SONAR - Nanotechnology for the Oil & Gas industry

Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA)

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.

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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.