TRONDHEIM, Norway, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil announced plans to invest more than $40 million in a research center geared toward increasing oil recovery rates.
Statoil Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund joined Norwegian Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe for the start of construction of a research center in Trondheim in central Norway. Statoil said the $41.6 million center was part of its efforts to increase recovery rates of natural resources on the continental shelf to 60 percent.
The company said it passed the 50 percent threshold in 2011. It posted the global oil recovery average at around 35 percent.
The International Energy Agency said July oil production from Norway was as its lowest level since 1991 because of strikes. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said, however, that it received applications from 47 companies for a bidding round for reserves on its continental shelf.
Statoil said about half of its research budget was set aside to help improve recovery rates. The research center should open by the end of next year.