The team was headed by Vice-Rector Danis Nurgaliev and Head of SAU EcoOil Mikhail Varfolomeev.
Cooperation with the biggest petroleum university in China started only recently but has been rapidly growing. A student exchange program will launch this autumn – 10 master students from KFU can start their academic year in Chengdu. Two such programs – with ParisTech and Freiberg University of Mining and Technology – are already in motion. As Dr. Varfolomeev noted, SWPU has all the necessary infrastructure for efficient studies.
Another point of the agenda was joint research in extraction enhancement methods, including one project in in-situ combustion. It received support from PetroChina and will be implemented at Karamay oilfield after lab tests.
Another project concerns Tahe oilfield. Here the question is in viscous oil extraction methods. The oilfield is specific in that it is one of the deepest in the world, with oil reservoirs situated as deep as 5,000 meters. Another problem is very high temperature at this level – 140 C, which complicates the use of traditional extraction technologies. This task with two unknown variables now has to be solved together by KFU and SWPU.
Dr. Varfolomeev explained, «It was not by chance that the Chinese side chose us. KFU has a unique infrastructure and equipment not found anywhere else in the world. For instance, we have a regenerative thermal oxidation machine for linear measurements of in-situ combustion; a combustion tube is also under construction. Moreover, we have rich experience in thermal methods of oil extraction enhancement. SAU EcoOil is in cooperation with all major Russian companies which use in-situ combustion and thermal gas treatment – RITEK, Lukoil, and Zarubezhneft. And, of course, there is much practice of in-situ combustion in Tatarstan on Mordovo-Karmal deposit which has been developed by such methods for several dozen years».
He added that this project in China is a new challenge for KFU – the one that gives the chance to once again prove the University’s global leadership in thermal methods of extraction.