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Goual Research Group

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One of the most critical challenges facing the oil industry today is assuring fluid flow through ultra-deep sub-sea wells such as those found in the Gulf of Mexico. Potential impediments include the formation of organic deposits in flow lines due to changes in fluid composition (especially near the bubble point pressure), leading to significantly high intervention costs. Therefore, extracting maximum value from these wells requires a good grasp of the fundamental mechanisms involved in the deposition process. The objective of this project is to better understand the mechanism of asphaltene deposition in crude oil systems and characterize the deposited fractions at ambient and reservoir conditions using different capillary tube configurations combined with high-resolution imaging techniques. These findings are in turn used to select additives and surface coatings that are most suitable for fouling mitigation.

Large-scale MD simulations are also performed using atomistic and coarse-grained models in order to understand the aggregation of polydisperse asphaltene mixtures in bulk phases and their interactions with solid surfaces. Specific intermolecular forces are quantified between nanoaggregates, clusters, and flocculates. The molecular details of aggregates formed in these simulations enable the microscopic mechanisms of asphaltene-dispersant interactions to be assessed. The main outcomes of this project will lead to creative and dynamic advances in several energy-related fields, including fouling and formation damage prevention technologies in both upstream and downstream oil industries, as well as remediation of oil-contaminated aquifers and oil spill cleanup.


Contact Us

Petroleum Engineering

EN 4015

Dept. 3295

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071


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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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