DNV GL has confirmed that an employee working on a joint industry 3D printing project in its oil and gas business division has been arrested by Norwegian authorities and charged with espionage.

Confirmation from the classification giant comes after reports in Norway indicated the man was arrested after allegedly meeting with a Russian intelligence officer to sell state secrets — allegations he has reportedly denied.

Norway’s security police arrested the man on 15 August in the Norwegian capital Oslo, according to local wire service NTB, citing a police official.

Reports suggest the DNV GL staffer is a Norwegian citizen in his fifties who was born abroad and lives in the Oslo area.

The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has not identify the arrested individual, but took to Twitter to confirm the arrest, claiming the information "could harm basic national interests".

"PST arrested a Norwegian citizen in Oslo on Saturday 15 August. The man is accused of having handed over information to a foreign state that could harm basic national interests. He will be produced for custody in Oslo District Court on Monday 17 August at 1500," the authorities said on social media.

No security clearance

In a statement later sent to Upstream, DNV GL confirmed the arrest on Saturday.

"He did not have security clearance and has therefore not worked on projects for the defence industry, the Norwegian Armed Forces or other governmental agencies where security clearance is a prerequisite," the statement read.

"He has not had any line management responsibilities for a number of years and during his time with DNV GL worked on a limited number of projects — primarily within materials technology. At the time of this arrest, he led a joint industry project on 3D printing."

DNV GL said it is "now mapping all projects he has worked on over the last few years and we are contacting all relevant customers. We are also working closely with PST.

"Due to the sensitive nature of the investigation we cannot disclose any further information at this point."

NTB earlier reported that the man has had several meetings with Russian intelligence and has admitted to receiving payment for giving information.

Reports — before DNV GL's statement had been released — had claimed his job at DNV GL brought him into contact with Norway's defence industry and researchers in defence technology.

Wrongdoing denied

NTB reports later suggested that, according to his lawyer, the man denies any wrongdoing. He risks up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of espionage under Norwegian law.

He has been remanded in custody for four weeks by an Oslo court and will be fully isolated for two of those weeks.