Generation, Migration, Accumulation and Recovery of Hydrocarbons in Tight Rocks: Insights from Laboratory Observations
Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand | Energy and Mineral Resources Group, RWTH Aachen University
Amin Ghanizadeh | Tight Oil Consortium, University of Calgary
March 19, 2019 | 11:30 am doors open
NEW LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Imperial Ballroom 5/7/9 | 700
Centre Street SE, Calgary AB T2G 5P6
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The development of unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs is currently a primary focus of industry in North America. In contrast to conventional hydrocarbon systems, generation, primary migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons in tight rocks occur at multiple scales within space and time, and are controlled by a variety of coupled physicochemical processes. Despite large hydrocarbon-in-place resource estimations and application of technologies such as long horizontal wells combined with hydraulic fracturing in multiple stages, the current hydrocarbon recovery – particularly light oil and condensate – from the unconventional reservoirs is very low (˂10%). The key strategies for future development are therefore, to 1) understand the fundamentals of hydrocarbon generation, migration and accumulation in tight rocks and 2) investigate dominant controlling factors on primary and enhanced hydrocarbon recovery in these lithotypes with permeabilities down to the nanodarcy range.
Working on multiple potential European and productive North American unconventional oil/gas reservoirs, the current laboratory research at Energy and Mineral Resources Group (EMR) at RWTH Aachen University and the Tight Oil Consortium (TOC) at the University of Calgary is focused on a variety of research topics including, but not limited to:
• Advanced fluid and core analysis for improved understanding of hydrocarbon generation, migration, and accumulation in tight rocks (EMR)
• Investigation of the fundamental physicochemical fluid storage and transport processes in tight rocks, their interrelation and interdependence (EMR)
• Advanced core and cuttings analysis for improved characterization of fluid-rock interaction in unconventional light oil reservoirs (TOC)
• Investigation of Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) in unconventional light oil reservoirs (TOC)
This presentation provides a brief summary of these selected research topics, followed by selected examples from a variety of potential/productive unconventional resource plays in Europe and North America. The multidisciplinary research strategies followed by the EMR and TOC laboratories over the past decade(s), provide a means for industry to 1) identify and target hydrocarbon “sweet spots” more effectively in unconventional reservoirs and 2) reduce the exploration and development risks by better understanding the coupled geochemical, petrophysical and geomechanical processes in tight rocks
Dr. Alexandra Amann-Hildenbrand is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Group at the RWTH Aachen University (Germany). Dr. Amann-Hildenbrand holds a Diploma (M.Sc. equivalent) in Geoscience from RWTH Aachen University. During her PhD project at the Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal in Aachen, she conducted experimental studies on “Fluid Transport Processes in Mudstones” and earned a PhD degree of RWTH Aachen University in 2003. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Amann-Hildenbrand was employed as a researcher at VITO (Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek) in Belgium. She was involved in different projects regarding the CO2 sequestration potential and risks in Belgium, the quantification of the in-situ methane content of the coal-bearing sequences in NE-Belgium and the analysis of geothermal use of the flooded coal mines in Heerlen (the Netherlands). In 2008, Dr. Amann-Hildenbrand again joined the Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal of RWTH Aachen University (Germany). In the petrophysical laboratory, she is conducting experiments with focus on fluid transport processes in fine-grained, low-permeable rocks. Data are analysed with respect to their dependence on fluid/confining pressure, water saturation, and gas type. This enables the extrapolation of the experimental observations to the natural geological system. Dr. Amann-Hildenbrand is author/co-author of more than 30 scientific publications.
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.de/citations?user=8DNdMjAAAAAJ&hl=de
Dr. Amin Ghanizadeh is a Petrophysical Research Supervisor and Laboratory Manager at the Tight Oil Consortium at the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary. With a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Petroleum Geoscience, during the past 10 years, Amin has been intensively involved in industry/government-sponsored projects in Iran, Australia, Germany and Canada investigating fluid storage and transport processes in synthetic carbonaceous materials (carbon nanotubes, activated carbons) and low-permeability geological media (coals, tight sandstones/siltstones, shales/mudrocks). Arranged chronologically, these national/international projects include the Australian CO2CRC Project (www.co2crc.com.au), German CO2Seals Project, European GASH Project (www.gas-shales.org), and most recently, Canadian Tight Oil Project (www.tightoilconsortium.com). Amin’s current research interests are focused on 1) advancing core and cuttings analysis for improved characterization of geochemical, petrophysical and geomechanical properties and fluid-rock interaction in unconventional light oil reservoirs and 2) investigation of Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) in these reservoirs. Among more than 60 peer-reviewed technical articles and conference contributions, Amin is the co-author of three invited review articles that discuss a variety of field- and laboratory-scales processes governing hydrocarbon storage and transport in unconventional oil/gas resources. Amin is further the recipient of “2018 Award of Excellence: Research Staff" at the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary.
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=zq6qbLkAAAAJ&hl=en