How to make oil production more efficient and greener using computational tools

Helton Magno de Araujo Ciriaco: Computational tools and representative experimental data allow for more accurate oil production prediction in field scale with reduced environmental impacts.

Oil and gas are one of the main driving forces of the energy transition, either by responsible consumption as fuels or as raw material. The objective of the analysis of a laboratory formation sample is to understand the behaviour of a kilometre-scale oil reservoir using small centimetre-sized pieces of it. By using the proper computational tools and the representative data, the reservoir behaviour can be predicted accurately, allowing for more efficient oil recovery with reduced environmental impacts.

This project is part of the Advanced Water Flooding program (AWF) in the Centre for Oil and Gas. It focuses on the mathematical modelling and numerical simulation of multiphase flow in chalk. Previous projects in the Centre aimed at developing prototypes for multicomponent single-phase and two-phase flow, transport (THC) models of modified-salinity water flooding, and state of the art surface complexation models for chalk-brine and oil-brine interactions. We propose an extension of these models by including the physical response to the mechanical forces within the fractures of deformable chalk at a laboratory scale under reservoir conditions.

Injection schemes have been widely used to cope with poor oil recovery driven by internal reservoir energy sources. The idea behind these techniques is to inject fluids to either provide additional energy to push the oil or to mitigate resistance forces inside the reservoir. However, in the process of flooding the reservoir, many physical and chemical interactions take place between the injected fluid and the rock and reservoir fluids. Such phenomena are difficult to model and require significant mathematical and computational efforts to accurately predict their behaviour. Furthermore, the deformable property of chalk formations adds more complexity when variations of the initial reservoir conditions take place. Therefore, we are interested in developing a tool (framework) that translates realistically these phenomena into a computational environment that can be used in the scientific community to obtain more accurate prediction of the behaviour of the injection scheme inside the reservoir.

In this project, we aim at developing a tool for design of experiments and history matching core flooding/imbibition experimental results; calculating upscaled parameters such as relative permeability and capillary pressure curves and their dependencies to, e.g. the different chemical composition of water and oil; screening different recovery methods for chalk; prediction of recovery, sweep and residual saturation distribution. Therefore, this work will complement the experimental results that will provide the input data to the large-scale reservoir models.

PhD project

By: Helton Magno de Araujo Ciriaco

SectionDanish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) 

Principal supervisorHamid Nick

Co-supervisorAli Akbar Eftekhari

Project title: How to make oil production more efficient and greener using computational tools

Term: 01/08/2020 → 31/07/2023


Hamid Nick
Senior Researcher
DTU Offshore
+45 93 51 14 97


Ali Akbar Eftekhari
Senior Researcher
DTU Offshore
+45 31 96 49 51