Increased oil production at large water depths due to new research project

Source: Dong Energy

Large quantities of oil and natural gas have been discovered three to five kilometres into the seabed in the Danish sector of the North Sea. If we are able to produce these resources under safe conditions, this may change Denmark’s energy supply and contribute to Denmark becoming self-sufficient in energy for many years.

The objective of the NextOil research project is to develop new tools for managing the production from the large oil and gas resources located so deeply in the North Sea that so far, production from these areas has been too expensive. The project is launched today with funding of DKK 14.9 mill. from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation, and the total budget makes up DKK 34 mill.

”We’re already trying to establish how to utilize the resources in the Danish sector of the North Sea in the best possible way, but we know that when we reach a certain depth and produce under certain conditions, we still face unknown factors. We must use all options of obtaining even more knowledge of these unknown factors, so that we will be able to produce even more oil and natural gas in a safe and responsible way in future”, says Jørgen Rentler Næumann who is responsible for the research and development activities in DONG Energy’s oil and gas business.

One of the challenges of the large water depth is that the pressure is more than 1000 atmospheres and the temperature exceeds 160 C. Consequently, it will very expensive and complicated to produce the resources. So far, this has been considered a very difficult or even impossible task. One of the objectives of NextOil (New Extreme Oil and Gas in the Danish North Sea) is to provide new knowledge and develop new models which will help enable production of oil and gas at so high temperatures and pressure.

”We are pleased with the support we have received from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation and the industry through this allocation of funds. In addition to help improve the Danish economy significantly for many years to come, the NextOil initiative will provide unique know-how within safe High-Pressure – High-Temperature production. We will now get a strong facility which will be crucial in the global development within oil and gas production in future,” says Professor Erling Stenby, head of Centre for Energy Resources (CERE) at DTU.

The NextOil DK research project is co-ordinated by the Centre for Energy Resources (CERE) at DTU, and executed in co-operation with med DONG E&P, Maersk Oil and GEO. The project is supported by the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation.

The objective of the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation is to improve Denmark’s competitive position compared to the rest of the world and create new workplaces through co-financing of new products and technologies.

GEO is a consulting engineering company offering the most extensive expertise on soil and water.

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