By James Poole
A Durham University professor has revealed that an extra three to eight billion barrels of oil could be extracted from the North Sea oilfields, just off the north east coast of Scotland.
In a statement issued on Monday, Professor Jon Gluyas, Head of the Department of Earth Sciences, said:
“Somewhere between three billion and eight billion barrels of oil could be extracted on top of what is already planned.”
Professor Gluyas went on to explain how such large quantities of oil could be extracted, claiming:
“We can enhance the recovery of oil by using carbon dioxide.
“This would help us to meet our national emissions reduction target by capturing the CO2 from power plans and injecting it deep below the sea bed as part of the enhanced oil recovery programme.”
Professor Gluyas also used the opportunity to call for further investment in the oil industry, saying:
“The investment needed for this is significant.
“The North Sea is taking its toll on the oil platforms, most are well beyond their design life and would need upgrading to be able to deal with the fluids associated with enhanced oil recovery.”
Before arriving in Durham as professor of Geoenergy in 2009, Professor Gluyas worked for energy giant BP for fourteen years where he oversaw the company’s ‘Exploration’ branch.
Professor Gluyas’s announcement coincided with ministers from both the UK and Scottish governments meeting to discuss the future of the North Sea oil and gas industry ahead of the Scottish independence referendum in September.
The professor’s announcement on Monday has been followed by last week’s news of one oil worker who fell to his death from an oil rig situated 200 miles from the Aberdeen coast.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.