David DiCarlo Research Projects

Development of Fracture Fluid Additive That Will Enhance Flowback and Recovery From Gas Shales

David DiCarlo and Quoc P. Nguyen

One of the keys for enhancing recovery from gas shales is to maximize the flowback of the fracturing fluid.

We propose to develop a surfactant as an additive that can be applied to either water based or CO2 foam fracturing fluids. This additive will act to lower the interfacial tension (IFT) between brine and the gas in place. This will decrease the capillary forces binding the water to the shale, and will increase the water flowback for enhanced gas and condensate recovery.

Gas EOR Project 6: Three-Phase Relative Permeabilities as a Function of Wettability and Saturation

Primary Investiagor: David DiCarlo

The goal of this project is to measure the relative permeability of oil in three-phase displacements over the complete saturation ranges. Experiments will be performed in cores of varying wettabilities, and the three-phase saturations will be measured in-situ using dual-energy CT scanning. We will obtain relative permeabilities and from these determine the connectivity and dominant flow mechanisms.

Gas EOR Project 7: Measurements and Predictions of Dimensionless Groups under Gas Injection

Primary Investiagor: David DiCarlo

Injected gas is not at chemical equilibrium with the in place oil, which can create large gradients in interfacial tension (IFT) at the displacement fronts. We will perform experiments that measure the sizes of the gradients, and determine the relevant dimensionless numbers (e.g. capillary, Bond) for floods with changing IFTs.

Three-Phase Flow (Experiments and Simulation)

David DiCarlo

Understanding the dynamics of three-phase flow is essential for optimizing enhanced oil recovery and vadose zone remediation processes. The ultimate recovery of oil and other non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) depends on the residual saturations and relative permeabilites of each of the phases. In particular, the wettability of the porous media affects the placement of the fluids in the porous media and the relative permeabilities.