Publisher and copyright GEUS, 2003, Author/editor: Henrik Højmark Thomsen - ISBN: 87-7871-113c; ISSN: 1396-3317c
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The most important event for GEUS in 2002 was the move into Geocenter Copenhagen at the new premises at Øster Voldgade 10. For decades to come, the Geocenter will provide the setting for GEUS' activities, in close cooperation with the University of Copenhagen.
2002 was the first year under the leadership of the new government. This has had a number of impacts on GEUS' job portfolio. New initiatives have been started, focus has shifted in several areas, and research areas have been given lower priority. GEUS has had to reconcile itself to receiving declining government funding with which to perform its tasks in the future. One consequence of this has been staff lay-offs.
Out of several hundred projects, this year's annual statement will provide a glimpse into some of them. Examples have primarily been chosen where the geology is directly "beneficial" to the community and where the research has crucial importance.
Clean drinking water is at the top of the environmental agenda for the Danish population. GEUS is the government's watchdog in this area. Investigations completed in 2002 have shown that the situation is grim for the smaller water-supply systems. Many are polluted with pesticides and bacteria. Other recent research results suggest that even the deeper groundwater continues to be threatened by chemical pollution, despite many political initiatives.
Oil and gas from the North Sea is an important Danish resource. Denmark is currently Europe's third largest producer of oil. In a cooperative venture involving Mærsk Olie og Gas AS and other organisations, a research project aimed at improving the exploitation of "difficult" deposits was completed. In another context, GEUS provided the geological work which led to successful drilling for hot water to a depth of 2400 metres in Copenhagen. Perhaps the use of geothermal energy will become an important element in the future energy supply for the Greater Copenhagen area.
Greenland Home Rule will focus in future on exploiting the country's raw materials – oil and minerals. GEUS is contributing its expertise towards the realisation of this goal. A licensing round in 2002 has led to the oil exploration off the West Greenland coast being continued by a Canadian company.
In the area of minerals, GEUS' activities have contributed to maintaining the industry's interest in diamond exploration and other attractive targets.
In 2002, the Danish government initiated extensive new geological surveys in the sea surrounding Greenland and the Faeroe Islands. Over ten years, and with an extra funding framework of DKK 150 million, information is to be gathered about the continental shelf.This might possibly lead to the territorial waters for the Kingdom of Denmark being extended in places beyond the existing limit of 200 nautical miles. GEUS has been entrusted with the professional leadership of this ambitious project. In 2002, the options for and expenses associated with collecting data in the Polar Sea between Greenland and the North Pole were assessed.
GEUS has contributed to international climate research into the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and climate-dependent variations in the ocean currents in the North Atlantic. GEUS has also been involved in a European research project concerning storage of CO2
in the underground in order to reduce emissions into the atmosphere.
In the area of international assistance, GEUS has extended its cooperation with Vietnam to include the protection of water resources. In Tanzania, GEUS has assisted the Tanzanian government in establishing databases with the aim of issuing licences for the exploitation of the country's mineral wealth.
As the Chairman and Managing Director of GEUS, we feel there is good reason to be satisfied with the professional achievements for the year, the financial result, and not least, with the committed efforts of the staff during a difficult year.
Per Buch Andreasen
Chairman, Board of Directors