UTulsa professor speaks on pioneering energy transition in Bahrain - The University of Tulsa
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UTulsa professor speaks on pioneering energy transition in Bahrain

Photograph of Mohan KelkarThe University of Tulsa’s (UTulsa) Mohan Kelkar, Ph.D., Chair of Petroleum Engineering, recently traveled to the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies to speak on energy transition. The audience, which included business representatives, local oil companies and engineering associations, discussed imperative issues such as fossil fuels and the role of petroleum engineers in energy transition. 

Kelkar’s career spans over 40 years, making his expertise vital to his field.  “I believe that we have an obligation to inform people about how difficult the energy transition is going to be and how long the usage of fossil fuels will continue. This was just the first step,” he said.  

There is a global transition towards cleaner energy, which will create mass opportunities for petroleum engineers. Gas companies play a vital role in this as they have extensive human capital, such as petroleum engineers, who can apply their knowledge towards cleaner energy production. 

“Ultimately, their knowledge of the subsurface can be utilized in other energy transition applications such as carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, which requires an understanding of how to design injection wells and how the plume of CO2 will travel in the reservoir once captured,” Kelkar said.  

UTulsa’s North Campus facilities will be the epicenter for groundbreaking CO2 management research, working to reduce CO2 emissions and identifying ways to make the extraction process more efficient.  

The future of energy transition will require significant infrastructure development and policy-driven decisions to achieve net zero carbon emissions. An example would be the Oklahoma Carbon Sequestration Enhancement Act of 2009, which regulated underground injection of captured CO2 and ensured safe storage.  

“It is quite possible that, essentially, the Gulf can become a place where CO2 will come from different places and be stored underground permanently,” Kelkar added.