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OU Researcher Receives Part of $28 Million Grant to Increase Geothermal Energy Production in the United States

Ghassemi in lab

Ahmad Ghassemi, the McCasland Chair and professor of petroleum engineering at the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma, received $2.5 million of a $28 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy with an additional $700,000 in matching funds from Coso Operating Company for a study that aims to develop technologies to increase power production from geothermal wells while decreasing production costs.

“I am very proud to hear that the Department of Energy is equipping and empowering the University of Oklahoma to pursue a groundbreaking project to unleash safe and sustainable energy,” said Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04). “Widely recognized as a center for scientific excellence and innovation, OU’s contributions will indeed be critical in honing production and refining the use of geothermal energy.”

Thanks to this support from the DOE and Coso Operating Co., Ghassemi and his collaborators will first do extensive modeling around the geothermal wells that will be used in the research. In continuous operation since 1987, these wells sit on the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which is in the heart of the Coso Volcanic Field in eastern California.
Among the members of the team are graduate students from the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.

“Involvement of postdoctoral and graduate students from OU give the project a nice educational aspect as well,” said Ghassemi. “Not only will it contribute to their education, but it can potentially expand the geothermal workforce that is needed as the technology expands in the country.”

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MPGE Selected as SINTEFF Norway SWIPA Project Collaborators


Congratulations to University of Oklahoma MPGE team for being selected as one of the SINTEFF Norway SWIPA project collaborators. The Board of the Research Council of Norway decided to grant SFI Swipa (Subsurface Well Integrity, Plugging and Abandonment) status as Center for Research-Driven Innovation for the next eight years. MPGE team will collaborate with SINTEFF, University of Stavanger, NORCE, IFE and NTNU on testing and verification of barrier materials. Several major oil and gas companies as wells universities globally will collaborate in this large scale project. 

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Senior Spotlight


Meet OU senior Laércio Filipe graduating this week with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. Laércio came to OU from Luanda, Angola, and says the friends he’s made at OU have helped him form a family away from home. Laércio plans to stay in the U.S. following graduation and plans to find an engineering position where he can work in transitioning to clean energy. 


“The community OU provided for me and international students like myself allows me to have the resources and the ability to follow my dreams and reach my goals.”

The University of Oklahoma will celebrate its December 2020 graduates in a virtual graduation ceremony.

Graduation ceremony to be streamed online, and aired on Cox Channel 3 in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Graduates and their families, friends and the worldwide OU community are invited to gather online for the ceremony, which will be held starting at 7 p.m. CST Friday, Dec. 18, at link.ou.edu/graduation.

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Dr. Rai and Dr. Shah Selected 2020 SPE Distinguished Member Award


The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) recently honored Dr. Rai and Dr. Shah with SPE Distinguished Membership at SPE’s Member Monday Awards Session held 26 October. Both Doctors are Professors at the University of Oklahoma in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering.

Established in 1983, the Distinguished Member award recognizes SPE members who achieve distinction deemed worthy of special recognition. This award acknowledges members who have attained eminence in the petroleum industry or the academic community, or who have made significant contributions to SPE.

Chandra S. Rai is currently Martin Miller Chair Professor in Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He served as the director of Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering from 2007 to 2019. During his tenure he was responsible for modernization of all the undergraduate teaching laboratories, hiring 20 new faculty members, and managing six-fold increase in undergraduate enrollment and along with Prof. Sondergeld started two industrial consortia, Experimental Rock Physics and Characterization of Unconventional Reservoirs. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma, he was with Amoco Production Company Research Center and with BPAmoco in various technical and management positions. At Amoco he was member and then team leader of the team responsible for doing R&D in the broad area of rock physics and petrophysics. He was associated with the development of rock properties database, on-site core characterization system, and rock modeling software. He obtained BS and MS in Applied Geophysics from the Indian School of Mines, and a PhD in 1977 from the University of Hawaii in Geology and Geophysics. 

Subhash Shah is Shell Chair Professor and Chief Mentor in the School of Technology, Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU), India. He is also an Emeritus Professor in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering (MPGE) at the University of Oklahoma (OU). He retired from OU after serving 22 years as Stephenson Chair Professor and MPGE Director (2000-2002). During his tenure at OU, he also served as the Director of OU’s Well Construction Technology Center. He has a distinguished career in the oil and gas industry that spans over 45 years: 18 years with Halliburton and 27 years in academics. Shah holds a B.E. from M.S. University of Baroda, India, and M.S. and Ph.D. from University of New Mexico, USA, all in chemical engineering. 

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Fall 2020 Capstone Review


The Irani Center for Energy Solutions is the next step in energy education. At our Center on the University of Oklahoma campus, we provide best-in-class practical educational opportunities to students studying petroleum engineering, geology, geophysics, as well as students across campus in areas like energy management, entrepreneurship, economics, accounting and finance.

Students dissect existing oil and gas plays, prepare industry-styled type-curve and reserve reports, work on projects such as evaluating undeveloped zones for drilling/recompletion opportunities, evaluate re-stimulation, artificial lift and compression configurations for optimizing production, and evaluate petrophysical and geological characteristics of resource plays, etc.

Interdisciplinary teams of students are overseen by top faculty and seasoned industry professionals who provide expertise, insights and technical guidance. Non-disclosure agreements protect a company’s valuable and confidential information, and all findings and proposed solutions are professionally presented back to the company.

Fall 2020 capstone company projects: (2) Kirkpatrick Oil Company, Mewbourne Oil Company, Charter Oak Production, McDaniel Trust Mineral Interests, (2) The University of Oklahoma Foundation.

Industry partners can submit projects for consideration to David Ferris, the Executive Director of the Irani Center. Our multi-disciplinary leadership team reviews projects on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Dr. Tinni selected 2020-2021 SPWLA Global Distinguished Speaker


 

This program provides local Chapters a contact list of persons in high industry regard who are able and willing to speak on certain topic(s) of interest at local chapter meetings. The persons immediately below have been designated and have agreed to serve as SPWLA Distinguished Speakers for the year 2020-2021. The talks proposed here are all among the top papers presented at the 2020 International 61st Annual Logging Symposium. 

Dr. Tinni is a faculty in the Petroleum Engineering Department of the University of Oklahoma. His current research interests include fluid flow and storage as well as EOR in unconventional reservoirs. He holds Master’s and PhD degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

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OU SPE Hosts Energy Focus Symposium


Organizing Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) student chapters: University of Houston, Pennsylvania State University, Rice University, and the University of Oklahoma host the 2020 Energy Focus Symposium. 

The 2020 Energy Focus Symposium was held on November 9th and 10th with speakers and panelists from across the world. Shell, Smart Tech Comphrehensice Solutions, Quantum New Energy, Enrich Africa, and Kongsberg were companies in attandence. 

Driving the Energy Transition- Technology , Business, and Policy.

Day 1 ( Technology) 

Josh Etkind - Deepwater GoM Digital Transformation Lead for Shell 

Brian Sidle - Global Director of Growth for Kongsberg Digital

Sarah Tamilarasan - CEO of Sotaog

Day 2 (Business and Policy)

Patricia Vega - CEO of Quantum New Energy 

Adegoke Ajisafe - Co-founder of Enrich Africa

Will Pettitt – Executive Director of Geotherm Rising