2015 was a challenging year for IRIS, requiring reorganisation as a result of the weakening of the oil and gas market. It has been necessary to adjusts costs and capacity of project activities in all parts of the organisation, which means that the organisation is now better equipped to face the market challenges.
The number of researchers at IRIS with a doctorate is increasing and there are now 98 (92 in 2014). The external conditions and landscape for universities, colleges and the institution sector are changing, and the organisation is following this development closely.
The many visitors we have had during the course of the year demonstrates that IRIS is of interest to the authorities and industry. Petroleum and energy minister Tord Lien visited IRIS in March, while minister of trade and industry Monica Mæland visited us in November.
The year also had many academic and professional highlights. The technology conference “Technology Now (Teknologiløft)” was held in March, and a full conference hall enjoyed presentations on technology and research by both employees and representatives from the industry. The aim is for this to become an annual event.
The Research Council of Norway granted NOK 48 million to realise Virtual Arena, a project that is also on the Norwegian road map for research infrastructure. The intention is that the world’s most advanced full-scale test rig, Ullrigg, will be connected with the IRIS simulator in order to create a unique test centre for new technology.
In June, the 5th ISMOS (International Symposium on Applied Microbiology and Molecular Biology in Oil Systems) was held, organised by IRIS Environment. 150 delegates from 15 countries took part.
The Robotic Drilling System, the world’s first drill floor robot, was installed on Ullrigg. The world’s first robotised drilling rig, West Group’s Continuous Motion Rig, was also installed over Ullrigg’s wells for testing.
The book “Hva har oljen gjort med oss?” (what has the oil done for us?) (Cappelen Damm), about economic growth and cultural change in the Stavanger area, received a great deal of attention, both locally and nationally. It is the result of a major research project financed by the Research Council of Norway (FRISAM).
In December, the main board of the Research Council of Norway approved the financing of SFI DrillWell Phase 2, and the centre, of which IRIS is host, received three new projects.
During the same month, IRIS, Stavanger University Hospital, the University of Stavanger and Greater Stavanger signed a partnership agreement with Houston Pumps&Pipes. The purpose of Norway Pumps&Pipes is to gather together leading professionals and researchers in oil and gas, medicine and academia in order to exchange ideas and explore new opportunities to exchange competences across professional and academic fields. This is expected to contribute to exciting collaboration in 2016.
These examples demonstrate how research and research activities at IRIS are creating value for society. Many more examples of how IRIS creates value are shown as highlights and value creation in the annual report.