PhD position: Investigation of Improved Recovery Processes and Rock-Fluid Interactions

torsdag 18 jul 19

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Frist 18. august 2019
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We are looking for a PhD student with an interest in experimental investigations of the role of crude oil chemistry in recovery processes and the underlying mechanisms.

The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC), Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applicants for a PhD position on investigations of selected improved oil recovery methods and their mechanisms relevant for Danish North Sea.

You will be a part of the experimental research team at DHRTC, which is part of a growing cross-disciplinary research program, involving several researchers at DTU and other Danish universities, research institutes and the industry. Our work include projects on advanced oil characterization and analytical chemistry, surface characterization and surface chemistry studies, core flooding, contact angle measurements, fracture characterization and simulation and reservoir modelling.

The focus of our team is on recovery processes and reservoir response in tight chalk testing different concepts and methods that can potentially improve and sustain recovery in the tight chalk fields in the Danish North Sea area. Focus will also be on the effects of production on produced water chemistry and possible mitigation strategies. Reservoir core plugs, crude oil and unique field and laboratory data sets are available to increase the applicability of the research. The processes currently being investigated are amongst others Smart Water flooding, surfactant treatment and effects of production chemicals on the reservoir material and the produced fluid. Besides performing regular flooding experiments, we also perform core flooding experiments in a CT scanner to be able to monitor the recovery process in situ. State of the art core flooding and rock  and fluid characterization equipment, including, HR-MS,  ICP-OES, SEM/QEMSCAN, and two CT-scanners, a micro CT scanner and a nano-CT scanner are among the techniques in use at the DHRTC.

Responsibilities and tasks
The project will investigate the potential for improving recovery in the Danish North Sea chalk fields. Your focus will be to analyse core flooding experiments on low salinity/modified salinity flooding in reservoir and analogue core material with a focus on the mechanisms that govern the recovery. Interpreting core flooding, imbibition experiments, eluent analysis and performing rock-fluid interaction studies will be part of the work. Depending on your interests and background you can work closely with analytical chemists on or participate in the chemical analysis of the experiments, with X-ray tomography experts to study fluid flow during flooding and with the reservoir modelling team. You should be prepared to engage in linking your research with the activities in the recovery processes team, but also the projects carried out in relation to geology, analytical chemistry, surface chemistry, and reservoir modelling and simulations.

A good understanding of the theory of fluid flow and flow in porous media is an advantage. Some experience with laboratory based work is an advantage as is experience with surface chemistry, nanosciences and analytical chemistry. Being open to multi-disciplinary research and team work is a must as you will work in close collaboration with the members of the recovery processes team, other students and colleagues at the Centre’s partner institutions.

Your background would require several elements:

  • M.Sc. degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, physics, or other relevant areas;
  • Excellent laboratory skills;
  • Knowledge of chemistry
  • Some knowledge of the fundamentals of flows and fluid distribution in porous media;
  • Interest in applied research;
  • Skills in mathematics and physics;
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment;
  • Good communication skills in English;
  • Thorough, focused and hardworking person;
Application potential
The line-of-sight application potential of this project is to participate in the screening processes of potential EOR methods for tight chalk fields in the Danish part of the North Sea.

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 terms of employment
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 Senior Researcher Karen Louise Feilberg, Tel: +45 93511420, email:  

You can read about the scientific basis for the centre’s activities here:  

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 18 August 2019 (local time), and we will be conducting interviews on a continuous basisApplications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:
  • Letter of motivation stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Authorized copies of BSc and MSc diplomas, and transcript of grades (an official translation into English) with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)  
  • List of publications
Applications submitted by email will not be considered. 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.

The overarching purpose of The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre is to identify new technological and conceptual solutions that will enable increased oil and gas extraction in the Danish section of the North Sea. The research activities at the centre cover selected aspects of expertise: Reservoir characterization, Enhanced Oil & Gas Recovery Processes, Drilling & Production Technology Concepts and Production Facilities, Materials Research & Design. The centre will develop deep, new understanding within these disciplines with a line-of-sight to application. Located at The Technical University of Denmark research groups at the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Aalborg University and the Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark will be affiliated with the Centre.

Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre is established by the Danish Underground Consortium and DTU and is a part of the national strategy on oil and gas.

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 university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.