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Low-Carbon Energy Recovery from Methane Hydrate Reservoirs

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  • Full or part time
    Dr P Jadhawar
    Dr W Afzal
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Naturally occurring gas (mostly methane) hydrates along the continental margins (coastal offshore) and permafrost sediments are the clean source of energy outnumbering the rest forms of conventional energy sources. Recent successful methane recoveries from hydrates in Eastern Nankai Trough through depressurization (offshore central coast of Japan, 2014 and 2017), Shenhu area of China (for more than 7 days) and CO2+N2 and CH4 exchange (North Slope of Alaska, 2012) have renewed interest in investigating the feasible technology development at field scale.

Methane hydrates are found in sediments under low temperature and high-pressure conditions in sand sediments (Eileen Tark, North Alaska) and clayey mud type sediments (Krishna Godavari basin, India; Blake Plateau, Atlantic Ocean). Methods of depressurization, thermal heating, inhibitor application and combined have been successfully practiced in laboratory and field successes to some extent. Methane recovery from hydrates is challenging due to the trapped gas in water cages in the pores of sediments. Dissociation of hydrates will lead to destabilization of sediments hosting gas hydrates. For this method of methane replacement by CO2 (Jadhawar et al., 2005) and CO2+N2 (Schodebek et al., 2012) are under investigation. Thermodynamic conditions are important for successful kinetics of gas-gas replacement in hydrates and the subsequent energy recovery.

Experimental investigation and numerical simulation of the methane recovery from hydrate reservoirs is still challenging due to nature of gas-gas replacement in hydrates inside the pores of sediments, respective kinetics and the applied recovery methodologies. The following research projects are available to investigate options of depressurization, thermal/inhibitor stimulation, gas-gas replacement methods in combination with the CO2 sequestration and storage:

1. Evaluation of efficient Low carbon energy recovery options from methane hydrate reservoirs
2. CO2-N2 Enhanced low Carbon Energy recovery from methane hydrate reservoirs
3. CO2-sequestration and storage coupled with the CH4 production from natural gas hydrate reservoirs
4. Evaluation of CO2 sequestration options in Oceanic and arctic environments
5. Methane energy recovery from clayey hydrate sediments through the numerical simulation approaches (Numerical simulation only) using the software/codes like CMG suite, TOUGH, MATLAB etc.) and develop further new numerical methods.

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

Desirable knowledge: The student must have a strong appetite for applied research with a boarder insight into and/or willingness to adapt practical petroleum engineering concepts covering geology/ geosciences, thermodynamic and kinetic behaviour of gases in porous media and reservoir engineering/ simulation fundamentals. Knowledge/Experience of Reservoir simulation and the respective simulation tools 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 ([Email Address Removed]) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ([Email Address Removed]).

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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