Our work

Subsurface Exploration and Geo-energy

Swift, efficient and cost-effective subsurface exploration is essential for energy companies of every size. More than ever, prudent use of resources, research and effective training can optimise operations. TNO uses its vast expertise and network to offer technical support, training, knowledge transfer and capability building, in order to accelerate developments in subsurface exploration of geothermal energy and natural gas.

The needed support

As both natural resources and budgets decrease, TNO recognises the value of collaboration, knowledge sharing and training to support geo-energy extraction. Our extensive knowledge of the North Sea subsurface, and other regions throughout Europe, Africa, South America and the Middle East, as well as our independent position in the market, makes us uniquely qualified to foster relationships between companies of various sizes and governmental organisations. Our approach focuses on collaborative efforts to promote, accelerate and increase the chance of success in subsurface exploration.

Cross-border collaboration

TNO uses its extensive network to bring together international partners with complementary goals to facilitate cross-border, joint-industry projects. In this way, subsurface data and knowledge can be used for multiple applications, and several objectives can be met simultaneously. TNO ensures the highest level of transparency and relevance for every company involved and assures the right balance of partners to achieve the most effective results.

TNO specialises in four key areas: Source rock characterisation, reservoir geology, petroleum systems modelling and syn-sedimentary tectonics. Our continuous research in these areas helps us maintain high levels of expertise. Our multidisciplinary team includes experts in geology, biostratigraphy, geochemistry and geophysics, to examine each challenge from different perspectives and achieve the most robust outcomes.

Many of our large, applied research, joint-industry projects received significant funding contributions from the Dutch government. That includes the recent Hypo Lias and STEM projects, which focused on Jurassic source rock and salt tectonics. Domestic and international stakeholders praised both projects.

A tangible solution

No one can ever be certain what lies beneath the surface until exploration begins. But TNO’s extensive experience and innovative multidisciplinary approach offer valuable and accurate information for geo-energy companies. TNO’s previous work in areas with complex geology forms a solid foundation from which new exploration can be proposed and triggered. Our knowledge, attuned to the industry needs, allows companies to see, touch, and explore the dimensions, properties and dynamics that exist more than 3 km below the surface.

Whether you are working with a small team, or as part of large energy company, TNO can help to increase knowledge and develop the strategies that accelerate your development. With a mix of basic and applied research, training and the formation of collaborative partnerships, we help connect companies, governments and research partners to build capacity, share knowledge and ensure compliance with regulatory standards and user requirements.

Permian salt bodies are buried more than 0,5 km below the Dutch North seafloor.

Detailed  explanation by the graphic: “The geology below the Dutch North Sea is anything but boring. Structures such as Permian salt bodies (green to red grids) are buried more than one and half kilometer below the seafloor. They are composed of mobile rock salt that originated and grew from the Zechstein geological level (purple to blue surface), which is buried today between four and six kilometers and was subject to a series of deformation during the last 250 million years.”


Petroleum Geosciences

Petroleum Geosciences focuses on all geoscientific aspects of exploration and production. Our exploration studies aim to improve estimates for hydrocarbon potential in mature and frontier areas, with... Read more

ECN part of TNO

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