PRG and the transition away from fossil fuels

Concerns about the environmental impact of fossil fuel, recovery, processing and use, with associated greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and air pollution, combined with societal pressure to implement more sustainable energy systems has grown rapidly in recent years. In June 2015, the G7 governments agreed to a complete decarbonisation of our energy systems by 2100. While even shorter timelines for very substantial decarbonisation of our energy systems( by 2050), are necessary to avoid dangerous rates of climate change, this signals clearly that a key focus of our research and skills, must be to facilitate a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and decrease emissions and other environmental impacts  associated with current fossil fuel use strategies during this transition.

We have for some time been working on reduced emission to atmosphere recovery of energy from oil and gas and coal, both academically and via spin-off companies. We will phase that program out over the next few years and focus increasingly on zero emission to atmosphere (ZETAR), recovery approaches for energy recovery from fossil fuels, that emit zero net CO2 through the full fuel cycle. We are also now increasing our research on CO2 storage and other subsurface waste storage issues, contaminated water issues, the nature of natural surfactant systems  in a variety of settings and on climate related proxy systems and the origin and fate of dissolved organic matter in water bodies. As ever, our program will be supported by novel analytical method developments, with a core interest in FTMS technologies, and we seek not only to produce impactful basic research but also practical solutions and commercially viable technologies. To reflect this change of focus and renewed effort to actually solve real problems, we have kept our PRG logo, with a minor change, reflecting our new focus on this crucial transition in the world. We are now just PRG and our new logo reflects the world in transition that we live in. Our research page shows the renewed focus.

We are now no longer the petroleum reservoir group, we are now just  PRG

We are a group of experienced scientists, engineers and technicians carrying out research, training highly qualified staff, exploring the biogeoscience of the surface and subsurface of the Earth and applying our research results to the solution of several real world problems. We try to combine discovery, invention and innovation in as many projects as makes sense.

While much of the work is applicable to practical activities related to zero CO2 emission energy production, waste water remediation and the energy industries, some of the research is of quite a fundamental nature with implications for life in the oceans, the deep biosphere or even for life in other planets such as Mars.

PRG has research programs ranging from classical organic geochemistry and biogeochemistry, petroleum source rock and reservoir geochemistry, subsurface storage of waste including CO2, biodegradation research, oceanic dissolved organic matter studies and studies of the lipid geochemistry of marine sediments and waters. We also have a large innovation program and help students and postdocs commercialize their research where appropriate. Many of our students go on to successful careers in industry, government and a range of other areas including academia and teaching.

PRG has strong collaborative and cooperation agreements with biologists, geologists, geophysicists and geochemists at Calgary, with the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC), part of Natural Resources Canada and several research groups in the departments of Geosciences; Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and Biosciences at Calgary.

Research and understanding of the Earth

The basic approach is to understand biogeochemical cycles both by reconnaissance and direct observation of the Earth and also by the proposal and testing of hypotheses.

We operate as a team of equals with different experience levels

Practical applications and technology

We apply our understanding of earth processes to providing technologies to help with:

Carbon efficient energy recovery and use of fossil fuels

Capture and storage of atmospheric carbon at large scale using innovative biogeochemistry

Remediation of waste streams from industrial processes.

Currently we are actively seeking collaborations and support for research and development activities in these areas:

  • The deep biosphere and microbial life in the subsurface.
  • Lipids in marine sediments and waters and the origin of dissolved organic matter in the oceans.
  • Advanced strategies for clean recovery of fossil fuel energy and carbon management.
  • Age dating fluid residence histories in subsurface storage reservoirs such as petroleum or CO2 storage reservoirs.

Contact us for information and discussions about how you can get involved