The Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC) is the result of a 10-year, $70 million strategic collaboration between Imperial College London, Qatar Petroleum, Shell and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, part of Qatar Foundation.

Imperial College London provides the home for QCCSRC enabling world-leading research tertiary degree’s to be awarded and post-doctoral researchers to work in relevant disciplines. Qatar Petroleum provide the local reservoir expertise, Shell provide more holistic expertise and together they guide the direction of research. The Qatar Science and Technology Park provide financing for major capital equipment through to local Qatari-based support.

The original research programme set out to characterise carbonate reservoirs in detail and develop advanced computer modelling and simulations to establish an in-depth knowledge of rock structures and the way fluids like oil, water, and natural gas and CO2 move within them. This in turn will improve understanding of how these rocks trap gas and fluids.

This exceptional programme is revolutionising our current knowledge of carbonate reservoirs – vast porous rock formations deep underground holding the majority of the world’s conventional fossil fuel reserves. Our work plays an essential role in the future of the oil and gas industry, strengthening engineering talent and expertise in this field globally.  We have our sights particularly set on Qatar and the Middle East, where significant quantities of the world’s fossil fuel and potential saline aquifer storage reservoirs are located in carbonate reservoirs.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is at the heart of our research, with nearly $10 million invested in the creation of five specialised carbon storage laboratories, enabling scientists to study carbonate rocks and how fluids flow in the highest detail, as well as discovering how to lock away harmful greenhouse gases before they contribute to climate change. This will help to start to decarbonise the power, fossil fuel and heavy industries of the world. For some of these large point sources there is no other way to reduce their carbon footprint.

A key objective of our work is to harness, integrate and optimise existing technology, developing processes currently used in Qatar to extract oil and gas while evolving the practice of storing carbon dioxide (CO2) in carbonate reservoirs.