Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics, NTNU

Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics, NTNU
Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics, NTNU
Institutt for Petroleumsteknologi og anvendt Geofysikk
Logo of the NTNU
Established 1973
Type Public university
Chairman Jon Kleppe (Professor of Reservoir Engineering)
Vice Chairman Martin Landrø (Professor of Geophysics)
Students 360
Doctoral students 70
Location Trondheim, Norway
Campus Gløshaugen/Lerkendal

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is the key university of science and technology in Norway. The Department of Petroleum Engineering and Applied Geophysics (IPT) was established in 1973, shortly after the start of production (Ekofisk field) from the Norwegian continental shelf. The department came to include Petroleum Engineering as well as Geophysics, which is seen as a major strength of the petroleum education at NTNU. The department has elected chairman and vice chairman, and 4 informal groups of professors; geophysics, drilling, production and reservoir engineering. The stated primary purpose of maintaining the informal groups is to take care of the teaching in their respective disciplines. Each group is responsible for offering a sufficient number of courses, semester projects and thesis projects at M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels in their discipline, and to make annual revisions of these in accordance with the needs of society and industry. The total number of professors, associate professors, assistant professors and adjunct professors is 32. The administrative staff is led by a department administrator, and consists of a total of 6 secretaries. The technical support staff reports to the department head, and consists of 8 engineers and technicians. Until 2000, the department was part of the Applied Earth Sciences faculty, together with the Geology-department. After that, the department is part of the Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology (one of a total of 10 departments).

Brief historical statistics of the department:

  • Established in 1973
  • More than 2000 graduated M.Sc.´s
  • More than 125 graduated Ph.D.´s
  • Around 80 M.Sc.´s graduate every year
  • Around 10 Ph.D.´s graduate every year
  • Currently around 120 full-time teachers, researchers and staff
  • Around 360 students enrolled at B.Sc. and M.Sc. levels
  • Around 65 PhD students enrolled



The department focus research within the following 5 areas: Petroleum geophysics, Reservoir engineering, Production engineering, Subsea engineering, Drilling engineering and Integrated operations.

Petroleum Geophysics:

Reservoir Engineering:

  • Experimental studies on novel methods for improved oil recovery, like chemical flooding, non-hydrocarbon gas flooding and microbial flooding
  • Development of improved methods for numerical simulation of enhanced oil recovery processes in conventional, fractured and heterogeneous reservoirs
  • Development of improved techniques for interpretation of well tests, specially related to compressible reservoirs
  • Development of phase-behaviour software for non-hydrocarbon injection gases for enhanced oil recovery

Production Engineering

  • Multiphase flow in wells and pipelines
  • Pumping and artificial lift
  • Flow assurance and condition monitoring
  • Hydrate for transport of natural gas
  • Processing of oil and gas
  • Field development

Subsea Engineering:

  • All-electric subsea control systems including electrical connectors and valve actuators
  • Experimental and numerical studies of near well bore formation damage related to balanced drilling

Drilling engineering:

  • Horizontal drilling
  • Electric pulse drilling
  • Improved drilling fluid properties
  • Managed pressure drilling

Integrated operations: The department hosts the Center for Integrated Operations in the Petroleum Industry. Key research areas are drilling, reservoir management, production optimization, operation and maintenance.


Petroleum Geoscience and Engineering Studies

Directions of study

  • Petroleum Geoscience
    • Petroleum Gophysics.
    • Petroleum Geology.
    • Resource Geology.
  • Petroleum Engineering
    • Drilling Engineering
    • Reservoir Engineering and Petrophysics
    • Petroleum Production.

MSc in Petroleum Engineering/ Petroleum Geosciences

Two years M.Sc. studies – in Petroleum Engineering or Petroleum Geoscience taught in English. Each year, around 80 student projects and 80 master theses are written in the department. Most of the student works are industry related.

PhD in Petroleum Engineering/ Petroleum Geosciences

Three-four years PhD studies – in Petroleum Engineering or Petroleum Geoscience taught in English. Each year, 5-10 doctoral theses are completed.

Field Courses

  • Svalex (Svalbard, Norwegian Arctics)
  • Pyrex (Pyrenees, Spain)
  • Omanex (Oman)
  • Petrox (England)


The department states that it intends to be strongly focused on the international profile with a friendly multi-cultural atmosphere. From the very beginning the international atmosphere existed at IPT in the form of teachers, researchers and students from various countries. IPT has been actively cooperating with countries like Angola, Aserbadjan, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mozambique, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, USA, Venezuela; altogether more than 50 countries. There are two 2-years international programs leading to Master Degrees, one in Petroleum Engineering and one in Petroleum Geoscience. Exchange students may take shorter term education within this program. In addition Ph.D-positions are open to qualified international candidates. These positions also constitute the basis for international research cooperation. Professors have individual scientific cooperation with various foreign institutions. The funding comes from Norwegian agencies SIU (NORAD, QUOTA), EnPe (NORAD, QUOTA), The Research Council of Norway, oil companies Statoil, Total, BP, and NTNU Scholarships; also from European Programs (Erasmus, Marie Curie, TIME, Socrates) and others. IPT cultivates personal international contacts as originators of new collaboration. Graduated Ph.D.s represent a particular bridging potential for new joint research.


New companies, on average one new company each year, are founded by professors and/or students, including: Agir Boosting Technology, Geoprobing Technology, DeepSeaAnchors, Markland Technology, Natural Gas Hydrate, Pera, Petreco, ResLab, Corrocean,Sensorlink, Seres, Technoguide, Verande, Voxelvision, Waptheweb.

New courses and teaching methods are introduced and new groups of students recruited, increasingly from developing countries with a virgin petroleum industry. In addition to continuous development in the content of the main courses, the emphasis of the teaching has moved in the direction of more group work. Examples are the cross disciplinary student projects “The Virtual Reality Village”, "The Gullfaks Village" and "The Norne Village". The department is one of the largest users of computers at the university – the use of computers ranges from reservoir and production simulation to 3D representation of seismic and geological data.

The department has close relations to the petroleum industry. Research and development results obtained in the department are readily disseminated to the industry, leading to new technology and practices. The department collaborate with a multitude of oil companies and service suppliers through research based innovation centres, research programs and student projects.

The premier center-based innovation in the department takes place in the Centre for Integrated Operations where 11 oil companies and service suppliers are collaborating on an 8 years program.

Innovation programs in the department includes the ROSE-program (ROck SEismic) carrying out R&D on rock properties for seismic and other petroleum related applications.


  • The department is located 200 meters from Lerkendal Stadium, home of Rosenborg, one of Scandinavia's most successful football teams.
  • His Royal Majesty, King Harald V visited the department at its opening in 1984.
  • 50.6% of the new students in 2006 were females, being the first time the number of females was greater than the number of men.
  • 40% of the master students are from abroad.
  • The department has a very high number of PhD students, of which a great portion is from foreign countries.
  • The Norwegian tycoon Øystein Stray Spetalen graduated from IPT with a degree in petroleum Engineering in 1986.
  • The department hosts a center for research driven innovation (SFI) within integrated operations.
  • The department participates in the research activities of the FME center for CO2 capture and storage, BIGCCS.


  • Research laboratories
  • Student laboratories
  • Lecture rooms
  • Library
  • Servers & computer halls
  • Reservoir laboratory
  • Mud laboratory
  • Pipe flow laboratory
  • CT-laboratory
  • Hydrate - laboratory /calorimeter laboratory
  • 3 Control rooms/Integrated Operations rooms
  • Mechanical workshop
  • Electronics workshop
  • Conference & meeting rooms
  • Canteen/coffee bar


Current faculty members:

  • Adjunct Professor Lasse Amundsen, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Børge Arntsen, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Harald Asheim, Petroleum Production
  • Adjunct Professor Per Avseth, Applied Geophysics
  • Adjunct Professor Reidar B. Bratvold, Reservoir Engineering/Decision Analysis
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Stein Dale, Reservoir Engineering/Visualization
  • Adjunct Professor Jörg Ebbing, Applied Geophysics
  • Industrial Lecturer Johan Eck-Olsen, Drilling Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor Erling Fjær, Rock Mechanics
  • Adjunct Professor John-Morten Godhavn, Drilling Engineering
  • Professor Michael Golan, Petroleum Production
  • Professor Emeritus Teodor van Golf-Racht, Reservoir Engineering
  • Professor Jon Steinar Gudmundsson, Petroleum Production
  • Associate Professor Emeritus Hans Herfjord, Petroleum Production
  • Adjunct Professor Vidar Hepsø, Reservoir Engineering/Integrated Operations
  • Adjunct Professor Ketil Hokstad, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Rune Holt, Rock Mechanics
  • Adjunct Professor Odd Steve Hustad, Reservoir Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor Lars Høier, Reservoir Engineering
  • Professor Tom Jelmert, Reservoir Engineering
  • Lecturer Jan Ivar Jensen, Petroleum Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor Cor Kenter, Rock Mechanics
  • Professor Jon Kleppe, Reservoir Engineering
  • Professor Martin Landrø, Applied Geophysics
  • Assistant Professor Helge Langeland, Reservoir Engineering/Petrophysics
  • Professor Emeritus Ole Bernt Lile, Applied Geophysics
  • Operational Center Manager Jon Lippe, Center for Integrated Operations
  • Adjunct Professor Cai Puigdefabregas, Applied Geophysics
  • Adjunct Professor Phil Ringrose, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Arild Rødland, Drilling Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor Jan Steinar Rønning, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Sigbjørn Sangesland, Subsea Technology
  • Associate Professor Pål Skalle, Drilling Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor Jan Åge Stensen, Reservoir Engineering
  • Professor Alexey Stovas, Applied Geophysics
  • Associate Professor Egil Tjåland, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Ole Torsæter, Reservoir Engineering
  • Professor Bjørn Ursin, Applied Geophysics
  • Professor Curtis H. Whitson, Reservoir Engineering

Current administrative staff:

  • Anne Lise Brekken, Executive Officer
  • Solveig Johnsen, Executive Officer
  • Tone Sanne, Executive Officer
  • Marit Raaness, Office Manager
  • Turid Uvsløkk, Secretary
  • Sylvi Vefsnmo, Administrative Director
  • Madelein Wold, Executive Officer

Current technical staff:

  • Knut Backe, Computing Specialist
  • Gunnar Bjerkan, Chief Engineer
  • Terje Bjerkan, Engineer
  • Håkon Myhren, Engineer
  • Lars Sandvik, Dept. Engineer
  • Åge Sivertsen, Chief Engineer
  • Roger Overå, Dept. Engineer
  • Erlend Våtevik, Chief Engineer


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