The Research Council of Norway’s petroleum programme PETROMAKS 2 has granted NOK 66 million (app €9 million) to nine different projects within four areas: Energy efficient and environmentally sustainable technologies; exploration and increased production; cost effective drilling and intervention; future technologies for production, processing and transport.
Several of the projects that have been given financial support are directly aimed at problems connected to oil and gas production in the Arctic. Icing on offshore installations is a well-known and potentially dangerous phenomenon in the Arctic. Haugaland Kunnskapspark has received a grant to develop a new type of coating (paint) which can prevent droplet formation and icing by using superhydrophobic nanotechnology.
Nortek AS wants to develop radar systems for detection, monitoring and characterization of ice, waves and ocean currents for use in the High North. The system could also be used for detecting oil on water.
“The petroleum sector is increasing its presence in the High North. Therefore it is important to develop technologies that maintain safety and minimize the risk of spills under the specific conditions encountered in the north”, says Ingrid Anne Munz, special adviser at The Research Council of Norway in a press release.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.