Although the origin of the fossil fuels oil, gas, coal and peat is organic, these energy resources are classified as minerals. Of these, coal is the most important contributor to the production of electricity on a worldwide.
Coal supplies about 40% of the world's production of electricity, followed by natural gas (-20%) and oil (6.5%).

NGU traditionally has had little involvement with fossil fuel research. On the other hand, NGU conducts geophysical surveys and plate tectonic research, producing knowledge that benefits the petroleum industry. NGU has also collaborated with Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani AS (SNSK) located on Svalbard.