SUSTAINABLE HYDROCARBON RECOVERY IN UNCONVENTIONAL RESERVOIRS
Develop economical methods for produced water treatment, focusing on gaps in current technology, especially the removal of naturally occurring radioactive materials and scale-causing minerals using nanotechnology and organics removal using fluidized beds.
Effective placement of chemicals for hydraulic fracturing, including the development of both nano-proppants and nanoparticle stabilized CO2 foam. Develop robust models of fracture propagation. Evaluate the effects of produced water composition on fracturing fluid efficacy.
Study the feasibility of using different gases (starting with CO2) to improve oil recovery in tight shale formations.
Production optimization from shale oil/gas reservoirs using improved correlations between seismic data and fracture properties for shale reservoirs. Reservoir simulation will be applied to optimize various production techniques to improve recovery.
The University of Kansas (KU) is launching a new Joint Industry Project (JIP) in Sustainable Hydrocarbon Recovery in Unconventional Reservoirs. Researchers from the Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Department (CPE), Tertiary Oil Recovery Program (TORP), Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering Department (CEAE), the Department of Geology (GEOL), and the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) are working together to develop novel technologies to address issues of critical importance for sustainable unconventional reservoir exploitation. The JIP will explore four Thrust Areas, each led by a Principal Investigator (PI).
To ensure the JIP is successful from the start, KU is investing $642,861 in initial research funding as well as providing research, staff support, and access to more than 7,500 sq. ft. of research lab space with:
- Fracture conductivity set-up for proppant and acid fracture conductivity measurements
- High pressure—high temperature CO2 and CO2 foam flood set-up
- State-of-the-art reservoir characterization and simulation capabilities and software
- High pressure—high temperature interfacial and contact angle measurement setup
- Shear loop and dynamic fluid loss setup
- High pressure—high temperature rheometer with CO2 foam rheological measurement capabilities
- Matrix acidizing coreflooding apparatus
- Sandpack and core testing capabilities, including high pressure rated core holders
- Slim tube set-up
- Extensive analytical instrumentation for the characterization of produced water and fracturing fluids
- Anaerobic chambers and a biological safety hood for the growth of bacterial cultures
- Access to key facilities on and off campus, including the KU Center for Metagenomic Microbial Community Analysis.