The Centre for Sustainable Subsurface Resources is a long-term industry-oriented research centre of high international standard.

The main ambitions for CSSR are to provide the knowledge required for the Norwegian petroleum industry to transition to zero-emissions production and clean energy resources in the next decades. Intermittency of renewable power and late-life conversion to H2/CO2 storage place new demands on how petroleum reservoirs are understood and managed. CSSR will provide improved subsurface understanding and updated digital tools to meet the challenges of future reservoir operations and explore business opportunities in the green transition.

The Zero-Emissions Challenge

Norway’s oil and gas industry is in a unique position to contribute in multiple ways to the green transition on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS):

  • Produce needed oil and gas as low-carbon energy sources are phased in.
  • Decarbonize upstream activities to meet urgent climate goals.
  • Transition operations to subsurface carbon and energy storage.

Aligning these ambitions is a complex and novel challenge for industry. Electrification of oil and gas platforms is a core component to industry’s zero-emissions strategy, but connecting platforms to renewable energy alters the offshore energy landscape in fundamental ways.

CSSR provides needed research to ease the transition to zero-emissions operations on the Norwegian continental shelf.

-Sarah Gasda, CSSR Centre Director

Subsurface Research for a Sustainable Future

CSSR applies expertise in reservoir physics, simulation and geology in an ambitious research program to improve reservoir understanding and management to achieve net-zero operations. Our aim is cutting-edge subsurface research to increase energy efficient operations, develop new forms of energy storage, and adapt digital tools to help operators navigate a new energy landscape. Research will also help re-use depleted reservoirs to secure long-term value and contribute to climate action.

CSSR research will provide needed answers to key questions facing industry:

How can reservoir operations respond to variability and uncertainty in energy supply?

How should industry prepare for new business opportunities in carbon and energy storage?

Our Vision and Goals

CSSR tackles the zero-emissions challenge by examining how intermittent energy supply translates to dynamics within the subsurface, and how these dynamics can be harnessed to improve oil and gas recovery, unlock the subsurface for local energy storage, and prepare for a new business in CCS and H2 energy.

By focusing on dynamics and their interplay with the myriad of complex coupled processes at play in the subsurface, CSSR will truly pioneer new modes of reservoir understanding and management that will aid the green transformation of upstream operations. CSSR will deliver new knowledge and creative solutions for application in oil and gas, subsurface energy storage and CCS:

Drilling Rigs in Cromarty Firth

Oil and gas

New energy-efficient drainage strategies to synchronize oil and ga. operations with variable renewable energy supply.

black and yellow battery on white surface

Subsurface energy storage

Reservoir technology for surplus energy storage (H2, thermal, compressed air) to balance variability in renewables-based upstream operations

smoke stacks against blue sky


Business model for CO2 storage in depleted or depleting reservoirs, and for a long-term transition to H2 energy storage.

Our Research Focus Areas 

CSSR will advance subsurface research in three focus areas to improve the knowledge base, advance digital tools, and develop a set of integrated tools to help achieve zero-emissions and long-term value for NCS fields.

Industry-Oriented Research Targets

  • Evidence-based screening criteria for optimal operations to meet zero-emissions targets.
  • Comprehensive digital toolbox to better equip operators to transition to a variable electrical power supply.
  • Business model that adds granularity to the subsurface component in different net-zero scenarios for a range of NCS fields.

Added Value for Industry and Society

CSSR research is expected to have wide-ranging, long-term impacts across multiple sectors, for example:

  • Propose strategies and solutions to enable the best total clean-energy solution for individual fields and tie-backs.
  • Spur cross-sector offshore technology development to enable large-scale subsurface energy storage.
  • Unlock new opportunities in carbon storage to generate value streams in sustainable resources.
  • Enable a fair and just energy transition to reduce energy consumption on the NCS and increase availability of renewable energy for society and other business sectors.
transmission tower under gray sky
Photo/Illustration by Pok Rie on Pexels.com

CSSR Management Team

Sarah Gasda

Centre Director

Research Director, Energy & Technology Division, NORCE

Martin Fernø

Centre Deputy (Subsurface Understanding)

Professor, Department of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen

Jan Martin Nordbotten

Centre Deputy
(Reservoir Management)

Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Bergen

Ketil Djurhuus

Centre Deputy
(Local Net-Zero)

Research Director, Energy & Technology Division, NORCE

Nicole Naumann

Centre Manager

Senior Researcher, Energy & Technology Division,

Anette O. Bakke

Centre Economy

Project Controller, Research Administration, NORCE