Norway has always had a leading role in marine technology developments for oil and gas exploration as demonstrated by the fact that around 75 percent of the world's seismic fleets have Norway as their home base. There is also a significant production of marine technology in Norway today (e.g. Kongsberg Simrad, Aanderaa), including underwater cables. This industry provides a solid foundation for new technological developments like the P-Cable 3D high-resolution seismic system.

The Norwegian margin and to a much lesser degree the Barents Sea were surveyed by industry with 2D and 3D seismic. Joint academia-industry research approaches allowed improving knowledge about subsurface "seismic morphologies". One outstanding example is the joint investigation prior to the Ormen Lange deep-water gas-field development (Solheim et al., 2005, Mienert et al., 2005, Bünz et al., 2005). However, no 3D seismic data exists from the seasonally ice covered areas of the northern high-latitude margins offshore Svalbard despite the fact that these areas are highly relevant for research concerning gas hydrates and their response to global warming. The P-Cable gives new and exciting opportunities to acquire high-resolution 3D data in previously relatively unexplored areas. The availability and proliferation of this new technology will also have an impact on research activities related to the sustainable use of the seabed and eco-system-based management of marine environment.

This project is particularly relevant to major EU and NFR funded programme themes on:

These programmes provide a high potential for international cooperation and student recruitment in fields like energy and environment where interdisciplinary research is becoming fundamental for understanding the coupling of the bio-geosphere and related processes on human and geological time scales.