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PTRC and EERC Announce $2.5M in US DOE Funding
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016

The Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) and the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota announced $2.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy (US DOE) funding awarded through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). The project will develop an ‘intelligent monitoring system’ (IMS) utilizing data acquired through PTRC’s Aquistore project. The newly developed IMS will allow future CO2 storage site operators to more efficiently manage operations, data management, and monitoring. 

The EERC will work to develop the IMS through real-time, data-capable workflows, algorithms, and a user interface to automate the integration of carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring and simulation data from Aquistore. Current monitoring technologies require various project teams to acquire and process data to manually combine multiple forms of data in order to manage the program. The IMS will automate many of these steps and substantially streamline the process. By providing a more efficient and cost-effective measurement, monitoring, and verification system, Aquistore and other CO2 storage projects will optimize storage efficiency and costs while minimizing risk.

Managed by the Regina-based PTRC, Aquistore is the storage component of SaskPower’s first-in-the-world Boundary Dam Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Integrated Demonstration project, and is one of a handful of active CO2 storage projects in the world. The EERC is recognized as one of the world’s leading developers of cleaner, more efficient energy and environmental technologies. A high-tech, nonprofit division of the University of North Dakota, EERC has a long history of collaboration with PTRC.

“Aquistore is a working example of a dedicated CO2 storage project,” said Ken From, PTRC’s Chief Executive Officer. “This bi-lateral research initiative strengthens the relationship between PTRC and North Dakota’s EERC and our North American efforts to develop cost-effective technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The EERC is very honored to receive this award and have the opportunity to work with DOE and partners like PTRC,” said John Hamling, Project Manager and Principal Engineer for Oilfield Operations at the EERC, “The Aquistore site coupled with PTRC’s partnership provides an ideal proving ground for the development of IMS technologies which can greatly enhance operations for the emerging CCS Industry.”

Intelligent monitoring solutions have become popular in the oil and gas industry in the recent decade. The application of these systems for CO2 storage projects however, is a new development and has yet to be fully demonstrated. The outcomes of this project will address multiple goals set forth in the US DOE’s Carbon Storage Program and by the province of Saskatchewan in its Provincial Climate Change Plan.

The EERC’s portion of the project is being funded through the US DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory. PTRC will, in turn, provide access to the unique data emerging from Aquistore. The funding and resulting IMS will help both Canada and the United States continue their efforts to find practical solutions to energy and environmental challenges. 

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