PhD position: Improving reservoir souring treatments for chalk formations

Centre for Oil and Gas - DTU
tirsdag 20 nov 18

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Frist 6. januar 2019
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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;
Approval and Enrolment 
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the  DTU PhD Guide

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. 

The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here. .

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Dr. Hamid Nick, hamid@dtu.dk 

You can read about the scientific basis for the centre’s activities here: www.oilgas.dtu.dk/english/Research  

Application procedure:
Please submit your online application no later than 6 January 2019. 

Applications must contain all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English. The file must include:
  • Application stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project. 
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research statement and names and addresses of three references
  • Authorized copies of BSc and MSc degree diplomas, and transcript of grades (an official translation into English). Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it. 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.