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sector_ico_Environment_trans Environment

Subsurface microbiome responses to fugitive natural gas

SIP019
  • Project Leaders: Roger Beckie, Sean Crowe
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $200000
  • Competition: Sector Innovation Program - Round 4
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2018
  • Status: Active

The adoption of genomic technologies in the energy, mining, and environmental sectors has been slow to date. Barriers to the uptake in these sectors could arise from challenges in collecting meaningful sample material and in generating data products that inform sector needs.

In this $2.2M fugitive gas injection project in Northern BC, new tools and techniques will be developed to enable the broader application of genomics in the geosciences. These new tools and techniques will be used to collect genomic information on subsurface bacterial communities to monitor their response to fugitive gas. The collected genomic data will be used along with geochemistry and geophysics data to build models to allow for better prediction of the fate of fugitive gases in the subsurface.

The overarching goal is to reduce the barriers for the broader application of genomics in the energy, mining, and environmental sectors by demonstrating how genomic technologies can be used to detect, understand, and model subsurface processes. The outcomes will promote the idea that genomic technologies can be used to mitigate some of the risk associated with resource development.

Broader uptake of genomic technologies in the energy, mining, and environmental sectors could lead to new business opportunities, new ways of communicating about resource development and interaction with the environment, as well as reduced environmental footprints through more effective monitoring tools.