Expert Scientific Panel on Unconventional Oil and Gas report
A report published on behalf of the Expert Scientific Panel on Unconventional Oil and Gas, which reviews the available scientific evidence.
Members of the Independent Expert Scientific Panel on Unconventional Oil & Gas
Dr Chris Masters CBE
Dr Chris Masters CBE, FRSE is currently the Chairman of Energy Assets Plc. He also holds a number of other non-executive directorships, including Speedy Hire Plc and The Crown Agents. He is a member of the Court of Edinburgh University and Independent Co-Chair of the Scottish Science Advisory Council. Full time executive positions have included Chief Executive of Christian Salvesen PLC and Executive Chairman of Aggreko plc. In a non-executive capacity he has chaired the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, Babtie Group Ltd., the Scottish Media group PLC, Sagentia Group PLC, Voxar Ltd and the Festival City Theatres Trust in Edinburgh. He has also served on the boards of the John Wood Group, Alliance Trust, British Assets, Scottish Widows, Scottish Opera and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
A research chemist by training, he has extensive experience of international business, is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Strathclyde, St Andrews, Edinburgh and Dundee Abertay.
Professor Zoe Shipton, Professor of Geological Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Strathclyde University
Professor Shipton is a structural geologist working on fault growth processes, the link between faulting and fluid flow, and the structure of earthquake faults. She also conducts research into quantifying geological uncertainties and the perception and communication of risk and uncertainty. Previously, Zoe was a senior lecturer at the University of Glasgow, Department of Geographical and Earth Sciences (2004-2010), a lecturer at the Department of Geology at Trinity College Dublin (2001-2004), and a post-doctoral research fellow at Utah State University
(1999-2001). She is Chair of the Tectonic Studies Group, and is a member of the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering working group on "Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of the scientific and engineering evidence". In 2010 she was awarded the Geological Society of London William Smith Fund for excellence in contributions to applied and economic aspects of geoscience.
Professor Shipton has carried out consultancy work for Cluff Geothermal Limited, BHP Billiton, StatoilHydro and Todd Energy, and has held research grants from UK and Irish research councils, Total Oil, Geochemica, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and Scottish Government.
Robert Gatliff, Director Energy and Marine Geoscience, British Geological Survey
Robert joined the BGS in 1976 as a geologist/sedimentologist and worked in the Industrial Minerals Assessment Unit until 1981 when he transferred to Edinburgh and joined the Hydrocarbons Unit which provides the Government with independent geological advice on oil and gas exploration and production. He has contributed to major BGS publications on the Faroe-Shetland Basin, Rockall Basin, South West Approaches and the Central North Sea. He has international experience in South Pacific, Caspian and Africa. He was appointed Head of Marine & Petroleum Geology in 2003 and is now Director for Energy and Marine Geoscience research in BGS, leading research teams on Regional Hydrocarbon Exploration (including the DECC/ BGS Shale gas reports); Unconventional Hydrocarbons; Continental Margins; Advanced Geophysics; Carbon Capture & Storage; and Marine Geology, Geohazards and Engineering. Other positions include; Board Member of the Scottish Oil Club (2002-2011); member of the European Marine Data Expert Group (2008-2014); Member of the Geological Society Petroleum Group 1998-2004); Member of DEFRA Healthy & Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group (lead author for section of Charting Progress State of the Seas on the seabed).
Professor R. Stuart Haszeldine OBE, BSc (Edin), PhD (Strath), CGeol, FRSE, University of Edinburgh
Stuart Haszeldine has worked on coal, oil and gas deposits, with a wide interest in fossil fuels, radioactive waste disposal and environmental impact. He is Professor of Carbon Capture and Storage at the University of Edinburgh, and his current research examines geological storage of CO 2, in the context of climate change and changing energy use. This has rapidly developed as a topic of great scientific and political impact. He was previously first topic leader for the Carbon Management theme of the UK Energy Research Centre. He leads the UK's largest university research group for CO 2 storage and capture (Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage - SCCS) and is leader of the academic UK Carbon Capture and Storage Consortium. In 1999 he was awarded the Saltire Society and Royal Society of Edinburgh Science Prize for his work on radioactive waste disposal and hydrocarbon geology. In 2003 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2011 he was awarded the global William Smith Medal of the Geological Society for global excellence in Applied Geology.
In 2012 he was appointed OBE for services to climate change technologies. He has authored over 90 academic publications with a growing number of conference and technical reports on CCS.
Professor Kenneth Sorbie, Cairn Energy Professor of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University
Ken Sorbie is the Cairn Energy Professor of Petroleum Engineering in the Institute of Petroleum Engineering ( IPE) at Heriot-Watt University ( HWU). He has a first degree in Chemistry from Strathclyde University and a DPhil in Theoretical Chemistry/Applied Mathematics from the University of Sussex. Following this, he did postdoctoral research at Cambridge University, working on theoretical aspects of semi-classical molecular quantum theory. He has worked in oil related research for over 33 years, firstly with the Department of Energy (now DECC) laboratory at AEE Winfrith where he led a group working on improved oil recovery, flow through porous media and reservoir simulation and, since 1988, at Heriot-Watt University. His currently research is in 3 main areas: (i) on the fundamentals of multi-phase flow through porous media, and (ii) on oilfield chemistry, particularly mineral scale formation and control, and (iii) in Enhanced Oil Recovery ( EOR) both by gas injection ( WAG) and chemical methods such a polymer, surfactant etc. Previously, Ken has also worked on several aspects of reservoir description, reservoir simulation and upscaling. He also teaches Reservoir Simulation on the HWU Masters course which he has taught previously in Edinburgh, at the HWU Centre in Tomsk, in Kazakhstan and elsewhere.
Since joining Heriot-Watt University in 1988, Ken and his close research collaborators have raised around $30 million of research funding. He has published over 340 technical papers on his research and has consulted widely in the oil industry for over 35 industrial companies. He is a regular visitor to companies and Research Institutes in Brazil, Abu Dhabi, Indonesia, Venezuela, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Italy, Norway, France, China and the US.
Ken was appointed as a Society of Petroleum Engineering ( SPE) Distinguished Lecturer in 2000 - 2001 lecturing on Oilfield Scale Prevention and, in 2001, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh ( FRSE). He was awarded the Society of Core Analysts ( SCA) 2004 Technical Achievement Award , followed by the SPE IOR Pioneer Award for his contributions to Improved Oil Recovery in April 2008. Ken was nominated as the Cairn Energy Professor of Petroleum Engineering in 2008 and, since 2010, has been a Visiting Professor at the China University of Petroleum at Qindao, China. Recently, Ken was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Royal Society of Chemistry (Speciality Chemicals) for his contribution to Oilfield Chemistry research and teaching.
Professor Finlay Stuart, Professor of Isotope Geosciences, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre ( SUERC)
Fin is Professor of Isotope Geosciences based at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre in East Kilbride. His first degree was in Geology from University of Dundee, and was followed by a Ph.D. from Earth Science, University of Manchester (1992). He is the Head of Isotope Geochemistry at SUERC and maintains several laboratories. His research has largely focussed on gas geochemistry, concentrating on the use of the isotopic composition of the noble gases (He, Ne, Ar and Xe) to trace the origin and interaction history of modern and ancient fluids in the Earth's crust. His current research includes using geochemical techniques to track the fate of injected CO2 in underground geological storage, and to identify the source of onshore natural gases.
Fin has received funding from the UK Research Councils to apply his knowledge to characterising the source of natural gases around sites of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction and to fingerprint gases produced by burning hydrocarbons prior to underground injection. His laboratory has undertaken consultancy work for BP and Total .
Professor Susan Waldron, Professor of Biogeochemistry, University of Glasgow
Professor Waldron holds a personal chair in biogeochemistry in the School of Geographical & Earth Sciences at Glasgow University. She has a longstanding interest in carbon cycling, firstly through environmental controls on biological production in methane (her PhD in this subject was funded by Greenpeace Environmental Trust), then as an energy flow in ecological studies, and now in budgetary constraints and process recycling in lotic and lentic systems. Previous research on the influence of peatland gas production on peatland hydrology, on field vegetation respiration studies and on freshwater invertebrate functional plasticity reflects the diversity of her interests in the carbon cycle. Her research focus now is on environmental resilience and adaptation of a landscape in energy provisioning, with significant activity on the C cycle response to hosting onshore renewable energy. Susan has received funding from the Natural Environment Research Council to apply her knowledge of isotope systematic to characterise the source of gases in the environment around sites of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction (2014-15 with Professor Stuart and Professor Haszeldine).
Professor Paul Younger FGS, C.Geol., FNEIMME, FICE, FIChemE, C.Sci., C.Eng., FREng. Rankine Chair of Engineering, Professor of Energy Engineering - University of Glasgow
Paul Younger has a diverse background, ranging from pure science (geology), water resources and environmental engineering (especially groundwater engineering), mining environmental engineering and energy engineering. Paul holds degrees from Newcastle University ( BSc and PhD), and Oklahoma State University ( MS), where he spent two years as a Harkness Fellow (1984-86), taking advantage of burgeoning activities in the then-National Centre for Groundwater Research and the EPA's RSKERL Lab in Ada. Paul has considerable industrial experience after working with Yorkshire Water, the National Rivers Authority, Centro Yunta (La Paz, Bolivia), NIREX, Northumbrian Water, several University start-up companies of which he is a Director (NuWater Ltd, Project Dewatering Ltd, Cluff Geothermal Ltd, Five-Quarter Energy Ltd) and various consultancy missions worldwide, for international bodies ( e.g. World Bank) and charities (CAFOD and Amnesty International). Paul has had no involvement with the petroleum industry, other than an unpaid session advising BP on how they might diversify into geothermal energy.
Paul has direct first-hand experience of drilling and pumping fresh groundwater worldwide, and has drilled several deep geothermal boreholes, using technology adapted from the petroleum sector. He is thus uniquely placed to assess potential pollution impacts on groundwater, and to understand the capabilities and limitations of deep drilling technologies.
After spending 20 years at Newcastle University, Paul joined the University of Glasgow in August 2012. He is currently Chair of the Global Scientific Committee of the Planet Earth Institute, an international NGO which aims to promote South-South collaboration in science-based projects that further the cause of sustainable development in the countries of the Global South. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering ( FREng) in 2007. He is the author of more than 350 publications, including the acclaimed books "Mine Water: Hydrology, pollution, Remediation" (Kluwer, 2002), "Groundwater in the Environment: An Introduction" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007) and "Water: all that matters" (Hodder & Stoughton, 2012). His forthcoming book is "Energy: all that matters" (Hodder & Stoughton, 2014).
Professor James Curran MBE BA BSc PhD MInstP FRMetS CMet CPhys CEng
James has worked in environmental science and regulation for 30 years. He has undertaken studies in hydrometeorology, numerical modelling of marine waters, and water resources management, as well as a spell of direct regulatory enforcement with agricultural and industrial businesses. He has been a consultant to the Scottish Office and was for some years the Head of Science with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and then Head of Environmental Strategy. In 2006 he co-founded and ran Entrading, a sustainable retailer. Later he took up a post, again with SEPA, first as Director Science and Strategy and now as Chief Executive. James was awarded MBE for services to the environment in 2007.
Professor Curran has no professional interests in, or connection to, the energy industries or coal, oil and gas in particular.
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