AUSTIN, Texas—Petroleum engineers at The University of Texas at Austin has received $870,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy for research that helps re-focus the petroleum industry on fundamental, long-term goals in oil technology research.
Dr. A. Daniel Hill, P.E., the B.J. Lancaster Professor of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, will use the funding to lead a team to devise new methods for measuring the flow of oil, gas and water into today’s complex, difficult-to-reach wells, such as those which extend horizontally, radiate outward from a central borehole, or branch in multiple directions. Such methods are needed to take full advantage of the “smart” oil production technologies that employ borehole sensors to send information from a well’s bottom to the surface and control production in ways once unimaginable.
Hill will lead the three-year grant under PRIME (Public Resources Invested in Management and Extraction). PRIME is a new governmental initiative that strives to mitigate the domestic oil industry’s present preoccupation with short-term investment and rapid returns. The program seeks to prepare for the next decade when predicted diminishing reserves will mandate the kinds of breakthrough concepts in exploration, drilling and production the program now supports.
Other team members are Dr. Larry W. Lake, P.E., holder of the W.A. (Monty) Moncrief Centennial Chair in Petroleum Engineering and professor of petroleum and geosystems engineering, and Dr. Ding Zhu, a research scientist at the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering.
For more information contact: Becky Rische, College of Engineering, 512-471-7272.