Iria Rodríguez Escontrela is a 4th year PhD student in Chemical Engineering at University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) studying under the supervision of Professor Soto. She received a B. Eng. in Industrial Engineering specializing in Industrial Chemistry, and a M. Eng. in Chemical and Environmental Process Engineering. She was awarded with a FPI fellowship to study her PhD. Currently she has authored six papers in the field of liquid-liquid equilibrium and Enhanced Oil Recovery with ionic liquids. Recently she has done a research stay under the supervision of Maura Puerto a research scientist in Professor Hirasaki and Profesor Miller Research Group at the Department of Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering of Rice University (Houston- Texas-USA). Raquel Corchero Morais is a first year doctoral student in Chemical Engineering at University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) studying under the supervision of Professor Soto. She received a B. Eng. in Chemical Engineering. Before starting the PhD, she completed a postgraduate program in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. She has expertise in applied nanotechnology, specifically, using nanoparticles synthesized in ionic liquids as a catalyst in photodegradation of industrial dyes and pharmaceutical products. She currently has a FPI scholarship and the topic of her PhD research is: “Enhanced oil recovery using surfactant ionic liquids”
There are several methods to improve oil extraction from reservoirs. Among them, chemical flooding with surfactants is a promising alternative for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) . These compounds reduce oil-water interfacial tension and therefore capillary forces that entrap petroleum into reservoir pores . Surface active ionic liquids (SAILs) are promising candidates to improve surfactant EOR methods because of their capacity to solubilize water and oil and to reduce the interfacial tension between them. In addition, they can be functionalized according to be tailored for a specific oil reservoir. Moreover, at room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) could be shipped in neat form to the field, the Krafft temperature for SAILs is lower than similar common surfactants  and co-surfactants are unnecessary because SAILs form stable micelles without the need of additional chemicals . Finding a surfactant or a surfactant blend able to generate microemulsions with good oil solubilization, meaning ultralow interfacial tension (IFT), is crucial for surfactant EOR. Another challenge is finding formulations tolerant to divalent ions. Surfactant phase behavior, from test results of salinity or surfactant-blend scans, is a powerful tool to quickly accomplish such an objective before carrying out more expensive and time-consuming experiments . In this work, the potential of a set of SAILs alone or blended has been studied, by means of phase behavior tests in sealed pipettes, for their application in EOR. Based on the individual salinity scan results, surfactant-blend scans combining different SAILs or a SAIL with a well- known EOR surfactant have been carried out focusing in finding a classical Winsor I-III-II transition (Figure 1) with high oil solubilization and likewise being tolerant to divalent ions.
Qin Li has a great interest in improving unconventional gas reservoir exploitation, particularly in unconventional reservoir characterization. She integrate all available geological and geophysical information into a fine characterized fractured near-wellbore model to accurately represent the reservoir structure and fluid properties in the near-wellbore region in coal seam gas reservoirs. This model is validated by using pressure transient testing data from the field and the proposed near-wellbore model is utilized in well Guluguba 5 in Surat Basin in Queensland, Australia. The related application results demonstrate the usefulness and accuracy of the proposed method in capturing the major features of naturally fractured low permeable coal seam gas reservoirs.
Statement of the Problem: Coal seam gas (CSG) reservoirs possess a great quantity of coal seam gas, which is a hazard to coal mining but also a significant energy resource. Therefore, to extract CSG from coal seams is very significant for the supply of our energy. However, coal seam gas reservoirs have many unique characteristics which differ from conventional reservoirs (e.g. gas adsorption and desorption, naturally fractured coal seams and stress/pressure-dependent permeability). These raise a great challenge in reservoir characterization by using conventional methods, namely, wireline logs, core description and seismic. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A fine characterized fractured near-wellbore model, based on the available geological, geophysical and production data, is built and validated through history matching with actual well test data. A parametric study is carried out to numerically investigate the pressure transient behaviors of various fractures in low permeable coal seams. Findings: Different fracture properties, including fracture permeability, fracture orientation and fracture spacing, have varied and obvious responses on the derivative plots of bottomhole pressure in the near-wellbore models. And some new features in the flow regimes of the derivative plots of the bottomhole pressure are presented and discussed by using velocity profiles. An application of the fine characterized near-wellbore model with explicit description of fractures in well Guluguba 5 demonstrates that only the results from the fractured near-wellbore model can match well with the actual well test data. Conclusion & Significance: the fine characterized fractured near-wellbore models can incorporate all available geological and geophysical data and describe the reservoir structure and fluid properties in naturally fractured coal seam gas reservoirs accurately, which are vital for gas production prediction and enhanced coal seam gas recovery.