Modelling of Salinity Effects on Waterflooding of Petroleum Reservoirs

Enhanced oil recovery with new and emerging recovery technologies will be necessary for future oil production. A four-year SmartWater project is focused around the effects of injected water salinity on oil recovery. The effect is known and has been studied the last years, but the mechanisms, how change of salinity of the injected water results in better recovery, are not explained yet. This requires advanced studies, both experimental and theoretical. Both types of studies, as well as interaction between them, are planned within the SmartWater project.

 The task for the Ph.D. student within the Workpackage 3 of the SmartWater project is to develop a thermodynamic and transport model for displacement of oil by brines of the different salinity. Depending on the experimental results, the model should incorporate rock-fluid interaction; component exchange between oil and water; possible formation of emulsions; and/or other effects. The model may combine elements of flows on macrolevel (for the porous medium as a whole) and microlevel (on the level of a single pore or a rock surface). The parameters of the model must be adjusted to the experimental data on flooding of the brines of the different salinity, which are being obtained within other workpackages of the SmartWater project. The model should be applicable to the specific conditions of the North Sea petroleum reservoirs.

 Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Alexander Shapiro:

Co-supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Kaj Thomsen: