PTRC and SRC announce the arrival of a new high-resolution CT-Scanner for use in characterizing rock core
Posted: 06.04.2018

The Saskatchewan Research Council’s Energy Division, located at the PTRC Building in Innovation Park in Regina, has been a hive of activity in the past month with the installation and commissioning of a brand new X5000 industrial x-ray CT-scanner.  The PTRC’s purchase of the device, which received an $800,000 investment from Western Economic Diversification Canada, was complimented with additional funding from SRC and the University of Regina.

“As one of the few organizations in North America that now has this capability, this state-of-the-art instrument will augment SRC’s extensive research and development expertise in the areas of both heavy and light enhanced oil recovery, providing more resolution into the micro meter pore scale processes that drive new EOR technology,” noted Mike Crabtree, vice-president with SRC’s Energy Division.

PTRC’s CEO Dan MacLean was equally enthusiastic about the new investment in infrastructure.

“We’re delighted to be able to provide this important piece of equipment for both SRC and the University of Regina to advance their research capabilities,” he noted.  “Imaging capacity of this strength and scale could prove invaluable to understanding ways to improve tight oil recovery from such formations in Saskatchewan as the Bakken and the Viking.”

Western Economic Diversification has been a strong supporter of PTRC research in the last 15 years, and has previously helped with direct investment in heavy oil field trials of more environmentally impactful technologies and waste water treatment.  Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made an announcement on the funding to PTRC and several other Saskatchewan projects, on April 27th.

“These investments [Saskatchewan Projects] will help drive innovation by supporting the development of new technologies and products, and better prepare Canadians for high-demand skilled occupations.”

The University of Regina’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the University’s President’s office also invested in the new scanner.  Dr. Esam Hussein, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, says the scanner’s main purpose is to image rock core samples at the microporous level to help researchers better understand the nature and characteristics of tight and light oil reservoirs. 

"This powerful machine is much like a medical CT machine, but it can image denser material with a micro-metre resolution, allowing us to enhance research in petroleum engineering, while also benefitting research in manufacturing, electronics, materials, and beyond,” says Hussein, who is also a researcher in radiation imaging.

“The scanner will facilitate incredible training opportunities for our petroleum systems engineering graduate and post-doctoral students, allowing them to make advancements in tight oil reservoir characterization and modelling,” says Dr. David Malloy, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Regina.

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