During oil production from underground oil reservoirs, only a fraction of oil tends to be extracted during the primary recovery phase, prior to the oil reservoir becoming too depleted to push additional oil out naturally. Secondary recovery techniques are then employed, which consist of injecting a fluid into the reservoir to displace additional oil. Normally the injected fluid is less viscous than the oil which can lead to fingering phenomena: fingers of the driving fluid break through the oil, after which additional injected fluid will continue to follow the already established flow paths, without displacing anymore oil. After primary and secondary oil recovery, 65% of the oil, on average, is left in the reservoir. This residual oil is a target for enhanced oil recovery. Tertiary recovery techniques use various strategies to increase the oil extraction. One such tertiary technique is ‘foam improved oil recovery’. This uses the fact that foam is relatively immobile in an oil reservoir due to the forces that are required to drive foam films through the channels in a porous medium. This relative immobility of foam helps to suppress the fingering phenomena leading to a higher oil recovery and production. The mechanisms governing foam propagation in porous media is poorly understood leaving many questions open such as effects of foam quality and heterogeneity of porous media on the dynamics foam propagation. The specific objectives of this project are to combine cutting-edge experimental and theoretical techniques to describe the dynamics of foam propagation in porous media. For further details and information please contact Dr Nima Shokri, e-mail [email protected].
A degree in one of the following is preferred: environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, environmental science or petroleum engineering