Research at OU
The University of Oklahoma’s Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering has been a premier research institution since its founding. The industry relies heavily on the expertise and innovation of MPGE researchers and the impact their studies have on the industry and its operations.
The Integrated Core Characterization Center consists of the complete Amoco Rock Physics Laboratory. This lab has unparalleled industrial, commercial, and academic capabilities and offers the widest range of measurement and research opportunities in the industry. Originally established a seismic velocity measurement laboratory, it evolved into an integrated facility that provides a vast array of petrophysical, seismic, and rock mechanics capabilities.
Established in 1992, the Integrated PoroMechanics Institute (iPMI) offers an integrated platform to researchers from various disciplines including petroleum engineering, geology, geophysics, civil engineering, computer science, and electrical engineering to conduct general and applied research on the mechanics of porous media, in particular geomechanics applied to exploration and production of hydrocarbons.
The Well Construction Technology Center is an advanced technology research center that incorporates high pressure, high temperature fluid flow applications using both field scale and lab scale equipment for the oil industry.
The Institute for Applied Surfactant Research is a multidiscipline research facility that is composed of undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral students, and researchers who conduct phase equilibrium, sand pack, and core flood studies for both environmental and crude oil recovery applications.
The Unconventional Shale Gas Consortium was formed to integrate all the multi-scale observational constraints to improve the efficiency of hydrocarbon extraction from shale. It deals with nano-scale modeling of flow in the pores, both organic and inorganic, of shales. These insights are tested against macroscopic petrophysical properties measurements. USGC also utilizes a parallel effort to analyze production decline curves for reservoir properties, frac half length, effective permeabilities, etc. Additionally, USGC measures a suite of petrophysical properties on donated cores to extend petrotyping to new plays, while, simultaneously, exploring new technologies which show promise in their application to shales: scanning acoustic microscopy and nanindentation. Efforts are also underway to understand crushed permeability measurements and to develop standards for low permeability. Hydraulic fracturing experiments are carried out to understand the stimulation processes and to make them more efficient. Another principal focus is the FIB-SEM and SEM analysis of shale microstrucure and its dependence on maturity. The overall goal is to link all these studies to more efficient hydrocarbon recovery from shale.