Federal Government funding has just been allocated towards research that will improve our understanding about the potential of unconventional oil and gas in tight rocks, along with a design guideline for the installation of offshore wind turbines. The two research projects are being conducted at the University of Western Australia (UWA).
The funding was announced by Federal Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham under the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects and Future Fellowships Schemes. Associate Professor Britta Bienen from UWA’s Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, in collaboration with Lloyd’s Register Group, will use a $395,000 grant to develop a design guideline for an innovative foundation concept for offshore wind turbines. This offshore technology is increasingly being considered for new developments by industry. The research project aims to address gaps in current knowledge and contribute to a positive impact on the industry, through the development of a more reliable and economic design.
“The funding will further assist us in training young talent in offshore engineering and place UWA firmly on the map as a global player in offshore wind research,” Associate Professor Bienen commented.
In a separate research project, Professor Michael Johns from UWA’s School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, together with Chevron Energy, is investigating the potential hydrocarbon supplies in shale reservoirs. The Professor will use the $290,000 grant to develop nuclear magnetic resonance techniques to determine the amount of natural gas that can be safely extracted.
Professor Johns has explained that the project is set to develop novel nuclear magnetic resonance techniques in both the laboratory and in the field for the characterisation of unconventional reservoirs.
“This funding will allow for a more fundamental study of these complex rock structures, allowing for much better-informed decision-making regards field development,” he said.
Over $6 million of ARC funding over four years was also announced for a further eight UWA research projects under the Future Fellowships scheme, which supports innovative research in areas of critical national importance. The UWA projects span research across the areas of molecular and biological sciences, physics, astronomy and chemical engineering and are set to provide a multitude of benefits to society.
More information on the ARC Future Fellowships and Linkage Projects Schemes can be accessed here.