by George Zamora

SOCORRO, N.M., Aug. 18, 2004 – Four new research projects to develop the nation’s oil and gas resources and protect water resources will soon start up at the Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC), a research division of New Mexico Tech, as a result of recently acquired federal funding totaling nearly $4,750,000 which was garnered through the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Two of the PRRC’s million-dollar research projects have a scheduled start date of October 1, 2004, with another beginning on January 1, 2005, while the other starts on April 1, 2005.

The projects, which are all funded for three years, are listed along with their principal investigators as follows:

“Aperture-Tolerant, Chemical-Based Methods to Reduce Channeling,” funded for $1,199,903, principal investigator Randall S. Seright, PRRC senior engineer and section head (October 1, 2004 start date);

“Treating Coal-Bed Methane Produced Water for Beneficial Use by MFI Zeolite Membranes,” funded for $1,140,273, principal investigator Junhang Dong, PRRC researcher and assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at New Mexico Tech (October 1, 2004 start date);

“A Customizable Fuzzy Expert System for Regional and Local Play Analysis,” funded for $1,199,998, principal investigator Robert S. Balch, PRRC scientist and section head (January 1, 2005 start date); and

“Improved Gas Flooding Efficiency,” funded for $1,199,965, principal investigator Reid B. Grigg, PRRC senior scientist and section head (April 1, 2005 start date).