IBM Opens New Centre of Excellence for Oil & Gas in Norway

Innovation and Technology to Address Global Oil Industry's Challenges

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STAVANGER, NORWAY - 15 Nov 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today opened a Centre of Excellence for Oil & Gas in Norway with the aim of providing world class solutions and innovation for the oil and gas industry.

The centre highlights IBM's commitment to Norway's biggest industry, and will be the hub for IBM's oil and gas-related activities in Northeast Europe and Russia, the Middle East and South Africa, serving local and international clients.

Oil and gas companies are faced with huge global challenges, for which IBM offers solutions developed by its wide range of oil industry business consultants and technology experts, as well as IBM research, the world's largest IT research organisation.

The IBM Oil & Gas Centre of Excellence, located in Stavanger, will develop industry-targeted solutions, with a focus on Integrated Operations. The Stavanger centre will also connect and collaborate with R&D centres in the United States, which have developed technologies and business processes focused on Intelligent Oilfields. These innovations will help the oil industry increase long-term profits through maximising production and increasing recovery in each oil and gas field. Specially designed solutions and offerings will also help reduce recovery and lifting costs, as well as increase security for staff, equipment and the environment.

"We will offer our clients best of breed solutions and IBM's global expertise," says Morten Thorkildsen, Country Manager IBM Norway.

"We have dedicated our best research resources in the field to the centre. This way, we will contribute to the development of future remote-operated oil and gas fields," says Morten Thorkildsen.

"The Norwegian oil industry is leading the way technologically in the global oil marketplace. And since many of the technological challenges in the oil industry are similar across borders, we intend to export the knowledge we are building in Stavanger to other markets," Thorkildsen explains.

The Centre of Excellence has been established, in large part, due to the leadership demonstrated by the Norwegian oil and gas industry through innovation and the adoption of new technologies. Seventy people from various IBM business units will be linked directly to the centre.

Earlier this week, IBM Norway announced a major contract with Norway's largest oil company, Statoil, for comprehensive services covering maintenance and support of SAP and desktop applications for the company's worldwide operations. This is one of IBM's many joint projects with the E&P giant.

In February 2006, IBM entered into a long-term agreement with Statoil, one of the world's biggest sellers of crude oil and natural gas, to develop solutions for existing and new oil and gas fields. The agreement was signed by a consortium of leading oil industry providers: ABB, IBM, Aker Kvaerner and SKF. Statoil's use of new technologies is expected to extend the lifespan of existing oil and gas fields, while increasing safety measures and reducing the risks of environmental issues. The solutions are also expected to be applied for the development and production of new oil fields in areas of adverse conditions including the North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea.

IBM is also involved in a joint research project with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. For the project, IBM is working on the development of "oilfields of the future" in the Centre for Integrated Operations for Oil and Gas. IBM is the only IT company invited to participate.

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