Organizational design

Geoscientists enabling the energy transition

The role of Geoscientists

The global net-zero goal cannot be reached by reducing carbon emissions alone. Along side those efforts there will need to be a serious take up in carbon capture and storage technologies, and indeed more and more carbon storage projects are being developed around the world.


But as governments come under criticism for setting carbon emissions goals that are never met and the effects of climate change become more devastating the need to find more and more storage sites will increase. In order to ensure that the site selection process is robust and guaranteed to lead to permanent and safe storage it is clear that our geological and geophysical community will have a crucial role to play.


Finding and producing hydrocarbons to meet global energy demand and drive economic growth has relied on technological advances in the geosciences, particularly since the early 1970’s. Right now however, the stakes are much higher. Get carbon storage wrong the first time and we may well not get another chance.


Not only is it important to choose appropriate sites for storage (be that a depleted fields or aquifers) it is also imperative that geophysicists continuously monitor them for many decades to measured subsurface pressure variations as CO2 is injected into them to ensure they do not fail.


Geoscientists have been at the forefront of the digital data revolution since the early 1980’s when their need to handle large data sets drove the major computer manufacturers of the day to significantly increase computing power. They therefore are the best placed scientists to utilise the combination of ever-increasing computing power and data science to providing new scientific insights that will transform all resource industries, contributing to improved efficiency and associated environmental benefits, such as reduced emissions and reduced footprint.


Apart from their knowledge of the subsurface, other special qualities and skillsets of geoscientists are highly transferable to CCS projects and the development of new energy sources such as their ability to interpret seismic data, think spatially and in multiple dimensions, and to be comfortable with risk and solving large, multifaceted problems. All of these skills make them ideal candidates for leading roles within energy transition.