Located in Doha, in the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), the Total Research Center – Qatar (TCR-Q) opened its doors in 2009. The R&D activities conducted here focus on four areas of regional interest, one of them being the CO2 value chain for the Petrochemicals sector (operated by our Refining & Chemicals segment).
Providing state-of-the-art contract research services on behalf of the local oil and gas industry, it is also ideally positioned to facilitate the transfer of innovations developed at our head offices, thanks to its proximity to Total teams working on projects in Qatar, whether as operator or as partner.
Also, the TRC-Q pursues its in-house R&D activities in partnership with local scientific and industrial players, including Qatar Petroleum, Qatar University, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute and Texas A&M University of Qatar.
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This research program aims to deploy and develop state-of the art analytical techniques for compositional analysis of reservoir hydrocarbon fluids and rocks. The geochemical lab in TRC-Q is capable to perform molecular and stable isotopic analyses of all kinds of reservoir fluids such crude oils and gas/condensates. The analytical data are used to assess distinct reservoir-related topics such as:
- Production Allocation by Chemical Fingerprinting
- Reservoir Compartmentalization (Vertical and Lateral Fluid Connectivity)
- Well Integrity / HSE Studies
- Reservoir Fluid Mapping based on core/cutting analysis
The TRC-Q is equipped with a fully operational organic geochemistry laboratory including classical state-of-the-art instruments as well as some proprietary tools developed by Total E&P.
- 1x ASE (Accelerated-Solvent-Extraction) unit for liquid hydrocarbon extractions from rock samples
- 3x GC-FID units for molecular fingerprinting (on-column& split/split-less)
- 1x GC-MS for advanced biomarker analysis
- 1x GC-C-IR-MS for compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA)
- 1x Viscometer for fluid density & viscosity measurements
- 1x IR-Spectrometer for rapid liquid hydrocarbon analysis to define chemical moieties
- 1x proprietary LIPS (Laser-Induced-Pyrolysis-System) unit for core analysis (high resolution TOC analyses) e.g., for identification of tar mats in carbonate reservoirs
The TRCQ geochemistry team also closely cooperates with the organic geochemistry lab in Total’s E&P headquarter scientific center (CSTJF) in France and therefore can have quick access to additional instruments such as mobile production allocation devices and mobile PVT units that can be installed at platforms/rig sites for near-time analysis of production fluids. The geochemistry team also pursues and follows-up several external research projects with internationally renowned scientific institutes inside and outside of Qatar to develop new organic geochemical tools and methodologies.
This research project aims at better controlling the fluid-rock interactions that occur during acid injection in carbonates. Acid injection in carbonates, typically called acid stimulation, is a dynamic process that is used to enhance the permeability near the wellbore region. It is complex both to characterize and predict.
Looking at different types of rocks (calcite, dolomite) and different acid formulations, the program includes:
- carbonate characterization by CT scanning and X-ray microtomography;
- core flood bench tests on quarry samples at temperature / pressure levels representative of reservoir conditions (80-95°C, 250 bar);
- development of a proprietary acid stimulation model calibrated to data collected through the core flood tests.
The overriding aim is indeed to provide a predictive borehole scale tool to optimize the design of acidizing treatments (in terms of cost and performance) and analyze the effect of stimulation on the wells. The same model could also serve at the core scale to limit the number of core flood tests and calculate the key parameters needed to design acidizing treatments.
The research program aims to monitor and reduce the impact of our industrial activities on water quality and biodiversity.
Sustainable development focuses on projects on environmental and societal development which includes:
- Water management (carbon storage, microalgae R&D, water reuse).
- Coral Reef Restoration (restoration of marine habitats )
- Biomonitoring of seawater quality with valvometry
- BTEX sensors for air quality
- e-DNA for species identification in marine environment
The Water Management project, in collaboration with Qatar University utilizes microalgae for capture of CO2 and treatment of produced water.
The biomonitoring of seawater quality around the platforms with valvometry is also done in partnership with Qatar University and Bordeaux University. Bi-valves are equipped with micro electrodes to monitor to monitor the quality of the water.
Linked to Headquarters, the coral reef restoration with Qatar University (QU) and SeaBoost can restore areas damaged after an oil spill or operations. A demonstration pilot is planned to be deployed in the Qatari sea water and monitored for the coming years.
An innovative way to identify marine biodiversity, and observe whale shark migration, is validated on a simple sample of water: e-DNA approach. This project is supported by Headquarters and will include international partners.
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