Production Engineering

Quoc P. Nguyen (quoc_p_nguyen@mail.utexas.edu) is the Program Manager of the Production Engineering research program.

Production engineering research at CPGE covers a wide range of interests while presenting front-end technologies and meeting current industrial demands. Subjects include matrix acidizing, acid fracturing, fluid diversion, intelligent completion, and unstable displacement in porous media.

Research Projects

Quoc P. Nguyen, Larry W. Lake, and Caetano R. Miranda (Kyoto University)

Funding source: Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC)

Funding amount: $592,000 for the period of March 2009 - Sept. 2012

Nanoparticles offer a way of controlling oil recovery processes that is unmatched by any current or previous technology. They also offer a means of interrogating small-scale physics that is also unparalleled by prior work.

Quoc P. Nguyen

Fluid blocking and/or diversion techniques have been found essential in most of the near-well bore treatments, such as acid diversion, water conning (high WOR), gas cusping (high GOR), and hydraulic fracturing.

Quoc P. Nguyen

Matrix acidizing is the most prevalent technique used in modern formation stimulations. Several issues exist that might reduce the incentive to optimize matrix treatment technology.

Of note:

Quoc P. Nguyen, Sanjay Srinivasan

The overall objective of this ongoing project is to minimize production of unwanted fluids such as conning water and channeling gas. Advances in intelligent well technology and simulation of reservoir-production system enable optimum inflow allocation of produced fluids through controlling flow trajectories in reservoirs.

DOE Projects

A. Daniel Hill (with Texas A&M), Larry W. Lake, Ding Zhu (with Texas A&M)

Funding amount: $870,000 for the period of Sept. 2003 - Aug. 2006

To produce more oil from more complex and harder-to-reach reservoirs, the nation's producers have begun to employ a variety of sophisticated new drilling approaches - such as wells that extend horizontally through an oil-bearing reservoir, or that radiate out from a central borehole, or that branch in multiple directions.

Mukul M. Sharma, Benny D. Freeman (Chemical Engineering)

Funding amount: $576,000 for the period of Sept. 2004 - Aug. 2007

This research will provide new and better ways to purify produced water from oil and gas wells by using novel polymer membranes and thus will result in both environmental and economic benefits.

Related Research

Research Initiatives

Mukul M. Sharma

As oil fields in the US mature, the volumes of produced water requiring disposal have increased significantly. With numerous older and mature oil fields, the growing problem of water production and stricter environmental regulation of water disposal are forcing oil producers to find ways to eliminate water coning and conformance control problems. Approximately 20 billion barrels of water are reinjected in the US every year. Any technology that minimizes the amount of water or gas produced in conjunction with the produced oil would have a significant impact on the energy consumption and on the cost oil production domestically.

Mukul M. Sharma

In offshore operations, topside equipment for produced water handling adds an enormous cost. It is imperative that we find cost effective solutions for treating this water in an environmentally benign manner. Seafloor separation coupled with sub-surface injection of produced water for waterflooding to recover additional oil is an excellent disposal strategy for the produced water that achieves three important goals:

Paul Bommer

Problem Statement

The life of beam lift sucker rods is difficult to predict because of the wide variety of operating conditions. This has an economic impact because the longer sucker rods can be kept in service the higher the profit from the well.

Research

Using actual run time data it is possible to predict the life of sucker rods based on the accumulated stress history of the rods. This has been outlined and carried out for several trial data sets.

Steven L. Bryant, A. Daniel Hill

Public Abstract

The purpose of this project is to consolidate current core-scale understanding of the behavior of strongly coupled flow/reaction systems and to upscale this understanding so as to be applicable to matrix stimulation design. We will determine how to relate core-scale observations to meter-scale behavior using fine-scale and intermediate-scale simulations. We will also incorporate this understanding into a tool for monitoring oil well stimulation treatments in real time.

Mukul M. Sharma

Well completion and stimulation in unconsolidated formations has wide implications for the US petroleum industry. Most of the production in the Gulf of Mexico comes from unconsolidated sands. Frac-pack completions are being frequently performed in poorly consolidated, high-permeability sand formations to bypass well damage and enhance productivity. Despite the significance of the production from unconsolidated sands for the US, the design and placement of these completions in these sands is often sub-optimal due to lack of proper design tools.