Statoil teams with universities in heavy oil research

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Sept. 28 -- StatoilHydro has partnered with universities in Canada and Norway to examine ways to improve recovery of heavy oil and oil sands in an environmentally friendly way.

The group will support PhD students at Canada's University of Calgary, University of Alberta, and Vancouver Island University, and at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.

The Canadian universities have broad research experience with heavy oil, and their projects will complement StatoilHydro's research activities.

High oil prices have made development of heavy oil and oil sands projects economically feasible. NTNU rector Torbjorn Digernes said heavy oil would be important in future global energy scenarios, but these posed serious challenges. Cooperation with StatoilHydro would be important in identifying solutions.

The universities will collaborate with NTNU in their respective areas of the value chain for heavy oil production, with the University of Calgary specializing in recovery methods.

The University of Alberta focuses on emulsion stabilization mechanisms for such oils, while Vancouver Island University deals with environmental monitoring of their production.

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