ExxonMobil Qatar recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of its research centre with a special event held at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
The event was attended by ExxonMobil Qatar’s partners, key government officials and community leaders.
ExxonMobil Research Qatar (EMRQ), established in 2009 at QSTP, is one of the science and technology hub’s first anchor tenants. The research centre was created to support Qatar’s research, safety, water reuse, geology and environmental efforts and help fulfil the objectives of its National Vision 2030.
EMRQ scientists and researchers -- together with the Ministry of Municipality & Environment (MME), Qatar University (QU), Qatar Petroleum (QP), Qatargas (QG) and others - have been advancing key research in the areas of environmental management, water reuse, LNG safety and modern geology, ExxonMobil Qatar has stressed in a press statement.
Over the years, EMRQ’s experts have successfully developed new concepts and projects that have benefitted the oil and gas industry in Qatar and around the world, while safeguarding the country’s unique environment and marine life.
Alistair Routledge, ExxonMobil Qatar president and general manager, and Dr Mohamed al-Sulaiti, EMRQ’s research director, welcomed guests to the event and spoke about the importance and significance of the occasion for ExxonMobil, as well as the centre’s commitment to serving the local community and building a strong research presence nationally and internationally.
“As a longstanding member of the local community, ExxonMobil is advancing technologies through our research centre to support Qatar’s sustainable development and environmental protection efforts - as well as its thriving LNG industry,” said Routledge. "Together with our partners, we will continue to push the boundaries of science to deliver innovative solutions that will help build Qatar’s sustainable future.”
On his part, Dr al-Sulaiti said: “I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished at ExxonMobil Research Qatar over the past decade towards protecting Qatar’s marine environment, advance water reuse, improve workplace safety and understanding Qatar’s coastline.
“Since 2009, scientists and researchers at our centre have successfully developed new concepts and projects that have benefited the oil and gas industry in Qatar and around the world. We will continue to generate new knowledge and engage with local and international partners to help achieve Qatar National Vision 2030 and create a better future for our community."
Some of EMRQ’s key projects over the past decade include the following:
EMRQ’s first project in 2009, which focused on the marine environment of the Qatari coastline. Also in the same year, EMRQ began a comprehensive, multiyear, QR7mn research programme to investigate the potential effects from the seawater used at Ras Laffan and returned to the Gulf sea.
A 2010 memorandum of understanding (MoU) with QU to further academic excellence through human capital investment, innovative technology and research and development. EMRQ also announced the extension of its commitment to QSTP with a total investment of more than QR218mn through 2014.
In 2012, EMRQ announced two new technology advancements developed to enhance safety and environmental performance associated with liquefied natural gas production and transport. In the same year, QU and EMRQ announced a 12-month, QR2.2mn study as part of the water reuse research programme to develop technologies that will utilise industrial water in ways that are beneficial to Qatar.
In 2013, EMRQ partnered with RasGas to pilot the single sensor version of the IntelliRed Remote Gas Detection technology at Ras Laffan - a |first of its kind| in the Middle East. Also that year, EMRQ partnered with the Qatar Petroleum Research and Technology Centre to test multi-user functionalities in 3D immersive environments.
In 2014, EMRQ’s achievements included a partnership with QU and Texas A&M at Galveston, with support from the Private Engineering Office and the MME, to further environmental research and marine mammal initiatives in order to address the issue of preservation of dugongs - large, long-living herbivorous marine mammals found in Qatar’s coastal waters.
In 2018, the EMRQ team drafted a dugong management plan in an effort to advocate for a national conservation strategy, and the plan was submitted to the MME.
In more recent years, two technologies were licensed, and a patent awarded to Providence (Quantitative Optical Gas Imaging technology and Eon Reality Advanced 3D Immersive Training). EMRQ also built an environmental toxicity component to the previously developed hydrodynamic fate and transport model within the GEMSS framework. In 2016, EMRQ developed a groundwater hydrodynamic, chemical fate and distribution model in response to a request by Qatargas.
The centre also developed a habitat map in 2015 for the entire Qatari peninsula’s nearshore environment, Khor Al Adaid and Halul Island. This project is still ongoing, as is a study developed in 2016 to identify the potential for sedimentation from related construction activities that negatively impact habitats, and a sedimentation model that was developed for use in construction activity planning.
Currently, EMRQ has started a collaboration with QU to perform an ecological baseline assessment on the Corniche, as well as a study of the ecological status of Khor Al Adaid.