Microfluidics and field studies


Objective: Establish a new method for determination of wettability in porous media by using micromodels and micro-CT. Characterize multiphase flow in various wetting states and relations to trapping. Establish experimental support for the ensemble probability distribution by microscantomography of flow in rocks.

Principal Investigator WP6: Ole Torsæter. Partners: Profs. Dag Dysthe, Eirik Grude Flekkøy, Alex Hansen, Bjørnar Sandnes, Stéphane Santucci, Laurent Talon, Ole Torsæter, Renaud Toussaint. Researcher: Per Arne Slotte, PhD: Morten Vassvik, Associate Professor:  Carl Fredrik Berg.

Microfluidics flow experiment with lab-on-chip technology.

Microfluidics flow experiment with lab-on-chip technology. Picture courtesy: Georg J. B. Voss. Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, NTNU

Description: Wettability is the most important property governing oil trapping or recovery during water flooding in oil reservoirs. However, the wettability changes under two-phase flow in complex porous media are not well understood and the protocols of wetting state measurements are not properly defined under two phase flow conditions. Measurements of the contact angle on a substrate or the wettability index in spontaneous imbibition and centrifuge experiments do not provide a good predictability of the possible optimal wettability conditions or wettability changes in a dynamic two phase flow experiment.

We propose to study changes of oil distribution and evolution of wettability in two phase flow in glass micro-models or lab-on-chip microfluidics. The focus will be to understand oil trapping in channels and pores at different conditions. The evolution of wettability together with the distribution of oil and water versus time will be monitored. The learning from these fundamental and simplified experiments will be extended to two phase flow experiments in complex micromodels.

Deliverables: Elucidation and determination of the role of wettability in determining the macroscopic flow properties. A new method for wettability classification and determination. Experimental verification of ensemble probability distribution.

Plenary lectures at international conferences and distinguished lectures

Media coverage

Selected articles before center launch

  1. Hosseinzade Khanamiri, Hamid; Torsæter, Ole; Stensen, Jan Åge: Effect of calcium in pore scale oil trapping by low-salinity water and surfactant enhanced oil recovery at strongly water-wet conditions: in situ imaging by X-ray microtomography. Energy & Fuels 2016;Volume 30.(10) s. 8114-8124. doi10.1021/acs.energyfuels.6b01236
  2. Li, Shidong; Genys, Mindaugas; Kun, Wang; Torsæter, Ole: “Experimental Study of Wettability Alteration during Nanofluid Enhanced Oil Recovery Process and Its Effect on Oil Recovery”. SPE Reservoir Characterization and Simulation Conference and Exhibition; 2015-09-14 – 2015-09-16. https://doi.org/10.2118/175610-MS
  3. Hendraningrat, Luky; Torsæter, Ole: “Effects of the initial rock wettability on silica-based nanofluid-enhanced oil recovery processes at reservoir temperatures”. Energy & Fuels, 2014; Volume 28.(10) s. 6228-6241. doi: 10.1021/ef5014049
  4. Farokhpoor, Raheleh; Bjørkvik, Bård Johan Arnt; Lindeberg, Erik Gøsta Brun; Torsæter, Ole: “Wettability behavior of CO2 at storage conditions”. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 2013; Volume 12. s.18-25. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijggc.2012.11.003
  5. Afrapoli, Mehdi Shabani; Valipour Shokouhi, Samad; Torsæter, Ole.: “Analysis of Microscopic Displacement Mechanisms of a MIOR Process in Porous Media with Different Wettability”. Transport in Porous Media 2012 ;Volume 93.(3) s. 705-719. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-012-9978-z
  6. Kowalewski, E. ,Rueslåtten, I. , Steen, K.H. , Bodtker, G. , Torsæter, O. : “Microbial improved oil recovery-bacterial induced wettability and interfacial tension effects on oil production”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering , 52 (2006) 275-286. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.petrol.2006.03.011
  7. Kowalewski, E., Holt, T. and Torsæter, O.: ”Wettability alterations due to an oil soluble additive”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 33 (2002), 19-28. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0920-4105(01)00172-3

Selected articles from 2017

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