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TNO – accelerator of technology innovation in the Gulf

04 Oct 2014

For the past five years TNO has been at the heart of the oil and gas industry, with its branch office in Qatar, lending its expertise to its customers and relations throughout the Middle East and beyond. Active in a number of Gulf states, TNO helps both national and international oil companies build the knowledge they need to develop the technology for the E&P sector and for a more sustainable, cleaner and efficient energy supply.

TNO wants to be an accelerator of technology development and innovation in Gulf region through engaging in collaboration projects with major industrial parties present in the region, with links to universities. TNO's initial focus is on the oil and gas industry in the Gulf but with the backing of its multidisciplinary organisation, expansion to other strategic TNO markets like industrial security, water, solar and medical is on the agenda. However, with oil and gas companies facing challenging technical problems, TNO is able to independently advise on troubleshooting, debottlenecking, design studies as well as develop new solutions from lab to field where current technologies don't suffice. Knowledge transfer is fostered through training and collaboration with academia, such as Intelligent Field Student Workshops whose goal is to train future users of intelligent fields. Each year the student team with the best intelligent field design receives an award.

Areas of expertise

There areas of current focus include production optimisation in which TNO assists operating companies and governments with the development of production strategies that maximise asset performance and recovery as well as the application of technologies for emission reduction, CO2 capture & storage, EOR and CO2 utilisation. Exploration & reservoir geomechanics centres on the development and testing of innovative technologies for unlocking more hydrocarbon reserves while minimising risk and environmental footprint. The field of asset integrity aims to keep process installations and pipelines within safe and optimal operating conditions in the presence of vibrations, pulsations, corrosion and erosion. Promising new areas include small-scale LNG (for transport fuel), the use of new integrated solutions to enhance the safety and security of critical economic sectors, and membrane technology for seawater desalination and the recycling of greenhouse waste-water streams to reduce discharge.

Establishing roots

TNO is becoming a familiar face in the Gulf region. It is working with Qatar University's Gas Processing Centre to design, build and commission a pilot plant to study the performance of chemical solvents for the removal of CO2 from different gas sources. Anton Leemhuis, Managing Director of TNO's Qatar branch office: "I am delighted by the prospect that our work with GPC can support further industry collaborations with the world's leading LNG producer." Also, TNO has been engaged in projects with key regional players like Saudi Aramco and Kuwait Oil Company. Co-development with Maersk Oil on new technologies for increased oil recovery (IOR) and a recent MoU with Abu Dhabi's petroleum institute targeting new technical solutions to increase production and recovery of oil & gas fields show that the seeds of partnership are taking root and beginning to flourish. TNO is in for the long haul!

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