Magazine article Geographical

Hands to the Pumps: A Group of Scientists from Edinburgh University Has Come Up with a Novel Way to Utilise Old Oil and Gas Platforms

Magazine article Geographical

Hands to the Pumps: A Group of Scientists from Edinburgh University Has Come Up with a Novel Way to Utilise Old Oil and Gas Platforms

Article excerpt

All across the globe, thousands of defunct oil and gas platforms remain standing in the ocean. With the cost of dismantling them astronomical, it may seem tempting to put the process off. One group of scientists from the University of Edinburgh has now come up with a compelling reason to do just that.

The proposal claims that oil and gas platforms could be modified to pump carbon dioxide several kilometres beneath the sea bed, trapping it there forever and offering redemption for these old carbon emitters. Using the Beatrice oilfield off the northeast coast of Scotland as a case study, the researchers claim that over a 30-year period, the scheme would be ten times cheaper than the cost of decommissioning the platform, which could reach more than [pounds sterling]260million.

To bury carbon dioxide, the first stage of the process would actually create it. Rather than extracting oil from the ground far below, the platform would be modified to extract brine held within the rocks. This brine contains natural gas which would then be burned to generate electricity - an added bonus. By mixing the resulting brine with the [CO.sub.2] produced by burning the natural gas, the researchers claim it could then be injected back underground, permanently storing the carbon. They add that this is a secure method that results in no leaking.

Lead author of the paper, Jonathan Scafidi explains that this process in itself wouldn't reduce [CO. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.