“Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) is now three years into its existence, and ready to integrate complementary areas of research into concepts and solutions that can be used by the oil and gas industry,” says Centre Director Bo Cerup-Simonsen.
“A er three years of activity, we are now well underway. First of all, we have a lot of valuable people on board. We are now 150 people, and the organisation is in place. We now know who is working with us and how we are working. at is an important first step for a new organisation with the ambition of reaching out towards collaborators in both academia and the business community.”
Within a scheduled lifespan of ten years, DHRTC’s goal is to contribute significantly to increased and profitable oil and gas recovery from the North Sea. The centre strives to do so through knowledge and innovation gained by a strong and trusting partnership between the involved business communities and five Danish universities and research institutions.
“It is important to me that researchers in all five academic organisations know that we really acknowledge and appreciate their engagement. A lot of good work is being done. I strongly believe in the people that we have connected to. I also believe that we will reach the next level by being better at collaboration across functions, disciplines and institutions.” Bo Cerup-Simonsen, Centre Director at DHRTC
The centre was established in 2014 thanks to a funding of DKK 1 billion from Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), Maersk Oil, Shell, Chevron and Nordsøfonden. Following this, DHRTC needs to demonstrate that it can generate higher value than the cost of the centre. “The intention is also”, explains Bo Cerup-Simonsen, “to lead the way for brilliant, experienced and young talents who in future can contribute to growth in both business and society.”
“Our long-term goals are to strengthen selected areas of research, to establish new areas of research, and to establish new processes and a strong organisation which will enable research to help the Danish state in finding new solutions to increased recovery from the Danish underground. And as a part of that we run education activities to attract and develop talent.”
The centre has defined six research programmes, each pointing at a specific aspect of how to improve oil and gas recovery in the North Sea. This second annual report from DHRTC describes the programmes in further detail, and presents selected examples of research through accessible interviews in order to make the knowledge available for all who share an interest.
With the organisation and the six programmes in place, in 2018 and onwards the centre will concentrate on moving research and innovation closer to application.
“We have come far in our collaboration with companies,” says Bo Cerup-Simonsen. “We have now established an interface between industry and academia, and the processes of tying that network closer together is the main focus in 2018. We want to strengthen the collaborative culture, and you can expect to see us speeding up the integration of different areas of research into new concepts, and maturing those concepts towards solutions applicable to the oil and gas industry.”
During the first quarter of 2018, Total will take over Maersk Oil’s position as operator in the North Sea, and Bo Cerup-Simonsen is looking forward to collaborating with the new partner.
“We will do our best to secure a smooth transition,” he says. “We welcome the new operator, and we hope to continue the excellent collaboration with Total that we have had with Maersk Oil. Formally nothing will change within DHRTC, and it is of course our responsibility to share with Total what the company can expect in return for sharing data and ideas in a close collaboration. In both research and education, we will focus on solving their challenges in the recovery of oil and gas.”
Bo Cerup-Simonsen is extremely grateful to colleagues and partners at Aarhus University, Aalborg University, Technical University of Denmark, GEUS and the University of Copenhagen, as well as colleagues and partners in DUC.
He believes that DHRTC is a new kind of organisation connecting academia with solving the challenges in society. “I am confident that DHRTC will prove to be a good example of this in future,” he says. “Hopefully, we will inspire others to come together in similar partnerships to the benefit of all participants and the surrounding society.”