Norway has vast geological resources on and below the seafloor. In order to harness these immense resources in a sustainable way, reliable marine maps and databases are needed which reveal the location and type of the natural deposits.

NGU maps geological resources on and under the seafloor, in the coastal zone and offshore. Mapping activities are coordinated through various projects and programs, such as MAREANO ( The resources we map, both actual and potential, include sand and gravel, shell (carbonate) sand, gas hydrates and shallow gas.

NGU also cooperates and is involved in research projects with the oil industry, who uses the data in their search for hydrocarbons. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge hosts various metals, and is an example of deep-sea resources that might be exploited in the future.