Scientists at the University of Liverpool are working with leading oil companies to further understanding of the nature of oil and gas reservoirs within deeply buried submarine channels.
Professor Stephen Flint and Dr David Hodgson, from the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, have been awarded £1 million by a global consortium of 11 of the world’s leading oil companies to study how sand is transported through and deposited in deep-sea submarine channels. Scientists will study ancient channel systems in the Karoo area of South Africa, which are now exposed above sea level.
Submarine channels transport sediments such as sand, mud and silt from shallow marine waters to the deep sea and contain much of the recently discovered oil and gas reserves outside the Middle East. The cost of drilling a well to extract new reserves in slope channel reservoirs can cost over $50 million (£29 million) and so it is crucial that exactly the right position is targeted. Only sand filled channels can produce oil and so scientists at the University will work on predicting which channels contain sand and which are filled with mud and silt, based on analysis on the characteristics and setting of the Karoo systems.
Samantha Martin | alfa
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