The A-Team

Hamza Aljamaan, PhD

My research aim is to better understand the transport of gas in shale rocks. This includes a petrophysical evaluation of shale along with sorption studies for possible enhanced methane recovery and CO2 sequestration in gas shale. Proper understanding of these petrophsycical properties, future production trends, and behavior of these reservoirs is essential for accurate reserve estimations and recovery factor predictions.

Muhammad Majid Almajid

My research focuses on studying the stability of foam against hydrocarbons in porous media. Foam can overcome some of the issues encountered by gas injection such as gravity segregation and viscous fingering of the gas by increasing the apparent gas viscosity and/or diverting some of the gas to the unswept areas in the reservoir. Without the stability of foam against fluids in the reservoir, specifically oil, the benefits of foam injection is never realized. Through conducting experiments of foam flow in micromodels that contain waterflood residual oil saturation, I try to identify and understand the various mechanisms causing foam instability due to the presence of oil.

Khalid Al-Noaimi, PhD

My research focuses on studying the multi-physics of gas transporting experimentally in shales at core level and the influence of micro-cracks in the determination of dominant transport mechanism. With decreasing net effective stresses, the micro-cracks growth, hence influence, increases accordingly and that would impact gas permeability and adsorption/desorption rates. The existence of micro-cracks at noticeable amounts during SEM imaging can assist the determination of pore volumes in the micro-cracks and matrix including organic and inorganic fabrics in a pressure pulse decay test. The revelation of primary and secondary porosity in intact shale samples has a significant importance in assigning accurate average rock properties for both media, such as pore size, interface area and gas diffusivity. With the aid of numerical modeling, history-match method is employed to study the indicated gas and rock properties.

Usua Amanam, MSc

My work entails understanding catalyzed reaction kinetics of in-situ combustion of heavy oils. I utilize ramped temperature oxidation kinetic cell experiments in order to capture this behavior. The effects of metallic nano powder on increased upgrading of heavy oils during aquathermolysis (steam-stimulation) is used as the baseline. We believe this a valid assumption because combustion incorporates the aforementioned mechanism as a part of recovery. The isoconversional principle is used to obtain apparent activation energies of the crude-oil combustion mechanism. My current additives include the elemental transition metals cobalt, nickel, and copper.

Mohammed Alshakhs, MSc

My research is to investigate the effect of altering water ion composition on oil recovery for carbonates. The impact of brine salinity on oil recovery has been an active area of research in the past 20 years for sandstones. As for carbonates, more studies are needed to understand micro and macro scale effects. My work involves conducting core flooding and micromodel experiments, wettability assessment, and pore network modeling.

Youssef Elkady, MSc

My research aims to understand the fracture behavior of oil shale as a function of the thermal history. Samples are subjected to a reservoir setting through the application of anoxic conditions and confinement while heating. Also, continuous mass and temperature measurements are of interest for basic understanding of the kinetics at hand. This plays an important role in the understanding of oil shale and a first step in trying to commercialize the resource..

Guenther Glatz, Phd

I am part of the Stanford Total Enhanced Modeling of Source Rock (STEMS) project working on a novel triaxial, high pressure/high temperature, X-ray transparent core holder for in-situ monitoring and visualization of the geomechanics of rocks under extreme reservoir conditions.

Haoli Guo, MSC

My research aims to study the effect of injection water salinity on the wettability of carbonate surfaces. There are studies showing that oil recovery of the carbonates can be increased by altering the salinity and ionic content of the injected water. My current work is trying to understand the mechanisms for the increased oil recovery and the wettability alteration of the carbonates. My research involves electrokinetic study of the carbonate surfaces.

Kuy Koh Yoo

My research seeks to understand some of the mechanisms that govern in situ combustion in fractured reservoirs through simple experiments and through numerical simulations. Some of the mechanisms of interest include diffusion of oxygen from the fractures to the matrix and the propagation of the combustion front in the presence of fractures. The analysis is based on studying the interaction between the matrix and a single fracture, which can then be extrapolated qualitatively to effects when multiples fractures are present. The final objective is to identify a range of critical parameters for combustion to be successful in fractured reservoirs which will assist in the design of full field applications.

Folake Ogunbanwo

My research focuses on improving the computational efficiency of the simulation of CO2 injection processes with a focus on injection into oil and gas reservoirs containing a significant number of hydrocarbon components. The ultimate objective is to improve current methods of creating pseudo-components by lumping and assigning properties to these pseudo-components such that, the chemistry and PVT behavior of the original fluid is still captured.

Wen Song, phd

My research interests involve developing and using microfluidic platforms to visualize pore-scale flow phenomena relevant to reservoir engineering. Secondary and tertiary recovery can cause clay particles to detach from the rock matrix and block subsequent pore space, significantly reducing reservoir permeability. Currently, I am conducting experiments to visualize the impact of brine composition and salt concentration on the release of clay particles from the rock matrix.

Wonjin Yun, MSc

An objective of my research is to develop new experimental techniques to visualize polymer retention as a result of two retention mechanisms: the adsorption of polymer molecules on the rock surfaces and mechanical entrapment in pores matrices. Two-dimensional micromodels with uniformly constructed pore networks are used as the representation of simplified porous media. In experiments, retention of partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (HPAM) polymers is visually examined. For the pursuit of more fundamental and visual understanding of polymer retention mechanism, we examine the effect of polymer concentration, salinity, shear rate, and type of channel of micromodels on polymer retention.

Markus Zechner

My research aims at understanding the pore scale phenomena involved in wettability change in oil wet fractured reservoirs. The main mechanisms investigated are counter current imbibition and diffusion for chemical floods and low salinity applications. I am using two dimensional micro models to investigate the micro scale physics. The objective is to understand the underlaying mechanisms and find ways how to accelerate and upscale them.

Cathy Zhang, MSC

My research aims to investigate the feasibility of carbon dioxide as an enhanced oil recovery agent in shale oil reservoirs with low matrix permeability. Above minimum miscibility pressure (MMP), CO2 and oil are miscible leading to reduction in capillary forces and therefore high local displacement efficiency. The miscibility pressure of CO2 is also significantly lower than the pressure required for other gases, which makes CO2 miscible injection attainable under a broad spectrum of reservoir pressures. Currently, I am performing core flooding with CO2 at miscible conditions and monitoring the experimental set-up using X-ray computed tomography to help visualize phase flow and distribution during these processes. The final objective is to understand the governing mechanisms, and to quantify the recovery potential of low permeability reservoir rock as a result of miscible gas injection.

The Faculty

The guru

Dr. Anthony R. Kovscek

Principal Investigator

The Staff

Hey, they work, too!

anshul agarwal, RA

I am currently studying the viability of a solar thermal steam generation system (with and without natural gas back-up) for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in diatomites. More specifically, I am focussed on the geomechanical effects arising due to the variability of solar enery for generating steam, using a numerical simulation based approach for analysis. Additionally, I am interested in understanding the fluid transport mechanisms in shale reservoirs, using dual/triple - porosity analyses for the same.

elliot kim, RA

I am studying enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and improved oil recovery (IOR) for heavy oil fields. Also, I have an interest on geological CO2 sequestration under aquifers and hydrocarbon fields to prevent and reduce CO2 emissions. In particular, I have studied the interfacial phenomena between brine and rock under oil and supercritical CO2 phase.

Cindy Ross, RA

I characterize reservoir composition and properties to determine differences between samples and measure changes resulting from EOR methods. My current focus is on diatomite and gas shale reservoirs. I also provide analytical, image analysis, and geological support for SUPRI-A as well as construct base images for micromodels.

Bolivia Vega, RA

My research interests relate to experimental investigation of oil recovery in low-permeability resources, such as diatomite. My research explores the impact of different variables related to the recovery method (such as temperature, injection mode, miscibility conditions, injected fluid) and/or rock properties and how these are altered (wettability, porosity and permeability) and how they affect the effectiveness of the total oil recovered. I use X-ray imaging as a supporting technology to complement and enhance the data and the simulation modelling of these processes.

I am also interested in shale rock characterization, as a fundamental step towards its profiling as a viable resource for CO2 sequestration, and as oil and gas source. In particular, I conduct meso and nano scale imaging on shale samples to help better understand its microstructure and how fluid flows through it.

Yolanda D. Banks

The master and commander of our administrative area

The Postdocs

Life after PhD

Sophie Roman

My research aims at understand the underlying physics in multi-phase flow in porous media. I am currently focused on the experimental study of immiscible two-phase flow in two-dimensional etched-silicon micromodels. The inherent instabilities existing in two-phase flows play a key role, especially in the processes of EOR or CO2 geological sequestration. In particular, a quantitative study of the morphology of the instabilities and of the velocity fields of the fluids in the vicinity of the interfaces is needed. For that purpose, image processing methods and PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) measurements are used.

The Visitors

They bring variety to the group

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