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Application of High Frequency Waves to Improve Petroleum Production from Low Energy Reservoirs

Project Description

In many oil wells the natural energy associated with oil is not strong enough to cause flow into the production facilities. In such cases, some form of artificial lift should supplement natural energy. There are two main forms of artificial lift methods available in petroleum industry, namely pumps and gas lift [1]. Pumps are fairly efficient and useful tools for lifting oil from shallow vertical wells with low gas oil ratios (GOR) and solid contents. However, in deep and horizontal oil wells, and wells with high GOR, large solid contents and acidic gases, their application is expensive and of limited efficiency. In these scenarios, gas lift seems to be a suitable alternative. However, the efficiency of the gas lift process depends on many factors such as well productivity index, oil chemistry and PVT properties, which are not always favourable. There are also other problems such as gas leakage through valves and downhole mechanical devices, improper valve setting, inappropriate gas injection cycle, low gas pressure, scales, paraffin and asphaltene deposition [1].

In this study we propose using high frequency waves to improve the efficiency of oil lifting process.

In the first stage, the student need to experimentally evaluate the effect of high frequency waves on oil flow rate during specified artificial lifting process at ambient condition. Afterward, he/she should use numerical modelling to estimate the efficiency of the process at real reservoir condition.

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Engineering, Physical Sciences.

Essential knowledge of: Engineering, Physical Sciences.

Desirable knowledge of: Petroleum Engineering and/or Physical sciences.


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.


Informal inquiries can be made to Dr R Rafati () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ().

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. It is for self-funded students only.


[1] Allen, T.O. and A.P. Roberts, Production Operations: Well Completions, Workover, and Stimulation. 1982: Oil & Gas Consultants International.

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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