The Research Council of Norway has an annual budget of over NOK 4 billion, and some of this money is earmarked for international oil and gas research. Foreign (non-Norwegian) companies and researchers can apply for Research Council of Norway (RCN) funding by following a simple procedure. The Council advises interested parties to go to RCN's website at www.rcn.no, and choose the English-language option.
There, under the "Financing for foreign applicants" shortcut, a wide variety of application forms and informational sources are available. Categories include financing opportunities, programmes, and grants and scholarships that are specifically designed for foreign researchers and Norwegian partners.
Erik Skaug, a special adviser in the Research Council's Division for Innovation, notes that applicants in the PETROMAKS programme can be funded up to a maximum of 50% of the cost of a project. When evaluating candidates, Skaug says the Council uses a variety of criteria, including research content, necessity of funding, and how effectively the project may help meet PETROMAKS's goals of bringing about a better utilization of petroleum resources, and of creating an internationally competitive service industry in the country.
A number of international oil and gas companies have teamed up with Norwegian oil and gas companies on research that has received funding through RCN's PETROMAKS programme. Recent examples of such projects include:
- Advanced Reservoir Training (ART) for improved oil recovery This project aims to improve reservoir description via the use of advanced tracer methods, and to develop methods to measure remaining oil saturation in flooded areas. ART research partners include Statoil, Norsk Hydro, TotalFinaElf (now Total), ConocoPhillips, PDVSA and Wintershall.
- The Petrophysics Under Stress, or PETRUS project. This effort's main objective is to couple petrophysics and rock mechanics through experimental and numerical studies of stress effects on petrophysical properties. Partners include ConocoPhillips, Norsk Hydro, Shell, Petrobras and Statoil.
- Electrical power supply for downhole instrumentation by SICOM, Reslink and SINTEF. The main objective of this project is developing a reliable electrical supply system for downhole instrumentation.
In addition to project funding, scholarships are available under the cultural agreements Norway has established with various countries. These scholarships are open to applications from all fields of research. These include Norwegian government scholarships and scholarships for both long-term and short-term visits for researchers from China, Egypt and India.
Visiting Researcher Grants
For visiting researcher grants, The Research Council of Norway has introduced an electronic application submission service, called "eSøknad". The electronic application forms for this type of grant can only be accessed from the programme/activity announcements. Interested parties can check the Research Council's website for more information.