World leading carbon storage research laboratories open in London
Sep 16, 2012
Shell, Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) have opened the world’s largest suite of laboratories to research the storage of the greenhouse gas CO2 in carbonate rock formations. The new laboratories form part of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC) at Imperial College London, and are part of a $70 million, 10 year research partnership between Shell, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science and Technology Park and Imperial.
The laboratories represent a significant step forward in the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) as a solution to climate change, by helping to build knowledge that can be used to unlock the vast CO2 storage potential of carbonate reservoirs. Researchers at the laboratory will also analyse how liquids and gases move through carbonate rock to optimise oil and gas production.
The research in the new laboratories will be the first in the world to utilise multi-scale X-Ray CT technology - more commonly used in hospitals to visualise internal structures of the body, alongside other state-of-the-art measurement and modelling techniques, to understand the way CO2 interacts with, and flows in, carbonate rock formations. With more than 50 researchers, including PhD students from Qatar, this new venture will create one of the largest university-based CCS research teams in the world.
Currently in its fourth year of activity, QCCSRC conducts research in a range of science and engineering disciplines relevant to CCS. This involves experimental, theoretical and modelling activities working in close harmony and includes an unrivalled combination of experimentally validated models for thermo-physical fluid properties, multi-scale porous media flow and reaction experiments linked with pore/core-scale modelling and field scale reservoir simulation. The programme will operate internationally in both Qatar and the UK over the coming years with the main site ultimately located in Qatar and hosted at QSTP, which will provide state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman & Managing Director of QP, said: “This is a proud moment for Qatar. Championing this significant research is a translation of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, to promote scientific research through partnerships with leading players in academia and industry. The creation of the lab is the outcome of a journey that started in 2008 and it is timely to see it bearing fruits today when climate change is coming under greater scrutiny.”
Peter Voser, Chief Executive of Shell said, “This initiative builds on the already strong partnership between Shell, Qatar and Imperial. Qatar Petroleum and Shell, together with world class experts like Imperial College and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, are working at the frontier of science and innovation for the energy sector. The research carried out in this new laboratory will deliver real benefits for the oil and gas industry as well as making a valuable contribution to progressing CCS which will be needed to address climate change.”
Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Director Oil & Gas Ventures of QP and chairman of the steering committee for this joint project, said: “The Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC) demonstrates Qatar’s commitment as a major resource holder to balancing energy production and the need to preserve the environment. I’m glad to note that the majority of the research activities and equipment in this lab will later be transferred to Qatar and will be located in QP’s research centre at the Qatar Foundation’s Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). ”
Professor Geoffrey Maitland, Director of QCCSRC from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial, said,, “Thanks to this long-term collaboration between academia and industry we now have the most advanced laboratories in the world for understanding carbonate rocks and the fluid flows within them.
A deeper understanding will enable us to improve processes such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and enhanced oil recovery. These rock formations, which are located all around the world, including the Middle East, could provide us with a valuable repository for storing CO2, but more work needs to be done to understand how to lock away these greenhouse gas emissions effectively. We look forward to working even more closely with our partners from Qatar and Shell on research to make this CCS vision a practical reality.”
Dr Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) said:
“QSTP is excited to be able to provide a home in Qatar to a programme that is at the very forefront of scientific discovery in a field that provides one of the most viable means of reducing CO2 emissions and effectively responding to global climate change. We are enormously proud that Qatar based research in this field will become a reality soon making Qatar a regional leader in new CCS and CO2/EOR technology.”
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Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 80 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects.
Shell is working with governments and other experts on both a political and technical level to facilitate the development and wide-scale deployment of CCS.
- On the 5th September 2012, Shell took FID on the Quest project in Alberta, Canada, with proposed start up in 2015. In June 2011, Shell Canada signed agreements with the Governments of Alberta and Canada to secure C$865 million in funding after submitting a regulatory application in November 2010.
- In September 2009, Shell took Final Investment Decision (FID) on the Gorgon LNG project. The project, operated by Chevron, will nearly double Australia’s LNG output. It will include the development of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project, expected to capture 3 to 4 million tonnes a year of CO2 that will be produced with the natural gas.
- Shell is also involved in a possible project in the UK to store CO2from SSE’s Peterhead Power Station in the depleted Goldeneye gas reservoir in the North Sea.
For further information, visit www.shell.com - Opens on Shell.com.
About Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC)
The centre has been set up to investigate key challenges in the exploitation of carbonate reservoirs by combining the international expertise of Shell, the knowledge and expertise of Qatar Petroleum, the resources, assistance and strategic advice of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), and the research strengths of Imperial College London, through its Energy Futures Lab.
The Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre is part of a $70 million, 10 year research partnership between Shell, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) and Imperial. The programme aims to strengthen Qatar's engineering talent and expertise and expand research capacity in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and cleaner fossil fuels, involving over 50 academic staff, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students.
About Qatar Science & Technology Park
Qatar Science & Technology Park is the national agency charged with executing applied research and delivering commercialised technologies in four themed areas, Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information & Communication Technologies. QSTP is located in Qatar Foundation's Education City and has access to the resources of its cluster of leading research universities.
In addition to QSTP’s centres, members include small companies, international corporations and research institutions, which have together committed to funding new ventures, creating intellectual property, enhancing technology management skills and developing innovative new products in line with the national vision. QSTP supports economic and human development in Qatar and has achieved recognition as an international hub for applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
About Imperial College London
Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.
In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.