Heriot Watt University (HWU) has an active and growing capacity in Applied Geoscience which sits alongside and complements its Petroleum Engineering capabilities and research. At present, the main focuses of activity are the Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience which was opened in 2013 on our Edinburgh Campus and the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas which the group leads on behalf of a consortium of 17 UK universities, 2 NERC research centres (The British Geological Survey and the National Oceanography Centre) and 9 industry sponsors. Both the CDT and the Shell Centre are embedded within the Applied Geoscience Unit, a component part of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society (EGIS).
NERC Centre for Doctoral Training in Oil and Gas
The NERC CDT in Oil & Gas is an £11M investment by NERC, 17 UK Higher Education Institutes and 9 industry partners. It offers a unique combination of PhD research projects across the UK partnership and bespoke industry-relevant cohort training to around 30 PhD students per annual entry cohort from earth, marine and mathematical disciplines, 3 of whom are based at Heriot-Watt each year. The CDT aims to equip students not only with the skills needed to explore for and sustainably extract hydrocarbons, but also an understanding of the need for, and techniques to undertake, responsible environmental management of such activities.
The Shell Centre
The Shell Centre was inaugurated in 2013 and represents a 5-year £3M investment by the company and is administered under a joint agreement between the University and Royal Dutch Shell. The Centre is housed within the Wouter Hoogeveen Lab and currently supports 3 PhD and 2 PDRA positions in Applied Geoscience. The Centre's main research themes are in regional geology, the structural development and evolution of sedimentary basins, subsurface mapping and field geology. It benefits from state-of the art seismic interpretation facilities and access to high-fidelity regional subsurface datasets which are calibrated and supplemented by additional data from boreholes, gravity and magnetics, geochemistry, sedimentology, biostratigraphy, apatite fission track analysis etc. The research undertaken in the Centre provides a key input to both academia, through publication and presentation of results, and industry by enhancing the understanding of prospective basins currently under exploration for oil and gas.