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Saskatchewan Research Council launches volatile materials expansion project at research facility

The Pipe Flow Technology Centre at the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) is now one of Canada's first research facilities equipped to test conditions with volatile materials such as crude oil in a high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) physical model.

SRC expanded an existing specially-designed building at the Centre to accommodate research on light and heavy crude oils and refined petroleum products, all of which are flammable and require special equipment for safe storage and handling. The facility has been equipped with a 100mm diameter pipe flow loop designed to simulate industrial conditions. The loop will be used to research the flow of complex mixtures in pipes under HPHT conditions.

With the new research capabilities that the expansion has provided, the Centre can now test a wider range of substances and help the provincial, and national, oil and gas industry enhance oil recovery, reduce operating costs and improve processes.

'The expansion to SRC's Pipe Flow Technology Centre will enable industry to test new ideas and solve current problems with effectively designed solutions,' says Dr Laurier Schramm, President and CEO of SRC. 'The Centre has been in business for over 55 years now and it's well-known for providing world-class service offerings. This expansion has increased the Centre's capabilities even further.'

The expansion will formally be known as the Shook-Gillies HPHT Test Facility in honour of two pioneers in the area of slurry testing and research who were cornerstone contributors to SRC's Pipe Flow Technology Centre over the past 55 years, Dr Clifton Shook and Dr Randall Gillies.

The federal and provincial governments jointly invested $1.73 million (€1.49 million) through the Canada-Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) for this project. SRC contributed a further $1.46 million.

SRC's Pipe Flow Technology Centre is acknowledged as an international leader in its field and has collaborated with Canadian and international clients on a range of ground-breaking pipeline and fluid mechanics applications.

Visit SRC's website for images of the project here.