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Imperial College London and Royal Dutch Shell Team Up for Research on Cleaner Fossil Fuel Production

Imperial College London and Royal Dutch Shell have formed a new multi-million pound joint research program to discover ways to produce cleaner fossil fuels.

The Shell Imperial Grand Challenge Program on Clean Fossil Fuels will focus on developing processes that will enhance extraction of difficult hydrocarbons with minimal release of greenhouse gases. It will examine processes from the extraction stage through to downstream delivery of energy and chemicals to the consumer.

The Grand Challenge Programme aims to acquire a much better understanding of the science and engineering of CO2 in oil and gas reservoirs and coal deposits. This understanding will help to develop processes for optimizing the capture and underground injection of CO2, for enhanced recovery and long-term storage. In addition, the study will explore new integrated fossil fuel production processes which use less energy and produce low carbon fuels.

The Program will use the science and engineering expertise from the Energy Futures Lab, based at Imperial. Established in November 2005, the Energy Futures Lab aims to produce an integrated view of future energy supply, demand and distribution that encompasses technological, environmental, economic and security aspects.

Staff from both Shell and Imperial College will be involved in the research projects and the Programme will initially run for five years.

How we produce and use fossil fuels in ways which meet climate change constraints is one of the greatest engineering challenges of this century. The Energy Futures Lab based at the college focuses on tackling the major issues in energy research and will play a vital role in this new collaboration.

—Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College

The Shell Imperial Grand Challenge Programme on Clean Fossil Fuels is being launched tomorrow with a special lecture—“Meeting the Energy Challenge”—by Jan van der Eijk, Chief Technology Officer at Shell.


Rafael Seidl

difficult hydrocarbons = oil fields nearing end of life + oil sands

At least they recognize a quickly rising share of their proven reserves is exposed to the risk of tougher environmental regulation in coming years. Not to mention the negative PR oil sands production and processing is attracting.


Not to mention that most of the worlds remaining easy oil is in the hands of national oil companies.

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