University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre: Status update after three years of fundamental research > Imperial College London - Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre: Status update after three years of fundamental research

Imperial College London - Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre: Status update after three years of fundamental research

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This event is organized by Cambridge University Arab Innovation Network Society

There are still specific areas where our knowledge of carbon storage is in need of improvement, particularly in carbonate reservoirs, since currently we extrapolate data from limited sources or and the predictive modelling technologies currently employed have a level of uncertainty that needs to be addressed. We will highlight our efforts through the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (a $70 million, 10 year research programme with currently over 20 PhD students and 8 Post-Doctoral researchers along with seventeen faculty members) to investigate the underlying science and engineering concerning carbonate reservoir characterisation, rock-fluid-CO2 interactions and multiphase flow experiments under reservoir conditions linked to complimentary simulation and modelling advances, including the rapidly developing field of digital rocks.

This has involved developing unique HTHP experimental rigs and pioneering new modelling techniques, enhancing the toolbox available to engineers and geo-scientists to select suitable reservoirs and optimally design CO2 storage processes. These capabilities extend over molecular-pore-core-field scales. We have four focused research laboratories (Qatar Stable Isotope Lab; Qatar Thermophysical Property Lab; Qatar Complex Fluids Lab; Qatar CCS Multiscale Imaging Lab) that were officially opened in September 2012.

We will discuss the highlights of major research findings to date in the context of carbon storage in the Middle East. These include findings from the research have helped broaden and deepen our understanding of carbonate reservoirs relevant to CCS in Qatar. On a fundamental level, we have determined the signature of transport in complex carbonates combining imaging and pore-space modelling, found rules for rock pore filling during imbibition through the use of a novel reservoir-condition micromodel rig complimented by modelling, established a comprehensive understanding and predictive capability of CO2 – brine density and interfacial tension and acquired the first images of super-critical CO2 -brine-carbonate capillary trapping, combined with the first use of a confocal laser scanning microscope to analyse reservoir rocks. At the field scale, we have the first results of an innovative approach to reservoir simulation, combining geologically-controlled reservoir description with a new adaptive mesh flow code.

Technology and knowledge transfer from London to Qatar is another major challenge to be overcome in the near future as the balance of research shifts from London to Doha.

About the speakers:

Dr. Iain Macdonald is a Marine Scientist and has a BSc, MSc and PhD from UK Universities. He has been a commercial diver, environmental engineer, and research scientist. After completing his PhD on carbonate reef accretion he spent nearly 6 years with the LNG industry in Qatar and two projects he managed won local (Qatar Today Green Awards, 2008) and regional (RESCO Offshore Arabia, 2009) environmental awards. He joined Imperial College London in 2009 as the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre Programme Manager to manage their biggest industry sponsored research programme.

Dr. Geoff Maitland is a Physical Chemist who was a student in Oxford (as an undergraduate and DPhil research student 1965-72), had an academic career in Bristol (as an ICI Postdoctoral Fellow) and at Imperial College (as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering) and for the last 20 years has worked in the oil and gas industry with Schlumberger. The common thread running through his research interests over the years has been the links between interactions at the molecular/colloidal level and the bulk properties of materials. This started with simple molecular fluids but moved on to polymer dynamics, rheology and reactors at Imperial College. On joining Schlumberger in 1986, he initiated research on characterising and understanding the flow of drilling fluids and other complex oilfield materials. Between 1988 and 2005 he has held several research director roles in the areas of fluid physics, chemistry and process engineering. His research interests included rock-fluid interactions, chemical characterisation of multicomponent fluids, the development of new hydrocarbon recovery processes and the application of biological processes to oil recovery. He sits on a number of EPSRC and DTI committees, has held several visiting chairs at UK universities and has spent much of his time stimulating and engaging in oilfield-related research with university and industrial collaborators. He moved to a Chair of Energy Engineering at Imperial College in September 2005. Since 2009 he has also been the Director of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre.

  • This event is in collaboration with CU Arabsoc

This talk is part of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre: Status update after three years of fundamental research series.

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