Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OU Receives Grant for Study of Drilling

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OU Receives Grant for Study of Drilling

Article excerpt

By Ronda Fears

Journal Record Staff Reporter

A $3.6 million grant to the University of Oklahoma, disclosed Wednesday, will go toward study of oil and gas drilling in difficult geological areas, which could boost oil production in the state by 800 million barrels and help preserve stripper wells.

The Rock Mechanics Research Center at OU received the fourar grant, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology announced Wednesday. In a threey split, the grant is from Oklahoma state government, 13 energy firms and the National Science Foundation.

Equal matching funds from the state were required to qualify for the National Science Foundation grant, OCAST President Carolyn Sales said. OU made the application with the foundation through OCAST. It was among four universities funded from 39 applicants for this round of grant awards.

Rock mechanics is a branch of science concerned with how materials in the earth's crust react to deformations, whether natural or mande. It plays a vital role in areas of energy resources, minerals, safety and environment, transportation and hydrology, OCAST information specialist Steve Paris said.

A recent study suggests that technological advancement through rock mechanics could make it possible to produce another 800 million barrels of crude oil in Oklahoma alone, said Lari Murry, director of research and development programs for OCAST.

"This represents $16 billion in recovery resources that could not be recovered otherwise," Murry said.

Enhancement of oil production from marginal, or stripper, wells is also an expected outcome of the research, Murry said.

Industry participants in the fourar project will contribute annual membership fees and sponsor specific research projects. The university's contribution will be to house the research center and, to some extent, provide equipment and students. National Science Foundation funds will go toward nonoprietary basic research, while industry and other funds will support basic and applied research plus development. …

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