The Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) is a joint venture involving Total, Noreco and Nordsøfonden. The companies work together to produce oil and gas from the Sole Concession area in the Danish part of the North Sea.
Total is the operator and is responsible for exploration and operation of DUC’s 15 producing fields.
Today, DUC accounts for the largest share by far of Danish oil and gas production, and owns key parts of the infrastructure for all activity in the Danish section of the North Sea.
The history of DUC
The Sole Concession for the exploration and production of oil and gas was awarded to the Danish A.P. Møller-Mærsk Group in 1962. The Group was already active in oil transport as a major business area, but had little experience in exploration and production of oil and gas.
DUC was therefore established in 1962, with the purpose of having the Shell and Gulf oil companies assist the concession-holder – A.P. Møller-Mærsk - in making the best possible use of the oil and gas resources.
The composition of DUC has changed several times over the years. In recent timesNordsøfonden joined DUC as an active state participant with a 20 % share in 2012, while in 2018 Total S.A. took over all A.P. Møller-Mærsk’s gas activities, including the Sole Concession and the role of operator in DUC. In 2019, Total acquired Chevron’s share as well, while Noreco stepped in to take over Shell’s oil and gas activities.
Oil and gas research centre
In partnership with the other DUC companies, Nordsøfonden is investing DKK 1 billion in the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) research unit known as the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre over a period of ten years.
Established in 2014, the centre conducts research targeted at improving the cost efficiency of oil and gas production and reducing its impact on the environment. Researchers at the centre work closely with other research environments and commercial entities.