Development of Advanced In-Situ Recovery Technologies for Oil San

In-situ recovery methods for oils sands are applied to reservoirs containing bitumen that are too deep for mining. To date there has been only one commercially viable in-situ recovery method, Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), involving high pressure steam injection and bitumen production using horizontal well pairs located near the base of oil sands formations. While SAGD has enabled conversion of significant resources to reserves (about 170 billion barrels), SAGD has many economic and environmental limitations.

Controlling microbial processes in fracing fluids

Unconventional gas reservoirs are a great energy resource in the province of BC and Alberta and thus for Canada in general. Extracting this resource is not as straight forward as conventional gas reservoirs and requires hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracing or fracking, which has recently become a controversial topic in the public eye. This research project will examine water and fluids used in and returning from frac operations with respect to its geochemistry and bacterial populations.

Optimization of the stem/gate connection of industrial valves– experimentation and modeling

Velan Inc. in Montreal, Quebec is one of the world leaders in design and manufacturing of industrial steel valves for applications in chemical, oil and gas, military, mining, and nuclear industries. Velan wishes to optimize its valve design in terms of maximum strength and minimum weight according to latest standard requirements. To achieve that, its existing analytical and finite element method (FEM) models should be improved by taking into account large deformation and contact analysis to accurately predict the failure point of stem and gate.

Long-term response of boreal forest bird community to changes in habitat structure and configuration due to forestry and other land uses

Long-term effects of forest harvest and other land uses on boreal forest birds are unknown, because most studies of forestry practices on boreal birds occur over short periods, while effects of habitat fragmentation may be realized over longer periods and affected by climate change. I will analyze >20 years of forestry treatment and bird abundance data from Alberta forest sites that were revisited yearly to survey birds, and use results from these analyses to predict bird abundance within future land use scenarios created by timber supply and land use simulation software.

Controls on diagenetic evolution in Tithonian Jeanne d’Arc Formation, Terra Nova field: Implications for reservoir quality evolution

Hydrocarbons are hosted in porous sedimentary rocks which were deposited several million years prior to the ingress of hydrocarbons. Once these sedimentary rocks are deposited, other physical, chemical and biological, all termed diagenetic, processes act to modify their original properties. A major product of this diagenesis is cementation. The cement (minerals) occludes (plugs) the pore spaces in the sedimentary rock thus, in general, reducing its capacity to host hydrocarbons. This project, among others will seek to understand the types of cement and their origin in Terra Nova field.

Assessing the impacts of permafrost thaw driven changes to water resources in Canada’s sub-Arctic using remote sensing and hydrological modelling

Unprecedented climate warming and human disturbance in the border region of the Northwest Territories and northeastern British Columbia (NEBC) has led to widespread permafrost thaw and land cover change that has disrupted the hydrological cycle and the industrial activities that depend upon it.

Estimating reservoir changes in a heavy oil reservoir through application of anelasticity and rock physics analysis to time-lapse seismic data

Oil-sands reservoirs offer huge resource potential with very low decline rates compared to other unconventional exploration targets. Unfortunately, this comes with the trade-off of requiring high initial investment as well as high operating costs. In order for such projects to be economic in the long-term, it is essential that we monitor changes in the reservoir to maximize production and by extension, return.
Time-lapse (4D) seismic monitoring is a common, cost-effective means of monitoring changes in reservoir due to production. Using amplitude vs.

Alberta Diversification and Organizational Resilience Project

The aim of this project is to research and develop tools to assess and aid the diversification of organizations in the province of Alberta. Alberta is rich in resources, both tangible and intangible. Nevertheless, the price of oil, Alberta’s dependence on this tangible resource and related service have skewed the Province’s investment and entrepreneurial profile. There is a call from private and public sectors to once again diversify the production and service base of the Province’s economy.

Can Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) developments in Northwestern BC contribute to social and financial sustainability in First Nations communities?

This thesis seeks to investigate initiatives that address the enhancement of benefits to indigenous people in northwestern BC while minimizing socioeconomic effects from LNG construction phase developments through to operations.

Optimized Extraction of Onion and Garlic Oils Using Green Solvents

This project will be with All Natural Products Inc. (ANPI), who is a Canadian company focused on essential oil extract from natural herbal resources in Bolton, Ontario. These essential oils have applications in the food, flavor, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical industries. ANPI have found that their current extraction methods do not provide a suitable yield of essential oils.