Rationale and Background

As the UK pursues a long-term strategy to decarbonise our society, there will be a continuing need for hydrocarbon exploration to bridge the gap to low emission power generation in the future. Britain’s energy security and long-term economic performance will benefit hugely from maintaining the health of this key industrial sector for the UK.

NERC Innovation in Oil and Gas

NERC has been developing an innovation activity with the oil and gas sector over recent years as part of our core strategy – the Business of the Environment. We have focused our efforts on understanding the challenges and issues that the sector faces as a whole and where the opportunity exists for NERC science to be exploited and translated to it’s maximum potential to benefit and impact. NERC’s strategic investment in a 5 year, £5m Innovation Programme in Oil and Gas is the culmination of working closely with industry members and the academic community to ensure that the opportunity for using NERC science in meeting the challenges facing the industry is developed in a strategic way.

Aims and objectives of the workshops

With this in mind, NERC, in collaboration with the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil and Gas based at Heriot-Watt University, will be hosting a series of events/workshops throughout 2015 to further scope the top challenges facing the oil and gas sector in the UK in the core thematic areas.

The NERC CDT in Oil and Gas Secretariat will initially facilitate two one-day Innovation Workshops on the themes of ‘Decommissioning’ and on ‘Extending the Life of the Mature Basins of the North Sea and UK Continental Shelf’.

The main aim of this series of workshops will be to scope out key industry challenges and identify and translate existing research and to tackle the key issues identified. The workshops will inform NERC’s planned strategic investment in the Oil and Gas Innovation Programme. The Innovation Programme will help businesses address the environmental issues they face by:-

• Providing a neutral, open interface with the vast body of UK environmental data, knowledge and expertise;
• Building effective partnerships to facilitate access to that body of knowledge; and
• Translating the knowledge and expertise generated by NERC investments into innovative, industry-relevant tools and approaches.

Innovation programme projects will take the outcomes of research and translate these into innovative approaches, solutions and tools to address real world issues and opportunities facing UK industry.

Specifically, the aim of the workshops is to bring industry, academic and government representatives together in the thematic areas of decommissioning and mature basins, to consult on and determine the topics of greatest import to address the challenges facing industry in managing the environmental impacts of these themes. The purpose of the workshops is to scope the potential themes and sub-themes for the Innovation Programme.

Workshop Format

The first workshop on Decommissioning will be held in Aberdeen on 01st April and will cover the key challenges for the sector in terms of the environmental impacts of offshore infrastructure and assessment of decommissioning options. The second Extending the Life of UKCS Mature Basins workshop will take place in Edinburgh on 13th May and will cover all aspects of basin exploration and rejuvenation. This will include identifying new resources, and producing this resource in a cost-effective and environmentally sensitive way, novel approaches to data analysis and interpretation as well as areas such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

The workshops will inform a report to NERC which scopes the topics/themes of calls for proposals that will translate research outcomes into innovative techniques, approaches or protocols to provide economic and environmentally effective decommissioning options and prolong the effective economic life of existing basins respectively.

Contact details

Co-ordination and facilitation of the event is being handled by the NERC CDT in Oil & Gas. All enquiries regarding attendance, the programme and expenses should be addressed to:-

Mrs Lorna H Morrow, Manager, NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas. Shell Centre for Exploration Geoscience. Institute of Applied Geoscience. School of Energy, Geosciences, Infrastructure & Society. Heriot-Watt University. Riccarton. EDINBURGH. EH14 4AS
Telephone: 00 44 (0)131 451 4725
Fax: 00 44 (0)131 451 3127

NERC CDT in Oil & Gas weblink:



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Decommissioning - A NERC Innovation Workshop 01 Apr 15 09:30 - 17:00 Online

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