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Professor-Jon GluyasProfessor Jon Gluyas

Durham University Department of Earth Sciences

Commercial quantities of helium have always been found by accident when searching for petroleum gas. That was true until December 2015 when following a research programme sponsored by Statoil Jon Gluyas, Chris Ballentine (Oxford University) and team confirmed a major discovery of helium in Tanzania's East African Rift Valley. This followed a programme designed to understand the source, maturation, migration and accumulation of helium in the Earth's crust.

Geothermal energy is little developed in the UK and yet the resource base could supply heat to the nation for at least 100 years. Our current research examines the utility of abandoned and late-life petroleum fields for supplying geothermal energy as well as the possibility that deep karst in Carboniferous limestones could also make major contribution the UK's heating requirements as well as reducing the national carbon footprint. 

Other current research includes work on UK energy security and the potential for developing enhanced oil and gas recovery and tight gas sandstones.