Catalytic Heavy Oil Upgrading under Methane Environment

The proposed research is focused on designing and optimizing novel catalysts that catalyze the activation of methane, the principal component of natural gas, to upgrade heavy oil, and obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the involved reaction mechanism. Heavy oil is upgraded to meet the pipeline transportation requirements, while methane is incorporated to the formed synthetic crude at lowered temperature and pressure (

Reservoir Analytical Model Pattern Recognition

The proposed production optimizer uses production (rate, water/oil ratio, pressure) data, in either isolation or with geological data, and artificial intelligence to determine limiting factors in wells and fields. More specifically, the proposed production optimizer determines Original Oil in Place (OOIP), average permeability, permeability distribution, and relative permeability for wells and, by extension, reservoirs. This reservoir characterization information then is used to optimize the field.

Stability of non-Newtonian liquid/liquid flow submitted to imposed shear, application to oil-water emulsion

In case of an oil spill in a marine environment, an important aspect of an early response is to confine the oil spill and prevents it from getting dispersed. The objective of this master thesis project is to contribute to better understand the stability of a liquid/liquid flow subjected to imposed shear, as a toy model for a stratified or dispersed oil/water system. Both the rheological nature of the oil and the oil/water surface tension are key parameters.

Integration of microbiological and geochemical tools for de-risking oil and gas exploration along the Scotian Margin

This Mitacs project will enable two MSc students the opportunity to work with the Offshore Energy Research Association and their partners with the Nova Scotia Department of Energy to produce an ArcGIS product and seismic-based model of seep architecture for petroleum exploration of the offshore Nova Scotia margin. These projects will relate newly created genomic and lipidomic data that is expected to help de-risk offshore exploration efforts. The Interns will use these data to produce maps and 3D models of the seeps

Direct Olefin Reduction

Olefins are unsaturated hydrocarbon molecules that are commonly formed as by-products during the fluid catalytic cracking of heavy crude oils. The presence of olefins in upgraded oil feedstocks is highly undesirable as their intrinsic instability means that decomposition is facile and results in the formation of a variety of unwanted compounds that devalue the upgraded oils and impede its pipeline transportation and long term storage. Furthermore, the presence of olefins has been strongly linked to the sulfur content of crude and refined oils.

Mechanistic Study of the Steam-Solvent Co-Injection Process

In-situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery using hot steam is very energy-intensive with high level of greenhouse gases emission. Solvent-steam co-injection not only reduced the steam consumption but also improve the oil recovery through the dilution and in-situ upgrading of bitumen. The success of macro-scale recovery is significantly affected by micro-scale phenomena. Commercial reservoir simulators are not able to describe micro-scale mechanisms of heat and mass transfer in co-injection since pore-scale study at porous media is not well understood yet.

Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) tightness testing using statistical approach

The industry partner, Cantest is establishing a new leak detection procedure for analyzing data sources in aboveground storage tanks and statistical learning models to monitor AST shell dynamics and product activity over time. This is an important problem as identifying leak detection is usually associated with various environmental data and records collected from sensitive sensors attached to the ASTs. Current testing procedure for leak detection uses simple statistical rules and thresholds to detect anomalies. These methods are failing for preventing AST related environmental incidents.

Point Cloud processing for Smart Iceberg Management System

Newfoundland oil and gas industry needs unique engineering solutions for offshore structures and operations because of harsh environment. Drifting icebergs, if collide with an offshore structure, may cause serious damage leading to economic losses, ecological problems and loss of human lives. To protect the structure, icebergs can be towed away; however, it is a complicated process, especially when the underwater part of iceberg is hidden. This project contributes to a new technology that can be used onboard of towing vessels to assist captains when taking their decisions regarding towing.

Testing the use of chemical additives to improve the efficiency of thermal oil recovery processes

Steam injection in-situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery processes are very energy intensive and generate a significant amount of green house gases. The use of solvents may be the ultimate in reducing the energy input for in-situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery. However, the solvent processes, tested in the field, have not demonstrated to be economical thus far. Hence the use of chemical additive may bridge the gap until solvent processes can be proven in the field. Chemical additives may be a quick and economic way to increase the efficiency of in situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery.

Effects of the porous medium and pressure drawdown on the foamy-oil flow and heavy oil recovery in the CHOPS reservoirs

Western Canada has vast heavy oil deposits in many thin heavy oil reservoirs with less than 10-m main pay zones. The cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS) is the primary production process in the heavy oil reservoirs. However, a typical CHOPS process can recover only 5?15% of the initial oil-in-place. As a secondary heavy oil recovery method, waterflooding has had a limited success in the past.