Texas A&M at Qatar leads Gas and Fuels Research Initiative, workshop on Natural Gas Monetization

March 28, 2014
| By: Aubrey Bloom

Texas A&M University at Qatar led the Gas and Fuels Research Initiative (GFRI) and hosted a workshop on natural gas monetization at La Torretta Lake Resort and Spa in Montgomery, Texas, March 26-28.

GFRI is envisioned to be a multidisciplinary research center involving 17 professors from Texas A&M University's main campus in College Station and the University's Qatar campus, and represents different engineering programs, including chemical engineering, petroleum engineering and mechanical engineering. The center's key objective is to lead the integrated research activities and the resources of Texas A&M University to support shale gas and natural gas exploration, production and monetization activities.

"This initiative will lead to the establishment of a world-class research center advancing natural gas exploration, production, treatment and processing," said Dr. Nimir Elbashir (pictured left), director of Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Gas and Fuels Research Initiative and associate professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M at Qatar. "Several members of this initiative are world-leading scientists in their field. The center will also support the United States shale gas evolution and will be a part of Texas A&M at Qatar's Research Strategic Plan to support Qatar National Vision 2030."

The workshop, sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), aims to explore possible collaborations between academia and industry in this field that is so important to the future of energy in the states and worldwide. Major energy corporations such as Shell and Sasol have also provided funds and support for junior researchers from Qatar to participate in this important workshop and to learn about the potential key role natural gas may play in the energy market.

"Besides the tutorials, this workshop will be leading scientists and researches from industry and academia to share their insight and expertise on the future of natural gas in the energy market and its potential to become a major source of ultra-clean fuels and value-added chemicals," Elbashir said.

Maha Al Mannai, University Collaboration manager at the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre (QSRTC), said, "It is with great pride that Qatar Shell supports young researchers through collaborations with top-class academic institutions, such as Texas A&M at Qatar. We are proud to support the next generation of researchers and uphold our commitment to the Qatar National Vision 2030 that aims to establish a sustainable knowledge-based economy by unlocking the potential of its people."

This workshop will also highlight the importance of Qatar's successful experience in natural gas utilization and the lessons to be learned while boosting the U.S. natural gas role in the fuels and energy market, specifically after the Shale gas discovery. Two short courses in the form of tutorials on the first day will cover topics such as "Natural Gas Monetization: Technology Fundamentals and the Potentials" and "Theoretical and Experimental Evaluation of Natural Gas Properties."

Marjo Louw, country president of Sasol Qatar, said, "We're pleased to support Texas A&M at Qatar on this initiative that highlights the strategic importance of diversifying the monetization of natural gas. Sasol is pleased to be a pioneer in this area, working with Qatar Petroleum on the ORYX GTL plant in Qatar, which is delivering value to the State of Qatar and its people. Additionally, we are delighted to support the attendance of young Qataris who will benefit from access to world-leading scientists and research."

This international endeavor was co-organized by Elbashir and his colleagues Dr. Mahmoud El-Halwagi (pictured right), McFerrin Professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M at College Station, and Dr. Kenneth Hall, the Jack E. and Frances Brown Chair in Chemical Engineering and associate dean for research and graduate studies at Texas A&M at Qatar.

During the two days event, the proposed TEES Gas and Fuels Research Center will be launched and lessons learned from Qatar's experience in natural gas monetization will also be discussed. Qatar is home to the world's largest facilities in gas-to-liquid (GTL) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production, in addition to a well-integrated supply chain of chemicals and petrochemicals.

TEES is an engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System.

About Texas A&M University at Qatar

Texas A&M University, recognized as having one of the premier engineering programs in the world, has offered undergraduate degrees in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering at Qatar Foundation's Education City campus since 2003, and graduate courses in chemical engineering since fall 2011. Over 400 engineers have graduated from Texas A&M at Qatar since 2007. In addition to engineering courses, Texas A&M at Qatar provides classes in science, mathematics, liberal arts and the humanities. All four of the engineering programs offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are accredited by ABET. The curricula offered at Texas A&M at Qatar are materially identical to those offered at the main campus in College Station, Texas, and courses are taught in English in a co-educational setting. The reputation for excellence is the same, as is the commitment to equip engineers to lead the next generation of engineering advancement. Faculty from around the world are attracted to Texas A&M at Qatar to provide this educational experience and to participate in research activities now valued at over $159 million, and that address issues important to the State of Qatar. Visitwww.qatar.tamu.edu.

Have a question? Not finding what you're looking for? Let us get you in touch with the right person.

Fill out the form below or give us a call at (979) 458-1648 to reach us.