Department of Geoscience and Petroleum

Research, development and innovation

The main aim of our research activities is to contribute to efficient and sustainable value creation based on our geological resources. This concerns not only mineralogical resources such as petroleum, ground water and industrial minerals, but also how we use rocks as building foundations for tunnels and caverns and, last but not least, how, through research and teaching, we can secure a safer environment for people who are threatened by rock avalanches, landslides and other geological natural disasters. 

More than 80 PhD candidates, 10 postdoctoral fellows, and 50 professors contribute to RD&I within three of the universities' strategic research areas: energysustainability and oceans. The Department has six research groups:

Engineering Geology

This group focuses on application of geological knowledge for solving civil and mining engineering challenges and promoting sustainable use of the ground. This includes the geology of soils, sustainable use of soils and ground water resources, improving understanding of responses of soil in steep terrains during rainfall and stability of large rock slopes, and rock mechanics related to tunnelling and large subsurface infrastructure projects.


Geological research at our department has particular focus on understanding processes which lead to the formation and distribution of geological resources in the subsurface. The understanding of geological processes is important in the development of exploration models for both mineral and energy resources, both on the land and in the sea. This includes advanced mineral characterization, mineral deposit geology/ore geology, magnetometry and gravimetry, and Arctic and petroleum geology.


Geophysical data is used to image and monitor the earth’s subsurface. Our research and educational focus includes acquisition, processing, imaging and quantitative analysis and interpretation of various types of geophysical data. Typical examples of data are seismic data, electromagnetic data, gravity data and well data. Key applications are hydrocarbon exploration and production, earthquake and geohazard monitoring, underground storage of CO2, geothermal, mineral exploration and finding fresh water resources.

Mineral production and HSE

Focus in this group comprise methods and technologies for extracting minerals and metals from the Earth to provide essential and valuable raw materials for today’s and tomorrow’s society. Mineral resources are non-renewable and their extraction carries with it a strong social and environmental obligation.

Reservoir engineering and petrophysics

Data from well logs, rock samples, well tests and fluid measurements and subsequent data analysis are the main input into numerical reservoir simulation. The results of such simulations are used in important field development decisions such as the number and location of wells, production rate and eventual methods for improved oil recovery. Our group has teaching and research activity in all abovementioned subjects and in addition we study CO2 injection in aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Well construction and production systems

We perform research and teach within topics covering the whole field development cycle of hydrocarbon fields within drilling and production engineering. This includes systems and methods for drilling and simulation of the drilling process, well planning and completion, in addition to reserve and recovery estimation, reservoir depletion, production scheduling, number and location of wells, production planning and system testing, well and production performance, field processing facilities and export product control. 



Innovation is central in all work in the department, both in teaching, research and dissemination. Both employees and students have established companies, registered patents and developed technology from research results at the department. The department has a unique and strong collaboration with most geoscience and petroleum companies in Norway, making the department a unique collaborative environment between academia and industry.

Contact persons

Centres of Excellence

Partner research centers


Overview of journal articles, conference papers and more
is available in the Cristin-database, which also includes other publications.

Doctoral thesis
are available in NTNU Open. Full text versions of the thesis' and publications are available here.

Master thesis
from are available in the database NTNU Open.