UKUH Open Call Funding Awarded

Newcastle University, together with University of Stirling, have been awarded funding through the UKUH Open Call to investigate the feasibility of developing deep science laboratories from the shale gas legacy. The project, led by Dr Mark Ireland (Newcastle), in collaboration with Dr Jen Dickie (Stirling), will investigate the potential for repurposing UK shale gas wells as research facilities to answer fundamental science questions as well as undertake the research required for carbon capture storage, geothermal energy and hydrogen storage.

Comprising a systematic review of the construction and status of the existing wells, in addition to characterisation of the geology at all well sites, this project will establish which wells could be candidates for repurposing. The project will also establish strategies for, and implementation of, local community engagement.

Project partners comprise existing onshore oil and gas operators, Third Energy, Cuadrilla and iGas who will share technical data on existing deep wells onshore the UK. The project will draw on expertise from the wider UKUH Program, as well as scientists in Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) with expertise of similar projects.

The project’s deliverables will be report on the technical feasibility and challenges of repurposing, comparing different sites and will include, where possible, the cost of each repurposing option. Vitally, this project will engage with stakeholders and communities and collate their views on using existing oil and gas infrastructure for science and technology advancement in the delivery of low carbon energy.

Last modified: Thu, 08 Apr 2021 10:50:29 BST