ST. JOHN'S, NL, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - To support research and identify new ways to optimize oil recovery, the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador (RDC) and the Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HDMC) are investing $1.635- and $1.7-million respectively for the creation of a state-of-the-art enhanced oil recovery research facility at Memorial University's St. John's campus.
"Investing in research to maximize the potential of resources in our offshore will have direct economic benefits for Newfoundland and Labrador," said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. "Our province's academic community and oil and gas leaders are researching new technologies to extract additional resources from current and future oil fields. Collaboration between government, industry and academia will continue to support an environment that enhances the competitive advantage of our province."
Research efforts in the new laboratory will focus on enhanced oil recovery, which is utilized to increase the amount of crude oil extracted from an oil field and extend the field life. Funding from RDC and HMDC will advance research and development (R&D) capacity at Memorial.
"RDC continues to support collaborative R&D between academia and business by investing in the highly-qualified researchers, innovative research and world-class infrastructure required to advance our development opportunities", said Glenn Janes, CEO, RDC. "Building new research labs and facilities is critical to expanding our R&D capacity, and strengthening our long-term economic performance and global competitiveness. Applied EOR research represents a strategic investment that is critical to sustaining economic prosperity in Newfoundland and Labrador."
Today's investment from HMDC is in addition to their investment of more than $11 million to fund the purchase of laboratory equipment and research into enhanced oil recovery announced in Dec. 2012.
Through its CollaborativeR&D program, RDC's funding is designed to foster R&D partnerships between academic researchers and industry.
"The new building, its equipment and staff will support research into enhanced oil recovery, which is critical to the continued success of the province and the industry," said Jamie Long, president HMDC. "Our ultimate goal is to increase oil recovery offshore Newfoundland and Labrador."
The investments will create a world-class research laboratory in Memorial University's Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation.
"The support from RDC and HMDC will enable Memorial to build on our strengths in enhanced oil recovery," said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University of Newfoundland. "The support we receive from the offshore industry, in partnership with the provincial government, is enabling us to develop expertise and infrastructure that will be unmatched in this country. I am confident that the research completed in the EOR laboratory will have a positive impact on enhanced oil recovery capacity and the province as a whole."
Dr. Lesley James, an assistant professor of process engineering and the Chevron Chair in Petroleum Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University, is the principal investigator of the new EOR laboratory. Her research expertise centres on the recovery of oil and gas offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Construction of the Hibernia Enhanced Oil Recovery Laboratory is underway and, once complete, it will house state-of-the-art experimental equipment allowing us to perform enhanced oil recovery experiments at reservoir conditions. The laboratory will enable pore- and core-scale experimental investigations along with the ability to measure fluid, rock and fluid-rock properties," explained Dr. James.
About Research and Development Corporation
The Research & Development Corporation is a provincial Crown corporation responsible for improving Newfoundland and Labrador's research and development performance. RDC works with research and development stakeholders including business, academia and government agencies and departments to make strategic research and development related investments in people, research opportunities and infrastructure. For more information about RDC, go to www.rdc.org
About Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd.
Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC) is the operator of the Hibernia field which began petroleum production on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and Labrador in November 1997. HMDC is owned jointly by ExxonMobil Canada (33.125%), Chevron Canada Resources (26.875%), Suncor Energy (20%), Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (8.5%), Murphy Oil (6.5%) and Statoil Canada Ltd. (5%).
About Memorial University
Founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland's war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the largest in Atlantic Canada, with about 19,000 students. Memorial provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines. With locations in St. John's and Corner Brook in Newfoundland, Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, and Harlow in England, Memorial is committed to experiential learning.
Outstanding research and scholarship, extraordinary teaching and learning, and a focus on public engagement are the university's hallmarks. Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized facilities in areas such as business, music, linguistics, folklore and human genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural health care and archaeology. For more information about Memorial University of Newfoundland, please visit www.mun.ca.
SOURCE: Research & Development Corporation
For further information:
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science
Memorial University of Newfoundland
(709) 864-8287, 691-5027
Research & Development Corporation
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business
and Rural Development
(709) 729-4570, 697-4137