The Carillon brings you the weekly news from the University of Regina.
Eureka! Petroleum studies flowing at the U of R
by Shanan Sorochynski
Petroleum Technology Research Centre at the U of R
photo by Brent Shelest
Researchers are hard at work in the up-and-running Petroleum Technology Research Centre.
Dr. Hairuo Qing, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology, is currently working on the characterization of hydrocarbon reservoirs.
If researchers can understand the geometry of hydrocarbon reservoirs, more petroleum can be extracted. As Qing explains, this process entails having to know where these reservoirs are, their spatial distribution and their structure.
"Normally, you can use a production and get out about maybe 20 per cent of the hydrocarbon," says Qing. "We want to enhance recovery to get about maybe 40 or 50 per cent."
This project is not a solo effort. It involves working together with a consultant, geologists from SaskEnergy and Mining, resident scientists from China, and student researchers.
Under the guidance of a supervisor, projects like Qing's help to give student researchers experience in using the equipment and interpreting results.
For students who feel that geology or petroleum research could be a potential career path, Qing says that in order to be successful, "You have to have a good, solid background in math, chemistry, physicsa little bit of everything. Also, I think, literature too. You have to be able to describe what you see."
But along with this vigorous scientific training comes the opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors. For Qing, that is one of the best parts of the job.
Dr. Yongan (Peter) Gu, Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the U of R, is currently working on projects involving the study of multiphase fluid flow in porous media, liquid interfacial analysis, and fluid flow systems.
"I'm very glad to be here [at the PTRC], that's definite," says Gu. "Though we have a lot of tough problems [and] technical challenges to face. We have to find some sort of method to obtain more oil."
Dr. Gang (Gary) Zhao, U of R Assistant Professor, says that so far "Everything is fine here [at the PTRC]. Issues have been discussed about how the building could use heat efficiently.
Equipment has been deliveredthings are pretty good."
Questions or comments? Email Erin Mazur, Technology Co-Ordinator.