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Harvey Yarranton

Faculty Listing

Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Harvey Yarranton



(403) 220-6529



NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Heavy Oil Properties and Processing

By measuring and modelling the phase behaviour and properties of heavy oil that has been processed or mixed with solvents, he is providing fluid models for process simulation. His work is enabling the development of processes to recover in situ heavy oil and mineable oil sands bitumen at lower water and energy use.

Harvey Yarranton

Dr. Harvey Yarranton joined the University of Calgary in 1997 and was awarded the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Heavy Oil Properties and Processing in 2010.

He received a BSc in 1985 and a PhD in 1997, both from the University of Alberta. He was a Senior Petroleum Engineer with Amoco Canada Petroleum Co. Ltd. and Dome Petroleum Ltd. (1985-1993). He remains involved in applied reservoir engineering.

Dr. Yarranton is an Associate Editor for the SPE Journal of Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer with APEGA and a member of AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineering), CSChE (Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering), and SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers).

Cross Appointments and Affiliations:

Selected Awards:

  • 2014 – Great Supervisor Award
  • 2013 – Department Graduate Educator Award
  • 2010 – NSERC IRC in Heavy Oil Properties and Processing
  • 2010 – SPE Outstanding Service Award
  • 2008 – ESS Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2006 – Research Excellence Award, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • 2003 – Professor of the Year for Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
  • 2000 – Department Teaching Excellence Award
  • 1998 – CFI New Opportunities Award
Research Activities: 

Dr. Yarranton is pursuing fundamental research in support of the development and operation of solvent-based processes for the recovery of in-situ heavy oil and mineable oil sands. These processes have the potential to increase recovery while reducing water usage and decreasing energy consumption. The development and optimization of these processes is hindered by the current inability to accurately predict the phase behaviour and properties of mixtures of heavy oil and solvent over the wide range of conditions that may be encountered in a process.

Dr. Yarranton’s research targets this knowledge gap and includes the development of oil characterization methodologies, property correlations (such as density, viscosity, and diffusivity), and phase behaviour models required to predict fluid behaviour when different solvents are added to heavy oil. The models and correlations are supported by an extensive experimental program. It is expected that the knowledge gained will improve the simulation of heavy oil in situ and surface processes.

The Asphaltene & Emulsion Research (AER) group is renowned for their experimental contributions and practical correlations for heavy oil properties as well as their contributions to fundamental understanding of asphaltenes and asphaltene stabilized water-in-oil emulsions. Specifically, the group’s research is focused on:

  • Heavy oil characterization
  • Heavy oil and solvent phase behavior
  • Heavy oil and solvent physical properties
  • Asphaltene self-association and precipitation
  • Asphaltene flocculation
  • Interfacial properties of bitumen emulsion systems
  • Bitumen froth treatment

Selected Publications:

Sánchez, M.C., Okafor, J.C., Ortiz, D.P., Schoeggl, F.F., Taylor, S.D., Yarranton, H.W., Density of Mixtures of Native and Reacted Heavy Oil with Solvents, Energy & Fuels, 29, 2015, 29, 3052−3063.

Sánchez, M.C., Schoeggl, F.F., Taylor, S.D., Fulem, M., Yarranton, H.W. Deep Vacuum Fractionation of Heavy Oil and Bitumen: Part 2 Interconversion Method, Energy & Fuels, 28, 2014, 2866-2873.

Motahhari, H., Schoeggl, F.F., Satyro, M.A. Yarranton, H.W., “Viscosity Prediction for Solvent Diluted Live Bitumen and Heavy Oil at Temperatures up to 175°C”, J. Can. Petr. Technol., Sept. 2013, 376-390.

Yarranton, H.W., Ortiz, D.P., Barrera, D.M., Baydak, E.N., Barré, L., Eyssautier, J., Zeng, H., Xu, Z., Dechaine, G., Becerra, M., Shaw, J.M., McKenna, A.M., Mapolelo, M.M., Bohne, C., Yang, Z., Oake, J., “On the Size Distribution of Self-Associated Asphaltenes”, Energy & Fuels, 27, 2013, 5083−5106.

Agrawal, P., Schoeggl, F.F., Satyro, M.A., Taylor, S.D., Yarranton, H.W., “Measurement and Modeling of the Phase Behavior of Solvent Diluted Bitumens”, Fluid Phase Equilibria, 334, 2012, 51–64.


Dr. Yarranton teaches the Oil and Gas Engineering capstone design courses.


PhD, University of Alberta (1985)

BSc, University of Alberta (1997)


Graduate Program Affiliations: 

AER is often reviewing applications for new graduate students in the group.  If you would like to be considered in AER, please send them your CV, a copy of your transcripts and a brief statement of interests.

For new students that have been invited to join AER by Dr. Yarranton, this link may assist with your application process.