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PhD Position: Improving Reservoir Souring Treatments For Chalk Formations

Technical University of Denmark - Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Lyngby - Denmark
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 7th February 2019
Closes: 7th March 2019

The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applicants for a multisicipline PhD position in the area of numerical modelling of biological proccesses in the subsurface.

Responsibilities and tasks 

Biological hydrogen sulphide production in subsurface reservoirs and pipelines is an unfavourable phenomenon as leads to higher operational costs. The produced hydrogen sulphide is a toxic gas leading to health and safety issues; it also enhances infrastructure corrosion among other negative effects. Souring in such systems is mainly due to respiration of anaerobic microorganisms (sulphate-reducing prokaryotes, SRP) that reduces sulphate to sulphide. These microorganisms may exist indigenously in the reservoirs or/and may be introduced into the system during drilling and waterflooding. Utilising seawater for waterflooding provides additional sulphate and SRP in the system. The main strategies to reduce the probability of souring are: injecting nitrate and/or nitrite to inhibit SRP activity and/or oxidize sulphide; removing sulphate from injection water; and biocide treatments. 

Controlling the microbial souring by injecting nitrate to shift the indigenous microbial community away from sulfide production has become an established method. However, to predict and design the cost effective long-term strategies for the souring control process more work is needed. The reliable quantification of the mechanism of different treatments under altered reservoir conditions is still a challenge and requires more examinations. The effects of altered reservoir conditions, fractures, reservoir heterogeneity, bioavailability, self-inhibition, among others, on the souring control process have not been studied in detail in chalk reservoirs. Detailed reservoir simulations incorporating all the relevant available information are required to predict the success of various treatment options while reducing the uncertainties.

The PhD student will develope numerical models for coupled proccesses in chalk formations. He/She will investigate the interaction among different hydraulic, chemical and biological processes controlling the flow dynamic in the reservoirs. A thorough sensitivity analysis on the effect of different mechanisms on the microbial growth and hydrogen sulphide production at different scales  will be conducted to identify the most influential parameters. This will be then tested for data measured for the targeted field. The position will be an integrated part of the Scale & Corrosion programme with the focus on improving well integrity. The PhD project involves also field studies.  

Qualifications

  • M.Sc. degree in engineering or other relevant areas; 
  • Excellent Knowledge of the fundamentals of multiphase flow and transport in porous media;
  • A good knowledge of geomicrobiology and applied mathematic is very valuable.
  • Previous experience with devloping numerical codes for reactive transport models is highly advantageous.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment as an independent researcher;
  • Good writing and communication skills in English;

Application procedure:

Please submit your online application no later than 7 March 2019.  

To view the full announcement and to apply: www.career.dtu.dk

   
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