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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Prof Jon Gluyas discusses the opportunities presented by Enhanced Oil Recovery

(29 August 2013)

Prof Jon Gluyas

DEI's Jon Gluyas, Professor of Geo Energy, explained to BBC Radio the opportunity presented by Enhanced Oil Recovery technologies being developed at Durham University which could add billions of barrels of oil to the nations dwindling resources.

Enhanced Oil Recovery could add 10 to 20 years to the life of the North Sea oil industry, billions of pounds sterling to the treasury and billions of barrels of oil to the nations dwindling resources. Enhanced oil recovery is not however business as usual. It means a radical rethink of how to get more oil out of the ground rather than walking away from fields with still half that oil remaining in the ground. 

DEI is one of the few groups in the UK working on options for EOR and in particular the opportunity to combine carbon storage (CCS) with EOR and turn the perceived CO2 waste (emissions) into a commodity.

On Tuesday 27 August DEI's Jon Gluyas was interviewed by BBC radio to explain the opportunity. He completed three interviews before breakfast with the business reporters of Radio 4's Today programme, Five Live's Wake up to Money and BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland.

The Professor of Geo Energy explained:

 "Basically this is making better use of existing infrastructure, better use of fields, getting more out of what you have already got, and ensuring the best use of non-renewable resources”

“We go through a number of processes which help lift the oil out of the ground and there are an array which you would apply to different fields. They either affect the flow properties of the oil, which of course is typically more sticky than water, the flow properties of water, which you might want to modify or the rock in which it sits.…..You will extend field life. At the moment the fields in the North Sea have been running for 40 years or thereabouts, you may be able to add 10, 15 or even 20 years to some field lives and thereby defer abandonment and add value. So there is a whole array of possibilities. My own particular favourite is to use the CO2 from industrial supplies such as power stations”


Media coverage:

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: 

Five Live Wake up to Money (27.35):

BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland (39.50)