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Spotlight on PETE Grad Student Mahdi Kazempour

August 12, 2010

Mahdi Kazempour is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. Mahdi has a B.S. in chemical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, and an M.S. in chemical engineering with a focus on process design, simulation and control, from Iran University of Science and Technology. Current research focuses on chemical flooding simulation and modeling, considering new aspects such as reactive transport modeling.

Alkaline flooding has been purported as a promising process for enhancing heavy oil recovery while alkaline-polymer (AP) and alkaline-surfactant-polymer (ASP) injection have become commercial chemical flooding strategies for lighter oils. In the first part of Mahdi's work, UTCHEM and CMG-STRAS, two well-known reservoir simulators for chemical flooding simulations, have been compared for core scale and field scale cases. These simulators operate using different models for chemical flooding. Accurate forecast of performance production in Alkaline-Polymer-Surfactant (ASP) type flooding is paramount to progress in chemical enhanced-oil recovery (EOR). Although both simulators are claimed to properly account for the main recovery mechanisms in ASP flooding, to the best of our knowledge a systematic comparison has not been published. The goal of this is elaborating the importance of microemulsion existence and its behavior on predicted results specifically in forward simulation.

Injection of alkaline solutions leads to mineral dissolution and precipitation in reservoirs that can change the permeability and porosity of porous media. The water-rock interaction events can alter the engineered solution pH. Accurate prediction pH changes and alkali consumption associated with mineral dissolution and precipitation is required in order to determine suitable chemical flooding designs. Additionally, different robust models have been built with the 1-D linear and radial dynamic reaction-transport portion of state-of-the-art geochemical software (the Geochemist's Workbench). The strategy has been tested for conditions of Wyoming's Minnelusa sandstone reservoirs.


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