Photo: Hung Ngo

interview with an IRIS reseacher

Name: John F. Zuta
Age: 42
Position: Senior Research Scientist at IRIS petroleum laboratory (Improved Oil Recovery)

Ph.D in Petroleum Engineering from University of Stavanger; MSc. (Eng) in Oil and gas technology – topside Engineering from Aalborg University, Denmark; BSc (Hons.) in Geology and Chemistry from the University of Ghana, Legon
IRIS Energy - Department: Improved Oil Recovery/Petrophysics

What inspired you to become a scientist?
My parents say as a child, I was so curious that I often ripped up my toys to find out why they moved or squeaked. I believe it is the curiosity in finding out how things work around us, which inspired me to be a scientist. Now that I am a scientist, the thing that continues to inspire me being one is that fact, through my work, I can make significant contributions in advancing scientific research no matter how small.

What do you like/dislike about your job?
I am grateful for the conducive working environment at IRIS. I have been given the opportunity to work with different projects and I like the challenges and sometimes the pressure that each of them brings. I also like doing different tasks such as working not only with my brain but also with my hands in the laboratory, all toward the goal of understanding a reservoir’s problem and hopefully help in finding the answer to it. What I dislike? I hate Monday morning meetings! (oops, did I say that out loud?).

What are you working on right now?
I am currently working with tasks related to screening of improved oil recovery (IOR) methods and potential applications on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) at the IOR Centre. I believe the knowledge gained through the study will enable us improve the oil recovery efficiency on the NCS and help achieve the IOR center’s goal of reaching an oil recovery factor of 70% on the NCS. I work also with Petrophysics– analyses and interpretation of special core analysis (SCAL) data as well as reporting.

What has been your best IRIS-moment so far?
My best moment so far was coming back to IRIS after almost two and half years in exile in Denmark. I realized that it is seldom that one finds such a good working environment – both professionally and socially - as at IRIS. Thereafter, meeting with HE President John Mahama of Ghana at IRIS. Never did it cross my mind that I will one day meet the President of Ghana in Norway. I still remember the president asking for my business card and taking a picture together. Unfortunately, I did not get the selfie!
I look forward to many best-IRIS moments in the future.