We are very happy to announce that The Board of the Division of Energy, Resources and the Environment at the Research Council of Norway in their meeting on the 25th of April decided that ARCEx will receive funding for a further three years beyond 2018. The Research Council’s press release can be read here.

In 2017, ARCEx was evaluated by an international team of five experts as part of the mandatory midterm evaluation. The evaluation committee was lead by Prof. Alison McKay, Leeds University, and consisted in addition of Prof. Ingela Dahllöf, Univ. of Gothenburg, Dr. Angus Best, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Dr. Craig Smalley, Imperial College London, and Dr. Fridtjof Riis, NPD, Stavanger.

Based on the written documentation and the discussions during the site visit, the evaluation panel produced a written report that has been made publicly available. The report concludes that ARCEx “is carrying out high-quality basic research to support future oil exploration and development that is relevant to the oil industry operating in the Barents Sea, and including the waters surrounding Svalbard, where consideration of petroleum exploration is still some way off. The Centre has strong commitment and support from the host university, as well as research and industry partners, and is building new knowledge that will be of long-term value to the industry. A range of activities are laying foundations for the creation of local and regional value. Research results are shared through peer reviewed publications and interactions with companies that range from one-to-one meetings through to an annual conference for members of the Centre. By including six Norwegian universities, four research institutes, and eight industry partners, the Centre provides an arena for connecting expertise across Norway, and is delivering increased cooperation between industry and research groups.

The panel presented a set of recommendations to the centre. “We regard the recommendations as very insightful and constructive, and we will use the advice to implement some adjustments that will improve and strengthen our operations and research even further”, says ARCEx Director, Professor Alfred Hanssen. The interested reader can download the full report here.

We are deeply grateful to everyone who have contributed to ARCEx’ success so far, and we look very much forward to the research results emanating from the centre’s research activities in the next phase.

In the picture, the ARCEx management team. From left: Kim Senger, Jan Inge Faleide, Ellen Ingeborg Hætta, Alfred Hanssen, JoLynn Carroll, Sten-Andreas Grundvåg, Jan Sverre Laberg. Not present: Tor Arne Johansen and Jasmine Nahrgang. Photo: Vibeke Os, UiT.