Energy & Environment

University Of Houston To Lead Subsea Research Consortium

Research that hopes to prevent future oil spills while improving oil exploration techniques.

oil platform
Photo by Damian-Gadal

The new Subsea Systems Institute is funded partially by penalties paid by BP after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The new research institute is a joint venture led by UH, and includes Rice University and NASA’s Johnson Space Center, and Texas Southern University, Lone Star College and Houston Community College.

Ramanan Krishnamoorti is the chief energy officer at UH. He says the main focus of the research will be how to prevent future oil spills without stifling oil exploration.

“How do we prevent the next spill from happening,” Krishnamoorti says. “Especially as we get into uncharted territories of very, very high pressure, high temperature reservoirs in the deep offshore.”

Krishnamoorti says Houston must lead this type of research or risk losing ground to Brazil, Australia and Singapore, where offshore technology is maturing rapidly.

“This area’s economic engine is offshore technology. When the Deepwater Horizon accident happened, the slowdown that followed in the Houston economy was really because of the mortatorium on offshore technologies. We can’t afford to have that happen again,” Krishnamoorti says.

A similar research consortium will be based at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The state of Texas allocated $4 million out of its share of BP penalties to partially fund the two institutes.


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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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