Innovation: Pressure principle

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The Independent Online
SCIENTISTS at Newcastle, Durham and Heriot-Watt universities have begun a three- year study into the causes of abnormally high pressure in oil- and gas-bearing rocks, which could help extend the life of North Sea oilfields. Most current production is 8,000 to 12,000ft below the surface. There are reserves down to 20,000ft, but the risk of blowouts caused by high pressure makes it too dangerous to exploit them. The pounds 660,000 programme, funded by oil companies, will help produce models for predicting the conditions that lead to blowouts.