Tale/innlegg | Dato: 26.06.2014 | Olje- og energidepartementet
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Thank you for inviting me to take part in the official opening of Statoil´s new centre for Increased Oil Recovery.
This is about to become one of the most advanced centers in the world for this kind of research. Congratulations!
We often refer to the Norwegian oil & gas experience as an adventure. Our economy would certainly be very different without access to these tremendous resources.
250.000 people are working either directly or indirectly in the petroleum industry – all over the country.The Norwegian shelf is a safe place to work. The resources are developed in a sustainable way, and we have excellent recovery rates.
We have also showed how to manage enormous energy resources to the benefit of not just a few – but all Norwegians.
One major factor has been the excellent cooperation between government, industry and academia.
Cooperation is indeed a keyword, and I am confident that the research centre here at Rotvoll will be a driving force in breaking down barriers, and reaching new R&D milestones.
New technology and new solutions will be necessary to access difficult reserves and make them profitable. Only in this way we can realize the great potential from improved recovery on the Norwegian Shelf.
Improved recovery – what it means
I would like to stress that any Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, no matter what party affiliation, would want exactly the same thing: Improved recovery from the Norwegian Shelf.
I know this is a broad and technical subject. That is also why the centre will be staffed by some of the best petroleum scientists around.
But as a politician I can allow myself to explain it in a more basic way. The short and simple answer is that those working here will try their best to get out more barrels of oil from existing fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
This is what IOR is really about. This is at the very core of sound resource management.
Why should we do this? Why should we strive to get more oil out of existing fields? Let me tell you some of the reasons why I am very happy to be here today.
The current plans provide an average expected recovery rate of 46 per cent for oil and 70 per cent for gas on the Norwegian Shelf.
Of course, recovery rates differ from field to field, depending on reservoir properties, strategy, technology development and so forth. But recovery rates on the Norwegian Continental Shelf certainly put Norway right up there - amongst the leaders in the world.
While this is already quite impressive, we should still strive to get better.
Just one percent increase in the recovery rate represents extra gross public revenues of more than 300 billion Norwegian Kroner.
I have referred to this number a couple of times, but just how much is 300 billion? Since we are in the midst of the World Cup, let me use an illustration from football.
Lloyds Centre for Business Research has estimated the value of the star players participating in this year´s tournament in Brazil.
Football is big business, and if you combine the squads of top teams like Brazil, Argentina, England, France, Germany and Spain, you get a sales value of about 30 billion kroner. Or just ten percent of the sum I mentioned above.
Our local football league - Tippeligaen – could certainly be better. And Rosenborg, who is not doing as well as before, could definitely use a Messi or maybe even Neymar.
But even if I like football, I am not sure if this is the best way to spend that extra revenue!
What I am sure about is that substantial values are at stake for the State as resource owner.
When attending the opening of a centre dedicated to petroleum research, I think it is appropriate to briefly address the ongoing debate about ethics.
Should we carry out such research? Yes, we should!
Why? Because we need energy, and we need lots of it! A growing population, combined with aspirations for improved living conditions requires more energy.
Some say we should not do research on petroleum, but on renewable sources of energy. The answer is simple: They are not mutually exclusive, and we need both. Even in a world where we meet the two degree scenario, oil and gas will play an important part of the energy supply.
That is exactly why we should continue to carry out petroleum research.
Through research and development we search for the best means to recover the petroleum resources – with minimum environmental footprint and with lower emissions.
Put simply - I am not against that!
It is time to summarize.
Research and technological innovation has been important, and will be important in future developments. It will continue to be a key factor keeping costs down and energy-production and value creation high.
Statoil has been a driving force for the technological development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for decades and will continue to be so – not least shown by the opening of this new centre.
Before leaving the word to Statoil, I would like to commend particularly one of your projects.
We often talk about the Norwegian oil and gas adventure. I did that myself, just a few minutes ago. Most adventures, or fairly tales, follow a certain script – usually with good versus bad – and quite often with bad trolls.
The Troll in our oil- and gas adventure is different. Based on what I have seen of their work with IOR – it seems like a very good Troll!
Being the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy maybe I am biased, but in the future, I wouldn’t mind seeing more Trolls like that.
That is why I hope for important contributions coming from this research centre.
Congratulations yet again, best of luck to you all and thank you for your attention!