Posted on February 03, 2014

A group of international students visited the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre (QSRTC)  as part of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) held in January. A total of 16 students from countries as diverse as Brazil, Pakistan, India and the Philippines had an opportunity to learn about the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant, Pearl GTL, through a presentation given by Rob Overtoom, Technology Manager at Pearl GTL.

The students were participants in IPTC’s International Education Week, a programme to give undergraduate geosciences and engineering students a greater understanding of the oil and gas industry. The programme also provides opportunities for students to enhance their knowledge through engaging with top scientists and engineers representing international, industry-leading organisations.

While at QSRTC, the students were hosted by Ms Maha Al-Mannai, QSRTC’s University Collaboration Manager, and Mr Guillermo Pastor, QSRTC’s Upstream Technology & Innovation Manager, and were provided with an overview of the research centre’s main activities. A key research focus of QSRTC is ‘Unlocking the Subsurface’, which involves the use of advanced technology to safely and responsibly extract resources of oil, gas and water. The students were also exposed to a flagship research project being conducted in partnership with Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Science and Technology Park and the UK’s Imperial College on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Another key research theme at QSRTC is ‘Breakthrough Products’, one of Shell’s many innovative efforts to provide transport fuels that are cleaner and more efficient, and yet still meet the needs of consumers. Students were introduced to GTL Jet Fuel, the first new aviation fuel to be licensed for use in the industry for more than two decades, as well as kerosene burning laboratory experiment demonstrating GTL’s cleaner burning properties.

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‘Water Solutions’ is QSRTC’s third and final focus area, an issue of obvious importance in Qatar’s desert environment. The project’s focus is on finding solutions for the efficient use and reuse of water. Students were able to visit QSRTC’s new water laboratory and were given an introduction to the research being conducted related to operations at Pearl GTL.

Steffi Calmiano, visiting from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology at the University of Pune in India, said, “This is a great experience. The labs are well maintained and we got to interact with really smart professionals. I learnt a lot of new things. The GTL technology and water recycling were especially impressive. We enjoyed interacting with Shell professionals.”

Ede Pratama, from Indonesia, said, “I really enjoyed the trip to QSRTC. I gained a lot of knowledge, especially about GTL and Carbon Capture research. It was an amazing and interesting experience. I hope I can come again to Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre.”

To round off their visit, the students were shown a film about the Shell Eco-marathon. The Shell Eco-marathon challenges student teams from around the world, including from Qatari universities, to design, build and test ultra energy-efficient vehicles. With annual events first in the Americas, then Europe and Asia, the winners are the teams that go the furthest using the least amount of energy. The events spark debate about the future of mobility and inspire young engineers to push the boundaries of fuel efficiency.

Youssif Saleh, General Manager, Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre said, “We are delighted to introduce these bright young students to Qatar Shell’s innovative research projects. It is vitally important that the significance of science and research in the oil and gas industry is passed on to the next generation of industry professionals. Our goal is to broaden Qatar’s research capacity and we are committed to helping youth discover the many rewarding career possibilities that are available to them in this vital industry.”

The International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) is organised to further the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge related to the exploration, development, production, transportation and processing of oil and natural gas, and rotates between Doha, Qatar and the Asia Pacific region.

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