SONAR – Nanotechnology for the Oil & Gas industry

The first stage of the SONAR project (Strategic Opportunities of Nanotechnology Applications in Repsol) was completed in 2015 with a closing session held at the Repsol Technology Research Centre (Móstoles, Madrid). A stimulating series of talks given by both IMDEA and Repsol scientists summarised the findings of the project reinforcing the importance of nanotechnology research for the Oil & Gas industry.

The initiative was financed by Repsol and can be considered a milestone in public-private collaborations. A joint team of more than 45 researchers from IMDEA and Repsol worked together to complete a strategic roadmap of nanotechnology applications in the energy sector. Repsol provided more than 65 current technological challenges, grouped into 6 areas of application. Joint workshops were organised to discuss the challenges and IMDEA proposed a series of nanotechnology solutions (more than 168 in total). These solutions were then filtered by the scientists to provide 95 opportunities producing the structure for a technology roadmap. Research tracks were then plotted onto the roadmap, providing a guide for navigating possible nanotechnology applications both in the short, medium and long term.

Repsol Technology Center. Display of different oil samples
Repsol Technology Center. Display of different oil samples

This technology prospecting exercise and the resulting internal roadmap has helped Repsol to define and implement a strategic framework in order to exploit the opportunities that nanotechnology can offer within the energy sector. Already as a result of this collaboration, Repsol and IMDEA Nanoscience have initiated several research projects, the first of which has recently successfully completed its first stage, (FREENOX).

Image credits:

Frontpage image of Offshore oil and gas production platform in the public domain downloaded from Flickr. Authored by Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement BSEE.

In-text image of Repsol Technology Center image downloaded from Flickr. Authored by Microsiervos. Licensed with an Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.