Determination of Oil Saturation in Reservoir Rock Using Paramagnetic Nanoparticles and Magnetic Field

Chun Huh, Steven L. Bryant, Keith P. Johnston (ChE), Thomas E. Milner (BME)

Funding source: Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC)

Funding amount: $200k per year

Accurate, non-invasive determination of oil saturation distribution in laboratory cores, near-wellbore zones, and deep in the reservoir, will greatly improve understanding of oil displacement mechanisms for various EOR processes, and also help identify the location of bypassed oils so that they can be subsequently recovered.

 Determination of Oil Saturation in Reservoir Rock Using Paramagnetic Nanoparticles and Magnetic FieldWe attempt to utilize the concept of enhancing MRI imaging with use of paramagnetic nanoparticles, for accurate determination of oil saturation. The key to our proposed method is that the detection of the oil/water menisci in reservoir rock means presence of oil. By injecting paramagnetic nanoparticles that adsorb preferentially on the oil/water interface (meniscus), and by detecting the acoustic wave generated by their oscillation, their presence in the reservoir rock is deduced.

The first step for the implementation of the idea is the application of a surface coating to nanoparticles such that once they contact oil in the reservoir rock, they are adsorbed at the oil/water interface. We then apply magnetic field oscillation so that the oil/water menisci at the rock pores oscillate, and thereby generate an acoustic response (a pressure wave), which can be measured with a sensitive geophone.  Determination of Oil Saturation in Reservoir Rock Using Paramagnetic Nanoparticles and Magnetic FieldDifferent components of the project are being carried out by researchers in Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering.

The research team:

[Research Team]
Haiyang Yup, Prof. Tom Milnerb, SeungYup Ryoob, Prof. Keith Johnstonc,
Dr. Masha Prodanovicp, Prof. Steve Bryantp, Amir Rahmanip, Prof. Chun Huhp,
Ki Youl Yoonc, Dr. Csaba Kotsmarc, Yunshen Chenc
[pPetroleum & Geosystems Engineering; cChemical Engineering; bBiomedical Engineering]