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ABERDEEN - CURTIN ALLIANCE JOINT PHD OPPORTUNITY:- Electrokinetic measurements in intact core samples at reservoir conditions with the application to enhanced oil recovery via miscible CO2 injection

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  • Full or part time
    Dr J Vinogradov
    Dr D Vega-Maza
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

An increasing need for energy sources combined with depletion of conventional oil reserves raises a challenge for the oil and gas industry to improve hydrocarbon recovery. At the same time, there exists a demand to sequester CO2 to combat climate change. The world’s needs for energy and preservation of environment can be assisted by the implementation of one synergistically combined process: Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) using injection of miscible CO2 with its further subsurface storage. At present, however, the approaches to EOR are empirical as there is a lack of fundamental understanding about the complex physics of mineral-fluid interaction and its response to dynamic processes.

The aim of this project is to improve the current understanding of underlying physics of rock-brine-CO2-oil systems with applicability to i) miscible CO2 injection EOR and ii) CO2 geological sequestration. To achieve this goal it will be required to design and for the first time, carry out state-of-the-art experiments using intact natural rock samples, crude oil, low-to-high salinity brines and CO2 at reservoir conditions (high temperature and pressure). This thorough, mostly experimental work will include advanced coreflooding, imaging and thermo-physical methods.

The successful candidate will spend two years in the University of Aberdeen and one year in Curtin University, so that s/he will benefit from working in two internationally renowned research groups.

The successful candidate will have, or expect to have, a UK Honours Degree (or equivalent) at 2.1 or above in engineering, physics or chemistry along with a Master degree in the same subjects. The ideal candidate should have some prior knowledge in the area of two-phase flow in porous media and practical experience in laboratory work. Demonstrated ability of autonomous experimental research and contribution to scientific publications is a plus. Experience in data/signal processing and numerical modelling (LabView, MatLab) is also desirable.

The other supervisor on the project is Associate Prof Stefan Iglauer, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Curtin University

The start date for the project is to be agreed by the supervisors but no later than 30 April 2018.

Formal applications can be completed online: You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering to ensure that your application is passed to the correct person for processing. Applicants will be required to meet the English Language Requirements of both Institutions.


Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Jan Vinogradov ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

Funding Notes: Funded by the Aberdeen-Curtin Alliance. 2 years in Aberdeen and 1 in Curtin. Curtin University will pay its stipend at the Australian Government RTP scholarship base rate of AU $27,082 (2018) per annum. The UK (RCUK published national minimum stipend) is £14,553 (2017). All students will be given a fee waiver by the Institution at which they are studying, whether Home or Host. Travel expenses will also be provided at up to £1,500 total for both outward and inward bound flights to host institutions.

How good is research at Aberdeen University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 38.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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