The first sod was turned today on Charles Darwin University’s response to the oil and gas expansion in the Northern Territory and to Australia’s north.
Chief Minister Paul Henderson joined CDU Vice-Chancellor Barney Glover to mark the start of construction of the $6 million North Australia Centre for Oil and Gas, a cutting edge research and training facility that will support the developing sector.
With support from the Northern Territory Government and the oil and gas industry, the centre is being built at CDU’s Casuarina campus within the School of Engineering and Information Technology.
CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the centre would be a hub for training and education programs (both on campus and externally through distance learning) together with research capabilities targeted at the specific needs of oil and gas operations and developments in the region.
“Darwin sits adjacent to major offshore gas, oil and condensate reserves and is already a substantial gas processing, supply and service hub for projects off northern and north-western Australia,” Professor Glover said.
“A range of engineering and VET courses relevant to the oil and gas industry are already available at CDU, along with new courses such as the Associate Degree in Process Engineering, designed in consultation with industry.
“The facility will build on these established teaching capabilities and develop a new research focus under the general themes of process engineering and process operations, and maintenance and asset management.”
CDU Engineering lecturer and Deputy Director of the centre Dr Daria Surovtseva said the equipment included one of only two PVT Cells in Australia, putting CDU at the cutting edge of research into CO2 mitigation during oil and gas production and power generation.
“A major research focus of the centre is reservoir and process stream analysis aimed at optimising production of petroleum products,” Dr Surovtseva said. “The associated research areas are gas hydrate formation and control, and CO2 separation and capture.
“The PVT Cell allows petroleum fluids to be studied at varying pressures and temperatures, simulating the conditions in process plant and in oil and gas reservoirs before and during production,” she said.