Better water management will make oil extraction more efficient in the future

Friday 14 Oct 16


Morten Lind
Professor Emeritus, Senior Researcher
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 45 25 35 66


New development partnership will minimize human error in the management of the constantly increasing volume of water processed on platforms in the Danish part of the North Sea. 

The partnership includes researchers from DTU and Aalborg University, the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre at DTU, and the Norwegian company Eldor.

The partnership on this specific project was officially launched at the beginning of October. Its focus is to contribute to the very complex process for managing the water produced with the oil from the North Sea, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the total volume extracted from beneath the seabed. The technology is being developed in cooperation with a Norwegian company with expertise in facilitating processes. In its search for a solution to the current challenge facing oil extraction from the North Sea, it discovered a suitable automation theory developed by Professor Morten Lind from DTU Electrical Engineering.

"For many years, I have been working on the theoretical basis of automation, and in particular also on related technological development. It will be interesting to test the technology in practice in oil extraction. I imagine that it will the first step towards spreading it to the many other areas where the method will be the obvious choice, in particular in energy management," says Morten Lind.

The project has initial funding of DKK 4.5 million. This will be spent on further development at DTU and, in particular, testing the new technologies in Aalborg University's pilot plant in Esbjerg. The finished project is expected to be ready for commissioning at prototype level as soon as 2018.

"Improvement of water management on oil rigs is one of our 6 demonstration models," says programme manager Erik Bek-Pedersen of the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre at DTU.

"Our focus is to create real innovation in the form of new products, processes or methods which can create value in energy production. We are doing this with this project—our role is to bring the right competences together across the country to develop the solutions required together. Solutions which we expect can subsequently be used by others who are facing similarly complex challenges."