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Modelling the geomechanical implications of diagenesis on multiphase flow in carbonate reservoirs

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Considering that 50–60% of the world’s oil and gas reserves are contained in carbonate systems, the understanding of geomechanical and hydrodynamical regimes in these systems are essential for planning and evaluating the reservoir strategies and reducing the geological risks.

The geomechanical properties of carbonate rocks in the subsurface systems are under influence of syn- or post-deformation physico-chemical diagenetic processes such as dissolution, cementation and precipitation. These processes evolve the geomechanical landscape of the rock, leading to alterations of petrophysical properties of rock such as permeability and porosity with inevitable effects on flow behaviour.

For the carbonate systems the diagenesis controls fracture occurrence, architecture and attributes. This is a key factor for management of carbonate reservoirs, because the nature of carbonate systems as low-matrix-porosity hydrocarbon reservoirs, imply that these systems can be productive only when permeability is enhanced by fracture generation or faults reactivation. The diagenetic information should be incorporated into construction of more accurate geomechanical models and more realistic fracture patterns for use in the fluid-flow simulation. Moreover, the spatial and temporal scales of occurrence of the physical and chemical diagenesis at pore level and generation, propagation and/or reactivation of micro-features in the porous media, impose a multiscale problem for an integrated geomechanical-flow simulation in carbonate reservoirs. In this project the geomechanical effects of diagenesis are coupled with multiphase flow for hydrocarbon production strategy in a synthetic carbonate reservoir. TOUGHREACT is used in combination with ABAQUS for coupling geomechanics with flow for diagenesis-influenced carbonate system.

Candidates should ideally have a 1st or 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical, Chemical or Petroleum Engineering. Additional background, knowledge or experience in computer programming as well as basic knowledge of the above mentioned modelling software packages (TOUGH2 or TOUGHREACT, ABAQUS or other mechanical engineering software products) will be valuable assets. Successful candidates will be enrolled in the 3-year Ph.D. program of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science.

Funding Notes

Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £13,863) for eligible UK and EU applicants. EU nationals must have lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the programme to be eligible for a full award (fees and stipend). Other EU nationals may be eligible for a fees-only award. Self-funded applicants are also welcome.

Candidates should have a 1st/2:1 degree in Mechanical, Chemical or Petroleum Engineering. Knowledge/experience in computer programming and standard modelling software packages for geomechanics and hydrodynamics such as, TOUGH2, ECLIPSE, ABAQUS, etc. are desirable.

How good is research at University of Manchester in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.90

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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