The overarching goal of ARCEx is to create new knowledge about the petroleum resources in the Arctic and to provide essential knowledge and methodology for eco-safe exploration. The Department of Geosciences at UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) is the host institution for the research centre.

The research is carried out at 6 universities (UiT, NTNU, UiO, UiB, UNIS and UiS) and 4 research institutions (Akvaplan-niva, IRIS, NGU and Norut). ARCEx will educate and train highly competent candidates for the industry and academia within petroleum geology and environment, and the centre will recruit at least 27 PhD and postdoctoral fellows. The research results will lead to a minimum of 160 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Due to ARCEx, UiT has initiated a new Master’s specialization in petroleum geology the fall semester of 2015.

ARCEx is funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN project number 228107), 8 industry partners (Statoil, ENI, Aker BP (formerly Det norske), Lundin, Tullow Oil, Engie (formerly GDF Suez), DONG Energy, and Shell), Troms fylkeskommune, and by in-kind contributions. The total funding is approximately 230 MNOK, and the project duration is 8 years.

ARCEx aims primarily at improved knowledge of petroleum resources in northern and Arctic areas, with the complementary aim of providing essential knowledge and methodology for eco-safe exploration in the high north. Eco-safe refers to the use of best available technology and practices in order to minimize impacts and risks to the Arctic environment.

This will be achieved through the following secondary objectives

  • Enhance the understanding of large-scale processes of sedimentary basin formation and evolution of the Barents Sea and Arctic, and their impacts on petroleum systems.
  • Secure  correlation  of  geological  events  over  large  distances  in  diverse  geological environments of the Arctic.
  • Establish petroleum systems and play concepts for the different basins.
  • Assimilate new ecosystem knowledge for the different basins into advanced impact and risk analysis methodologies.
  • Develop technology for eco-safe exploration in the Arctic.
  • Create a research-based education and training program based on the scientific themes of the Centre.
  • Communicate results from the Centre to scientists, decision makers and the general public.