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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 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 diverse options of enhancing the oil recovery from the fractured/non-fractured sandstone and carbonate reservoir for any of the following target EOR processes (but not limited to)
• Modified waterflooding: Low salinity water, Carbonated water
• Gas flooding: CO2, N2 and hydrocarbon gas
• Chemical flooding: Surfactant, Polymer flooding
• Thermal Flooding: Steam flooding, electromagnetic heating
• Combined methods: low salinity-Polymer, Low salinity-CO2

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

The successful candidate should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) in Petroleum/chemical/oil and gas/energy engineering.

Essential knowledge of: petroleum engineering, chemical/oil and gas/energy engineering with knowledge of geology/ geosciences/reservoir engineering.

Desirable knowledge: The student must have keen interest for applied research with a boarder insight into and/or willingness to adapt the 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.


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 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

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

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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