About the project
IMMENS is a project funded by the Research Council of Norway (PETROMAKS2), launched in 2016 and running over four years.
Efficient utilization of existing oil resources has been and is an important research area for Norway. However, despite constant development of new technology, between 25 and 50% of the oil is still in place after conventional recovery. Water injection or water/gas injection are common recovery methods. The introduction of water leads to growth and activity of bacteria that may cause problems like corrosion and low gas quality. On the other hand, bacterial growth in oil reservoirs may lead to enhanced oil recovery if we get the bacteria to work with us. The focus on microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) has increased lately due to regulations requesting implementation of green and environmentally sound technology within the oil industry.
Enhanced oil recovery by use of bacteria involves a range of complex processes that requires a multidisciplinary approach to research and modelling. Bacteria have several characters that may be utilized to mobilize oil that is trapped in the reservoir formation. In this project we focus on bacteria’s ability to form biofilm that plug water ways that are established during water injection. The water ways by-passes residual oil and reduces the recovery efficiency. By plugging the water ways, the direction of injected water will turn towards oil bearing parts of the formation.
The aim of the project is to develop mathematical models and numerical approaches for MEOR that describes the relevant microbiological, chemical and physical processes involved. The description will be based on results from laboratory experiments in (micro) models of oil reservoirs where we study growth and activity of bacteria and assess the effect of biofilm plugging on oil recovery. The mathematical models that are developed will form the basis for future field models of MEOR, and also contribute to the development of new mathematical approaches to describe biological processes that are influenced by chemical and physical parameters and vice versa.
Research Partners: Uni Research CIPR (Project Owner) and University of Bergen
Industy Partner: GOE-IP AS