The principal of Aberdeen University has said its selection by Scotland's Oil and Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) to receive $735,000 of rock mechanics equipment confirms the university's status as a leading energy research institution.
The university reported this week that it has taken delivery of high pressure/high temperature rock deformation apparatus from Sanchez Technology in France thanks to funding from OGIC. The kit can test rock and cement samples under conditions of extreme temperature and stress, replicating conditions deep beneath the sea floor.
By providing accurate data on the properties and the behaviour of rocks under such conditions, the equipment can aid exploration and production activity at depths far in excess of current drilling activity, according to a statement from the university.
Dr David Healy, from the university's School of Geosciences, commented:
"Taking the central North Sea as an example, operators have gone deeper and deeper and there are significant technical challenges to overcome as conditions become hotter and more pressurized.
"Operators can be reluctant to pursue these types of projects because of the costs and potential hazards involved, and this is especially true in the current climate.
"This apparatus can make a tangible difference by providing companies with accurate data about the properties and behaviour of the rock at depths of up to 10 miles, which is far deeper than current drilling activity.
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