Doctoral Dissertations


Songyuan Liu

Keywords and Phrases

Flow dynamics; Flow pattern; Micromodel; Oil recovery; Residual oil distribution; Unconventional reservoir


"Unconventional oil reservoirs have become significant sources of petroleum production and have even better potential in the future. Many unconventional oil systems consist of nanoscale pore throats, sub-micro-scale pores and micro-scale fractures that are significantly smaller than those from conventional reservoirs. To understand fluid flow behavior in unconventional reservoir, lab approaches were conducted using lab-on-chip method for the direct visualization of the water/oil flow in sub-micro-scale channels and the flow behavior with influence of surfactant and fractures.

In this work, tight sandstone thin slice was characterized using confocal-laser-microscope. Using designed micromodels, microscopic study of interface and residual oil distribution as well as macroscopic study of displacement profile and oil recovery factor were acquired. Interface between oil and water during displacement were determined using parallel micromodels in which six different flow patterns were summarized in drainage process and two patterns including a 'fading out' phenomenon were observed during imbibition process. Fracture existence and azimuth as well as surfactant effect on oil recovery factor and residual oil distribution were evaluated using fractured micromodels. Surfactants were evaluated by Hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) and Winsor type as well as the quantification of the morphology of dispersed phase in emulsion. It was concluded that for fractured micromodels with network etching depth of 500 nm, micromodels with fracture along flow direction had better oil recovery factor than micromodels without fracture, at the same time, a smaller oil recovery factor were determined using micromodels with fracture perpendicular to flow direction comparing to those without fracture. Displacement processes were monitored under laser-confocal-microscope and detailed residual oil distribution was observed and analyzed"--Abstract, page iii.


Bai, Baojun

Committee Member(s)

Flori, Ralph E.
Dunn-Norman, Shari
Deng, Wen
Neogi, P. (Partho), 1951-


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Petroleum Engineering


Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Nanophase Materials Science


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2017


xv, 134 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 122-133).


© 2017 Songyuan Liu, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11496

Electronic OCLC #