The Centre of Excellence for Oilfield Chemicals Research (CEFOR), University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), promotes research network on home-grown and regional oilfield chemicals required for drilling, well completion and production, to achieve optimum oil and gas recovery. Currently, billions of dollars are spent, annually, in the Gulf of Guinea for the importation of chemicals for petroleum exploitation, while numerous natural resources are locally available in Nigeria and other African countries that can be successfully processed and used for these operations. Therefore, CEFOR is committed to developing technologies for locally sourced oilfield chemicals that will improve profit margin, build human capacity and create jobs for national development. The Centre also aims to strengthen human capacity by serving as a training hub for the Oil and Gas industry and also fill the gaps in labour market demands for skills within the specialised areas in the industry. CEFOR also plans to increase capabilities of faculties and students in Africa through quality postgraduate education, knowledge transfer and internship programmes. In addition to these, the Centre runs short courses in Petroleum Engineering and related disciplines and also undertakes consultancy services in the Oil and Gas industry.
To achieve its mandate, CEFOR has gone into partnership with relevant organisations in the Oil and Gas industry such as Addax E & P, which has pledged to sponsor Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) research in the Centre and to fund the research with scholarship for 12 Ph.D students. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has provided the Centre with laboratory and equipment for drilling fluid and Cement testing and will sponsor research for drilling fluid formation as well as internship for CEFOR Ph.D students.
On academic activities at the Centre, Fugro Nigeria Limited will sponsor Ph. D students/internship; Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF) will sponsor research and Ph.D programmes, while the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) has endowed a Professorial Chair and designated the Centre as cluster for Oilfield Chemicals Research. Other companies such as LASER, POCEMA, Nigerian Refinery and Petrochemical Company and Indorama, among others, have pledged to provide their laboratories for research and internship spaces for M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of the Centre.
The first admission into the doctoral programmes of the Centre was coordinated by the Institute of Petroleum Studies, under CEFOR, in 2014. Out of the 128 candidates that applied, 108 were invited for interview and 69 were finally admitted. CEFOR conducted an orientation programme for the successful students to enlighten them on the expectations, nature and modalities of the Ph.D programmes. It also afforded the faculty and intended supervisors to interact with the pioneer students. A breakdown of the students, admitted at the time of this report, indicated that the Faculty of Sciences has 39 students, HSE 31, Petroleum Engineering 25, Chemical Engineering 16, Petroleum Geosciences 14 and three international students from Ghana.