Story shared by Dr. Russell T. Johns

- July 19, 2017

New PVT Lab Developed to Examine Research in High Pressure & Temperature Behavior of Petroleum Fluids

A new PVT lab has been developed to examine fundamental research in high pressure and temperature behavior of petroleum fluids with surfactants and solvents. The new equipment, paid with a grant from ADNOC, one of the world’s leading oil companies headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, will be very beneficial for the enhanced oil recovery research we've been conducting for many years at Penn State. The research developed in this project may also be useful for the surfactant industry, where detergents and other soaps are made, as well as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Russell Johns, the principle investigator who wrote the proposal for the new lab, will use new equipment to develop methods for companies to create the ideal balance of chemicals in their injection. He also hopes to improve the industry's understanding of microemulsions, which are intricate liquid mixtures of oil, water and surfactant, and the various factors -- pressure, volume and temperature -- that affect how fluids behave underground. They hope to develop a new model that can predict the number, composition and amount of various phases that form as fluids contact each other within the reservoir.

“The new equipment that we obtain from our partnership with ADNOC should help us to develop practical equations to study fluid behavior occurring after these injections," said Johns. "Our model can then be calibrated by these experiments to provide insight on how much of each injection component of the solution is optimal for ASP flooding at high pressure and temperature. We also hope to couple the new model with a simulation of flow within a reservoir to predict oil recoveries with this method."