News Release

REF NO.: 86

SUBJECT: Two Statoil Chairs appointed at Memorial University

DATE: May 19, 2016

Memorial University’s research capacity in the offshore oil industry is expanding through the appointment of two new research chairs.

Dr. Enamul Hossain has been appointed as the Statoil Chair in Reservoir Engineering and Dr. Sohrab Zendehboudi has been appointed as the Statoil Chair in Reservoir Analysis. The research chairs will expand research and educational initiatives and mentor master’s and doctoral students to become highly qualified personnel in the areas of study.

Statoil and the Research & Development Corporation (RDC) previously announced they are each contributing $500,000 per chair over a five-year period.

Dr. Hossain will focus on reservoir engineering, management, characterization, simulation, subsurface drilling and new technologies in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

Dr. Zendehboudi will examine long-term and optimal oil recovery methods from the province’s reservoirs, with a focus on efficient reservoir characterization methods as well as optimized oil production from complex offshore fields.

“Petroleum reservoir engineering and analysis will maximize economic returns from the development of our offshore oil resources,” said Christopher Mitchelmore, minister, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development and minister responsible for the Research & Development Corporation. “I’m pleased to see this partnership further support collaborative research and development between industry and academia in these important areas.”

 “Statoil has a strong innovation culture,” said Dr. Gisle Stjern, vice-president, Offshore Newfoundland, Statoil Canada. “Investing in these two chairs at Memorial University not only builds the immediate capacity of the local oil and gas industry, but also supports future generations of petroleum engineers and researchers.”

“This partnership with Statoil and the RDC builds on Memorial’s expertise in areas of oil and gas research,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “Not only do the chairs support current educational activities, they also help in the establishment of a petroleum engineering program at Memorial with a focus on harsh environments. I thank Statoil and RDC for their continued investment in research at Memorial University and I congratulate Drs. Hossain and Zendehboudi on their appointments.”

“RDC is committed to building relationships that further develop expertise in these research areas,” said Mark Ploughman, acting chief executive officer, RDC. “It’s important to develop highly qualified people to strengthen our expertise and develop future economic opportunities.”

Dr. Hossain and Dr. Zendehboudi are looking forward to becoming an integral part of the growing cluster of excellence in petroleum engineering research and education at Memorial.

“There is a strong industry need for more petroleum engineers who are technically capable, environmentally conscientious and fiscally prudent to face today’s challenges,” said Dr. Hossain. “We must improve efficiencies because of hydrocarbon resources limitations, and reduce the costs of reservoir exploration and development. Also, there are challenges faced by the petroleum industry in reducing the risks and uncertainties while dealing with reservoir engineering and asset management. These are areas where I plan to focus my efforts as the Statoil Chair in Reservoir Engineering.”

"I am honoured and pleased to serve as the Statoil Chair in Reservoir Analysis at Memorial,” said Dr. Zendehboudi. “This new research program is exciting with challenging short- and long-term outcomes. I look forward to working in partnership with Statoil to develop an innovative research program that focuses on reservoir and fluids characterization of offshore reservoirs. One of my goals is to enhance our research and teaching environment for Memorial researchers and students in reservoir engineering, which will lead to significant theoretical and practical contributions to academia, research centres and industry.”

“The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science is pleased to welcome these new chairs in reservoir engineering and analysis,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Drs. Hossain and Zendehboudi bring valuable expertise to the positions which is critical to fulfilling the mandate of the chairs and our faculty’s growth plan.”

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