Apostolos Kantzas


Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Industrial Research Chair

Fundamentals of Unconventional Resources

Contact information


Office: 403.220.8907

Web presence



Earth Sciences : ES 902A


Introduction to Flow in Porous Media (ENPE 313)

Design for Oil and Gas Engineering I (ENPE 511)

Petroleum Production Engineering (ENPE 531)


Research areas

  • Generation of 3D virtual porous medium
  • Conventional heavy oil
  • Bitumen in oil sands
  • Bitumen in carbonates


The NSERC AITF/i-CORE Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in Modelling Fundamentals of Unconventional Resource at the University of Calgary  is headed by Dr. Apostolos Kantzas. It builds on the outcomes of the CRC in Energy and Imaging. The Chair studies conventional heavy oil (non-thermal recovery processes), bitumen in oil sand (fundamental property identification: wettability, capillary pressure, relative permeability, and dispersion phenomena for steam-bitumen, solvent-bitumen and steam-solvent-bitumen systems) and bitumen in carbonates (comparison to clastics and characterization of multiple porosity systems). The primary objectives have been identified by industry and aligned with public sector priorities:

  • Understand the physics of multiphase flow in unconventional resources (in-situ) using lab experiments to establish data that can be used to validate models. The PI addresses this via a study of geological heterogeneities and the presence of mobile water.
  • Develop models of multiphase flow in unconventional resources at the pore level and then provide opportunities for collaborators to validate their models as well.
  • The lab work will establish the interaction parameters for fluid/fluid and solid/fluid under thermal and thermal/solvent conditions.
  • The resulting models and the application of these models by industry will facilitate industry goals to reduce their CO2 emissions and maximize the injection of GHG for oil and gas recovery processes.
  • Industry and collaborators will use the data and the modeling outcomes to further their own goals both in R&D and in the recovery of energy resources in Canada.

There are three secondary objectives:

  • Invent and commercialize proper tools that support core analysis with simultaneous visualization in a 300oC+ environment.
  • Identify, prove and/or invent and commercialize new technologies for unconventional resource development and these will be identified as the work progresses.
  • Foster the development of a knowledge-based entrepreneurial culture via the training of highly qualified personnel who are exposed to skill transfer between industry academia and government.

Kantzas held the CRC in Energy and Imaging for the past ten years and had supplementary funding from a consortium (established 2001) of oil and gas companies, who have participated for 10 years. The CRC tenure ended in 2011. As the Chair of this program, the PI fosters opportunities for sharing outcomes from interrelated areas of work by opening bimonthly and annual technical presentations to these various groups and programs. Due to the fundamental nature of this research the overall scientific quality of the research around unconventional energy resources is enhanced through this technology transfer process.


NSERC Industrial Research Chair/AITF Industry Chair in Modelling Fundamentals of Unconventional Resources

The Chair program is focused on understanding of the physics of multiphase flow in porous media in three main areas: conventional heavy oil, bitumen in oil sand, and bitumen in carbonates.

This program will improve field exploration, development, recovery and production methods and strategies, as well as provide information, technology, and fundamental concepts essential for enhancement of the recovery of unconventional resources, integrating research and innovation into industry by providing them with graduates who have experience that can be used to solve practical problems.

Dr. Kantzas received a Dipl. Eng. in chemical engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in 1982. He continued his education with an MASc and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1985 and 1988, respectively.

Dr. Kantzas is a professional engineer with APEGA and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), the Petroleum Society of CIM, CSChE, AIChE, and SCA. He has authored or co-authored over 350 technical papers and over 500 technical reports.

Cross appointments and affiliations:

  • Director, Tomographic Imaging and Porous Media Laboratory (TIPM Lab) – Now PERM Inc.
  • PI (Principal Investigator), Industrial Research Chair in Fundamentals of Unconventional Resources (FUR IRC)


Selected publications

Mohammadmoradi, P., Taheri, S., and Kantzas, A., “Petro-physical Characterization of Porous Media Starting from Micro-tomographic Images”, submitted, Advances in Water Resources, 94, 200-216, 2016.

Bashtani, F., Maini, B. and Kantzas, A., “Single-phase and Two-phase Flow Properties of Mesaverde Tight Sandstone Formation; Random-Network Modeling Approach”, submitted, Advances in Water Resources, 94, 174-184, 2016.

Behrang, A. Taheri, S., Mohammadmoradi, P. and Kantzas, A., “A Theoretical Study on the Permeability of Tight Media; Effects of Slippage and Condensation”, submitted, Fuel, 181, 610-617, 2016.

Behrang, A., Taheri, S., Etemad, S. and Kantzas, A., “A hybrid Approach on Predicting the Effective Thermal Conductivity of Porous and Nano-porous Media”, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 98, 52-59, 2016.

Alreshedan, F., Kantzas, A., “Sensitivity Analysis for the Effect of Pore Structure and Geometry on Petrophysical and Electrical Properties of Tight Media Based on Random Network Modeling”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Technology, 6(1), 28-45, 2015.


Selected awards

2003 – Department Research Award, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

2001 – Awarded a prestigious Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Energy and Imaging

2000 – Department Research Excellence Award