ENERGY, CARBON & CLIMATE CHANGE, ENVIRONMENT Search for unconventional
hydrocarbons Growing UK dependence on imported gas has increased the pressure to investigate the potential of non-conventional sources, including shale gas. Hydrocarbons in subsurface rocks make the rocks significantly more electrically resistive than when they are saturated with water. In cooperation with Petroleum Geo-Services and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the University of Edinburgh has been developing an electromagnetic exploration technology for application on the land surface, before drilling, to locate anomalous underground resistive bodies represented by hydrocarbons. The technology has the potential to reduce exploration drilling by 75%, reducing environmental impact and saving many £millions.
n parallel with the effort to harness renewable energy sources for the generation of electricity, it is recognized that the UK will be dependent on non-renewable energy sources for electricity, heating and transport for several decades. Hydrocarbon gas produces substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal, per kilowatt of electricity generated; therefore greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by switching from coal to gas for electricity generation. Gas is also the dominant energy source for heating.
For hydrocarbon exploration, the seismic reflection method is now very well developed and excellent for determining the geological structure of subsurface rocks. However, it is not so good at determining the nature of the fluids present in the rocks. This is where the electromagnetic method comes in: it can distinguish between salt water and hydrocarbons. If the fraction of rock pore space occupied by hydrocarbons rather than water is large, the resistivity can increase by an order of magnitude.
Hydrocarbons contained in a rock volume of substantial thickness and area represent not only a source of energy, they also represent an anomalous resistive body in the Earth.
The Multi-channel Transient ElectroMagnetic (MTEM) exploration method invented at the University of Edinburgh is similar to the seismic reflection method, but complementary to it and with very little environmental impact. Its purpose is to identify the anomalous resistive bodies in the earth before drilling, thus minimising the number of required exploration
wells. It has been used in the search for oil and gas in conventional reservoirs, both onshore and offshore, but never for shale gas. Developers of this innovative
electromagnetic exploration technology have much to learn from the well-established seismic exploration method. In one major respect, however, it is different: seismic waves propagate in the Earth essentially elastically, and the technology to image them is similar to that used in radar and ultrasound, except that there is a much greater range of velocities in seismic wave propagation. Electromagnetic propagation is diffusive, rather than wave- like and determination of resistivities from electromagnetic data is challenging. Edinburgh’s research focuses on this problem and on acquiring data to be able to identify targets down to 3000 m.
For further information please contact Tapsi
Khambra (02077 660600; E-mail: tapsi. email@example.com
Resistivity profile through reservoir Current Source
1 10 100 1000 Resistivity (ohm-m)
Airwave Voltage Receivers
Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) The Studio, Entry Hill, Bath, BA2 5LY (01225 330945; fax 01225 330031) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.cwct.co.uk
Reservoir BECOME A SPONSOR OF IRF
Layout of land data acquisition system showing electric dipole current source and line of receivers measuring the electric field in response to the input source current.
ABOUT INNOVATION & RESEARCH FOCUS
Aims – The aim of Innovation & Research Focus’s sponsors is to promote the application of innovation and research in building, civil engineering and the built environment by disseminating new information as widely as possible.
Its sponsors wish to promote the benefits of research and innovation, improve contacts between industry and researchers, encourage investment by industry in research and innovation and the use of results in practice, and facilitate collaboration between all the parties involved. Articles may be reproduced, provided the source is acknowledged.
Visit www.innovationresearchfocus.org.uk/ sponsorship.ht
ml to see what sponsorship options would fit your organisation.
Quarterly magazine with a current electronic circulation of 82,000 plus 700 hard copies
Enquiries – If you wish to know more about a specific project, please contact the person or organisation named at the end of the relevant article or use the weblinks provided.
Mailing List – IRF is now mainly distributed electronically, but if you wish to receive an email notification of each new issue, go to the mailing list page of the IRF website at www. innovationresearchfocus.org.uk/mailing.html
, or E-mail Melanie Manton at melanie.ma
if you receive a physical copy of IRF by direct mail and your delivery address needs changing.
Editorial Team – Professor Roger Venables, Editor; Melanie Manton, Sponsor Relations Manager; Tim Vickers, Assistant Editor; and Sharon Grafton, Website Developer all at Crane Environmental, 6 Electric Parade, Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 5NT, UK (020 3137 2375; E-mail: enquiries@ innovationresearchfocus.org.uk
Innovation & Research Focus is edited and typeset by the Editorial Team at Crane Environmental Ltd and published by the Institution of Civil Engineers, Great George Street, London SW1P 3AA, UK. ISSN 0960 5185
© Institution of Civil Engineers, 2014 Innovation & Research Focus Issue 99 NOVEMBER 2014 www.innovationandresearchfocus.org.uk
GOVERNMENT Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Floor 4, Victoria 2 within 1 Victoria St, London, SW1H 0ET (0207 215 1630) E-mail: Jane.Ch
PROFESSIONAL INSTITUTIONS Chartered Institute of Building 1 Arlington Square, Downshire Way, Bracknell, RG12 1WA (01344 630700; fax: 01344 306430) E-mail: email@example.com www.ciob.org
Institution of Civil Engineers 1 Great George Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AA (020 7222 7722; fax 020 7222 7500) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ice.org.uk
Institution of Structural Engineers 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS (0207 201 9125; fax: 020 7201 9159) E-mail: berenice.ch
Royal Academy of Engineering 3 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5DG (020 7766 0600; fax 020 7930 1549) E-mail: ian.fo
RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE) Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU (01509 228549) E-mail: S.G.Ye
Printed on 100% recycled FSC standard paper
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8