ability of cap rocks to contain fluids, either hydrocarbons, temporary stored hydrogen, or permanently stored CO2. The centre will collaborate widely with academia and hands-on with industry partners and innovation companies. With local anchoring and in proximity to the industrial partners the centre will contribute to strengthen Stavanger’s and Norway’s roles in the transition of the energy sector and confirm Stavanger’s position as The Energy Capital of Norway.

The vision of the NCS2030 centre is to facilitate an energy-efficient, multi-purpose utilization of the subsurface into a “Sustainable Subsurface Value Chain” to reach the Net-Zero-Emissions goals on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Four main research areas are identified, namely Subsurface energy systems, Net-zero emission production, Digitalization and Society. The research activities are organized into eight work packages (WP): six WPs in research, one WP in education and outreach and one WP in management. The Centre will: - Develop new and improved knowledge of geological plays for both hydrocarbon and renewable resources, including storage of CO2 and H2, and geothermal energy near field areas; - Recommend more effective hydrocarbon production solutions with minimized energy and reduced carbon footprint by integrating renewable energy sources and CCS; - Develop the next generation of digital tools and methods for improved subsurface characterization, with multiple scenarios, uncertainty, decision analysis for highly nonlinear problems, large models and big data; - Extend the experience of ensemble-based workflows for emission reduction, energy efficiency and supporting utilization of reservoirs for storage of energy and waste. Education of professionals with new competencies that will drive the transition is an important priority. NCS2030 will enable collaboration between policy makers, field operators, service companies, technology providers and academic groups, and will complement established research initiatives to create new solutions through an innovation program. The Centre consists of 4 main academic and research partners (UiS, NORCE, IFE, UiB), 3 national (UiT, UiO, NFiP) and 13 international academic collaborators, support from at least 6 major energy operators on the NCS, 2 major service companies and 8 innovation/technology companies and associations who will ensure high relevance, impact and dissemination.

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PETROSENTR-Forskningssentre for petroleum