UK companies will have the opportunity to battle for up to £2 million funding to develop innovative ideas that unlock the potential of shale oil and gas.
The competition, organised by Innovate UK Technology Strategy Board, is searching for ground-breaking solutions to aid unconventional oil and gas exploration. The winning projects will explore everything from water treatment and monitoring techniques to well drilling and design technology, including:
- glass-based beads to keep fractures open, removing need for high-volume water use
- new ‘photocatalyst’ technology for safe water treatment
- non-intrusive geophysical techniques to probe to depths of up to 3,000 metres
- new sensors to detect methane leaks while drilling
- automated systems to guide exploratory drilling processes
Commenting on the competition, UK Minister for Business, Enterprise and Energy Matt Hancock said: “Unlocking the shale gas and oil that is deep underground is an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, increase our energy security and create jobs. It must be done safely and securely, so supporting innovation in this sector is vital to help us seize this opportunity.”
The fund, which will be run by Innovate UK, includes £1 million in contributions from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and a further £250,000 from the Natural Environment Research Council.
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