R&D on Campus: Evolving Operations Drive New Technologies
- Gentry Braswell (JPT Online Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- June 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 36 - 40
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Editor’s note: JPT surveyed major universities around the world regarding their key upstream research and development projects and activities. The second installment of this series will be published in the July issue.
The signposts ahead show that applied, improved technologies such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), nanotechnology and state-of-the-art reservoir treatment, monitoring and modeling, and unconventional extraction will define the future of the oil and gas industry. As the demand and need for these techniques and technologies increase, research is under way at numerous universities on how to improve recovery factors to meet future world consumption.
Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, UK
Petroleum engineering at Heriot-Watt University comprises eight general areas of expertise: geomechanics and rock physics, hydrates, hydrocarbon recovery mechanisms, production chemistry, reservoir description, reservoir fluids, reservoir geophysics, and uncertainty quantification.
Patrick Corbett, Total professor of petroleum geoengineering, said the reservoir description group is a coming together of joint industry projects at the university. Furthermore, this kind of collaborative, interdisciplinary model is evolving into research networks among multiple universities working on the same project, he said.
Industry collaborators with the institute include Shell, ExxonMobil, BG Group, Weatherford, Wintershall, PetroChina, Schlumberger, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Hess, Landmark, Maersk Oil, Marathon Oil, Petrobras, Statoil, Total, Anadarko, Saudi Aramco, and Eni.
The reservoir description group specializes in the integration of geology and engineering for improved quantitative reservoir performance characterization. The reservoir geophysics group’s seismic history matching project uses Schlumberger’s Eclipse, Frontsim and Petrel reservoir data software, Roxar RMS process management software, and Malcolm Sambridge’s NA Algorithm, approaching the subject with geological modeling. The group’s Edinburgh Time-Lapse Project develops reservoir analysis tools for quantitative seismic data interpretation.
The main consortium of the production chemistry group is a flow assurance and scale team joint industry project that develops software used to design field scale inhibitor treatments.
The reservoir fluids group collaborates with carbon dioxide injection research in partnership with the European Carbon Dioxide Thematic Network, the European Network of Excellence on Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide, the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Edinburgh Consortium, and the Scottish Centre for Carbon Storage. The uncertainty quantification group is in its third phase, addressing problems of uncertainty and error modeling in production. The geomechanics and rock physics group developed the true triaxial Smart Cell for measurement of stress-sensitive petrophysical and rock property data, and created the spinout company PetroMagnetics.
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