Rossen, W.R.

Profile

Academic Positions

Delft University of Technology, Department of Geoscience and Engineering, Professor of Reservoir Engineering, since 2006. Head of Petroleum Engineering Section,  since 2007.
The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Professor, 2001 - 2006.
Chairman, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, 2005-2006.
The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Professor, Associate Professor, 1995 - 2001.
Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, Faculty of Applied Earth Sciences, Visiting Associate Professor, summer 1996.
The University of Texas at Austin, Assistant Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Professor, 1989 - 1995.

Other professional experience

Chevron Oil Field Research Co., La Habra, CA

  • 1982-85:  Research on design of surfactant formulations for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).  Duties included conducting and supervising laboratory studies of the propagation and oil-recovery efficiency of surfactant formulations in corefloods.
  • 1985-86:  Transferred to long-range research group; continuing research in surfactant EOR.  Additional responsibilities included mathematical modeling of flow through porous media and of surfactant process efficiency in the field.
  • 1986-89:  Research on foams for EOR, within same long-range research group.  Conducted experimental and theoretical studies of mechanisms of foam generation and propagation. Specific studies included percolation modeling of foam mobilization in porous media and fundamental modeling of foam yield stress in porous media.

Education

Ph.D.,  Chemical  Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1982
Dissertation under H. T. Davis and L. E. Scriven on modeling and experimental study of thermodynamics of surfactant-oil-water mixtures with application to Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR).  3.88/4.0 GPA.

S. B.,  Chemical  Engineering,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1976
Merit Scholar, 1972-76.  4.78/5.0 GPA.

Teaching

  • Link to film interview when I was a candidate for Best Teacher of TU Delft in 2011.
  • Slides from a presentation I made in 2014 on my thoughts on University engineering education.

Honors & Awards

  • Award for "outstanding service" as an SPE Associate Editor, 2014.
  • Named Improved Oil Recovery Pioneer, SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, OK, 2012.
  • Named Best Instructor, Delft University of Technology, 2011.
  • Named Best Instructor, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, 2011.
  • Distinguished Member Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2006.
  • Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2002.
  • B. J. Lancaster Professor, University of Texas at Austin, 2005-2006.

Memberships

Professional society and major governmental committees

  • Member, Organizing Committee, EAGE European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Dresden, 2015.
  • Member, Organizing Committee, EAGE European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, St. Petersburg, 2011.
  • Member, Organizing Committee, EAGE European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Paris, April 2009.
  • Associate Editor, Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal, 2008-present.
  • Recognized as "A Peer Apart" (reviewed 100 or more papers) by Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2007.
  • Member, Technical Program Committee, International Petroleum Technology Conference, Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, 2008.
  • Technical Editor, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 1985-86, 1995-1999; 2001-present.
  • Review papers for Chemical Engineering Science, SPE Journal, Transport in Porous Media, Contaminant Hydrodynamics, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects.

Research

  • Foams for enhanced oil recovery
  • Simulation
  • SAG (surfactant-alternating-gas) foam processes
  • Method-of-Characteristics (fractional-flow) modeling of foam
  • Population-balance modeling of foam 
  • Foams for matrix-acid diversion
  • Foams for environmental remediation
  • Microscopic mechanisms of foam in porous media
  • Foam Generation
  • Foam yield stress, trapping and rheology in porous media
  • Experimental Measurement of Gas Trapping in Foam in porous media
  • Gravity Segregation and Sweep in Gas EOR, Including Foam
  • Flow in fractures and fractured reservoirs
  • Nonlinear transport processes in networks
  • Interactions between bubbles and solids
  • Personal Reflections on Research, teaching and other things

Recent Publications

Recent publications via Pure

Selected Publications

Gases such as steam, carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrocarbon gases are injected into oil reservoirs to increase the recovery of oil.  These gases are much less dense and less viscous than the oil they attempt to displace, so they tend to finger through or migrate to the top of the reservoir, leaving most of the oil behind.  Foams can help these gases to sweep oil reservoirs more efficiently.  The publications below include an overview of the use of foams in these applications, experiments, and analytical and computer models of foam processes on the reservoir scale.  Microscopic modeling of foam is described in a separate section below.

One particularly noteworthy product of this research were identification of two distinct flow regimes for foam in porous media.  One is controlled by foam stability at the "limiting capillary pressure."  Bubble sizes change drastically in this regime.  The other appears to be controlled by bubble trapping and mobilization at fixed bubble size.

  • W. R. Rossen, "Foams in Enhanced Oil Recovery," in R. K. Prud'homme and S. Khan, ed., Foams:  Theory, Measurements and Applications, Marcel Dekker, New York, 1996.
  • A brief overview of CO2 foam (that also applies to other foam processes) is in a presentation I made to an SPE Applied Technology Workshop in Oct. 2010. 
  • Alvarez, J.M., Rivas, H., and Rossen, W.R., "A Unified Model for Steady-State Foam Behavior at High and Low Foam Qualities," SPE Journal 6 (Sept. 2001), 325-333.
  • Kim, J. S., Dong., Y., and Rossen, W. R., "Steady-State Flow Behavior of CO2 Foam," SPE Journal10 (Dec. 2005), 405-415. 
  • Rossen, W.R., "Foam in Porous Media," in J. F. Sadoc and N. Rivier, ed., Foams andEmulsions, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999.
  • Shen, C., Nguyen, Q. P., Huh, C., and Rossen, W. R., "Does Polymer Stabilize Foam in Porous Media?," SPE 99796 prepared for presentation at the 2006 SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, OK, 22-26 April.
  • W. R. Rossen and Q. Lu, "Effect of Capillary Crossflow on Foam Improved Oil Recovery," paper SPE 38319, Proc. 1997 SPE Western Regional Meeting, Long Beach, CA, June 25-27. 
  • W. R. Rossen and Z. H. Zhou, "Modeling Foam Mobility at the Limiting Capillary Pressure," SPE Adv. Technol.3, 146 (1995). 
  • W. R. Rossen, "Rheology of Foam in Porous Media at the 'Limiting Capillary Pressure'," Revue de l'Institut Français du Pétrole47, 68 (1992); also appeared in Proceedings of the Sixth European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Stavanger, Norway, May 21-23, 1991. 

      Simulation

      My initial foam simulation research steered a middle path between attempts at fully mechanistic modeling and purely empirical approaches.  A minimum of mechanisms necessary to describe observed behavior are implemented in the simulator.  In particular, with the two flow regimes identified by experimental studies (see above), the simulator includes parameters for the collapse of foam at high capillary pressure and for foam behavior at lower capillary pressure.  Extensions of the model with more sophisticated algorithms for foam generation are described in the section on population-balance modeling below.

  • Cheng, L., Kam, S.I., Delshad, M. and Rossen, W.R., "Simulation of Dynamic Foam-Acid Diversion Processes," accepted by SPE J.
  • Cheng, L., Reme, A.B., Shan, D., Coombe, D.A. and Rossen, W.R., "Simulating Foam Processes at High and Low Foam Qualities," paper SPE 59287 presented at the 2000 SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Tulsa, OK, 3-5 April.
  • Rossen, W.R., Zeilinger, S.C., Shi, J.-X., and Lim, M.T., "Simplified Mechanistic Simulation of Foam Processes in Porous Media," SPE Journal, 4, 279-287 (Sept. 1999).
  • Shi, J.-X. and Rossen, W.R., "Simulation of Gravity Override in Foam Processes in Porous Media," SPE Reserv. Eval. and Eng.1, 148-154 (April 1998).
  • Zeilinger, S.C., Shi, J.-X., Lim, M.T. and Rossen, W.R., "Simplified Mechanistic Modeling of Foam Processes for Improved Oil Recovery," Proc. 8th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Vienna, Austria, May 15-17 1995.

      SAG (surfactant-alternating-gas) foam processes

      Simplified analytical models for foam suggest that SAG foam processes (injection of alternating slugs of surfactant solution and gas) should be able to overcome gravity override with minimal rise in injection-well pressure.  Simulation studies support this conclusion, and experimental work seeks to determine the parameters crucial to this process.

  • Shan, D. and Rossen, W.R., "Optimal Injection Strategies for Foam IOR," SPE Journal9 (June 2004), 132-150.
  • Kloet, M. B., Renkema, W. J., and Rossen, W. R., "Optimal Design Criteria for SAG Foam Processes in Heterogeneous Reservoirs," SPE 121581 presented at the 2009 SPE EUROPEC/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8–11 June 2009.
  • Xu, Q., and Rossen, W. R., "Experimental Study of Gas Injection in Surfactant-Alternating-Gas Foam Process," SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering7 (Dec. 2004), 438-448.
  • Kibodeaux, K.R. and Rossen, W.R., "Coreflood Study of Surfactant-Alternating-Gas Foam Processes:  Implications for Field Design," paper SPE 38318, Proc. 1997 SPE Western Regional Meeting, Long Beach, CA, June 25-27.
  • Rossen, W. R., and Bruining, J., "Foam Displacements With Multiple Steady States," SPE Journal12 (March 2007), 5-18. 
  • Shi, J.-X. and Rossen, W.R., "Improved Surfactant-Alternating-Gas Foam Process to Control Gravity Override," paper SPE 39653, 1998 SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium, Tulsa, April 19-22.

      Method-of-characteristics (fractional-flow) modeling of foam

      We have found that the simplest model incorporating the minimum necessary mechanisms is often the best.  In particular, fractional-flow modeling has proved very useful, highlighting the controlling mechanisms in complex simulations, identifying numerical artifacts in simulations, and pointing toward SAG injection as a means to overcome gravity effects with little or no rise in injection-well pressure.  An even simpler model for SAG processes (SPE 75180) incorporates the essential elements of SAG foam injection to control gravity override. 

  • Namdar Zanganeh, M., Kam, S. I., LaForce, T. C., and Rossen, W.R., "The Method of Characteristics Applied to Oil Displacement by Foam," SPE 121580 presented at the 2009 SPE EUROPEC/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 8–11 June 2009; accepted for publication in SPE Journal. 
  • Ashoori, E., van der Heijden, T.L.M., and Rossen, W.R., "Fractional-Flow Theory of Foam Displacements with Oil," SPE Journal15 260-273 (2010). 
  • Ashoori, E., and Rossen, W.R., "Can Formation Relative Permeabilities Rule Out a Foam EOR Process?," SPE 134906 presented at the 2010 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Florence, Italy, 19–22 September 2010. 
  • Rossen, W. R., Johns, R. T., Kibodeaux, K. R., Lai, H. V., and Moradi Tehrani, N.: "Fractional-Flow Theory Applied to Non-Newtonian IOR Processes," presented at 11th European Conference on Mathematics of Oil Recovery, Bergen, Norway, 8-11 Sept. 2008. 
  • Dong, Y., and Rossen, W. R., "Insights from Fractional-Flow Theory for Models for Foam IOR," 14th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Cairo, Egypt, 22-24 April, 2007. 
  • Rossen, W. R., and Bruining, J., "Foam Displacements With Multiple Steady States," SPE Journal12 (March 2007), 5-18. 
  • Shan, D. and Rossen, W.R., “Optimal Injection Strategies for Foam IOR,” SPE Journal9 (June 2004), 132-150.
  • Rossen, W.R., Zeilinger, S.C., Shi, J.-X., and Lim, M.T., "Simplified Mechanistic Simulation of Foam Processes in Porous Media," SPE Journal, 4, 279-287 (Sept. 1999).
  • Z. H. Zhou and W. R. Rossen, "Applying Fractional-Flow Theory to Foam Processes at the 'Limiting Capillary Pressure'," SPE Adv. Technol.3, 154 (1995).
  • Z. H. Zhou and W. R. Rossen, "Applying Fractional-Flow Theory to Foams for Diversion in Matrix Acidization," SPE Prod. Fac.9, 29 (1994).

In addition, several of the papers also listed in the section on gravity segregation make heavy use of fractional-flow methods:

  • Rossen, W.R., and van Duijn, C.J., "Gravity Segregation in Steady-State Horizontal Flow in Homogeneous Reservoirs," J. Petr. Sci. Eng.43, 99-111 (2004).
  • Rossen, W. R., van Duijn, C. J., Nguyen, Q. P., Shen, C., and Vikingstad, A. K., "Injection Strategies to Overcome Gravity Segregation in Simultaneous Gas and Water Injection Into Homogeneous Reservoirs," SPE Journal15 76-90 (2010).
  • Jamshidnezhad, M., Chen, C., Kool, P., and Rossen, W. R.: "Well Stimulation and Gravity Segregation in Gas Improved Oil Recovery," SPE Journal15, 91-104 (2010).

      Population-balance modeling of foam

      Foam properties are controlled by bubble size. Therefore, in principle, a complete mode for foam should account for processes of bubble creation and destructions and the effect of bubble size on foam properties. The equation for evolving bubble size is called a "population balance." We developed the first population-balance model for foam that accounts for the multiple steady states seen in foam-generation experiments (see below), probed its steady-state behavior and did numerical simulations. More recently, we have merged this modeling with fractional-flow methods, focusing on two regions were local steady state does not apply: the entrance region of the porous medium, and shock fronts where bubble size changes drastically.

  • Ashoori, E., Marchesin, D., and Rossen, W.R., "Roles of Transient and Local Equilibrium Foam Behavior in Porous Media: Traveling Wave," presented at 12th European Conference on Mathematics of Oil Recovery, Oxford, England, 6-9 Sept. 2010.
  • Ashoori, E., Marchesin, D., and Rossen, W.R., "Dynamic Foam Behavior in the Entrance Region of a Porous Medium," presented at 12th European Conference on Mathematics of Oil Recovery, Oxford, England, 6-9 Sept. 2010.
  • Kam, S. I., and Rossen, W. R., "A Model for Foam Generation in Homogeneous Porous Media," SPE Journal8 (Dec. 2003), 417-425.
  • Kam, S. I., Nguyen, Q. P., Li, Q., and Rossen, W. R.: "Dynamic Simulations With an Improved Model for Foam Generation," SPE Journal12 (March 2007), 35-48.

Foams for matrix-acid diversion

During drilling and operation of oil and gas wells, debris can accumulate in the near-well region that greatly restricts the flow of gas and oil into the well.  Acid is injected into wells in order to dissolve this debris, but the same debris prevents acid from entering the zones most in need of cleanup.  Foam, injected either with or in separate slugs alternating with acid, can help even-out the injection of acid into various layers, making well cleanup more efficient.  The publications listed below include experiments, simulation and analytical models for the foam-acid process.

  • Nguyen, Q. P., Zitha, P. L. J., Currie, P. K., and Rossen, W. R.: "CT Study of Liquid Diversion with Foam," SPE Production & Operations (Feb. 2009), 12-21.
  • Kam, S. I., Frenier, W. W., Davies, S. N., and Rossen, W. R., "Experimental Study of High-Temperature Foam for Acid Diversion," Journal Petroleum Sci. Eng. 58 138–160, (2007).
  • Xu, Q., and Rossen, W. R., "Laboratory Study of Gas Trapping in Foam-Acid Diversion," SPE 84133 presented at the 2003 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, CO, 5-8 Oct.
  • Cheng, L., Kam, S. I., Delshad, M. and Rossen, W.R., "Simulation of Dynamic Foam-Acid Diversion Processes," SPE Journal7 (Sept. 2002), 316-324
  • Rossen, W.R. and Wang, M.-W., "Modeling Foams for Acid Diversion," SPE Journal, 4, 92-100 (June 1999).
  • Robert, J.A. and Rossen, W.R., "Fluid Placement, Diversion and Pumping Strategy," in M. J. Economides and N. G. Nolte, ed., Reservoir Stimulation, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 2000.
  • S. C. Zeilinger, M. Wang, K. R. Kibodeaux and W. R. Rossen, "Improved Prediction of Foam Diversion in Matrix Acidization," paper SPE 29529, Proc. 1995 SPE Production Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, OK, April 2-4, 1995.
  • Z. H. Zhou and W. R. Rossen, "Applying Fractional-Flow Theory to Foams for Diversion in Matrix Acidization," SPE Prod. Fac.9, 29 (1994).
  • K. R. Kibodeaux, S. C. Zeilinger and W. R. Rossen, "Sensitivity Study of Foam Diversion Processes for Matrix Acidization," paper SPE 28550, Proc. 1994 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, LA, Sept. 26-28, 1994.
  • A. D. Hill and W. R. Rossen, "Fluid Placement in Matrix Acidizing," paper SPE 27982, Proc. Tulsa/SPE Centennial Petroleum Engineering Symposium, Tulsa, OK, Aug. 29-31, 1994.

Foam for environmental remediation

Foam can also redirect the flow of gas or liquid in in situ cleanup of groundwater.  The same trends in behavior observed in research on foam for oil recovery apply to environmental remediation, but the permeabilities are higher and the constraints on injection well pressure are more severe.

  • Mamun, C. K., Rong, J. G., Kam, S. I., Liljestrand, H. M., and Rossen, W. R., "Extending Foam Technology from Improved Oil Recovery to Environmental Remediation," paper SPE 77557, presented at the SPE 2002 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, 29 Sept. - 2 Oct.
  • Mamun, C. K., Rong, J. G., Kam, S. I., Liljestrand, H. M. and Rossen, W. R., "Simulating Use of Foam in Aquifer Remediation," Proceedings of the XIVth International Conference on Computational Methods in Water Resources (CMWR XIV), June 23-28 2002, Delft, The Netherlands, S.M. Hassanizadeh, R.J. Schotting, W.G. Gray, G.F. Pinder, eds., Volume 1, 867-874..

Microscopic mechanisms of foam in porous media

The behavior of foam in porous media is controlled by the behavior of individual soap films between bubbles in the foam.  These soap films resist stretching, much as the elastic surface of a balloon resists stretching; as a result, the foam itself does not flow unless it is pushed hard enough (technically, unless a minimum pressure gradient is exceeded).  Two issues are addressed in the publications described below: the onset of foam generation, which requires mobilizing a few soap films initially in the porespace of the rock, and the pressure gradient required to keep a mature foam flowing through rock.  This latter problem is closely related to "Plateau's problem," described in the nineteenth century by the Belgian scientist Henri Plateau:  the shape of soap films stretched across wire supports.  In this application, however, the soap film is stretched across a pore.  If Plateau's problem is "a soap film on a wire," this represents "a soap film in a box."

In a series of papers we have explored in some detail the difficulties in measuring the extent of gas trapping by foam in porous media, using a novel method of visualizing Xe tracer in situ during a coreflood. Mass transfer between flowing and adjacent trapped gas is so rapid that it makes distinguishing the two from effluent extremely difficult.

      Foam generation

  • Rossen, W. R.: "Comment on 'Verification of Roof Snap-Off at a Foam-Generation Mechanism in Porous Media at Steady State,'" Colloids and Surfaces A: Phyiscochemical and Engineering Aspects322, 261–269 (2008).
  • Gauglitz, P.A., Friedmann, F., Kam, S. I, and Rossen, W.R., “Foam Generation in Homogeneous Porous Media,” Chem. Eng. Sci.57, 4037-4052 (2002).
  • Chen, M., Yortsos, Y. C., and Rossen, W. R.: "Insights on Foam Generation in Porous Media from Pore-Network Studies," Colloids Surfaces A:  Physicochem Eng. Aspects256 (2-3), 181-189 (2005).
  • Rossen, W. R., "A Critical Review of Roof Snap-Off as a Mechanism of Steady-State Foam Generation in Homogeneous Porous Media," Colloids Surfaces A:  Physicochem Eng. Aspects, 225 (1-3) 1-24 (2003). The arguments in this paper summarized in a presentation I made in 2002;
  • Rossen, W.R., "Foam Generation at Layer Boundaries in Porous Media," SPE Journal, 4, 409-412 (Dec. 1999).
  • Li, Q., and Rossen, W. R., "Injection Strategies for Foam Generation in Homogeneous and Layered Porous Media," SPE 96116 presented at the 2005 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, TX, 9-12 October.
  • W. R. Rossen, J. Shi and S. C. Zeilinger, "Percolation Modeling of Foam Generation in Porous Media," AIChE J.40, 1082 (1994).  
  • W. R. Rossen and P. A. Gauglitz, "Percolation Theory of Creation and Mobilization of Foams in Porous Media," AIChE J.36, 1176 (1990). 

      Foam yield stress, trapping and rheology in porous media

  • Huh, C., and Rossen, W. R., "Approximate Pore-Level Modeling for Apparent Viscosity of Polymer-Enhanced Foam in Porous Media," SPE Journal13 (March 2008), 17-25.
  • Cox, S.J., Neethling, S., Rossen, W.R., Schleifenbaum, W., Schmidt-Wellenburg, P., and Cilliers, J.J., "A Theory of the Effective Yield Stress of Foam in Porous Media: The Motion of a Soap Film Traversing a Three-Dimensional Pore," Colloids Surfaces A:  Physicochem Eng. Aspects245, 143–151 (2004).
  • Xu, Q., and Rossen, W. R., "Effective Viscosity of Foam in Periodically Constricted Tubes," Colloids Surfaces A:  Physicochem Eng. Aspects216 (1-3), 175-194 (2003).
  • Chen, M., Rossen, W. R., and Yortsos, Y. C.: "The Flow and Displacement in Porous Media of Fluids with Yield Stress," Chemical Engineering Science, 60 (15), August 2005, 4183-4202.
  • Rossen, W.R., "Gas Trapping in Foam in Porous Media," Proc. EuroConference on Foams, Emulsions and Applications, Delft, The Netherlands, 5-8 June 2000.
  • Rossen, W.R. and Wang, M.-W., "Modeling Foams for Acid Diversion," SPE Journal, 4, 92-100 (June 1999).
  • W. R. Rossen, "Minimum Pressure Gradient for Foam Flow in Porous Media:  Effect of Interactions with Stationary Lamellae,"  J. Colloid Interface Sci.139, 457 (1990).
  • W. R. Rossen, "Theory of Minimum Pressure Gradient of Flowing Foams in Porous Media.  I. Incompressible Foam,"  J. Colloid Interface Sci.136, 1 (1990).
  • W. R. Rossen, "Theory of Minimum Pressure Gradient of Flowing Foams in Porous Media.  II.  Effect of Compressibility,"  J. Colloid Interface Sci.136, 17 (1990).
  • W. R. Rossen, "Theory of Minimum Pressure Gradient of Flowing Foams in Porous Media.  III. Asymmetric Lamella Shapes," ,"  J. Colloid Interface Sci.136, 38 (1990).

      Experimental measurement of gas trapping in foam in porous media

  • Kil, R. A., Nguyen, Q. P., and Rossen, W. R.: "Determining Trapped Gas in Foam From CT Images," SPE 124517 presented at the 2009 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, LA, 4–7 October 2009; accepted for publication in SPE Journal
  • Li, Z., Rossen, W. R., and Nguyen, Q. P., “Three-Dimensional Modeling of Tracer Experiments to Determine Gas Trapping in Foam in Porous Media," Energy & Fuels24, 5, (2010).
  • Nguyen, Q. P., Rossen, W. R., Zitha, P. L. J., and Currie, P. K., "Determination of Gas Trapping With Foam Using X-Ray CT and Effluent Analysis," SPE Journal14, 222-236 (2009). 
  • Farajzadeh, R. Muruganathan, R. M., Krastev, R., and Rossen, W. R., "Effect of Gas Type on Foam Film Permeability and Its Implications for Foam Flow in Porous Media," SPE 131297 presented at the SPE EUROPEC/EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition held in Barcelona, Spain, 14–17 June 2010.

Gravity segregation and sweep in gas EOR, including Foam

Gravity segregation is one of the principle causes of poor sweep efficiency in gas-injection EOR. A remarkably simple model for segregation proposed by Stone in 1982 applies to foam as well under certain restrictive conditions. We explore the implications of these models for gravity segregation with and without foam, as well as alternate injection methods proposed to outperform the process described originally by Stone. Gravity override in SAG foam processes is explored in the section on SAG above.

  • My research on gravity override, through 2009, is summarized in a presentation. 
  • Rossen, W.R., and van Duijn, C.J., "Gravity Segregation in Steady-State Horizontal Flow in Homogeneous Reservoirs," J. Petr. Sci. Eng.43, 99-111 (2004).
  • Jamshidnezhad, M., van der Bol, L., and Rossen W. R.: "Injection of Water above Gas for Improved Sweep in Gas IOR: Performance in 3D," accepted for publication in SPE Reserv. Eval. Eng.
  • Rossen, W. R., van Duijn, C. J., Nguyen, Q. P., Shen, C., and Vikingstad, A. K., "Injection Strategies to Overcome Gravity Segregation in Simultaneous Gas and Water Injection Into Homogeneous Reservoirs," SPE Journal15 76-90 (2010).
  • Jamshidnezhad, M., Chen, C., Kool, P., and Rossen, W. R.: "Well Stimulation and Gravity Segregation in Gas Improved Oil Recovery," SPE Journal15, 91-104 (2010).
  • Shi, J.-X. and Rossen, W.R., "Simulation of Gravity Override in Foam Processes in Porous Media," SPE Reserv. Eval. and Eng. 1, 148-154 (April 1998).
  • Stolwijk, G. H., and Rossen, W. R., "Gravity Segregation in Gas IOR in Heterogeneous Reservoirs," presented at the 15th European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Paris, France, 27 – 29 April 2009.
  • Faisal, A., Bisdom, K., Zhumabek, B., Mojaddam Zadeh, A., and Rossen, W. R., "Injectivity and Gravity Segregation in WAG and SWAG Enhanced Oil Recovery," SPE 124197 presented at the 2009 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 4–7 October 2009.

Flow in fractures and fractured reservoirs

Many oil and gas reservoirs are heavily fractured by the natural stresses developed over the life of the field.  These fractures greatly alter the flow patterns in the reservoir.  A single fracture is itself a two-dimensional porous medium, and flow through it can be studied using network modeling.  The publications below describe experimental methods for characterizing fractures (SPEFE paper), microscopic modeling of flow in fractures (SPE 28700 and 24915), and field-scale simulation of naturally fractured reservoirs (SPE 28700).  A more recent article (SPE 59720) describes the connectivity threshold (like a percolation threshold) in networks of fractures obeying power-law statistics for fracture length.

  • Rossen, W.R., Gu, Y. and Lake, L.W., "Connectivity and Permeability in Fracture Networks Obeying Power-Law Statistics," SPE 59720 presented at the 2000 SPE Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Conference, Midland, TX, 21-23 March.
  • A. T. A. Kumar, P. D. Majors and W. R. Rossen, "Measurement of Aperture and Multiphase Flow in Fractures Using NMR Imaging," SPE Form. Eval.9, 101 (1997).
  • W. R. Rossen and A. T. A. Kumar, "Effect of Fracture Relative Permeabilities on Performance of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs," paper SPE 28700, Proc. 1994 SPE International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition of Mexico, Veracruz, Mexico, Oct. 10-13, 1994.
  • W. R. Rossen and A. T. A. Kumar, "Single- and Two-Phase Flow in Natural Fractures," paper SPE 24915, Proc. 1992 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Washington, DC, Oct. 4-6, 1992.

Nonlinear transport processes in networks

The behavior of foam in the interconnected, network-like porespace of oilfield rock raises fundamental issues related complex, nonlinear transport processes in networks:  in particular, transport in cases where flow requires exceeding some threshold potential gradient (a voltage or pressure gradient) along the entire flow path.  The publications listed below address several issues related to this topic.

  • Chen, M., Rossen, W. R., and Yortsos, Y. C.: "The Flow and Displacement in Porous Media of Fluids with Yield Stress," Chemical Engineering Science, 60 (15), August 2005, 4183-4202.
  • W. R. Rossen and C. K. Mamun, "Minimal Path for Transport in Networks," Phys. Rev.B  47, 11,815 (1993).
  • W. R. Rossen, "Size Distribution of Blocked Clusters on a Bethe Tree," J. Phys. A:  Math Gen.24, 5155 (1991). 
  • W. R. Rossen, "A New Percolation Statistic With Unusual Properties," J. Phys. A:  Math. Gen.21, L533 (1988).

Interactions between bubbles and solids

Much of this research was motivated by concern about gas trapped in waste tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.  The results extend to foamy sands used in some tunneling processes and in foam fracturing in the petroleum industry.

  • Kam, S.I., Gauglitz, P.A. and Rossen, W.R., "The Yield Stress of Foamy Sands," Colloids Surfaces A: Physicochem Eng. Aspects, 202 (1), 53-62 (2002).
  • Kam, S.I. and Rossen, W.R., "The Compressibility of Foamy Sands," Colloids Surfaces A: Physicochem Eng. Aspects, 202 (1), 63-70 (2002).
  • Kam, S.I., Gauglitz, P.A. and Rossen, W.R., "Effective Compressibility of a Bubbly Slurry:  I. Theory of Behavior of Bubbles Trapped in Porous Media," J. ColloidInterface Sci. 241, 248-259 (2001).
  • Kam, S.I, Gauglitz, P.A. and Rossen, W.R., "Effective Compressibility of a Bubbly Slurry:  II. Fitting Numerical Results to Field Data and Implications," J. Colloid Interface Sci. 241, 260-268 (2001).
  • Ali, S.A., Rossen, W.R. and Gauglitz, P.A., "Stability of Solids-Coated Liquid Layers Between Bubbles," Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 39, 2742-2745 (2000).
  • Kam, S.I. and Rossen, W.R., "Diffusive Growth and Compressibility of Bubbles in Porous Media," Proc. EuroConference on Foams, Emulsions and Applications, Delft, The Netherlands, 5-8 June 2000.
  • Kam, S.I. and Rossen, W.R., "Anomalous Capillary Pressure, Stress and Stability of Solids-Coated Bubbles," J. Colloid Interface Sci. 213, 329-339 (1999).

Personal reflections on research

When one is appointed Professor at Delft University of Technology, one gives an introductory lecture (Intreerede) summarizing one's view one's field of research.  I choose to give some reflections on the tension between complexity and simplicity in our modeling of complex phenomena in nature. The text below should be read along with the slides; the slides are referred to by number in the text.

In 2010 I was invited to write a short essay for the SPE publication for young professionals, The Way Ahead. I chose as a topic, "Should I Consider Graduate School." The text of that article appears below.

  • W.  R. Rossen, Intreerede, fall 2007.  Click to view text.  (Intreerede text)  Click to view slides.  (Intreerede slides)
  • W.  R. Rossen, "Should I Consider Graduate School?", written for The Way Ahead, 2010.  Click to view text.  (Gradschool)

William Rossen

Head of Section, Professor of Reservoir Engineering

Recent publications via Pure

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