Enhanced oil recovery using electrical methods

  • Muhammad Moshin Rehman

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Heavy Oil Recovery is gaining much popularity because of huge consumption of oil in the modern industry. Main concern in the extraction of heavy oil is its high viscosity. Heating heavy oil by different electrical means has come out to be a promising solution for viscosity reduction. This includes the low frequency resistive heating, induction heating and high frequency microwave heating or the dielectric heating. Application of low frequency resistive heating is limited by the requirement of brine (conducting fluid) inside the reservoir while Induction heating is only applicable in the presence of ferrous elements in the reservoir. High frequency microwave heating can be used effectively for enhancing the oil productivity. Ultrasonic stimulation is another technique capable of reducing the viscosity of heavy oil without employing the heating techniques. Although many models have been presented addressing microwave heating of heavy oil but, no model has been found in the literature addressing the design of microwave sources and the experimental verification of the results. Similarly some authors have also addressed the ultrasonic stimulation of heavy oil but no one has discussed the behavior of ultrasonic waves at different power level along with the experimental verification. This thesis presents complete mathematical modeling of microwave heating, with numerical solution by considering two-dimensional radial model. In addition, the design, positioning, and orientation of the array of microwave antennas have also been considered in numerical simulations while results of some of the cases are also verified experimentally. Similarly, the Thesis discusses the ultrasonic modeling with numerical solution and experimental verification at different power levels and positioning of the ultrasonic transducer. These models present the results in the form of temperature & pressure distribution and productivity enhancement. For numerical simulations, a Finite Element Analysis based simulator has been used. Main focus was on the design and orientation of the array of microwave and ultrasonic sources and the validation of results with experiments. Results showed a good fit between the numerical simulations and the experimental procedures proving the efficiency of microwave and ultrasonic sources. It has also been found that microwaves and ultrasonic waves are beneficial for specific reservoir characterizations.
Date of Award2012
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMahmoud Meribout (Supervisor)


  • Applied sciences
  • Enhanced oil recovery methods
  • Electrical engineering
  • Petroleum engineering
  • Energy
  • 0765:Petroleum engineering
  • 0791:Energy
  • 0544:Electrical engineering

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