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Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) from depleted Sandstone and Carbonate/chalk reservoirs

Project Description

Nearly one third of the oil is left behind in the reservoir after the primary and secondary recovery methods of oil recovery. This left-behind-volume is lucrative for exploring further options of recovery from the depleted matured hydrocarbon reservoirs to mitigate the increasing demand of hydrocarbons in developing nations. However, technology development for its recovery is still a challenging part with respect to diverse regional geological and reservoir specific parameters such as rock wettability, oil viscosity and gravity, reservoir heterogeneity, sandstone or carbonate reservoirs etc. Moreover, recovery options become more complicated if the reservoir is fractured owing to sharp contrast between the fracture and matrix permeability and porosity especially in the carbonate reservoirs. Each of the recovery methods mainly CO2, chemical, thermal and modified waterflood (smart/low salinity waterflood) exhibit different mechanisms in the above-mentioned settings to enhance the oil recovery (EOR).

Apart from EOR method specific considerations, fractured reservoirs exhibit recovery mechanisms dependency on the geometric parameters (matrix block size, fracture density/spacing etc.), wettability alteration especially in carbonate reservoirs (as most of carbonate reservoirs are oil-wet), boundary conditions etc. Modelling of the matrix-fracture interaction exhibited by the dual porosity/dual permeability characteristics of the fractured reservoirs is a still challenging task and still number of modelling limitations exists.

The applicant student will investigate the effect of the above various reservoir and operational parameters/mechanisms on enhancing the oil recovery from the fractured/non-fractured sandstone and carbonate reservoir for any of different target EOR processes/methods (but not limited to):

• Low salinity/smart/carbonated waterflooding (Modified water flood)
• Gas flooding: CO2, N2 and hydrocarbon gas
• Chemical methods: Alkaline, Surfactant & Polymer flooding
• Thermal processes: Steam flooding, electromagnetic heating
• Hybrid EOR methods: low salinity water-Surfactant/polymer/CO2 flooding

Scientific technological challenges will be contested to identify and investigate the numerical modelling options amongst the different EOR methods at various wettability conditions and scales (core/pilot/field scales).

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Petroleum/oil and gas/energy engineering or equivalent. Chemical Engineering with knowledge of geology/geosciences/reservoir engineering.

Knowledge of: Practical petroleum engineering concepts covering geology/geosciences and reservoir engineering & simulation fundamentals. Knowledge/ experience of reservoir simulation and the respective simulation tools (such as CMG suite, ECLIPSE, MATLAB etc.) with the programming languages and code development will be advantageous.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘Self-funded’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• Detailed CV

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

Funding Notes

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Petroleum Engineering. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for Tuition fees, living expenses and maintenance. Details of the cost of study can be found by visiting View Website. THERE IS NO FUNDING ATTACHED TO THIS PROJECT.

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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