The treated water could be used for agriculture and industrial cooling, leaving more water available for domestic use. Although most of the state’s water needs come from desalination technology, freshwater aquifers are used for agricultural purposes.

However, the centre’s primary focus will on the oil and gas sector. ‘Most of the technology is focused on exploring and testing alternatives for the petroleum industry,’ says Nancy Turner, a spokeswoman for Conoco. ‘We will be focusing on micro-filtration, ultra-filtration and advanced membrane technologies, and applying these specifically in the petroleum industry.’

Work undertaken at the centre is expected to have a global impact. ‘Most of the work will be applicable to the petroleum sector worldwide,’ says Turner. ‘Some of the focus will be on applications specifically for Qatar that can also be applied in other areas in the Middle East.’