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CALGARY - September 23, 2004

The Alberta Research Council Inc. (ARC) is applying Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology to provide novel reservoir rock analysis for oil and gas exploration. Magnetic resonance images offer a detailed look inside rock samples brought from deep underground. Currently, ARC is expanding its MRI service to include rock samples obtained from coalbed methane and shale gas reservoirs in Canada.

"MRI technology provides incredible detail about the fractures and pore space in rock samples in a non-destructive way," says Dr. Leslie Randall of ARC's Conventional Oil and Natural Gas business unit. Located at ARC's Calgary facility in the University Research Park, the MRI is one of only a handful in the world that offers services to the oil and gas industry.

Since launching the service in 1991, the group has continually enhanced its capabilities. "We have designed test vessels that permit us to monitor the flow of fluids or gases at elevated temperatures and pressures; similar to those observed in the reservoir," says Randall. "We've also developed our own software for analyzing the MRI data and for modeling the reservoir processes.

"The imaging possibilities of this tool are very exciting," he says. "We are responding to the market, by developing products for Alberta's growing unconventional gas exploration market."

ARC's Conventional Oil and Gas business unit works with clients to increase recovery from conventional oil and natural gas fields, and to reduce the operating and environmental costs associated with production in these fields. Researchers develop and apply enhanced oil and gas recovery techniques, such as CO2 enhanced oil recovery, foam flooding, relative permeability alteration, and other techniques. These research services are available to oil and gas producers on a fee-for-service basis, as well as through participation in joint industry projects.

The Alberta Research Council develops and commercializes technologies to give clients a competitive advantage. A leader in innovation, ARC provides solutions globally to the energy, life sciences, agriculture, environment, forestry and manufacturing sectors. In energy, we collaborate with industry and government to develop advanced technologies that enhance the efficient use of global energy resources while maintaining the highest standards of environmental protection.
 

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Note to videographers and photo editors:

Photos or video footage of ARC's MRI facility can be arranged by contacting:

Bernie Poitras
Corporate Relations
Alberta Research Council Inc.
Edmonton, AB
Tel: (780) 450-5145

For technical information, contact:

Dr. Leslie Randall
Alberta Research Council Inc.
Calgary, AB
Tel: (403) 210-5293