PTRC Signs Agreements on Sensor Research, CCS Cooperation in The Netherlands

March 6, 2012
(original press release on the PTRC website)

On March 5th and 6th a delegation from Saskatchewan – headed by the Honorable Rob Norris (Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration) and including Dr. Malcolm Wilson (CEO of the Regina-based Petroleum Technology Research Centre), Mr. Mike Monea (President of Carbon Capture and Storage Initiatives with SaskPower) and Mr. Jerome Konecsni (CEO of Innovation Saskatchewan) – was in The Hague, the Netherlands for meetings with different companies and research organizations leading to the signing of agreements in the areas of enhanced oil recovery and carbon capture and storage (CCS) research.

The PTRC – current manager of the largest CO2 storage project in the world with the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas Programme Weyburn-Midale CO2 Monitoring and Storage Project – is also a world leader at improving recovery rates and environmental impacts of oil production particularly in difficult-to-access deposits like heavy and tight oil formations. Two of the key meetings in the Netherlands were with officials from CATO-2 (a research consortium of some 40 partners conducting carbon capture and storage R&D in the Netherlands) and INCAS3, a not-for profit company established to develop Dutch sensors that could have significant impacts on oil recovery in Canada and globally.

At a ceremony hosted at the Official Residence of the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands on March 5th, Minister Norris and Dr. Wilson signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with INCAS3 towards the creation of a not-for-profit company to develop and deploy micro-sensor technology to the oil industry.

“The research being conducted by the PTRC and INCAS3 could have significant implications for the oil industry in Canada, and in particular Saskatchewan. The cooperation is a great example of two not-for-profit companies sharing knowledge and expertise to solve key industrial and environmental issues,” said Mr. James Lambert, the Canadian Ambassador to the Netherlands. “As in many other industries where our institutions and companies work collaboratively, both countries can benefit from the research and improvements initiatives of this nature bring.”

“Through this new Canadian/Dutch company we have the opportunity to apply our expertise to challenging measurement problems, like oil reservoir charting, in an environment that provides the ultimate test for the robustness and reliability of our sensor systems”, says John van Pol, Managing Director of INCAS³.

March 6th saw the signing of a second MOU between CATO-2, the University of Utrecht, the PTRC and University of Regina at the head offices of TNO (the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) in Delft. TNO is the organization that manages the CATO consortium. The MOU covers a wide variety of potential collaborations related to CCS, from exchange of graduate students and researchers, to sharing of research results and collaborative projects.

“Linking the PTRC’s world-class research into carbon storage and enhanced oil recovery with two organizations in Europe that offer potential solutions to major challenges in Saskatchewan in particular is a win-win situation for both Canadian and Dutch researchers,” noted Dr. Wilson, “and of course the PTRC has a wealth of knowledge to share with our colleagues in Europe about the successful implementation of CCS projects.”

Dr. Jan Brouwer of CATO-2 concurred.

“Whereas climate skepticism seems to be the buzz-word nowadays, it is good to see that some countries take their responsibility and invest in technology development that will help us in the transition to a clean and sustainable society. I welcome the cooperation between PTRC and CATO and trust that the formalization of such cooperation through signing an MOU will encourage interaction of, and be beneficial to, R&D communities in both countries.”

About the Organizations


TNO is an independent innovation organisation. TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that sustainably boost the competitive strength of industry and the welfare of society.

TNO’s more than 4000 professionals work on practicable knowledge and solutions for the problems of global scarcity. TNO focuses its efforts on seven themes including Energy Through Innovations. TNO is working to ensure a sustainable, efficient and secure energy supply.


CATO-2 is the Dutch national R&D programme for CO2 capture, transport and storage in which a consortium of nearly 40 partners cooperate. The CATO-2 programme is a demand driven R&D programme and focuses on facilitating and enabling integrated development. This means that government and industries set the priorities within the research programme: the ‘problem owners’ are leading. The core of the CATO-2 programme consists of 11 sites that each offer opportunities for applied research on CCS.


INCAS³ is an independent, non‐profit research institute founded in 2008 to create a bridge between basic knowledge and the practical applicability of sensor systems. INCAS³ focuses on the reliability, reduction of energy usage and the applicability of sensor systems in open environments. The research is carried out on its premises in Assen by doctoral students, postdocs and senior scientists in combination with a team of excellent engineers.

INCAS³ is co‐financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Province of Drenthe, the European Fund for Regional Development and the Municipality of Assen.


The PTRC is a not‐for‐profit research and development company founded in 1998 that directs world‐leading scientific and engineering research into hydrocarbon energy production and carbon storage. Located in Regina Saskatchewan, the PTRC uses R&D to advance and support the recovery of western Canada’s rich but often difficult to access and monetize oil resources. Its Business‐Led Network of Centres of Excellence in enhanced oil recovery (STEPS network) is expanding its research from heavy oil to tight and conventional oil as well as extra‐heavy resources like oil sands.


Yvonne van den Berg
yvonnevandenberg (at)
+31 (592) 860000