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Research & development

Research and development

Vår Energi’s business objective is to expand our ownership and increase activities on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in a profitable and sustainable manner. Our research and development (R&D) portfolio is vital to achieve this objective.

In 2020 we invested NOK 81 million in R&D projects on the NCS. Currently, Vår Energi finances and supports in total 50 R&D projects.

The following five business areas have highest priority in the R&D project selection:

Successful exploration

Definition and challenges: Reduce cost and timing of exploration, develop and improve all key technologies required to assess and exploit the potential of both mature basins and frontier areas.

  • Improve the ability to investigate the subsoil and to estimate the amount and quality of fluids contained in the reservoirs.
  • Integrate multiple physical measurements to reduce exploration risks and improve development decisions by providing additional information for building a more accurate earth model.

Safety and environmental protection

Definition and challenges: Ensure safety of industrial processes with a strong focus on primary prevention of hazards and protection of the environment.

  • Decrease the polluting potential of activities in the products’ lifecycle
  • Prevent safety risks in plants

Operational excellence

Definition and challenges: Reduce cost and timing of development and operation activities, at the maximum level of sustainability and with the lowest environmental impact, guaranteeing maximum safety for all employees.

  • Improve drilling capacity through an increased number of longer, deeper and cheaper wells.
  • Reduce CAPEX and OPEX in the operations, including production, transportation and conversion.
  • Develop new technologies to operate in extreme environmental conditions.
  • Exploit innovative materials towards the full operation cycle to increase efficiency and safety.
  • Increase energy efficiency in production processes.

Maximize recovery

Definition and challenges: Develop efficient and competitive technologies to increase reservoir production and recovery, minimizing the environmental impact in our operations.

  • Perform quick and reliable reservoir characterization by logging while drilling tool for real-time well placement and reservoir modeling.
  • Simulate recovery processes at different scales in challenging reservoirs and/or with complex physics.
  • Develop new simulators for accurate fluids and geo-mechanics evolution and reservoir management.
  • Exploit innovative materials towards the full operation cycle to increase efficiency and safety.
  • Reduce the cost per incremental barrel of oil produced by Enhanced Oil Recovery processes.

Renewable energies

Definition and challenges: Develop efficient and competitive technologies to produce energy from renewable resources, integrated into the current energy system with minimal infrastructure changes.

  • Develop cost competitive technologies to produce energy from renewable sources in an integrated manner with other hydrocarbon energy sources


  • Maximize recovery

    • ResX4D

      Develop and improve our reservoir model workflows using ensemble-based method by incorporating 4D seismic data history matching.


      Develop computationally efficient ensemble-based methods for probabilistic decision making in high-dimensional and nonlinear dynamical systems. The main objective is: to improve decision making and uncertainty analysis for well planning and field development by using a generic decision-driven ensemble-based approach.

    • Geosteering for Improved Oil Recovery

      The primary objective of this project is to develop methodology for geosteering by continuously updating the earth model based on LWD measurements including Deep EM. The result of this project will be better methodology for using Deep EM with other measurements for geosteering that treats uncertainty consistently.

    • Goliat EOR project- Core Flooding Test

      Laboratories tests to establish the effectiveness of the low salinity water (LSW) injection.

      - Salinity screening for damage and clay swelling assessment,
      - Verification and optimization if ion water composition with reduced salinity for both formations (Kobbe and Realgrumen).
      - Investigation by advanced core flooding experiments

    • National IOR Centre of Norway

      The goal of the National Centre for Improved Oil Recovery (iOR) is to perform R&D that will develop new knowledge, competence and contribute to the implementation of environmentally friendly technologies for maximizing oil recovery through improved volumetric sweep of mobile oil, and mobilization and displacement of immobile oil.

    • Unlock Tight Reservoir

      Develop and test new reservoir simulation tools and improve drilling & completion technology to increase production and reduce technical risk related to new methods and technology.

    • Geomechanical software for multi-well injection optimisation of complex fields

      The aim of the project is to develop and validate a numerical algorithm to ascertain the best water injection strategy across multiple wells on a field scale using real time data and interdisciplinary reservoir characteristics knowledge.

    • Density Activated Recovery (DAR) Inflow Control Technology

      The goal for the development of the DAR technology is to enable inflow control without limitations by providing solutions to known gaps in existing technologies.

  • Operational excellence

    • Clean Sea EVO1 - (phase 2)

      Develop a prototype of a AUV Docking Station in adition to two prototype interchangeable payload modules and execution of Clean Sea EVO1 Demonstration Tests.

    • Demonstration of Automated Drilling Process Control

      The primary objective is an automated drilling demonstration on the full-scale test rig Ullrigg at NORCE using: robotic drill floor equipment from Canrig Robotics; Sekal Drilltronics automated drilling process control software; and an open and independent interface to the drilling control system.

    • Demonstration of Drilling Data Hub

      The primary objective of the Drilling Data Hub Demonstration project is to demonstrate that a seamless integration and exchange of drilling-related data between all the partners can be performed in a realistic and full scale scenario by the use of a newly developed Drilling Data Hub.

    • Leakage risk assessment for plugged and abandoned oil & gas wells

      The primary objective of this NORCE project is to develop a methodology for evaluating the quality of the barrier system of a permanently plugged and abandoned well over time by expressing the quality of the barrier system in terms of leakage probability and potential future leakage rates. The final outcome will consist of a set of data, models and calculators that are integrated in a software prototype tool.

    • LEDA LIFT II (LedaFlow Improved Flow Technologies )

      LEDA LIFT II is a continuation of the effort to validate LedaFlow with focus on 3D, thermal modelling and slug handling.

    • Low Shear Polymer Flow Control Device (TRL6)

      Develop a flow control device which can manage high capacity polymer flow 20-150m3/hr at 40 -50 bar with a minimun 50% polymer mechanical degradation. Field test and qualification of a Low Shear Polymer Flow Control Valve (from TRL4 to TRL 6- Technology in Operation).

    • MultiFlow

      The purpose is produce new, relevant and easily accessible reference data for multiphase pipe flows. The data will be used to validate the main multiphase computation codes used in Eni Norge, OLGA and LEDA

    • SWIG acoustic

      Vår Energi's membership in the Subsea Wireless Group is sharing and acquiring knowledge about standards development related to subsea wireless technology interoperability.

    • Rig spray

      Predicting sea spray on Arctic offshore structures. Development of knowledge, models and a tool to estimate marine icing loads required for design.

    • READI

      In short the basis for the project is the requirements in five NORSOK standards Z-TI for Technical Information that will be transformed to a machine readable format. This will enable to transform the diverse company practices in an open and common platform for shared digital LCI and technical requirements, and help the industry to improve safety, reduce costs and increase efficiency in business critical processes through automation.

    • Qualification of Subsea Variable Speed Drive (VSD) and Switchgear

      Qualification of large eletrical equipent to be located subsea . Subsea power distribution systems will play a major role in the future of subsea field development projects. The system is an enabling technology for subsea processing with multiple seabed power consumers. The system is ideally suited to support enhanced recovery in subsea brownfield projects and tie-back fields, benefitting from single- or multiphase boosting to increase oil recovery.

  • Safety and environmental protection

    • CIRFA

      The overall ambition of CIRFA is that the centre will become a knowledge hub for research and development on Arctic surveillance technologies, with leading expertise in disciplines such as remote sensing, signal processing, radar technology, RPAS technology, data assimilation and numerical modelling. CIRFA builds on broad competence in remote sensing, and takes advantage of the considerable infrastructure, that has been built up in Tromsø over the recent decades.

    • DREAM MER (phase 2)

      The JIP Project DREAM MER phase 2, builds on existing work performed during the DREAM MER Phase I. The project includes new dynamic effect- and risk models, and improved transport and fate models for predicting produced water components concentration and distribution, to assist predictions of potential impact on local ecosystems.


      Symbiosis III is a JIP that focus the requirements to do risk assessment and implement proper preparedness measures to combat oil spills. Exploration activity and development of discovered resources depends on the industry's ability to demonstrate that the ecosystem consequences of potential oil spills are well-characterised and manageable, particularly for fishery resources. To this end, OSECA will improve the ecological realism of impact assessment simulation (IAS) technologies to deliver essential knowledge on the consequences of oil spills on diverse fish species, from individuals to populations.

    • SEATRACK (phase II)

      The JIP "SEATRACK" is a cooperation between the Norwegian Polar Institute (NP) and the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). The institutes will do mapping, monitoring and research on marine birds in Norway and the Polar Regions, in 2019-2022. SEATRACK is a 4 year international program for mapping the area distribution outside the breeding season for seabird populations in Norwegian waters.The JIP shall lead to improved environmental risk assessment for seabirds.

    • Digital Worker and Exposure Risk Assessment

      The primary objective of this project is to acquire knowledge by a multi-disciplinary approach;
      1) use digitised data acquisition of Occupational Health and Safety data and define how this knowledge could be utilised to optimise preventive measures for critical health exposure incidents
      2) assessing physiological strain and work-recuperation balance of workers in the petroleum industry by portable data acquisiton instruments
      3) use of wearable technologies to assess the work recuperation balance in petroleum workers;
      4) measure Benzene concentrations in real-time within the required threshold limits
      5) develop a framework for assessing the implications of future connected technology.

    • NCCS (Norwegian CCS Research Centre)

      The JIP NCCS project hosts a consortium of 6 international oil and gas companies, 10 CCS technology vendors and 10 technology users in the private and public domain. The research partnership consists of SINTEF, NTNU, UiO, NGI and 20 other highly ranked research institutes and universities. Vision; The NCCS will: 1) be instrumental for the Petroleum Industry in Norway in the endeavor to reduce CO2 emissions by sequestration, Capture and Storage of CO2; 2) enable fast-track CCS deployment through industry-driven science based innovation.

    • Risk Management in the Far North

      Development and continuous improvement of systems and strategies for emergency preparedness, barrier management and safe operation, in order to ensure prudent activity in the Barents Sea. Development of new methods for monitoring, visualising and measuring status of risk level on Goliat FPSO.

    • RISP - Risk informed decision support in development projects (ex-Expedient risk analyses Z-013)

      The JIP RISP - Risk informed decision support in development project"" aims to develop new standard/best practice for risk analyses. This will allow quicker definition and decision making at early phases of the project => less uncertainty, less risk for costly late changes. Potentially significate cost saveings in projects by having better technical and procurement definitions from early phases.

    • Low Emission Center

      The LowEmission centre endeavours to develop new technology and concepts for offshore energy systems and integration with renewable power production technologies. This will accelerate development and implementation of low-emission offshore technologies on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and help Norwegian industry to meet its 2030 goal of 40 % reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and move towards the 2050 goal of zero emissions from new facilities.

    • KFX Complex hydrocarbon releases-dispersion and fire

      Improve KAMELEON FIREEX KFX® to predict consequences of accidental releases from: Well-stream compositions containing more H2O, CO2, H2S and other non-hydrocarbons. The formation and combustion of soot. Multiphase releases and exposure of personnel to oil mist.

  • Successful exploration

    • ARCEx (Research Center for Arctic Petroleum Exploration)

      The Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration, ARCEx, is a research collaboration between academia and industry with support from the Research Council and Norwegian authorities. Through a common effort, we contribute to the understanding of the geology and resource potential of the high north, we develop new geophysical exploration techniques suitable for the Arctic, and we develop new models for environmental risk connected to operations in the north. Education and training is an integrated part of ARCEx. ARCEx is hosted by UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø.

    • BOOST

      BOOST is aiming to reveal the onshore-offshore relationships as well as the crustal and sub-basin evolution of the southwest Barents Sea

    • FORCE

      The objective is to focus on needs in development and demonstration of tools and methods which will increase petroleum resources from the Norwegian Shelf at basin and reservoir levels. FORCE shall be an active market place for sharing knowledge, arrange workshops and seminars, and generate ideas and R&D projects proposals

    • GIG Consortium

      The Geophysical Inversion to Geology (GIG) Consortium develops new understanding, new methods and software for obtaining reservoir properties from geophysical measurements.

    • Lobes III

      Field-based research focused on the impacts of existing and evolving sea-floor topography on stacking patterns, pinch-out rates and stratigraphic trapping within deep marine systems.

    • GAMES

      Geophysics and Applied Mathematics for Exploration and Safe Production (GAMES) to better understand uplift offshore Norway and to better image the subsurface.


      The aim is to improve the geological understanding at regional and local scale, as well as to supplement new data and knowledge to the in-house geological and geochemical expertise on the active petroleum system.

    • ReSource

      Quantitative Analysis of Reservoir, Cap and Source Rocks of the Central North Sea.

    • TriasHam

      Increase the predictive capabilities in the entire Triassic play within the Hammerfest Basin and its nearby vicinity in the SW Barents Sea.

    • Integrated Basin Studies

      Link fundamental knowledge of geological structures and geodynamic processes into quantitative basin evolution analyses as part of an integrated petroleum system that will contribute.

    • North Atlantic Provenance Database

      The goal is to define a web-based database that will assemble and interactively illustrate provenance data and analyses from onshore and offshore samples in North Atlantic (East Greenland, Norway).

    • SAFARI 4

      A web-based repository of geological outcrop data that incorporates a boarder range of geologies, including clastic reservoirs, carbonates, structural geology and potentially other reservoir related systems.

    • Slope 5

      Deep-water slope systems will be studied in order to provide a globally calibrated model of slope system architecture and a multi-scale analysis of slope-channel related stratigraphic traps.