Liang receives IOR Pioneer Award

Image-of-Liang,-Jenn-TaiDr. Jenn-Tai Liang, professor and holder of the John E. & Deborah F. Bethancourt Endowed Professorship in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, was selected to receive the prestigious 2016 Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) Pioneer Award.

Liang is one of five recipients and received the award at the 20th Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Improved Oil Recovery Conference held in Tulsa, Oklahoma this month. Liang is the only academic member among the five awardees. His research exemplifies the contributions to pioneering work in the enhanced and improved oil recovery fields within the petroleum sciences made by faculty at top universities.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award from SPE and would like to share this honor with my current and past research team members,” said Liang. “Without their hard work and contributions, I could have never achieved what I have accomplished.”

Liang has made important contributions in several diverse areas of petroleum engineering, including N2 and CO2 extraction of hydrocarbons, use of neural networks, wettability alteration, water shutoff and in-depth conformance control. His current research focus is on developing promising uses of nanotechnology for improved oil recovery applications.

Based on drug-delivery technologies from the pharmaceutical industry, his research group successfully developed chemical delivery systems that use nano drug carriers to protect oilfield chemicals from the hostile underground environments. This is accomplished by delaying the release of entrapped chemicals so that they can be transported to desired locations in the reservoir. Example applications in improved oil recovery include in-depth conformance control, chemical and microbial EOR, flow assurance and hydraulic fracturing fluid cleanup.

Liang has been awarded six U.S. patents with five more pending for his work in nanotechnology. He is currently an SPE distinguished lecturer for the 2015-2016 lecturer season.

The other recipients of the 2016 SPE IOR Pioneer Award include Richard Hutchins, Sada Joshi, Lanny Schoeling and Ali Yousef.