Ashok Khurana

Ashok Khurana

Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Resources

Division of Research and Innovation

Professor Ashok Kumar Khurana PhD, DIC, FIEAust (Ex), SPE Distinguished Member is an honorary adjunct professor in the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Resources at the University of Adelaide. His current research focus is on energy transition.

Professor Khurana has held a number of positions in academia and industry across more than 50 years. He has been a consultant and technical advisor to Petronas, involved in all aspects of oil and gas field development and management of Petronas’s extensive worldwide portfolio. Professor Khurana was also General Manager, Petroleum Development, Planning and Environmental Affairs with Santos, responsible for all petroleum development and environmental management for the Santos Group, and a member of the Development Committee responsible for mergers and acquisitions. He is also an ex-director of Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) International representing the Asia Pacific Region, Distinguished Member of SPE and has been recognised in Who’s Who in Australian Science and Engineering. Professor Khurana has provided consulting and industry education services worldwide including to Petronas, EMEPMI, Petro Vietnam, CNOC China and MOGE Myanmar.

He has maintained a close involvement with the University of Adelaide since 1998, including as a former Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the Australian School of Petroleum. During this time, he developed the curriculum, established and taught (in part) the Master of Petroleum Business Management and Leadership Development programs. He has also worked at the University of New South Wales, Curtin University and CSIRO as a professor, lecturer and researcher.

Professor Khurana also supports several philanthropic causes, including sponsorship of annual Master’s scholarships in Arts, Science and Engineering and Music Performance at The University of Adelaide in perpetuity and at Amity University, India.

Some academic career highlights include:
- Assisting with the establishment of the Petroleum Engineering Department at Imperial College, London.
- Developing the curriculum for undergraduate degree programs at Imperial College, London, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Curtin University, Perth and the University of Adelaide.
- Serving on the Advisory Boards of the Australian School of Petroleum, Heriot Watt University and University of Strathclyde.
- Being a member of the advisory board of the School of Petroleum Engineering, UNSW, Sydney.
- Being involved with developing a landmark solution to predicting the behaviour of Bubble Formation from Submerged Orifices at Intermediate Conditions, still being used widely in the chemical process industry, as a researcher in chemical engineering at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Some industry career highlights include:
- Supervising the evaluation of High Rate Tests and Gas Injection Pilots in the Upper Zakum Reservoir in Abu Dhabi for ZADCO and evaluating Shell’s drilling efficiency in Oman on behalf of the Omani government.
- Consulting activities including technical evaluation of the Gas Development Potential of Papua New Guinea for export as LNG or by pipeline to Australia on behalf of the PNG Government, determination of Residual Gas Saturation and evaluation of the development potential of Maui Oil and Gas reservoirs (New Zealand) and the Maharaja Lela field ( Brunei) on behalf of Fletcher Challenge Energy.
- Independent industry consultation and advisory services provided to several Australian, New Zealand and Asian petroleum companies as well as to the United Nations. Advisory projects included an evaluation of Research Institution Building projects in India on behalf of the United Nations, plus acting as expert witness as well as judicial referee in legal disputes relating to the oil industry.
- Consulting and educational activities conducted in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar and India with clients including BHPP, Esso Malaysia, Petronas Carigali, FCE New Zealand and Brunei, Usaha Tegas Sdn. Bhd., APN/Goldwater, MOGE, Petroconsultants, Worley Engineering, Supreme Court of NSW, Arthur Robinson and Hedderswick and Minter Ellison.

Fostering social acceptance of future fuels in Australia (2021-2024) - FND000659: Future Fuels CRC Project Agreement
Understanding the critical dynamic between information, communication, community and social acceptance of future fuels represents a significant contribution to new knowledge and to the wider goals of the Future Fuels CRC. It pushes our understanding beyond analysis of publicly available media texts/discourses towards the underlying contextual factors that drive and shape their creation. Through long-term (12-months) community based fieldwork, anthropologists seek to understand community level contradictions; for example – why a community member or stakeholder may both support Australia’s reduction in CO2 emissions but simultaneously reject future fuels that will set Australia on path to reduce CO2 emissions to sustainable levels. This research, over the period 2021-2024, uniquely contributes to assisting industry with its goals. If industry can better understand how to influence public perceptions and social acceptance of future fuels in Australia, then the current resistance to uptake of future fuels might be overcome. Such an outcome would solidify new opportunities for development and expansion of future fuels throughout Australia. A key output of the research is in-depth knowledge and understanding of appropriate forms, methods and content that industry needs to employ when engaging with local communities about future fuels. This knowledge will be developed in collaboration with industry – ensuring alignment between practice and outcome. This involvement is one key means by which industry will be guided to adopt recommendations resulting from project outputs for application of new knowledge through changes in practice. Outputs include:
• Research Report(s) for Industry
• Presentations at academic conferences
• Publication in academic journals
• Media coverage
• Industry Presentations
• Meetings with State and Federal Policy Makers
• Completed PhD
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 - 2022 Honorary Adjunct Professor, Centre for Global Food and Resources and Research Program Director of Climate Change and Energy Transition University of Adelaide
    2006 - 2020 Technical and Management Advisor Petronas and Petronas Carigali
    2002 - 2006 Professor of Petroleum Engineering University of Adelaide
    1998 - 2001 General Manager, Petroleum Development, Planning and Environmental Affairs Santos
    1998 - 1998 Professor of Petroleum Engineering Curtin University
    1992 - 1998 Professor of Petroleum Engineering University of New South Wales
    1992 - 1998 Technical and management consultant, education and technical auditor/reviewer Oil industry/various organisations and companies
    1992 - 1997 APCRC Professor of Petroleum Engineering University of New South Wales
    1992 - 1994 Manager Drilling and Wellbore Engineering APCRC/CSIRO
    1985 - 1992 Technical Division Manager Esso Exploration and Production UK Ltd (EEPUK)
    1980 - 1985 Reservoir Engineering Manager Esso/BHPP
    1979 - 1980 Supervising Engineer Resevoir Development Group, Esso/BHPP
    1977 - 1979 Acting Production Engineering Supervisor Production Engineering Group
    1973 - 1977 Staff Reservoir Engineer Esso/BHHP
    1972 - 1973 Evaluator South Australian Deparment of Mines
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    Indian Institute of Science India BE in Electrical Technology
    University of Birmingham United Kingdom Postgraduate Diploma in Petroleum Production Engineering
    University of Jabalpur India BSc in Physics and Mathematics
    1968 - 1971 Imperial College London United Kingdom PhD
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2008 Khurana, A., & Al-Harthy, M. H. (2008). Portfolio Optimization: Part 1—The Modelling Approach of Inter- and Intra-dependencies. Energy Sources Part B-Economics Planning and Policy, 3(4).
    2008 Khurana, A., & Al-Harthy, M. H. (2008). 21) 'Portfolio Optimization: Part 2—An Application of Oil Projects with Inter- and Intra-dependencies. Energy Sources Part B-Economics Planning and Policy, 3(4).
    1998 Khurana, A., Chen, H., & Wall, C. G. (1998). Nucleation of Gas Bubbles in Surface Irregularities. Chemical Engineering Communications.
    1997 Khurana, A., Hillis, R. R., & Crosby, D. G. (1997). A Modified Fracture Gradient Relation and its Application to East Texas and the Timor Sea. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal.
    1996 Khurana, A., & Xu, D. H. (1996). A Simple and Efficient Approach for Improving the Prediction of Reservoir Fluid Viscosity. SPE, October(37011).
    1996 Khurana, A., Yang, Z., Tamhane, D., Crosby, D. G., & Jones, M. (1996). Retrograde Condensation or Water Imbibition? A Case Study of Gas Well Productivity Decline Before and After Hydraulic Fracturing. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal.
    1996 Khurana, A. (1996). Horizontal Wells: A Status Review. Improved Oil Recovery Monitor Q3.
    1996 Khurana, A. (1996). Thin Oil Columns: Opportunities or Headaches?. Improved Oil Recovery Monitor Q4.
    1995 Khurana, A., Crosby, D. G., Tamhane, D., Yang, Z., & Kuuskraa, V. A. (1995). A Review of the US Tight Gas Industry from the Perspective of Selected Australian and New Zealand Basins. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, April.
    1990 Khurana, A. (1990). Profitable Development of Marginal Reserves. European Oil and Gas Magazine, March/April.
    1989 Khurana, A., & Edwardes, R. J. (1989). New Developments in Bass Strait - the Low Cost Challenge. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Journal.
    1984 Khurana, A., Henzell, S. T., & Young, A. A. (1984). Reservoir Simulation of the Gippsland Basin Aquifer System. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, April.
    1980 Khurana, A., Thornton, R. C. N., Burns, B. J., & Rigg, A. J. (1980). The Fortescue Field - New Oil in the Gippsland Basin. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, March.
    1979 Khurana, A., & Irrgang, H. R. (1979). Simultaneous Drilling and Production on Offshore Platforms. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, March.
    1977 Khurana, A., & Woods, E. G. (1977). Pseudofunctions for Water Coning in a Three-Dimensional Reservoir Simulator. SPE Journal.
    1976 Khurana, A. (1976). Influence of Tidal Phenomena on Interpretation of Pressure Build-up and Pulse Tests. Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Journal, April.
    1971 Khurana, A., & Wall, C. G. (1971). Saturation: Permeability Relationships at Low Gas Saturations. JIP, September.
    1969 Khurana, A., & Kumar, R. (1969). Studies in Bubble Formation - Part III. Chemical Engineering Science, 24.
    1968 Khurana, A., Wall, C. G., & Smart, M. J. (1968). Visual Model Studies of Gas Phase Behaviour. JIP.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2006 Khurana, A., Balnaves, C., Herweijer, J., Irrgang, H. R., Lammerink, W., & Palmer, I. D. (2006). Adding Value to Oil and Gas Fields Through Systematic Full Field Reviews. Poster session presented at the meeting of SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition.
    1990 Khurana, A. (1990). An Oil Company View of North Sea Development. Poster session presented at the meeting of International Energy Economics Conference. Energy Economics Centre, University of Surrey.

Connect With Me