Bring together industry, academia, private R&D consultants, and students to collaborate on technical solutions for petroleum reservoir problems of timely interest.
The Center was established in the academic year of 2003-2004 with a grant of $600,000 from Marathon Oil Company Foundation. Marathon continued supporting the Center for several years which included $400,000 for two research projects and $1,000,000 towards the construction of the MZ Hall. In addition to Marathon’s $2,000,0000 contributions, the Center has received more than $16 million in funding from domestic and international oil companies. The research fund contributors include Westport Resources Corporation, Repsol YPF, Aramco, United States Department of Energy, Petro China, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC-USA), Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED), PEMEX, Abu Dhabi Petroleum Institute (PI), Unconventional Oil and Gas Institute (UNGI), Hess, and Exaro, Apache, OMV Norge, Unconventional Reservoir Engineering Project Consortium. The funds raised by the Center are used to cover the cost of research and graduate student education.
Conduct research in the following areas:
- Reservoir engineering, using analytical and numerical computational techniques.
- Enhanced oil and gas production for conventional and unconventional reservoirs (IOR and EOR) using experimental and theoretical methods.
- Enhanced geothermal energy production from hot geothermal reservoirs
- Combined CO2 sequestration and EOR.
- Flow assurance in ocean pipelines.
Research supervision is provided by petroleum engineering faculty, research associates and Mines faculty. The researchers include post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. On the average, 3 post-docs and 25 graduate students are affiliated with the center. Currently, 2 post-docs, 9 PhD students and 4 MS students are involved in conducting research at the Center.
The current research projects cover a wide spectrum of reservoir studies with emphasis on field applications. Company supported research projects include, reservoir characterization, production data analysis, and reservoir engineering evaluation to improve production, infill drilling to increase recovery, flow modeling based on a discrete fractured network (DFN) model and pressure-transient data, and improved physical modeling of fractured reservoirs. The funding raised by the Center is also used to support highly technical and most up-to-date research projects conducted by the students under faculty supervision. These projects lead to the development of new technologies, models, and reservoir engineering tools. Some of the examples of the exciting research projects are the dual-mesh computing to capture reservoir heterogeneity, hybrid numerical analytical model of a hydraulic fracture intercepted by a horizontal well, and new pressure-transient models for naturally fractured reservoirs containing multiple fracture sets.