Dr Al Sada opening the Dugutak Core Laboratory

Dr Al Sada opening the Dugutak Core Laboratory

Qatar strengthens ties with Maersk

February 2014

A NEW Dugutak Core Laboratory at the Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre (MO-RTC) in Doha, Qatar, was opened recently by Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed Bin Saleh Al Sada.

The minister also witnessed the signing of a technology cooperation framework agreement between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Maersk Oil.

The laboratory, first of its kind in the Middle East region, will support ongoing applied research efforts in the area of enhanced oil recovery (EOR), particularly in carbonate reservoirs such as Qatar’s Al Shaheen oil field, which is one of the most complex in the world.

It is part of a 10-year $100 million investment by Maersk Oil in applied research in Qatar, focusing on improved oil recovery, enhanced oil recovery and the marine environment.

Dr Al Sada, congratulating Maersk Oil for bringing the Digital Core Laboratory to Qatar, remarked, “Qatar has made a commitment to be a leading centre for research and development, excellence, and innovation. Therefore, research facilities like this play an important role in fulfilling that goal. We are hopeful that the laboratory and the research findings that it will generate will greatly contribute to the future development of Qatar’s energy industry.”

Jakob Thomasen, Maersk Oil’s chief executive officer, said: “Working closely with our partner Qatar Petroleum, Maersk Oil has become specialists in understanding and applying the right technologies to maximise long-term production potential and unlock value from the complex Al Shaheen field. The Maersk Oil Digital Core Laboratory is a world-class facility that further strengthens our commitment to the State of Qatar and to applied research and technology development here in Qatar.” 

By advancing understanding of the mineralogy of Al Shaheen reservoir rocks and of the subsurface chemistry and fluid flow relationship, the Digital Core Laboratory aims to improve enhanced oil recovery success rates.



Researchers at the Digital Core Laboratory use more than 13,000 X-ray images in a computed tomography (CT) scan to make a mathematical reconstruction of carbonate rock samples. The pores of oil-bearing rocks are studied at a minute level, down to a diameter of 40 times less than that of a human hair. When these data results are combined, a 3D image is produced that shows valuable petrophysical and flow-related information.

Dr Al Sada (standing left) at the signing of an agreement between QP and Maersk Oil

The technology cooperation framework agreement signed between the Maersk Oil Research and Technology Centre and the Qatar Petroleum Research & Technology Centre, allows QP to use the Maersk Oil Digital Core Laboratory for individual or joint research activities.

Abdulrahman Al Emadi, head of Maersk Oil’s Research and Technology Centre, said:  “The collaboration agreement builds on Maersk Oil’s close relationship over the past 20 years with Qatar Petroleum, our partner at Al Shaheen, and opens up the Digital Core Laboratory for the greater good of Qatar.”

Dr Nasser Saqer Al Mohannadi, manager of Qatar Petroleum’s Research and Technology Centre, said: “We are delighted to sign the research collaboration agreement as this is an important step in further deepening and enhancing our existing relationship with Maersk Oil and its research team at the Qatar Science and Technology Park.”

In almost every aspect affecting production and ultimate recovery of oil, the Al Shaheen field is one of the world’s most complex carbonate fields. At its Research and Technology Centre, Maersk Oil is committed to the long-term development of the field and, in doing so, contributing to the country’s sustainable development and in achieving the objectives of the Qatar National Vision 2030.



The minister evincing keen interest during his visit to the new laboratory

Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with operated production of about 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Denmark, the UK, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Algeria. Exploration activities are on-going in Angola, Norway, the US Gulf of Mexico, Greenland, Iraqi Kurdistan and in the producing countries. Turning marginal and challenging fields into commercial successes has been the cornerstone of Maersk Oil’s business since 1962. Maersk Oil focuses on pioneering technologies and harnessing talent to continue to operate safely and successfully, creating value for partners and host governments. Maersk Oil is a fully-owned subsidiary of the global conglomerate, the AP Moller-Maersk Group.

In partnership with Qatar Petroleum, Maersk Oil Qatar operates one of the world’s most complex fields, offshore at Al Shaheen. It produces a third of Qatar’s oil. Turning marginal and challenging fields into successes has been the cornerstone of Maersk Oil’s growth since it began in 1962. This is particularly true in Qatar, where Maersk Oil took over the Al Shaheen field in the early 1990s at a time when others walked away. Maersk Oil has now recovered in excess of one billion barrels of oil from the field, which currently produces around 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Success has come from Maersk Oil’s experience, expertise and close relationships.

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