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Name of scholarship/program

Oil recovery from fractured reservoirs: spontaneous imbibition in carbonates under different wettability

Important description
The most common method of secondary oil recovery is waterflooding, whereby water is injected into a reservoir to displace the oil in the reservoir towards production wells. Under ideal conditions, the injected water (flood water) uniformly ムsweepsメ the oil towards the wells. However, carbonate reservoirs, which contain around half of the worldメs oil reserves, are known to be extensively fractured. In such reservoirs, the flood water preferentially flows through the network of fractures, leaving behind a large fraction of the original oil in the low permeability regions between them (the rock ムmatrixメ). Then, more gradually, flood water in the fractures enters the rock matrix by buoyancy, diffusion, and capillary-driven imbibition, displacing the oil that was left behind. The proposed project is focused on the third mechanism.

Despite a large body of literature on imbibition, many fundamental questions remain open. The proposed project will address one or more of these using a combination of cutting-edge imaging techniques, customized laboratory apparatus, and theoretical analysis. Possible topics include:
ユ recovery under evolving matrix wettability
ユ sensitivity to oil chemistry
ユ sensitivity to depth within the transition zone
ユ impact of the capillary-hydraulic properties of the fracture
The ultimate goal is to develop a model that predicts the dependence of oil recovery on these factors.

The successful candidate will join the Environmental & Industrial Fluid Mechanics Group, a vibrant group of academics, postdoctoral researchers, and PhD students within the School of Engineering. Members of the Group use different combinations of laboratory experiments, field measurements, numerical simulations, and theoretical analysis to study physical processes associated with a wide range of applications, including geological CO2 storage, wind energy, and coastal erosion. The student will also work closely with colleagues in the Aberdeen Biomedical Imaging Centre to access imaging facilities and the School of Geosciences.

Eligibility and other criteria
The successful applicant will have a first or upper second class degree (or equivalent) in relevant engineering, applied mathematics, or physics discipline. Knowledge of Expertise in fluid mechanics, laboratory experience, and knowledge of MATLAB will be an advantage.

Additional Research costs are required for this project to the sum of ᆪ5,000 per annum.

Application deadline
* March 31, 2015

Additional information, and important URL

This project is advertised in relation to the research areas of the discipline of Engineering. The project is eligible for Elphinstone Funding which will pay Tuition Fees (only). To be considered you MUST have a First Class Degree or equivalent, 2.1 Honours Degree or Equivalent, plus MSc at Merit/Distinction level in a relevant subject. Please ensure you note Elphinstone funding on the application form and project title/supervisor. Applications should be received and complete by 31 March 2015. Applications received after this date will be considered for the project but no funding will be attached to any offer made.

Application Procedure

Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply . You should apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing. Please ensure that you quote the project title and supervisor on the application form.

Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Y Tanino, (y.tanino@abdn.ac.uk) with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit (cpsgrad@abdn.ac.uk).


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