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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D002435/1
Title: Role of Micro-Scale Heterogeneity in Controlling Macro-Scale, Multi-Phase Flow in Porous Media
Principal Investigator: Sorbie, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Couples, Professor GD
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr J Ma Dr MIJ van Dijke Dr K Wu
Project Partners:
Department: Institute Of Petroleum Engineering
Organisation: Heriot-Watt University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 November 2005 Ends: 31 October 2008 Value (£): 541,402
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Multiphase Flow Oil & Gas Extraction
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Jun 2005 Engineering Science (Flow) Panel Deferred
Summary on Grant Application Form
Porous rocks may contain hydrocarbons or water resources. In other cases, porous rocks may be used as repositories for wastes disposed into the subsurface. Understanding the controls on the flow properties of rocks, and predicting those characteristics in the subsurface, is a challenging task - especially where multiple fluid phases are present and are flowing. This project is proposed by two internationally-leading research groups from Heriot-Watt Univ with extensive experience in the subject area. The central objective of the project is to develop new ways to a priori predict multi-phase flow properties of porous rocks. The project is now feasible due to advances in two key fundamental topics: (1) the development of a new and practical method for reconstructing rocks, and for deriving a model of their pore systems; and (2) significant developments in network modelling methods for calculating multi-phase flows. The project design is to continue enhancing the rock-reconstruction methods, and the way that pore-system topology can be extracted from those models. Results so far suggest that the pore systems are much more complex than was previously thought. This observation requires that we modify the network modelling approaches to allow us to calculate the multi-phase flow properties of the rocks - a task involving the generation of new models relating to the pore-scale physics of multi-phase fluids moving through complex pore shapes. The project involves an explicit validation effort in which we will compare the numerical predictions against both experimental results and laboratory measurements. The results will have a significant impact on the way that petroleum companies analyse the subsurface of the Earth, and how they decide on exploitation schemes. The results can also be extended to other subject areas, such as hydrogeology and pollution remediation, CO2 storage schemes, soils bioscience, ceramic filters, food technology, and even medicine.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.hw.ac.uk