Posted on May 06, 2019

The Petroleum Engineering Program at Texas A&M University at Qatar recently hosted an inaugural research planning workshop, “Current Advancements and Challenges in Multiphase Flow,” to address a major challenge in the oil and gas industry.

The workshop addressed the latest research and design in improving the conditions of multiphase flow in subsurfaces, wellbores and pipelines, which would enhance hydrocarbon resources in the oil and gas industry. The workshop also established a consensus among industry representatives and key stakeholders for a center in Qatar to provide long-term expertise in this field. Multiphase flow is the simultaneous flow of liquids, solids and gases in oil and gas recovery lines, which can have a negative effect on production. The interaction of these phases in tight spaces and additional variables such as extreme temperature or pressure changes are not fully understood and are open challenges in the oil and gas industry. A research breakthrough would be an economic boon to the industry.

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Industry experts and academics from around the world attended the workshop, including head of Texas A&M University’s Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering Dr. Jeff Spath and ConocoPhillips Qatar President J. Todd Creeger. The workshop discussed how the State of Qatar approaches multiphase flow issues, what works and doesn’t work in Qatar, and the current state of research on multiphase flow. Workshop chair and Texas A&M at Qatar assistant professor Dr. Aziz Rahman said, “The workshop agenda placed an emphasis on advanced experimental and computational modeling to recreate scenarios from the nanoscale up to the field level. The keynote speakers and panel discussions all addressed how to enhance hydrocarbon recovery and at the same time mitigate the risks.”

On the opening day of the workshop, Thierry Charles, North Oil Company (NOC) vice president in the reservoir and geosciences division, delivered a keynote on the challenges and development in the oil and gas sector and stressed on the need for collaboration between industry and academia. Dr. Mayur Pal—who is NOC enhanced oil recovery (EOR) team lead, Society of Petroleum Engineers Qatar section chair and co-chair of the workshop—gave a talk on potential EOR methods for Qatari carbonate reservoirs.

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Jassim Al-Khori, asset manager at NOC and SPE Qatar deputy chair gave a closing talk stressing the importance of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the oil and gas sector, especially women in energy. Lastly, the workshop initiated new collaborations and research specific to Qatar’s needs and in doing so, exposed students to current research opportunities. SPE student chapter officer Jerahmeel Bautista said, “Our industry partners commended the SPE who organized the workshop and even offered internship opportunities to three of our board members.” Student Robert Moukhametov said, “It was an excellent opportunity for students to network with prominent regional industry members.”

Dr. Nimir Elbashir, professor and chair of the Petroleum Engineering Program at Texas A&M at Qatar, said, “This workshop is an example of the research and educational services of the Petroleum Engineering Program at Texas A&M at Qatar. These activities involving industry support multiphase flow research as Texas A&M at Qatar aims to be a global research hub in this area. Also, we are developing the next generation of leaders in the oil and gas industry and workshops like this allow our students to develop their management skills as they took the lead in organizing the event.”