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North Sea oil to last decades longer than expected

North Sea oil to last decades longer than expected

North Sea oil reserves could last decades longer than anticipated as a result of new technologies, according to new academic report.

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques researched by a team at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University, including a potentially breakthrough ‘low salinity water injection’, have been described as “game changers” for maturing regions like the North Sea.

Low salinity water injection could dramatically reduce EOR costs

In the curiously timed report, coming a week after Scotland voted against independence, Professor Mehran Sohrabi said: "At least half of the original oil still remains in the North Sea reservoirs but there are great challenges in extracting it using enhanced oil recovery techniques.

"Following years of research at the university, we now believe we can overcome these challenges."

The North Sea’s apparently waning lifespan was a central point of debate during referendum campaigning.

It became a battle ground of particular contention as the ‘no’ campaign questioned the ‘yes’ sides long term projections for North Sea oil, as unionist argued that the region would run out of oil too soon and too little oil would be recovered in the future to support an independent Scotland.


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