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Alexander Graham is a Research Associate within the Flow Assurance and Scale Team (FAST) and associated Research and Consultancy output (FASTrac) in the Institute of Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. His research encompasses many aspects of oilfield chemistry and flow assurance however his primary focus is on the formation and inhibition of sulphide scales in static and dynamic systems. This has included the development of practical and analytical techniques to not only determine the reaction mechanisms but also to minimise the related HSE implications of working with highly toxic gas. 

After obtaining a BSc(Hons) Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Alexander undertook a PhD in inorganic/physical chemistry to look at the effect of high pressure on highly porous Metal Organic Framework (MOF) materials. He joined FAST/FASTrac in 2012 and has worked on a number of high-value projects for International Oil Companies and has presented his work to these industry clients and at conference. In 2016, he was awarded the Terje Østvold Best New Presenter Award at SPE Scale Conference and Exhibition. Alexander is also second supervisor for two PhD students looking at sulphide scaling issues for FAST.

Research interests

  • EOR using non-chemical methods
  • Formation and inhibition of sulphide scales
  • Identification of reservoir scavenging minerals and associated scavenging capacities

Alexander Graham’s research has mainly focused on oilfield chemistry, particularly with regards to oilfield scaling and EOR. He has worked on low salinity water-flooding for Enhanced Oil Recovery and determination of formation damage potential. His primary research interests focus on the formation of sulphide scales in aqueous and oil/water systems to determine the factors that control this formation, in the hope of designing better mitigation strategies. More recently, his work has looked at the propagation of aqueous sulphide species through porous media and the interaction between these species with iron-containing minerals and/or clays, in order to determine scavenging mechanisms and capacities.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Responsible for H2S-related activities within FAST Research Group and FAST-rac consultancy activity
  • Teaching and training of staff and students in laboratory testing and interpretation of results
  • Knowledge transfer of research and consultancy results into sponsor companies
  • Training of sponsor company staff in lab procedures and theory
  • Involved in design and development of laboratory test equipment
  • Supervising PhD students


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