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Faculty member at Texas A&M at Qatar part of innovative research project to detect leaks in underground carbon storage.

Published Aug 30, 2022

Dr. Aziz Rahman, associate professor in Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University at Qatar, will lead a prestigious research project working on an innovative project that combines machine learning to help detect leaks during underground carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, helping reduce their environmental and economic impacts. This project is supported by Qatar National Research Fund.

Academics from Texas A&M University at Qatar are working with researchers at Qatar University, Teesside University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, and Texas A&M University (US). Qatargas and Schlumberger are the industrial partners for this project in Qatar.

In addition to the machine learning approach, the research team will also deploy a novel ‘digital twin’ for leak detection during single-phase (petroleum or gas) and multi-phase (multi-material) flow during transport and injection of carbon dioxide into the underground reservoir. This involves creating a virtual representation of a pipeline that is updated in real-time via a network of sensors mounted and installed in the real gas pipelines.

By using computational fluid dynamics, in which artificial intelligence simulates the flow of liquids and gases, the team hopes to accurately predict the likelihood and location of leaks in both single-phase and multi-phase flows.

Rahman said: “The aim of the funded project is to develop a multi-phase leak detection model and visualization tool that can be used by industry and that integrates machine learning and digital twin technology.

“The development of this technology in a country like Qatar, which is predominantly oil and gas powered, will present a unique opportunity for greater efficiencies in oil and gas transportation, resulting in lower capital and energy costs and savings of millions of dollars per year leads. The research that is undertaken at Texas A&M at Qatar often aims to find solutions that can help Qatar tackle its own grand challenges in energy and environment, while also having global applications.”