Carbonates storage center opens in London

Offshore staff

LONDON – Shell, Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) have opened a new carbon dioxide (CO2) storage research center in London.

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, QSTP, and Imperial.

The research will focus on unlocking the CO2 storage potential of carbonate reservoirs.  To optimize oil and gas production, researchers will also analyze how liquids and gases move through carbonate rock.

Shell claims this will be the world’s first such facility to use multi-scale X-Ray CT technology, alongside other advanced measurement and modeling techniques, to understand the way CO2 interacts with, and flows in, carbonate rock formations.

More than 50 researchers will be engaged, including Ph.D. students from Qatar, creating one of the world’s largest university-based carbon capture and storage (CCS) research teams.

Professor Geoffrey Maitland, director of QCCSRC from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial, said: “A deeper understanding will enable us to improve processes such as carbon capture and storage 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 on research…”

QCCSRC, currently in its fourth year, conducts research in a range of CCS-related science and engineering disciplines. The work involves experimental, theoretical, and modeling activities. It also includes a combination of experimentally validated models for thermo-physical fluid properties, multi-scale porous media flow, and reaction experiments linked with pore/core-scale modeling and field-scale reservoir simulation.

Over the next few years the program will operate internationally in both Qatar and the UK, but will ultimately be based at QSTP in Qatar.


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