Electrical streaming potentials are generated when water flows through many porous materials, e.g. rock. By monitoring such potentials we can learn about fluid motion during production of water/oil from reservoirs or during seismic events (earthquakes, man -made seismic shocks). Conversely, if an electric field is applied to rock, fluid can be made to flow (electro-osmosis).
The physics governing streaming potentials and electro-osmosis are understood when the rock pores are filled with a single fluid. However, petroleum reservoirs often contain not only oil, but also gas or water. Thus two-phase flow is of great importance for the oil industry. Much less is known about electro-osmotically generated two-phase flow.
Fuller understanding would help with the development of electroseismic techniques for O and G exploration, and with techniques for monitoring the approach of water towards oil wells. This understanding will also apply to 2-phase flow in micro-mechanical (mems) devices (lab on a chip), and to the generation of electric potentials during or prior to earthquakes.
The main objectives are:
To investigate two-phase electro-osmotic flow through geometries representing the irregular pores of rock, by means of numerical computations of
- motion of a drop through a constriction
- motion of a train of drops, with results linked into network simulators of flow in rock pores, which have successfully predicted single-phase electro-osmotic flow.
To expose E.Lac (the fellow) to new problems of practical importance to industry, as part of his training/career development:
- encouraging Lac to interact with other groups within the host lab.
- requiring him to attend weekly seminars,
- training visits to other Schlumberger R and D centres. Lac will profit from the freedom appropriate to a post-doc, whilst nevertheless guided by a senior scientist. Lacs excellent research record demonstrates that he will profit from this exposure to diverse practical.
Fields of science
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