PhD Studentship: Pore Scale X-ray Imaging of the
Distribution of Minerals in Permeable Rocks

Digital Rocks Programme

Figure 1. X-ray imagery of a porous sandstone and segmentation into mineral groups from Lai, Moulton, Krevor (2015).

You are invited to join Imperial College's research project to join a multidisciplinary project whose aim is to revolutionise the way reservoirs are characterised and oil and gas recovery processes are designed by using a range of rock-fluid imaging techniques linked to modelling at multiple length scales - digital rock.

There will be a focus on imaging and analysis from the pore-scale to the Darcy scale to design and predict multi-phase flow behaviour in porous rocks. This will aid the selection and design of oil recovery techniques, from exploration to tertiary, while providing benchmarked predictions for input into field-scale models. The project will be hosted in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London as part of the Digital Rocks Lab under the supervision of Dr. Sam Krevor and Professor Martin Blunt.

Applications are invited for 1 research studentship leading to the award of a PhD degree. The post is supported by a bursary and paid fees from December 2016 or sooner and is available for UK / EU or international candidates.

The main objective of this studentship is to develop a robust methodology for identifying, quantifying, and characterizing 3D pore space morphology and the distribution of mineralogy with the use of a combination of spectroscopic and X-ray imaging techniques. A combination of micro-CT, the use of scanning at different energies, two-dimensional QEMSCANs, SEM and AFM, and novel image interpretation, e.g. segmentation, techniques will be employed. The aim is to develop a novel interpretation of 3D imagery in terms of the distribution of mineral groups. This will form the basis for understanding the influence of the mineral distribution on immiscible 2-phase flow simulations at the pore scale.

The second objective is extending the methodology to core plug scale with the aim of understanding representation at different length scales. The ultimate goal is to generate the equivalent of a "geological model" for the plug scale which would then be the basis of upscaling methods for basic petrophysical properties which would ultimately allow us to validate Digital Rock approaches against SCAL measurements.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at Imperial College London. These are normally at least a 2:1 honours degree in applied mathematics, physical science or engineering and preferably an MSc with a good dissertation in a relevant subject.

You will have an enquiring and rigorous approach to research together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential. Some international travel and work at industrial sponsors' research facilities will be required.

The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Dr Sam Krevor and be encouraged to collaborate with other team members and other academic staff members, to publish the research results in internationally recognised peer reviewed journals and present those at relevant national and international scientific and professional conferences, as well as industrial sponsor meetings. You will become a skilled communicator, comfortable in an international situation.

For further enquiries contact the Mrs Bhavna Patel, +44(0) 20785942685. Interested applicants should send a curriculum vitae, a statement of their research interest and an electronic copy of their transcripts to Dr Sam Krevor

Closing date: 21.12.2016

Lai, Moulton, Krevor (2015) Pore-scale heterogeneity in the mineral distribution and reactive surface area of porous rocks, Chemical Geology, 411, 260-273

posted: 21 November 2016     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.