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PE Distinguished Seminar Series: Transport Mechanisms for Oil Shale and Implications for the Solvent Huff’n-Puff Process

September 21 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Russell Johns headshotDr. Russell Johns

Penn State University, Visiting Scholar at Colorado School of Mines

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by solvent injection offers significant potential to increase recovery from shale oil reservoirs, which are typically between 3 and 7% OOIP. The rather sparse literature on this topic typically models these tight reservoirs based on conventional reservoir processes and mechanisms, such as by convective transport using Darcy’s law, even though there is little physical justification for this treatment.

This talk will discuss a more physically-realistic recovery mechanism based solely on diffusion-dominated transport. We develop a diffusion-dominated proxy model assuming first-contact miscibility (FCM) to provide rapid estimates of oil recovery for both primary production and the solvent huff’n’soak’n’puff (HSP) process in ultra-tight oil reservoirs. Simplified proxy models represent the major features of the fracture network and are used to capture the effective area of contact between the matrix and fractures. The key results show that diffusion-transport only can reproduce the primary production period within the Eagle Ford shale and within the Marcellus, without the need to use Darcy’s law. Recoveries are then shown to be increased significantly for the HSP process in the Eagle Ford. The minimum miscibility pressure (MMP) is shown to be irrelevant to recovery by solvent injection.

BIO: Russell T. Johns is the Trimble Chair of Energy and Mineral Sciences at the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State University. He also holds the Energi Simulation Chair in Fluid Behavior and Rock Interactions. He recently served as Chair of the Petroleum Program at Penn State, and is currently the Editor-In-Chief for SPE journals. He has over 250 publications in the area of enhanced oil recovery and well testing. Prior to his current position, he served on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin for fifteen years. He also has nine years of industrial experience as a petrophysical engineer for Shell Oil and consultant for Colenco Power in Baden, Switzerland.


September 21
10:00 am - 11:00 am
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Marquez Hall
1600 Arapahoe St.
Golden, CO 80401 United States


Room Number
MZ 108