Anglia Ruskin University ARU Featured PhD Programmes
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg) Featured PhD Programmes

Coupled flow-geomechanics for prediction of propagation and collapse of wormholes in matrix acidizing

Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science

Manchester United Kingdom Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Energy Technologies Environmental Engineering Fluid Mechanics Physical Chemistry Structural Engineering

About the Project

Project description Acidizing is an established technique to

stimulate enhanced hydrocarbon recovery from carbonate reservoirs. Injection of

acid into carbonate reservoirs entails a series of interactions between the

rock and acid solutions that, at certain conditions, lead to generation of

desired preferential pathways for hydrocarbon, also known as wormholes. These

wormholes serve the role of high conduits of flow, facilitating the production

of hydrocarbon fluids from the porous rock. The process of the effective

wormhole generation and its stability during the production period is a coupled

phenomenon that requires studying the reactive transport and mechanics of the

problem alongside each other. During the generation of wormholes, pore fluid

pressure withstands the overburden pressure. However, excessive lateral growth

of the wormholes and loss of acid solution to rock could generate geomechanical

instability. Under this condition, the wormholes become susceptible to collapse

and undermine the efficiency of wormholes to transfer fluids to the well. In

this line of research, optimizing acid reaction rates, amount, acidity and

level of interaction with rock are key factors in obtaining the desired effects

on the formation at downhole conditions. Sufficient acidization must be

achieved without overtreatment, which could cause the collapse of pore

structures, and may reduce well productivity.

Based on rigorous coupling of geomechanics with

the acidizing two-phase modelling, the project aims at developing a novel

coupled flow-geomechanics code for matrix acidizing. The research will be

crucial for wellbore management and maintenance, and enhanced geothermal


Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering or Petroleum Engineering.


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