Senior Advisor at SkatteFUNN Oil & Gas
The portfolio of the Norwegian oil and gas industry’s projects shows a remarkable interest in areas such as technologies of the future, production, processing, transport, and subsea technology, which are supported by digitization focused on cost and operational efficiency. “Innovators are also showing interest in drilling which is the area that I consider to have the largest cost-saving potential. It is still considerably expensive to drill a small well, to make interventions, and to engage in plug and abandonment,” says E. Furseth.
Suppliers of the oil and gas industry have also engaged in R&D activities to create high-quality products such as innovative subsea technologies, subsea power systems, seismic, geophysical, and reservoir analysis tools, improved production facilities, FPSOs, support vessels, drilling systems, etc.
Therefore, there have been many improvements along the value chain of the Norwegian oil and gas industry. The oil recovery rate on the NCS has increased from 28% in 1978 to around 47% today, and operators such as Equinor are aiming for 60% in the future. “Most of these improvements have been technology and knowledge-driven through dedicated R&D work where The Research Council and SkatteFUNN have been crucial contributors. Through R&D, important contributions have been made to improve HSE and to establish more environmentally friendly activities directly and as a spin-off from other improvements,” says E. Furseth. Equinor has been a key player and acted as the main pillar of technological development. However, parts of the industry, small firms, in particular, have informed SkatteFUNN that Equinor and others have become more reluctant to test new technologies in their facilities.
Gaining access to facilities is crucial in order to test new technologies, especially in production and well management. In order to overcome this challenge, the DEMO2000 program has received additional funding and these technologies are being tested in low-cost extraction fields.
SkatteFUNN’s activities have been very successful in the past years. “Most of the industries are aware of the SkatteFUNN scheme; however, there are still companies that do not realize that their projects could receive support,” says E. Furseth. When applying for the tax reduction scheme, he advises companies to describe their ideas and projects and write the applications themselves. “The minds behind the idea are best fitted to describe its details clearly, which is crucial for us to perform a thorough evaluation of the project. We focus on the details of the idea, together with the main goals and needs to obtain and develop new knowledge through the project. It is the company which knows the market and describes the benefits of the idea compared to other existing solutions,” says the Senior Advisor at SkatteFUNN.
“Most of the industries are aware of the SkatteFUNN scheme; however, there are still companies that do not realize that their projects could receive support.”
Eirk Furseth, Senior Advisor at SkatteFUNN Oil & Gas
The application requirements are not harsh on the applicants and it is fairly easy to apply; statistics show that 86% of the applications were approved in 2016, while the remaining 14% were declined mainly because they seek support in ordinary business affairs rather than dedicated research and systemic development tasks. “During my five-year participation in SkatteFUNN, I have witnessed an increase from 150 to 430 new projects a year. I have been part of SkatteFUNN’s structured, proactive information and marketing strategy. I am happy to say that the feedback we have received has been very positive. It is personally rewarding to take part in such projects and witness the creativity of the companies developing revolutionary technology around Norway and the west coast in particular,” concludes E. Furseth.
This article is part of the Oil & Gas Report 2018. To see a compilation of over 40 interviews and more than 15 research articles, click here to subscribe to get access to the full material!
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