Pioneering research aims to make oil and gas industry greener



Academics at Heriot-Watt University and the British Geological Survey (BGS) are looking at increased CO2 storage capacity that could help the oil and gas industry become more environmentally sustainable and efficient.

The Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering has received funding from the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account, working with the BGS for a nine month project which has been running since April 2019.

The research project plans to increase the accuracy of the calculation of capacity of hydrocarbon fields to store CO2 and the additional incremental oil and gas that can be recovered by the consequential pressure management. 

The project investigates how captured CO2 emissions can be used to enhance UK oil and gas recovery and, ultimately, permanently stored so they are not released into the atmosphere.

The project will review the field characteristics relevant to CO2 storage currently existing in the CO2Stored database.

Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering Professor Eric Mackay said: “We welcome the funding from The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

“We want to inform the UK hydrocarbon sector of the potential for oil and gas fields to store CO2, while creating opportunities to enhance oil and gas recovery and extend revenue lifetime.”

Dr Maxine Akhurst, from the BGS Carbon Capture and Storage research team, said: “The collaborative research demonstrates the economic and environmental benefit from the use of the national CO2 storage database, CO2Stored, to the UK.

"The results from An existing collaborative project between Heriot-Watt University and BGS has developed an Application Programming Interface (API). The BGS-developed is being applied to identify the principle key factors to more accurately calculate CO2 storage potential and associated increased hydrocarbon recovery in maturing fields."

Once this project is complete, discussions will be had on typical UK field types and to seek output recommendations from the UK regulator.


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