Francisco Javier Argüelles-Vivas

              RESUME

Francisco Javier Argüelles-Vivas

Postdoctoral Fellow

Office Address: EERC. 7.618

Email Address: fjarvi@utexas.edu 

Mobile Phone Number: 1-512-210-6043

LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/francisco-arguelles-vivas/

ResearchGate URL: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Francisco_Argueelles_Vivas

 

RESEARCH PROJECTS

Project A: Ketone Solvent for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) in Tight Reservoirs

Many of fractured reservoirs such as carbonates and shales are either oil-wet or mixed wet. Consequently, oil recovery by waterflooding is very low since capillary pressure prevent water imbibition into matrix. Wettability must be changed to significantly increase the recovery factory.

In this project, the main objective is to investigate a novel class of oxygenated solvents that can enhance the oil recovery from oil-wet rocks by multiple mechanisms, such as wettability alteration, oil-viscosity reduction, and oil swelling, in the presence of brine (connate water and/or fracturing water). The compound studied for the first time in this research is 3-pentanone (3p), a symmetric short ketone that partitions into both oil and brine at reservoir conditions. It can act as a solvent by itself, but this research is focused on the potential mechanisms of oil recovery when an aqueous solution of 1.1wt% 3p in reservoir brine (3pRB) is in contact with oil and oil-wet rocks, as those of tight reservoirs and naturally fractured carbonates.

Please, check the research progress of this project in the following published articles:

  1. Argüelles-Vivas, F. J., Wang, M., Abeykoon, G. and Okuno R. 2020. Oil Recovery from Fractured Porous Media with/without Initial Water Saturation by Using 3-Pentanone and Its Aqueous Solution. Accepted for publication in Fuel.
  2. Wang, M., Baek, K., Abeykoon, G.A., Argüelles-Vivas, F.J. and Okuno, R. (2019). Comparative Study of Ketone and Surfactant for Enhancement of Water Imbibition in Fractured Porous Media. Accepted for publication in Energy & Fuels.
  3. Wang, M., Abeykoon, G.A., Argüelles-Vivas, F.J. and Okuno, R. (2019). Ketone Solvent as a Wettability Modifier for Improved Oil Recovery from Oil-Wet Porous Media. Fuel, 258, 1-12.

Project B: Steam Injection in a Heavy Oil Reservoir (confidential)

The general objective of this project is to investigate and recommend potential methods of improved oil recovery in a heavy oil reservoir which is highly heterogeneous. This research will include studies of the current steam injection method. In addition to the mechanistic study of steam injection by itself, different water-soluble chemical additives will be scrutinized to change wettability. All experiments will use the oil sample provided by the company.

RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECTS AT UT-AUSTIN

Project: Use of Water-soluble solvents in steam-based processes

In this work, motivated by the question as to how the aqueous phase can be utilized to improve the efficiency of thermal methods, we considered that water could be an effective bitumen carrier if an oil-in-water (o/w) emulsion is created with organic alkalis. These chemicals can condensate at the edge of a steam chamber and create a high-pH solution.

We have also investigated the potential of dimethyl ether (DME) as an additive to steam to improve efficiency of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD).

Please, read my contributions to this project in the following articles:

 

  1. Baek, K.H., Sheng, K., Argüelles-Vivas, F.J. and Okuno, R. (2018). Comparative Study of Oil Dilution Capability of Dimethyl Ether (DME) and Hexane as Steam Additive for SAGD. SPE Res. Eval. and Eng., October: 1-19.
  2. Baek, K.H., Argüelles-Vivas, F.J., Okuno, R., Sheng, K., Sharma, H. and Weerasooriya, Upali P. (2018). An Experimental Study of Emulsion Phase Behavior and Viscosity for Athabasca-Bitumen/Diethylamine/Brine Mixtures. Accepted for publication in SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering.
  3. Baek, K.H., Argüelles-Vivas, F.J., Okuno, R., Sheng, K., Sharma, H. and Weerasooriya, Upali P. (2018). Emulsification of Athabasca bitumen by organic alkali: Emulsion phase behavior and viscosity for bitumen/brine/triethylenetetramine. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 168, 359-369.
  4. Sheng, K., Argüelles-Vivas, F.J., Baek, K.H. and Okuno, R. (2019). An Experimental Study of Emulsion Flow in Alkali Solvent Coinjection with Steam for Heavy-Oil/Bitumen Recovery. Accepted for publication in SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering.

 

Project: A novel educational laboratory experiment for CME of petroleum fluids

In my postdoctoral fellowship I have had the opportunity to help students to comprehend concepts that are difficult to link to real situations. Recently, I developed an educational constant-mass expansion (CME) experiment to teach students how to measure saturation pressures of hydrocarbon mixtures and how to calibrate an equation of state. To do so, I followed the Experiential Learning Theory of David Kolb. This approach states that learning is a cycle of four stages: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization, and active experimentation.

This novel teaching tool has been successfully implemented for five semesters in the course “Properties of Petroleum Fluids” at the petroleum engineering program of The University of Texas at Austin. Please, read the details of this pedagogical tool in the following article:

  1. Argüelles-Vivas, F.J. and Okuno, R. (2019). A novel educational laboratory experiment for constant-mass expansion of petroleum fluids. Education for Chemical Engineers, 27, 12-19. Other research areas where I have contributions:

 

Other research areas where I have contributions:

  • Application of ultra-short hydrophobe surfactants with co-solvent characters for Heavy Oil
  • Phase behavior (New analytical method to determine saturation pressure of reservoir fluids)
  • Pore-scale modeling of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD)
  • Use of amino acids as wettability modifiers in oil-wet porous media
  • CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers and oil reservoirs
  • Formation damage (Asphaltene deposition in porous media)