“If we are to be able to develop the Barents Sea as a new energy province, we must have the necessary technology to operate in vulnerable Arctic areas. Cooperation between public and private actors from Norway and Russia is essential if we are to succeed in developing this technology,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced NOK 6 million in funding to a Norwegian–Russian project that will assess the gap between the technology currently available and the technology needed for extracting oil and gas resources in the Barents Sea in an environmentally sound and safe way. The funding will be provided through the Barents 2020 programme.
The project Russian–Norwegian Oil and Gas Industry in the High North (RU–NU Barents) has a total budget of NOK 16 million over a period of three years, and will be led by the organisation INTSOK – Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners. In addition to a number of industry organisations and public sector actors, Russian participants in the project include companies such as Gazprom, and Norwegian participants include Shell Norway, Conoco Phillips, North Energy and Tschudi Shipping.
“This project will add industrial weight to our energy cooperation with Russia in the wake of the maritime delimitation treaty. It will help to facilitate increased petroleum activity in the Barents Sea. This activity must be carried out in a sustainable and responsible manner, with the petroleum industry taking the lead,” said Mr Støre.
The industrial actors involved in the project will first participate in working groups to assess common technology challenges Russia and Norway face in developing the High North. They will then analyse existing technology, methods and best practice. Once concluded, the project will show where there is a need for innovation and further technological development.