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ResearchESRIG - Energy and Sustainability Research Institute GroningenGeo-EnergyAbout Geo-Energy


The research topics of the Geo-Energy group are aimed at optimisation of exploration and production of fossil fuels and the search for new, renewable energy sources our planet can offer.

Our research concentrates on the following topics:

  • Occurrence and producibility of “unconventional gas”
  • Subsurface storage of CO2
  • Geothermal energy
  • Spatial coordination of subsurface activities

Our research is primarily focussed on the Netherlands with its declining gas reserves and increasing population and energy needs. It is likely that there is a certain potential for “unconventional gas” (eg shale gas and/or coalbed methane) in addition to the wellknown conventional gasfields like Slochteren. It is yet unknown however whether this potential is technically recoverable and sufficiently economically attractive. This requires not only geological research but also the development of production techniques with an acceptable footprint at the surface. In case of success the existing gas-infrastructure can be utilized in an optimal manner and even enter a next phase in its existence. Safe subsurface storage of greenhouse gasses (eg CO2) is important in the transition towards renewable energy. The investigation of long-term post-injection behaviour of reservoir and seal lithologies is location specific and essential to be able to warrant the absence of leakage. In this context we will carry out long-term lab experiments with interaction between rock samples and supercritical CO2.

The development of new energy-sources in the subsurface such as geothermal energy, heat/cold storage and electrolysis at fresh/salt water transitions offers the opportunity in principle to provide also the Netherlands with sustainable energy. These are of course known and proven processes, but the core topic for research is whether the applications can be scaled up to levels which are economically attractive.

Finally, we will conduct geoscientific research on how we can to meet the challenges around sustainable exploitation of the subsurface with simultaneous and multiple forms of energy extraction and storage in a densely populated country like the Netherlands.

The Geo-Energy group works closely together with TNO, HanzeHogeschool and industry, which also supply an important part of the funding.

Seismic representation of a salt-diapir in the Northsea
Seismic representation of a salt-diapir in the Northsea
Last modified:24 January 2018 09.47 a.m.
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