It is February now – popularly known as the month of love. It totally resembles with how I am feeling now while working at the Centre. I have always been passionate about working for the Improved Oil Recovery and when I got a chance to work on this subject, how can I not grab that opportunity? And love, ohh, the people here are so amazingly sweet and caring! How can one not fall in love with the working environment here at the Centre?
First and foremost, my heartfelt thank you to everyone at The National IOR Centre of Norway for giving me this amazing opportunity to be a part of the team which has one common vision "Joining Forces to Recover More". It is a pleasure to be amongst the leading intellectuals and researchers from the oil and gas industry and working towards one common aim of optimizing and increasing the oil recovery from the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
That was my aim in the first place when I came to Norway 2.5 years back…to work towards improving the recovery rates from the NCS. I am so delighted by the fact that my life is following the path that I actually wished for. I had already adapted myself to the Norwegian life and culture in the past two years when I was doing my MSc at the University of Stavanger, but then it all started for me just a few months back when I started with my PhD at the National IOR Centre. I always thought that it was going to be a roller coaster transition ride for me and that there were going to be a lot of twists and turns in this new adventure, but the people at the Centre made this transition so easy and smooth for me. Genuinely sweet and helpful people!
Then I got a chance to go to a Strategy Seminar with the whole Centre team to Hjelmeland. It was an amazing experience! Beyond words! Getting to know new people, what are their roles in the Centre, how my project work is going to be related to what everyone else is doing, how am I going to achieve my goal and how am I going to contribute to that ‘one common vision’ of the IOR Centre, not to forget the beautiful landscape in and around Hjelmeland, and the amazing food from some of the well-known Norwegian chefs.
So what is my research all about?
The mechanical strength of chalk has been shown to depend on the chemistry of the pore fluids. Typically, for water or brine saturated chalks the mechanical parameters are reduced compared to the oil-filled (or dry) chalks. Experimental results have revealed that different ions in the water changes the macroscopic mechanical behaviour in different ways. For example, sulphates adsorb onto the water-wet chalks leading to a drastic reduction in the elastic and plastic properties. Another example is linked to magnesium ions leading to dissolution of calcium carbonate and accelerated strains at constant stress conditions beyond yield. A concern has been raised upon to which degree the results of the previous experiments, typically performed on water-wet and water-filled outcrop chalk, can be applied to oil reservoirs. Is sulphate adsorption observed in oil-filled chalks? Can precipitation of magnesium bearing minerals form when oil is present in the pores? How does sulphate adsorption and magnesium triggered dissolution/precipitation occur in oil-wet cores?
The focus of the presented project will be to constrain to which degree the initial water saturation alters the mechanical properties of chalks at stresses, temperatures and pore fluid pressures that are relevant to reservoir conditions. Of special emphasis is to explore how the injection of seawater-like brines alters the mechanical properties both during loading to in- situ stresses and in the creep phase. The experiments will be performed at uni-axial strain conditions, with varying side stress to ensure zero radial strain and constant overburden stress such that the stress-path is similar to those that are occurring in field.
Now the 2nd IOR Conference is also around the corner. It will be a great experience for me to meet the fellow researchers working in the same domain.
Looking forward to an exciting research period! Until next time.
Jaspreet Singh Sachdeva