Leader

UNIABDN

Participant (s)

UNIABDN, UDSM

Duration

Mx – My

Objectives

To create a conducive research and knowledge exchange environment in sustainable development of oil and gas at the UDSM

Target Group (s)

The direct beneficiaries of this activity will be the staff and students in identified UDSM Colleges and departments; the future employers of the students of oil and gas related programmes within the departments. Indirectly, beneficiaries will include the wider academic community, accessing the experience of those with a wider, internationalized perspective and enhanced expertise.

 

Description of Work

Energy-related research at UNIABDN covers a broad spectrum of areas – from characterising reservoirs of oil and gas, to engineering solutions for high temperature and high-pressure, downhole conditions, to our internationally recognised research excellence in industrial psychology, petroleum economics and safety engineering. The results of our innovative research are aiding the development and deployment of new and renewable energy technologies, particularly in bioenergy, wave and wind energy. Our materials scientists and chemists are devising safe means to store nuclear wastes. Our pioneering work on environmental sensing and remediation technologies is providing solutions for the remediation of drill cuttings and hydrocarbon waste streams.

In order to ensure that these developments are firmly embedded and sustainable, however, it will be necessary also to think in terms of developing research within the field of oil and gas within Tanzania. This can be assisted by the establishment both of joint PhD supervision and of joint research projects involving staff at the Universities of Aberdeen and Dar es Salaam.
 

Task 3.1: Research Projects

2 members of  UDSM staff will be enrolled onto PhD study at the UNIABDN. In addition 3 UDSM staff will undertake research programmes as a result of study on an MSc programme.
 

Task 3.2 Scoping Research Projects

The project will make available funds for a number of short-term research projects under this Work Package, which will be used to enhance capability to deliver commercially funded research in-country for Oil & Gas companies. The projects will cover all the major disciplines identified (Chemistry, Engineering, Geosciences, Economics and Law).

Projects will be selected against a range of criteria, including their ability to generate commercial funding, to meet the economic and development needs of Tanzania, and the development of in-country capability. Projects will be expected to include academic staffing from both UDSM and UNIABDN.
 

Task 3.1. and 3.2 projects will be within defined project topics related to the target disciplines.
Exemplar projects, put forward as potential topics by UDSM and UNIABDN, are listed below to demonstrate the range of multidisciplinary activities which will be initiated through the partnership. It is anticipated that the collaborations that are commenced will form the basis for future funding applications, including to commercial partners:

  • Economic transformation and fears of marginalization
  • Oil and gas  impacts on coastal resources of Tanzania
  • Structural modelling and architecture of the coastal sedimentary basins of Tanzania 
  • Stratigraphical and palaeontological evolution of the Mesozoic coastal sedimentary basins of Tanzania
  • Diagenetic Characterization of source rocks in coastal sedimentary basin in Tanzania
  • Processing of Natural Gas
  • Modelling of High-pressure Gas Flow in Pipelines
  • Use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for: (i) Large Diesel Transport Trucks, and (ii) Stationary Diesel Engines for Power Generation and Other Heavy Duty Industrial Application
  • The Application of the Principle of Permanent Sovereignty Over Natural Resources in Enhancing People’s Participation in Oil and Gas Sector in Tanzania
  • Developing Sustainable Natural Resources Business in Tanzania: Assessing the Role of Public Sector
  • Management styles in the oil and gas industry in Tanzania: Handling employee’s grievances
  • Oil and Gas Taxation Regimes in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence on Issues and Challenges in the Design and Application of Oil and Gas Production Sharing Agreements and Tax in Tanzania

A sample of exemplar projects in more detail:

  • Flow visualization techniques in open and porous media: The project will enhance knowledge about key technological challenges during the injection of dry CO2 in a reservoir where water / brine is present and the flow behaviour in contact with formation water in the reservoir.
  • The Design of Long Term Gas Sales Contracts: Research will be undertaken on the fundamental economics of the gas development and LNG schemes to highlight the choices and effects of different contract arrangements.  Similarly, short course could be provided on the subject.  Joint projects between Economics and Law would produce extra benefits.
  • Research Review of PSCs and Associated Matters in Tanzania: The economics of exploration and development and the current PSC and tax arrangements will be re-examined in the light of recent developments.  The position of LNG facilities in relation to the PSCs will be a focus for research.  Short courses can also be provided.  Research and courses will be provided jointly between Economics and Law.
  • Drilling fluids separation and management: Drilling fluids (or muds) play an important role in providing well control and stability during drilling operations. This project addresses the technical challenges faced in separating the contaminated solid particles and liquid content from the fluids used in drilling operations and the flow assurance assessment of the drilling fluids cycle.
  • Optimising reactor bed configuration to maximise octane rating from heptane hydroisomerisation: This project will look at how to optimise a reactor configuration to maximise the formation of iso-heptane and minimise the selectivity to lower alkanes.
  • Impact of Natural Gas Impurities in Metering and Corrosion: The major aim of this project is to study the integrity of a pipeline system and the challenges that appear due to the presence of impurities in Natural Gas.
  • Towards understanding of mechanism of Fischer Tropsch reaction: Fischer Tropsch synthesis is a route towards production of synthesis transport fuels which involves conversion of methane via steam reforming, or coal or biomass via gasification, to synthesis gas (CO and H2). This project will involve obtaining data during the reaction process and the preparing a number of models which might accurately represent the formation of hydrocarbons fragments on the catalyst surface.
  • Biostratigraphic calibration of the sequence architecture of Tanzania’s petroleum systems: The project will provide an independent evaluation and understanding of the biostratigraphy of the current prospective offshore area that will allow correlation into regional and global biostratigraphic and sequence stratigraphic frameworks. A significant outcome would be to provide a basis for establishing a permanent skills-group in biostratography – the first in E Africa.
  • Characterisation of regionally-developed source rocks: Laboratory analysis will be used to classify the organic characteristics of source rocks and subsurface mapping allow the source rocks to be placed into an integrated sequence stratigraphic framework. Quantitative 1D, 2D and 3D basin models will be used to model hydrocarbon generation and distribution in the offshore and onshore areas. Specific focus will be given to assessment of the presence and volume of potential thermogenically-derived oil-generating source potential.
  • Structural evolution of offshore Tanzania: The project will review and develop independent models for the structural evolution of the sedimentary basins of offshore Tanzania, and identify relationships between basin development and sediment input with particular focus on the deposition of potential source rocks, seals and reservoir facies.
  • Evolution of Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary basins in the southern offshore Tanzania: The project will combine sedimentological (rock description) skills with the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of quantitative mineralogical and petrophysical data. Together this will provide the first independent academic analysis of the reservoir quality and distribution of offshore Tanzania.
  • Additives to enhance separation of phases of drilling muds: The research will focus on challenges and conditions that preclude effective separation of oil, water and solids in offshore drilling muds, tightly bound emulsions. The objectives will include definions of the physico-chemical characteristics that tangle the phase behaviour and bound the emulsions and a list of selected additives to enhance separation of drilling muds, bases on sound engineering parameters
  • H2S impact in gas and oil production: The research will critically review and understand the geological, biological and chemical causes that lead for presence of H2S in oil and gas reservoirs and classify the reservoir characteristics i.e. geophysics and geochemistry, thermodynamics and transport properties in O&G reservoirs with high concentration of H2S.
  • Formation and Stability of Natural gas Hydrates in Pipelines: Hydrates are solid molecular, similar to the ice, compounds of water wih natural gas that are formed under certain thermodynamically favourable conditions. The project will enhance understanding of  the thermodynamic stability of hydrates and analysise current thermodynamic formulations for hydrate formation and stability as well as experience on mitigation and remediation of hydrates formation in subsea pipelines.
  • Subsea flow assurance water- surfactant impact (hydraulic, heat transfer, hydrates, waxes and asphaltenes study): Offshore hydrocarbons exploration and production activities, such as topside operation, subsea installation and management, and transportation, are challenged by limits on space and weight, technical requirements, harsh conditions, safety and reliability, environmental impact  and ramping economic cost. This projects aims to understand the impact on the phase behaviour, waxes, hydrates and erosion-corrosion, and heat transfer pattern due to the presence of a surfactant-water fluids through pipelines.
  • Study of the interfacial viscosity in multiphase and non-homogenous flow: In oil and gas transportation pipe line (multiphase flow), there are many types of flow patterns (e.g. Stratified smooth, Stratified wavy, Plug, Slug, Annular, Dispersed).  The project is focussed on use of fluid mechanics to assess interfacial viscosity and what factors can affect this parameter.
  • Environmental impact of the state of the art water management in Oil and Gas Production: The research will consider upstream control and water management, during well operation, reservoir engineering and O&G production, alongside the environmental impacts of control and water management schemes.
  • Advanced Reservoir Management: History-Matching (HM) Workflow: Flow simulators are widely used in O&G industry to optimise and predict hydrocarbon production. The aim of this project is to study methods currently used in History Matching and the applications reservoir management.
  • Wellbore Instability: the causes; consequences and how to predict them: The project aims to determine causes, consequences, occurrences, remedial actions, vulnerable rock formation types and critical evaluation of commonly used techniques and their success to reduce the risk of instability.
  • Separation of produced water in oil and gas industry (Oil & Water separation): Produced water (i.e. highest volume waste) is one of the major issues generated in the oil and gas industries. The produced water is water trapped in underground formations that is brought to the surface during oil and gas exploration and production. The project will characterise sources and levels of produced water waste, as well as considering different methods available for treatment and disposalThe overall aim will be to develop research to address water quality requirements for beneficial uses.
  • New lightweight insulating concretes for subsea pipe applications: The objectives of research are to develop and test new insulating, multi-functional concrete formulations for subsea pipe applications that combine structural strength and insulation properties; to develop new methods of producing insulated concrete pipes that can be readily deployed; to model and testi the performance of the new insulating pipes in the laboratory, and carry out field trials to test and validate the formulations and modelling codes thus developed.
     

Task 3.3 Knowledge (Staff) Exchange Programme

Staff exchange will form a core part of the project, with around 30 UDSM staff visiting the UK, hosted by UoA and its partners. At least 10 staff from UoA will visit Tanzania during the course of the project. This will include visits by UK staff to Tanzania to deliver short courses in-country, but these will be combined with extended activity to support teaching and research.        
The exchange programme will be utilised to support the preparation of the taught curriculum in Oil and Gas and teaching materials in Tanzania. UDSM will benefit from hosting, working and sharing experience with staff who are both highly qualified and experienced in the needs of the oil and gas sector in the UK.
Visiting UDSM staff will be included in the full range of departmental activity, including attendance at regular seminar/lecture series events, access to library and information technology facilities, and a programme of specific activity agreed between host and visitor to ensure that UDSM objectives are met.

The direct beneficiaries of this activity will be the staff and students in these Colleges and departments; the future employers of the students of oil and gas related programmes within the departments. Indirectly, beneficiaries will include the wider academic community, accessing the experience of those with a wider, internationalized perspective and enhanced expertise.

 

Expected Results

Expected results from T3.1 and T3.2

  • Increased technical depth and breadth of knowledge and understanding.
  • Intellectual and practical skills so that staff can apply sound principles and analysis methods in their work.
  • The opportunity to further enhance their transferable and personal skills in self-study, communication, report writing, project and time management, and problem solving.
  • An awareness of the challenges of the industry and the ability to develop industry-focussed research project proposals, alongside dissemnination of results.

 

Expected results from T3.3

Enhanced knowledge and experience; Enhanced curriculum development; Enhanced experience in research, analysis and teaching techniques.

 

As a final result of this WP, SO2 will be fully achieved.