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Thursday, 5 February 2015, 6 p.m., Edinburgh
Why the Heck is Deep Water Scientific Drilling of any Value?

Professor Dorrik Stow, Head of Institute, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Heriot-Watt University

Sponsorship is provided by and Wood Mackenzie.Scottish Oil Club (Students),

This event occurred on: Thursday, 05 February 2015, 6 p.m.



Funding for student participation from member universities provided by Scottish Oil Club.


For any offshore exploration effort, an important primary source of information about the fill of a sedimentary basin is that which has been made openly available as the result of scientific drilling. Furthermore, important new concepts derived from such drilling expeditions can pave the way for new understanding and targets for exploration. Black shale source rocks of the Angola Basin, sand-rich turbidite lobes in the Gulf of Mexico, and mega-turbidites of the Bengal Fan are all examples from the speaker’s past drilling expeditions. From our recent IODP drilling in the Gulf of Cadiz we propose a completely new paradigm for deepwater exploration. In a $50-a-barrel world, it is even more relevant for industry to engage directly with scientific drilling.


Professor Stow is currently Head of the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot Watt University. He is a leading sedimentologist, geologist and oceanographer of international standing with an extensive record of scientific publications, numerous books and edited volumes. He specialises in the deep sea and its sedimentary record – modern, ancient and subsurface. In pursuing this scientific quest he has sailed on all the world’s major oceans, visited or worked in more than 50 countries and lectured extensively throughout the world. He has worked in and with the oil industry, particularly in their ongoing quest for deep-sea oil and gas, and has led major international missions for scientific drilling into the deep Indian Ocean seafloor and the Gulf of Cadiz, as well as many other expeditions on land and at sea. He also maintains a strong interest in the field of geoscience and development, and for the popularisation of ocean and earth sciences. Recent books include Oceans: An Illustrated Reference (2004), and Vanished Ocean: How Tethys Re-shaped the World (2010).

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