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Software gift to benefit engineering programs


Fairbanks, Alaska—A $1.6 million software donation to the University of Alaska Fairbanks petroleum engineering department will allow students to learn on the same programs they will use in the workplace.

The gift from Edinburgh-based Petroleum Experts includes 10 copies of a suite of six programs, along with the network license required to run the programs at UAF.

The software allows the oil and gas industry to model oil reservoirs, wells and pipeline networks in an integrated way, according to Shirish Patil, professor of petroleum engineering at UAF. This practice is known as “integrated production modeling, or IPM, within the oil and gas industry.

“The IPM suite models the reservoir, the production and injection wells and the surface gathering system. Multiple reservoirs, naturally and artificially lifted wells, plus single and looped surface pipeline networks can be handled in an integrated way,” Patil said. “UAF petroleum engineering undergraduate and graduate students will be able to use the software in their class projects as well as for their senior capstone design projects, while learning state-of-the-art software.”

Oil companies use models to make production forecasts for existing oilfields and in the development of new fields, Patil said. “For new fields, models may help development by identifying the number of wells required, the optimal completion of wells, the present and future needs for artificial lift, and the expected production of oil, water and gas.”

Petroleum Experts is a petroleum engineering company with offices in Texas, Scotland and China. The company developed the IPM software to improve the efficiency of oil and gas fields. The software is used by more than 350 oil and gas companies.

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