Areas of Expertise
Louisiana State University serves as Louisiana's flagship institution for petroleum engineering research. It is consistently ranked with the top petroleum engineering departments in the nation. Through previous research for the MMS and industry, the department has developed a state-of-the-art multiphase research facility at the Research and Technology Transfer Laboratory. Departmental research covers a wide range of research problems associated with drilling and production of oil and gas. The total research funding awarded to the department during the last two years exceeded $1.2 million. Primary research projects include the following:
Downhole Water Sink Technology Initative
The Joint Industry Program (JIP) has been carried out at LSU since 1997. The program addresses R&D, technical support and transfer of a novel technology for petroleum wells affected by high water production problem - Downhole Water Sink (DWS) technology. The technology derives from a hydrodynamic concept of simultaneous production of oil and water drainage in a dual completed well. The JIP has developed DWS through field implementations of the technology by the member companies, and concurrent research and technical support provided by the LSU team of researchers lead by Dr. Andrew K. Wojtanowicz.
Well Control and Blowout Prevention
Development of technology for safe handling of high subsurface pressures of gas formations during drilling operations. The program encompasses topics such as dynamic killing and unloading procedures, underground blowouts, formation of craters under drilling structures, motion of gas kicks in inclined wellbores, sensing and transmitting bottomhole data, and the automation of well control.
Methodology of locating large volumes of by-passed oil using reservoir simulation studies followed by reservoir field studies. This program also includes tertiary recovery projects involving injection of carbon dioxide and/or other gases to partially depleted oil reservoirs. These projects are supported by fundamental laboratory experiments, as well as analytical prediction models to determine ultimate recovery factors.
Development of interpretation techniques for well logging data. This program includes topics such as models for sandy-shales, pore pressure inference from MWD data, and evaluation of fractured formations.
The program targets oilfield process improvements and modifications leading to pollution prevention and productivity enhancement. This approach involves modeling of the oilfield process-born mechanisms of pollution and development of new, cost-effective methods and techniques to meet environmental compliance requirements. On-site disposal, downhole injection drilling, fluids processing, oil/water separation, subsurface zonal isolation, toxicity testing, and in situ reduction of produced water. The program encompasses development of novel technology for well completion with downhole water sink.
Well Completion Fluid Dynamics
Optimization of well operations requires accurate prediction of the dynamic processes employed during the completion or workover. A prior prediction of fluid flow behavior during circulation and treating operations has often been disappointing. This research is aimed at improving pressure and temperature prediction for flow of gas, foam, brines, gels and proppant laden fluids. Data driven, real-time methods are being developed to improve prediction of circulation and treating fluid flow using the unique field-scale facilities of the LSU PERTT Lab.