9/23/15: What you can’t see can actually help you: Nanoparticle applications in the subsurface

Knowledge Pipeline

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(due to audio difficulties, the first 30 seconds of the webinar were not recorded. The recording begins with the first presentation slide)

Description & objectives of the webinar:

This 'hosted' webinar will present current trends and advances in the use of nanoparticles for petroleum engineering applications. Nanoparticles have shown tremendous promise in laboratory work for various aspects of producing oil and gas. Their stability in high-salinity brines makes then an attractive alternative to surfactants for creating emulsions for secondary oil recovery. In addition, ongoing work shows the promise of nanoparticles in creating alternative fracturing fluids that require very little water. We will also discuss the use of superparamagnetic nanoparticles to deliver targeted hyperthermia either in the reservoir or along subsea pipelines and for use in cleanup of flowback water. Tune in to this webinar to hear perspectives from two researchers in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Drs. Hugh Daigle and Chun Huh provide perspectives on subsurface applications of nanoparticles in petroleum engineering, and take questions from the audience.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • Understand general properties of nanoparticles
  • Understand how nanoparticles are used for foam and emulsion stabilization
  • Understand current and future areas of application for nanoparticles
  • Understand the use of superparamagnetic properties


Instructor Bios:

Hugh DaigleInstructor: Dr. Hugh Daigle, Assistant Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Daigle received his PhD in Earth Science from Rice after completing his undergraduate degree at Harvard. After experience working as a petrophysicist for Chevron he came to UT Austing where his current research focuses on characterizing physical and transport properties of rocks using a combination of laboratory experiments and numerical simulation. Specific areas of interest include characterization of fluids and pore systems using nuclear magnetic resonance; fundamental research on magnetic resonance properties of nanoparticles; micropore characterization using BET measurements; evolution of petrophysical properties during consolidation of marine sediments; and numerical modeling of development and persistence of methane hydrates in marine sediments. Dr. Daigle recently won the SPE Regional Formation Evaluation Award.
Chun HuhInstructor: Dr. Chun Huh, Research Professor, Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Huh received his undergraduate degree from Seoul National University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Minnesota.  Before coming to UT Austin, he had an outstanding career at ExxonMobil. Dr. Huh is one of the world’s leading experts on surfactant and polymer-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. “Chun Huh equation,” which predicts ultralow interfacial tension from microemulsion solubilization, is widely used for the design of surfactant-based EOR processes. He is also the formulator of “Huh-Scriven paradox,” whose resolution is still being proposed by fluid mechanics researchers working on dynamics of wetting. Since joining UT Austin in 2004, Dr. Huh has started research on use of nanoparticles for a variety of upstream oil industry applications. Some of the applications being developed are: use of superparamagnetic nanoparticles (i) for efficient removal of “contaminants” from oilfield produced water, (ii) for improved oil and gas production flow assurance, and (iii) for precision conformance control; and use of silica nanoparticles for EOR mobility control. Dr. Huh won the SPE IOR Pioneer Award and is a Distinguished Member of SPE.
David DiCarloHost: Dr. David DiCarlo, Associate Professor, George H. Francher Centennial Teaching Fellowship in Petroleum Engineering

Dr. David DiCarlo’s research is focused on applying advanced experimental techniques to understanding fluid flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs. In particular, judicious use of CT scanning provides in-situ phase saturations which can then be converted into permeabilities and relative permeabilities. These can be obtained on a much shorter time scale and over a wider range of saturations then traditional steady-state methods. Topics relevant to enhanced oil recovery such as three-phase flow (water, oil, and gas), surfactant imbibition, compositional displacements, flow stability, and the effect of nanoparticles in porous media are studied using these methods.