Microfluidics is an advanced field of science, and micromodels are widely used in medicine, microbiology, pharmaceuticals, as well as in hydrology and petroleum engineering. For example, Zhang et al. (2018) demonstrated the results of studies in which the effectiveness of drugs in various artificially grown tissues of human organs was tested on microfluidic devices . Abate et al. (2013) developed a DNA sequencing tool based on microdroplet manipulation that speeds up sequencing and minimizes the use of reagents . In oil and gas research, Molla and Mostowfi (2017) developed a microfluidic PVT model to investigate the relationship between saturation pressure and oil phase state . Gaol et al. (2019) studied microbiological methods for enhanced oil recovery of micromodels . To the best of our knowledge, there have been no studies on microfluidics for enhanced oil recovery and stimulation in Kazakhstan. However, Bolashak Fellow and PhD doctoral student Kenzhekhanov (2016) conducted relevant research work at the Colorado School of Mines (USA), and studied the effect of surfactants on the behavior of oils in a porous medium . Gussenov et al. (2019), on the other hand, showed the behavior of polymer gels in cores and the need to understand the factors that influence the stability of such fluids in complex systems. Considering the limitations of both laboratory setups, the research team proposes an innovative approach to improve the accuracy and reliability of micro- and macro-scale measurements. Integration of microfluidics with filtration experiments on core samples will provide reliable and inexpensive, ready-to-use results.
Objective of the project
The purpose of this project is to investigate the mechanisms of micro- and macro-level permeability degradation caused by process fluids and oil stimulation additives, as well as to determine the optimal fluid formulations and develop practical recommendations for subsoil users to maintain increased well productivity and prevent / minimize reservoir permeability deterioration.
We propose an improved experimental methodology and expect that the results of the studies will contribute to the economic and technical development of well treatment activities. The financial profit of any oil and gas company is directly proportional to the productivity of the well, which, in turn, largely depends on one parameter - the effective permeability of the rock. Thus, proper characterization of fluid filtration processes in porous media at the micro and macro scales, efficient design of fluid formulations for treatment, and ultimately prevention of permeability deterioration will bring commercial value to the oil and gas industry.
Technical laboratory guidelines for the use of microfluidics for testing process fluids for well treatment will be developed. This guide can be used by all researchers at both Satbayev University and other domestic institutions.
KazMunayGas Engineering, being a technical design organization for KazMunayGas operating companies, participates in improving their experience and offers alternative, cost-effective strategies for intensifying oil production.
Schlumberger, the largest oilfield services company in Kazakhstan, would like to see alternative production stimulation scenarios and compare our research results with the company's practice.
Chevron, Shell and Eni, the largest oil companies in Kazakhstan, are interested in developing and obtaining practical research results that can be applied to the Kashagan, Karachaganak and Tengiz fields in the near future.
The research results will increase the practical importance of oil and gas science in Kazakhstan, and then can be applied in other areas. During a period of low oil prices, our research strategy is in line with the goal of the government, in particular the Department of Energy, to increase oil recovery from existing fields by significantly reducing operating costs. We are confident that the butterfly effect of this project will spread to wider applications.
The results of this study can be applied in the commercialization of process fluids based on polymers developed in Kazakhstan. Polymers are used in virtually all operations, including drilling and completion, oil stimulation, and water control. There is a huge demand for chemicals, but the effectiveness of local polymers and additives must first be investigated by domestic scientists.
A microfluidics laboratory will be created at Satbayev University, which will be used for interdisciplinary research and training of the younger generation of scientists and students.
For the first time in KazNITU them. K.I. Satpaev, a microfluidics laboratory was created; the main mechanisms of permeability deterioration during the intensification of oil production were identified; microchips were made and a plan for experiments was developed.
Names and surnames of the study group members with their identifiers:
- Gusenov Iskander Shahsavanovich - Scientific adviser
- Kenzhekhanov Shaken - Chief Researcher
- Syzdykov Murat Kanatovich - Chief Researcher
- Nusipkozhaev Aibol Iztileuovich - Senior Researcher
- Zupir Saule - Senior Researcher