Industrial Affiliates Projects

Chemical EOR Research Project

The Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Research Project includes both experimental and modeling research and development of all chemical EOR methods including polymer flooding, surfactant flooding, alkaline-surfactant-polymer flooding, wettability alteration, mobility control using foam and low salinity water flooding. Major advances in chemical EOR have been made by a team of more than 50 faculty members, senior research scientists, research associates, post docs, graduate students and undergraduate students.

Please contact: Dr. Gary A. Pope  |  512-471-3235  |  gpope@mail.utexas.edu


 

Fracture Research and Application Consortium (with the Bureau of Economic Geology)

Understanding and successfully predicting, characterizing, and simulating reservoir-scale structures are the aims of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium. A key aspect of the program investigates mechanical and chemical processes and interactions over a range of scales. The goal is improved prediction of subseismic scale heterogeneities that influence fluid flow.

Please contact:  Dr. Jon Olson  |  olson@austin,utexas.edu

Dr. Stephen E. Laubach  |  www.beg.utexas.edu/frac


 

Gas EOR Research Project

Gas Enhanced Oil Recovery is a highly successful commercial process. The challenges for Gas EOR are the availability of miscible gas, better mobility control methods to improve the sweep efficiency, asphaltene precipitation during gas flooding, relative permeability for high pressure fluids, improved reservoir characterization and performance prediction. Hybrid methods employing wettability alteration and low IFT and improving sweep efficiency of immiscible gas displacement processes can make them very effective. The gas EOR projects include nanoparticle stabilized foams, CO2 soluble surfactant foams, compositionally-consistent relative permeability, three-phase relative permeability, asphaltene precipitation and wettability, cyclic stimulation of oil shales, and upscaling of WAG floods.

Please contact: Dr. Kishore K. Mohanty  |  512-471-3077  |  mohanty@mail.utexas.edu


 

Geological CO2 Storage

This Industrial Associates Project addresses a potentially game-changing approach to preventing escape, namely, sequestering the CO2 in physical and chemical forms whose immobility is assured over geologic time. Harnessing extensive experience in subsurface flow and transport, we will develop new concepts and technology, carrying out state-of-the-art simulations to evaluate the feasibility and reliability of subsurface storage schemes. The results will provide essential input for decisions by governments, industry and regulators on the role of storage in global environmental and energy policy.

Please contact: Dr. Larry Lake  |  512-471-8233  |  larry_lake@mail.utexas.edu


 

Hydraulic Fracturing and Sand Control

The Hydraulic Fracturing and Sand Control project, established in 2006, consists of 25 projects (18 related to fracturing and 7 related to sand control). Production of oil and gas from shales depend crucially on the effectiveness of hydraulic fractures. Hydraulic fracturing projects include multiple fracture placement in horizontal, pad-drilled wells, refracturing of horizontal wells, energized fracturing fluids, water management, and more. Sand control is an essential process in the production from deep water reservoirs, and projects include frac-packing poorly consolidated sands, mechanical properties sands, perforation and wellbore stability, and more.

Please contact: Dr. Mukul Sharma  |  512-471-3257  |  msharma@mail.utexas.edu


 

Nanoparticles for Subsurface Engineering

Novel nanoscale structured materials, in the form of solid composites, complex fluids, and functional nanoparticle-fluid combinations, are bringing major technological advances in many industries due to the orders-of-magnitude increase in interfacial area and the associated excess stress / chemical potential. Current projects include use of nanoparticle-stabilized CO2 foams and emulsions for mobility and conformance control for various EOR processes, use of magnetic nanoparticles for enhanced formation sensing, magnetic heating for flow assurance, and a suite of other applications.

Please contact: Dr. Hugh Daigle  |  512-471-3775  |  daigle@austin.utexas.edu


 

Reservoir Simulation Joint Industry Project

The objectives of this research project include the development, testing, verification, and application of reservoir simulators for oil and gas recovery processes. The reservoir simulators developed in this project are used as test beds for new process physics, computational algorithms, physical property models, and other scientific purposes. Our simulators’ developments have been concentrated on the design and implementation of several compositional reservoir simulators, namely, UTCHEM, UTCOMP, and GPAS, as well as a new code called UTGEL, which is used for conformance control. We address the application of our codes as well as the commercial reservoir simulators for solving generic field simulation studies.  

Please contact: Dr. Kamy Sepehrnoori  |  512-471-0231  |  kamys@mail.utexas.edu


 

Rock Physics Research Group

The main goal of The University of Texas at Austin Rock Physics Research Group is to develop new methods for reliable interpretation of multi-scale formation data measured in the laboratory or in the subsurface in challenging and unconventional formations such as spatially heterogeneous, tight, organic-rich mudrock, and carbonate formations. The Rock Physics Research Group performs experimental and numerical research for understanding multi-scale rock physics, developing new and reliable interpretation and measurement techniques for evaluation of these physical properties, and integrating multi-scale formation data for reliable reservoir characterization and production planning.

Please contact: Dr.Zoya Heidari  |  512-471-7218  |  zoya@austin.utexas.edu


 

The Wider Windows Industrial Affiliate Program

The Wider Windows program seeks basic understanding of the physics involved in ROP optimizations, well control, wellbore stability, formation damage, and lost circulation in the wellbore and near-wellbore regions while using overbalanced, underbalanced, or casing drilling techniques. Eleven research staff and fourteen graduate students are engaged in the Wider Windows Research program.

Please contact: Dr. K. E. Gray  |  512-551-3027  |  ken_gray@mail.utexas.edu