The Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration (ARCEx) submitted on 30th of March the “2014 Annual Report” to the Research Council of Norway. The report provides a year-end overview of significant research findings, scientific honors and academic achievements. Messages from the Board chairman and Director offer insights into the state of research and education, while financial key figures demonstrate the Center’s stability. The full report can be found here.


The overarching goal of the Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration – ARCEx – is to bring together research and knowledge regarding the petroleum resources and geoscientific conditions in the north, and to provide essential knowledge and methodology for eco-safe exploration. Here, eco-safe refers to the use of the best available technology and practices in order to minimise impacts and risks to the Arctic environment. ARCEx, hosted by UiT The Arctic University of Norway, brings together 6 universities, 4 research institutions, 8 industry partners and a number of international partners.

Our aim is to develop new knowledge focusing on the Barents Sea area, eventually expanding to a Circum-Arctic perspective.

ARCEx is sub-divided into five interconnected work packages addressing different research objectives:

WP 1 Basin analysis: to understand the regional geology and tectonic evolution in the Barents Sea region and to provide a better basis to assess the petroleum potential and reduce exploration risk in the north.

WP 2 Petroleum systems and play concepts: to provide detailed knowledge on basin characteristics, summarised in detailed paleogeography reconstructions to improve prediction of the resource potential of the Arctic Basins

WP 3 Environmental risk management: to develop new environmental risk management approaches tailored to the unique exploration and future operational challenges for Arctic areas.

WP 4 Technology for eco-safe exploration in the Arctic: to develop the best possible geophysical data acquisition strategies to use – both with respect to the environment and data quality

WP 5 Education and outreach: to offer international top-level petroleum geology, geophysics (G&G), biology and ecotoxicology (B&E) education and to ensure that highly competent candidates will provide a pool of experts for the industry and academia

ARCEx began on 1 October 2013 and continues until 2021. ARCEx is in the first phase of the project and the main efforts in 2014 have been to recruit research fellows, increase the collaboration between the work packages as well as between the partners, develop a Master’s degree programme, and to establish an efficient governance structure.

Research is carried out at the various partner institutions and through a significant build-up of new knowledge by PhD and postdoctoral programmes. A total of 24 fellows are planned to be recruited and funded by ARCEx: 11 PhD students and 16 postdoctoral researchers. By the end of 2014, three of these had started and an additional six were recruited to start in the first quarter of 2015. ARCEx has started to produce preliminary results, and is actively contributing to conferences and in the public domain, raising awareness of the ongoing research. Currently, over 20 researchers dedicate 10% or more of their working time to the project.


Read the complete report here