The most complete and up-to-date listing of my research interests, publications, student supervisions, can be found on my CV, available here.
- Delft University of Technology, Department of Geoscience and Engineering, Professor of Reservoir Engineering, since 2006. Head of Reservoir Engineering Section (formerly Petroleum Engineering Section), 2007-2020. Emeritus Professor starting Nov. 2020.
- The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Professor, 2001 - 2006. Associate Professor 1995-2001; Assistant Professor 1989-1995. Chairman, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, 2005-2006.
- Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, Faculty of Applied Earth Sciences, Visiting Associate Professor, summer 1996.
- Other professional experience: Chevron Oil Field Research Co., La Habra, CA
- 1982-85: Research on design of surfactant formulations for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Conducting and supervising laboratory studies of the propagation and oil-recovery efficiency of surfactant formulations in corefloods.
- 1985-86: 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. 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.
- 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.
In 2020 I gave a lecture in the GeoScience and GeoEnergy Webinar series hosted by colleagues at TU Delft and Heriot-Watt U. One of the main themes is the surprises that come in doing research. The talk is available for viewing here.
In 2013 I wrote an article "Surface Physics Illustrated in the Operation of a Lava Lamp" for our Department student yearbook.
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 should be read along with the slides; the slides are referred to by number in the text. Click to view text. Click to view slides.
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?" Click to view text.
Reflections on teaching:
- Link to film interview when I was a candidate for Best Teacher of TU Delft in 2011. Link to interview after I was given that award. After the award I was interviewed for TU Delft highlights.
- Slides from a presentation I made in 2014 on my thoughts on University engineering education.
- I wrote an article for the 2021 yearbook of the Mjnbouwkundige Vereeniging on adaptations I've made to the BSc course in Physical Transport Phenomena to incorporate applications to geothermal research.
- 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.
- Distinguished Member Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2006.
- Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty, Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2002.
An extended list of publications and the CV can be downloaded here.
Pure lists my recent publications since 2006, when I came to TU Delft. In cases where the publications are available in Open Access, it provides the text of the article.
Key publications and presentations are listed below are grouped into the following research topics:
During drilling and operation of oil and gas or geothermal 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., et al.: "CT Study of Liquid Diversion with Foam," SPE Production & Operations (Feb. 2009), 12-21.
- Kam, S. I., et al., "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 Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering 7 (Dec. 2004), 438-448.
- Cheng, L., et al., "Simulation of Dynamic Foam-Acid Diversion Processes," SPE Journal 7 (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, et al., "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, et al., "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 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., et al., "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., et al., "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.
The interpretation of EOR field trials must deal simultaneously with two sources of uncertainty: uncertainty about the geological formation and about the effectiveness of the EOR process itself. Previous work addresses one issue or the other, but not (to our knowledge) both. We have considered how to evaluate the effectiveness of the process in the midst of geological uncertainty.
- Fatemi, et al., "Discerning In-Situ Performance of an EOR Agent In the Midst of Geological Uncertainty: II. Fluvial-Deposit Reservoir," accepted for publication by SPE Journal 24 (June 2019), 1076-1091.
- Fatemi , S. A., Jansen, J, D., and Rossen, W. R., "Discerning in-situ performance of an EOR agent in the midst of geological uncertainty I: Layer cake reservoir model," J. Petr. Sci. Eng. 158, 56–65 (2017).
Many oil and gas reservoirs are heavily fractured by the natural stresses developed over the life of the formation. 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.
Yet more recently, we have studied the generation and rheology of foam in models with a variety of roughness patters and mean aperture.
- The work of Bander AlQuaimi on foam in fractures and on the appropriate capillary number for characterizing flow in fractures is summarized in the slides of a 2018 presentation. Sadly, the pdf of this presentation misses some really impressive videos Bander recorded.
- AlQuaimi, B. I., and Rossen, W. R., "Foam Generation and Rheology in a Variety of Model Fractures," Energy & Fuels 33, 68–80 (2019).
- AlQuaimi, B. I., and Rossen, W. R., "Study of foam generation and propagation in fully characterized physical-model fracture," J. Petroleum Sci. and Eng. 175, 1169-81 (2019).
- AlQuaimi, B. I., and Rossen, W. R., "Characterizing Foam Flow in Fractures for Enhanced Oil Recovery," J. Petroleum Sci. and Eng. 175, 1160-68 (2019).
- AlQuaimi, B. I., and Rossen, W. R., "Capillary Desaturation Curve for Residual Nonwetting Phase in Natural Fractures," SPE Journal 23, 3, 788-802 (2018).
- Gong, J., and Rossen, W. R., "Characteristic Fracture Spacing in Primary and Secondary Recovery for Naturally Fractured Reservoirs," Fuel 223, 470–485 (2018).
- Gong, J, and Rossen, W. R., "Modeling flow in naturally fractured reservoirs: effect of fracture aperture distribution on dominant sub-network for flow," Pet. Sci. 14, 138-154 (2017).
- Gong, J, and Rossen, W. R., "Shape factor for dual-permeability fractured reservoir simulation: Effect of non-uniform flow in 2D fracture network," Fuel 184, 81-88 (2016).
- Rossen, W.R., et al., "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, et al., "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.
The behavior of foam in the interconnected, network-like porespace of oilfield rock raises fundamental issues related to 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. Another fascinating application is the origin of shear-thickening behavior of polymer solutions in porous media in elastic turbulence. The publications listed below address several issues related to this topic.
- Tang, J., et al., "New Capillary Number Definition for Micromodels: the Impact of Pore Microstructure," Water Resources Research 55, 1167-1178 (2019).
- Kawale, D., et al., "Polymer conformation during flow in porous media " Soft Matter 46, 1-11 (2017).
- Kawale, D., et al., "Elastic instabilities during flow of hydrolyzed polyacrylamide solution in porous media: Effect of pore shape and salt." Soft Matter 13, 765-775 (2017). DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02199A
- 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).
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., et al., "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., et al., "Effective Compressibility of a Bubbly Slurry: I. Theory of Behavior of Bubbles Trapped in Porous Media," J. Colloid Interface Sci. 241, 248-259 (2001).
- Kam, S.I, et al., "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., et al., "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).
- Member, Organizing Committee, EAGE European Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, Dresden,2007-present.
- Recognized as "A Peer Apart" (reviewed 100 or more papers) by Society of Petroleum Engineers, 2007.
- Review papers for Chemical Engineering Science, SPE Journal, Transport in Porous Media, Contaminant Hydrodynamics, Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, and other journals