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Berna Hascakir, PhD

I joined Texas A&M University, Petroleum Engineering Department as an assistant professor in April 2012. My BSc and MSc degrees are both from Environmental Engineering and involved experimental work on destabilization of colloids for water and wastewater treatment. I hold a PhD degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. During my PhD, I investigated experimentally, numerically, and analytically the recovery characteristics of heavy oil and oil shale samples with electrical and electromagnetic heating methods. Following my graduation, I have pursued postdoctoral studies in the Energy Resources Engineering Department at Stanford University.

I studied the dynamics of in-situ combustion experimentally using X-Ray computerized tomography, and numerically analyzed relative permeability changes with temperature for cyclic steam injection into diatom reservoirs. Afterwards, I served as a senior heavy oil reservoir engineer at Schlumberger in Venezuela, UK, and Colombia, and as an in-situ combustion consultant at Pacific Rubiales Energy before I joined Texas A&M University.

Our Research Focus:  A sustainable energy future is dependent on continued access to hydrocarbon resources. This largely depends on unlocking unconventional oil resources through enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. Our research goal is to develop an understanding of the complicated fundamental processes involved in EOR techniques, so that these methods have a better chance of successful extraction of “difficult” oil resources when applied in the field. The core focus of our research group is on the recovery characteristics of thick honey-like crude oils that comprise 70% of total world oil reserves. The US contains an estimated 80 billion barrels of this oil type, Texas having the  second largest heavy-oil reserves within the country. These hydrocarbon resources are immobile at reservoir conditions. Mobilization of these resources can be effectively achieved only through the implementation of EOR methods. Thus, my research focus is on the extraction of heavy oil, bitumen, and oil shale with thermal recovery methods, and on the environmental impact and remediation of heavy oil, bitumen, and oil shale extractions. My diverse research and professional background in academia and industry allow an interdisciplinary approach to research.