Achieving a sustainable energy future is a major present-day challenge in which fossil fuels are predicted to play a dominant role over decades. In order to address a sustainable energy supply, developments and targets in the areas of renewable energies and fossil fuels must be coupled and balanced.
Reservoir Engineering is a key discipline to drive advances in subsurface technologies in order to improve the balance between energy production and environment impact through R&D.
In this context, the Reservoir Engineering Group aims to provide best possible education, to further develop the field of reservoir engineering and to tackle the energy-supply challenge and related topics by cooperating with the public sector and energy companies. We focus on economically feasible and environmentally friendly hydrocarbon recovery methods, gas injection for energy storage (power-to-gas) and sequestration (CCS).
Engineering future energy!
Due to the growing global demand for energy and the relatively slow transition to sustainable energy sources, the combustion of carbon-based fuels will remain the world’s major energy source for the coming decades. In order to achieve climate targets, transition technologies are required to reduce CO2 emissions during this period. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is such a technology with a high potential to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and potentially even achieve a negative CO2 footprint. Research in the area of subsurface storage is typically focused on storage capacity and storage safety.
In this context, a currently ongoing PhD project is focused on the coupling of flow and geomechanics. The final goal is to model CO2 injection in fractured reservoirs with pre-existing faults and to estimate the effect of mechanics on flow and on storage capacity as well as estimating the risk of leakage and fault activation.
Despite the challenges and ongoing R&D, current knowledge and capabilities are sufficient to already identify safe subsurface containers in which CO2 can safely be stored. In particular, depleted gas fields and sandstone reservoirs are promising candidates for storage operations. But even in such cases, an elaborate effort of reservoir characterization and reservoir engineering is needed to guarantee safe storage and to optimize injection performance and storage capacity. Further R&D is focused on carbonate reservoirs. Those are more complex due to their multi-scale structural heterogeneities. Also the high reaction rate of carbonates with carbonic acid raises some challenges for predictive reservoir modeling and is hence a rich playground for research.
Geological Hydrogen Storage
Hydrogen is a very valuable source of energy. It can be produced from – e.g. – a surplus of renewable energy production or from heavy-oil production through upgrading. However, the production of large amounts of hydrogen needs the respective storage capacity to meet the demand. This is what we are working on.
The Reservoir Engineering group participates in a pilot project assessing the feasibility of large-scale hydrogen storage in a former gas field in Upper Austria (which should not be confused with – e.g. – the more developed small-scale hydrogen storage devices for – e.g. – transport applications). The target is the temporary surplus of wind and solar energy, which demands for storage capacity in order to cover for seasonal fluctuations of renewable energy production (www.underground-sun-storage.at).
We work on the chemical interaction between the injected hydrogen, the formation rock and the fluids in place. The target is to predict the stability of hydrogen in the reservoir as compared to the intended time scale of storage, which defines the purity and the value of the back-produced gas.
Improved and Enhanced Oil Recovery
A major part of the conventional oil reserves cannot be recovered by primary and secondary recovery methods. Tertiary processes or Enhanced Oil Recovery methods (EOR) have been developed to extract more oil from mature fields and enhancing recovery. However, EOR is typically expensive and is applied at high oil price.
Our aim is to establish the necessary numerical and experimental tools to better understand EOR processes on multiple scales (pore to field) in order to be able to develop low-cost options tailored to individual fields. The focus areas will be on water-based techniques such as alkaline and low-salinity water flooding and on CO2 EOR.
Upscaling of Porous Media Flow
Our primary research interest relates to multiphase flow in complex rock such as multi-porosity and fractured carbonates. Thereby we place emphasis on flow processes that dynamically change rock and fluid properties – i.e. reactive transport, wettability alteration, etc. – and their feedback to flow mechanisms. We aim to address these mechanisms on their natural length and time scales by state-of-the-art laboratory experiments, numerical interpretation and upscaling to the field-relevant scales.
Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Phys. Dr.rer.nat.
Head of Department and Chair, University Professor
- Habilitation (Dr. habil.), Geological Institute, RWTH Aachen University, Germany – Venia Legendi in Applied Geosciences 2015
- PhD in Physics (Dr. rer. nat.), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany 2004
- Diploma in Physics (Dipl.-Phys.), Freie Universität Berlin, Germany 1999
- Apprenticeship diploma as Instrument Mechanic, Kautt&Bux KG, Stuttgart, Germany 1988
- Head of Department Petroleum Engineering since 2019
- Head of Chair of Reservoir Engineering since 2016
- Privatdozent (Associate Professor) at RWTH Aachen University, Germany since 2015
- Reader (honorary) at the Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, United Kingdom 2011-2016
- Senior Scientist at Shell Exploration & Production and Shell Global Solutions International B.V., Rijswijk/Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2006-2015
- Doctoral and Postdoctoral Researcher at Berlin University, Germany, University of Tokyo, Japan and University of Cologne, Germany with focus on solid state physics 1999-2006
- Fluid dynamics and reactive transport in porous media in particular on the pore scale and upscaling.
- Imaging of fluid and solute transport in porous media.
- Development of low-cost enhanced and improved oil recovery methods (IOR/EOR) tailored to regions and operations.
- Subsurface energy and waste storage such as large-scale hydrogen storage from excess renewable energy, and subsurface carbon storage for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Former research activities: low dimensional magnetism and coupling of magnetic and electronic structures in correlated and uncorrelated electron systems.
Univ.-Prof. MSc. PhD
University Professor for Carbonate Reservoir Engineering
- PhD Chemical Engineering, Enhanced Oil Recovery, University of Kansas, U.S.A. 1989
- MSc Chemical Engineering, Thermal Oil Recovery, University of Kansas, U.S.A. 1984
- BSc Chemical Engineering, University of Kansas, U.S.A. 1981
- Kish Petroleum Engineering Tehran Iran – Project Manager of several offshore and onshore Iranian oil and gas fields 2012-2017
- Petroiran Development Company Tehran Iran – Consultant 2006-2011
- Petran Research Company Tehran Iran, Senior Reservoir Engineer 2000-2006
- Professor Petroleum University of Technology, Petroleum Department 1990-2017
- Instructor, Department of Mathematics, University of Kansas, U.S.A. 1987-1990
- Research Assistant, Tertiary Oil Recovery Project, University of Kansas, U.S.A. 1984-1987
Improved Oil Recovery (IOR), Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Reservoir Modelling & Simulation, and Wax & Asphaltene studies.
Numerous production mechanisms and harsh reservoir conditions make the available EOR and most chemicals used for conventional reservoirs not to be suitable for naturally carbonated fractured reservoirs. Hence better reservoir characterization and proper selection and design of the injection fluids requires more attention. In my research, I was able to visualize and identify these mechanisms through designed experimental and modeling techniques. Processes such as GAGD, VAPEX, SAGD, TAGD, etc. were investigated thoroughly with the main focusing on understanding and quantifying EOR mechanisms for NCFR.
- PhD candidate Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2018
- MSc International Study Program in Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben 2017-2018
- BSc International Study Program in Petroleum Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben 0-2017
- Master Thesis, OMV and Montanuniversität Leoben 2018
- Research Associate and teaching assistant, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2017
- Investigation of rock-fluid and fluid-fluid properties under varying conditions
- Microemulsion formation in the reservoir during EOR processes
- Analysis of Microemulsions
- Investigation of displacement processes using CT scanning
- PhD Candidate, Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversity Leoben since 2020
- MSc. Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Recovery, Montanuniversity Leoben 2019-2020
- BSc. Petroleum Engineering, Montanuniversity Leoben 2014-2019
- Higher Federal Institute for Experimental Chemistry, HBLVA Rosensteingasse, Vienna 2008-2013
- Research Associate, Chair of Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria since 2020
- Production Engineer, Erdwerk GmbH, Munich, Germany 2020
- Research Associate, Virtual Flow Metering, Leoben, Austria 2019-2020
- SEG Evolve Graduate, San Antonio, Texas, USA 2018-2019
- Orlen Upstream, Flow Assurance, Warsaw, Poland 2017
- Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage
- Geothermal Energy Recovery and Utilization
- Hydrogen Storage and Mobility
- Hydro- and Geochemistry
- Power to Gas Technologies
- Subsurface Engineering
- PhD candidate Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2019
- MSc International Study Program in Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben 2016-2018
- BSc Chemical Engineering, University of Tehran 2009-2014
- Research Associate, Chair of Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria since 2017
- Petroleum Research Center, Tehran, Iran 2014
- Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, Tehran, Iran 2013
- Enhanced oil recovery
- Investigation of displacement processes at the pore scale
- Fluid transport in porous media
- Emulsion formation
- Digital image analyses
- Statistical data analyses
- Particle tracing
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria 2009-2012
- PhD Chemical Engineering, Tehran Polytechnic, Iran 2005
- MS Chemical Engineering, Tehran Polytechnic, Iran 1996
- BS Chemical Engineering, Tehran Polytechnic, Iran 1993
- Senior Lecturer, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria since 2015
- Senior Researcher, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria 2012-2015
- Senior Advisor, Petropars Oil and Gas Institute (POGI), Tehran, Iran 2008-2009
- Lecturer, Tehran Polytechnic, Iran 2006-2007
- Senior Reservoir Engineer, Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), Tehran, Iran 2005-2009
- Reservoir Engineer, Iranian Offshore Oil Company (IOOC), Tehran, Iran 2000-2005
My research interests are mainly focused on different aspects of “upscaling”, which is my most favorite topic. Following are research topics and projects that I have been working over the past few years:
- Two-phase flow upscaling
- Efficient upscaling method for naturally fractured reservoirs (NFRs)
- Smart upscaling technique for structured/unstructured grids
- Modeling and analysis of multiscale phenomena in porous media
- Underground Hydrogen Storage (UHS)
- Reactive transport modeling
- PhD Geophysics, Stanford University 1998
- MSc Geophysics, Stanford University 1994
- Senior Research Scientist, Ali Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology since 2016
- Senior Geomechanics Expert, OMV E&P 2013-2015
- Global Geomechanics Advisor, Baker Hughes Reservoir Development Services 2009-2013
- Director Europe-Africa-Middle East, GeoMechanics International, Inc. 1998-2008
- Mechanical response of reservoirs to pore pressure changes in fields/reservoirs (i.e., injection, stimulation, or depletion) and how this impacts fluid flow (e.g., production).
- Monitoring, laboratory testing, as well as numerical modeling to improve understanding and enhanced predictive capabilities for above phenomena for a variety of reservoir types such as fractured reservoirs (in particular carbonates), unconventional reservoirs, and so-called brown fields (that are produced using improved and enhanced recovery methods).
- Wellbore stability (i.e., mechanical integrity of boreholes both during drilling and production/injection) and real-time data acquisition including risk mitigation.
- PhD Geology, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria since 2003
- MSc Applied Geosciences, Geophysics, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria since 1998
- Lecturer, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria since 2013
- Principal Geoscientist, HOT Engineering GmbH, Austria since 2005
- Geophysicist, Joanneum Research, Austria 1999-2005
- Research Associate, Department of Geology, Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria 1997-1999
All aspects of reservoir characterization and modeling.
- PhD candidate Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2020
- MSc International Study Program in Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben 2018-2020
- BSc Petroleum Engineering, Amirkabir University of Tehran, Iran 2014-2018
- University Assistant, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2020
- Master Thesis, OMV and Montanuniversität Leoben 2020
- Summer Internship, Reservoir Engineering, OMV Tunisia 2019
- Summer Internship, Drilling Engineering, NIDC, Iran 2017
- Drilling Optimization Engineer (Part-time), ZDOC, Iran 2017-2018
- Fluid Transport in Porous Media
- Pore Network Modeling
- Digital Rock Physics
- Displacement Processes Using CT Scanning
- Enhanced Oil Recovery
- PhD candidate Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2018
- MSc in Petroleum Engineering, Reservoir Engineering Module, Montanuniversität Leoben 2015-2017
- BSc Mining Engineering (Exploration), Polytechnic University of Tehran, Iran 2001-2006
- University Assistant, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2018
- Teaching Assistant, Montanuniversität Leoben 2016-2017
- Mining Engineer (Field Engineer), Koosha Co.,Tehran, Iran 2013-2014
- Mining Engineer (Ore Deposit Simulation), Koosha Co, Tehran, Iran 2010-2013
- Project Control Engineer, Rastin Company, Tehran, Iran 2009
- Investigation of Pore Level EOR Processes Using Microfluidic Devices and Micro-CT
- Enhanced Oil Recovery Methods
- Digital Image Processing
- Digital Rock Physics
- Pore-scale physics
- PhD Candidate, Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2020
- MSc International Study Program in Petroleum Engineering - Geothermal Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben 2019-2020
- BSc International Study Program in Petroleum Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben 2012-2019
- University Assistant, Chair of Reservoir Engineering, Montanuniversität Leoben since 2020
- Student Assistant, Chair of Applied Mathematics, Montanuniversität Leoben 2015-2016
- Subsurface engineering
- Carbon capture storage and utilization
- Investigation of displacement processes via CT scanning
- Hydrogen storage and Power-to-Gas technologies
- Geothermal engineering
- Fluid flow and transport in porous media
Brandstätter, Bianca, BSc
Dragovits, Mario, BSc