Spain Study Abroad, Week 1

This summer, groups of Mewbourne College students are learning in locations across the globe! Keep up with them every week here and follow them on social media under the hashtag #MCEEAroundTheWorld

By Connor Holasek
Senior, Petroleum Engineering

On this study abroad trip we had the pleasure to visit the Cepsa research and development center, which includes a vast petroleum laboratory concerned with topics such as enhanced oil recovery, geochemistry, and refining processes. At this lab research improves Cepsa’s knowledge and increases efficiency and profits.

The lab space was massive, with nearly 10 different labs taking up the entire basement of their office building. As an MPGE student from OU, it was an amazing opportunity for me to compare the labs with our petrophysics lab that we use during Rock Properties lab. Cepsa’s lab was most certainly state of the art, with much of the equipment designed in-house by the Cepsa engineers. They explained that custom equipment provides researchers more flexibility for their specific requirements and lowers costs, compared with industry-standard equipment.

It was also very interesting to observe a lab that is based more around exploration and production versus our petrophysics lab. When we arrived we were given a presentation to fill us students in about what and who Cepsa is, where they operate, and some interesting projects they have conducted recently. Following this we were given an hour-and-a-half long tour of their lab.

One project that piqued my interest in particular was a low-salinity waterflooding EOR project because I just finished Dr. Deepak and Dr. Wu’s Improved Oil Recovery class this spring semester, and recently gave a presentation about the same topic. I was able to ask intuitive questions about the project, and was able to meet another engineer who was responsible for writing and publishing the paper. He even gave us a look at some figures and conclusions from his work!

Getting an opportunity to speak with some industry professionals about a relevant topic that both of us were interested in was just an additional treat to the already amazing tour. Hopefully the relations of OU and Cepsa will continue so future students receive the same opportunity.

Boomer Sooner from Spain! We will check in again next week.

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