Total pumps in £2.5m boost for oil and gas research at Heriot Watt University

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (left) with Elisabeth Proust, Managing Director, Total E&P UK, and Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal, Heriot-Watt University (right).
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (left) with Elisabeth Proust, Managing Director, Total E&P UK, and Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal, Heriot-Watt University (right).

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited Heriot-Watt University yesterday to mark the signing of a five year deal between Total oil and the university’s Institute of Petroleum Engineering.

Worth a minimum of £2.5 million, the agreement was signed by Elisabeth Proust, Managing Director, Total E&P UK, and Dr Gillian Murray, deputy principal, at the university’s Edinburgh head office.

The agreement cements Total’s ongoing commitment to research and development at Heriot-Watt and covers global R&D and educational activities undertaken jointly by Total and Heriot-Watt, including sponsored PhD and post-doctoral studies, internships, scholarships, seminars and training events, career, and business and education forums and conferences.

Total E&P UK Limited (TEPUK) is one of the largest exploration and production subsidiaries of the French-owned Total Group.

It produces an average of 158,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the  Alwyn-Dunbar area in the northern North Sea, the Elgin-Franklin area in the ventral North Sea and the Laggan-Tormore hub, west of Shetland.

Sturgeon said: “Ensuring the future of Scotland’s offshore industry is a key priority for this government and it is hugely encouraging to hear the positive impact this partnership will have for both the oil and gas sector and our university system.

“Not only will this provide an excellent opportunity to harness the technological advances Scotland’s universities are so famed for, but it is also set to help ensure Scotland’s oil and gas sector will continue to prosper for future generations.”

Elisabeth Proust said: “It is vitally important for Total and Heriot-Watt to continue to work together to progress, develop and embrace new and innovative technology through research projects that will help define and shape the future of the offshore industry.

“We are delighted that the First Minister was able to come and see for herself not only the scale of our ambition but also some examples of the type of robotic technologies which will help the transformation of the oil and gas industry.”

During the visit, Sturgeon and representatives from Total met with key academics involved in Total-funded research, development and education.

They also toured high-tech laboratories at the University’ Institute of Petroleum Engineering, including the Centre of Enhanced Oil Recovery and CO2 Solutions and the Flow Assurance and Scale Team (FAST) laboratories.

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