(October 4 , 2001, Gazette)

Memorial launches oil
and gas lecture series


Tom ZimmermanPhoto by Chris Hammond

Tom Zimmerman

What is the future of technology in the growing offshore oil and gas industry? How will research and training institutes respond to the increasing technological challenges? Seeing the need to address these and other questions of significance to the growing oil and gas industry, Memorial has launched the Oil and Gas Development Partnership Lecture Series. On Sept. 26, Tom Zimmerman, manager of Schlumberger Oilfield Services’ Technology Centre in Houston, Texas, gave the inaugural lecture entitled The Role of Technology in Meeting our Future Energy Needs, in the Engineering Lecture Theatre.

Dr. Axel Meisen officially opened the lecture series with an introduction to the Oil and Gas Development Partnership and what the lecture series will mean for Memorial University and the general public, followed by Dr. Jim Wright, dean of Earth Sciences, who introduced Mr. Zimmerman.

Beginning with an overview of technology that is currently being used in industry, Mr. Zimmerman moved on to emphasize the challenges that exploration, development and production will face in the next decade as the need to meet world oil demand becomes increasingly more complex. This shift in focus is both a challenge and an opportunity.

“The meaningful development of technology is more than just new science – it is seeing change and opportunity and affecting technology which can maximize contribution,” said Mr. Zimmerman. Future technology challenges, including better sensors, extended life for downhole motors and pumps, more efficient intervention techniques, and other energy sources, will be the focus over the next 20 years.

The Oil and Gas Development Partnership Lecture Series will host a leading expert from the oil and gas field once a month from September to May, with a break in December. The lecture series is intended to be an information session for the general public, faculty, students and industry partners, and a chance to exchange ideas. Providing information on new developments, issues, technologies and trends in the oil and gas industry, the lectures will ensure the public’s participation in a rapidly growing industry. Lectures will cover a wide range of topics, such as royalty regimes, options for offshore gas development, and environmental and social issues. According to Dr. Meisen, “It is a public lecture series in oil and gas from a global perspective, not just Newfoundland or Atlantic Canada.”