AN EVENT on the global challenge of maximising oil and gas recovery in ancient river sediments began in Aberdeen yesterday.
The From River to Rock Record conference is being hosted by Aberdeen University and brings together international experts from industry and academia.
The aim is to improve understanding of how industry can determine where oil and gas exploration efforts should be focused.
Difficulties in interpreting what lies beneath the sea floor are being discussed, alongside the various methods being tested to improve knowledge of river systems and subsurface sediments.
More than 120 delegates from 15 countries are attending the three-day event organised by experts from the university’s college of physical sciences.
The first day of the conference was at the Iron Mountain storage facility in Dyce, where cores from rocks excavated by oil operators from the North Sea are stored.
The remainder of the event is at the department of geology and petroleum geology at the university’s King’s College Campus. It is hoped the conference will pave the way for new collaborative research opportunities which would benefit the industry in the future.
One of the conference organisers, Stephanie Davidson from Aberdeen’s department of geology and petroleum geology, said: “Rivers are constantly eroding, transporting and depositing sediment.
“Over time these sediments form rocks which, when interpreted, can tell us valuable information about the nature of the river they come from. These rocks – and more specifically the sedimentation within – are of vital importance to the oil and gas industry. The industry has always faced a daunting challenge in how it goes about finding out where they should be exploring and drilling for oil reservoirs on a worldwide scale.
“This is because there are basic practical difficulties in interpreting what will be found inside rocks located at subsurface levels. There is no way this can be interpreted precisely as the sediments within have been forming over millions of years.
“For oil and gas operators, gaining a clearer picture of what they are going to find before exploration or drilling begins would be massively beneficial. A better understanding would allow them to focus their energy and efforts on areas which would prove more fruitful in terms of oil and gas recovery. Experts from academia and industry are working hard to resolve this issue and the conference is an opportunity to bring these professionals together”