June 10, 2013: 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 $1.6 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.”

In December 2012, HMDC announced an investment of more than $11 million to fund the purchase of laboratory equipment and research into enhanced oil recovery.

“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,” says 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 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 enhanced oil recovery laboratory. Her research expertise centres on the recovery of oil and gas offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Construction of the Hibernia Enhanced Oil Recovery Laboratory will house state-of-the-art experimental equipment allowing us to perform enhanced oil recovery experiments at reservoir conditions,” explained Dr. James. “The laboratory will enable pore and core-scale experimental investigations along with the ability to measure fluid, rock and fluid-rock properties.”

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Media contacts: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, 709-729-4570, 697-4137; heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

Victoria Russell, Research & Development Corporation, 709-758-0308; victoriarussell@rdc.org