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08/06/2011 Professor Tor Austad of the University of Stavanger and the Corec research centre have been honoured with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's IOR prize for their work on recovering more oil from chalk reservoirs.
Corec director Sigmund Stokka (left) and professor Tor Austad received the IOR prize from Director General Bente Nyland. (Photo: Astri Sivertsen)
”This year's prize is a recognition of a demanding and continuous research effort to improve oil production,” said Director General Bente Nyland as she presented the award at the Norwegian Petroleum Society's conference on reservoir management in Stavanger today, 7 June.
"The winners have contributed to increasing knowledge about the oil reservoirs located in the chalk rocks in the southern part of the North Sea, and increased understanding of how immobile oil can be produced," Nyland added.
”This is a great honour. When you have worked on this for 15 years, it's very rewarding to receive this recognition,” says Tor Austad.
He is a professor of reservoir chemistry at the University of Stavanger, and has researched chemical methods for improved oil recovery for quite some time, particularly in relation to the chemical understanding of why seawater is so effective in carbonate reservoirs.
”Seawater injection has resulted in a dramatic increase in oil production on Ekofisk. Without this method, the recovery rate would be around 30 per cent and not 50-55 per cent, as it is today,” says Austad.
On a global basis, the recovery rate from carbonate fields is well below 30 per cent. The knowledge held by the research community in Stavanger is therefore in considerable demand, for example in Saudi Arabia," he says.
”The prize is a recognition of our research effort. We have worked hard for this since 2002,” says Corec director Sigmund Stokka.
The centre is a cooperation between the University of Stavanger, the IRIS research institute and ConocoPhillips. The latter is the operator of the Ekofisk area, which primarily consists of chalk reservoirs. The centre was established to improve oil recovery here, and from other fields with similar reservoirs.
Stokka praises ConocoPhillips, which with its contribution of NOK 10 million per year, has ensured a long-term focus and stability in the research. The company has also accepted other operators in the project, so Corec has a budget of NOK 24 million this year.
The project is planning for a new nine-year period, starting in the autumn, where they will continue the work on improving understanding of water injection, as well as examine the use of CO2 injection and microbial recovery from carbonate fields.
Contact in the NPD
Eldbjørg Vaage Melberg, tel.+ 47 51 87 61 00