PhD or Postdoc Position for chemical analysis of crude oil

Centre for Oil and Gas - DTU
onsdag 20 jun 18

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Frist 24. august 2018
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The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (Centre for Oil and Gas – DTU), Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applicants for a postdoc or PhD position on crude oil characterization as a part of a larger project relating to enhanced oil recovery mechanisms in the context of advanced water flooding. Centre for Oil and Gas – DTU is established by the Danish Underground Consortium and DTU. As part of a national strategy on oil and gas, the research centre is an ambitious, targeted effort to improve recovery of oil and gas from the Danish North Sea. The advertised project focuses on recovery processes in the Dan field.

Responsibilities and tasks
The position will be an integrated part of the advanced water flooding and tight reservoir development programmes at the DHRTC with a focus on mapping oil constituents from samples from the Danish North Sea oil fields. In this context, the candidate is expected work with the team to perform innovative, fundamental, and applied research on:
  • Petroleomics, chemical analysis of crude oil samples and petroleum fluids
  • Development of GC- and LC-MS methods
  • Sample preparation and chemometric data analysis
  • Investigation of injection fluids for enhanced oil recovery, crude oil and water samples
  • Investigation of biodegradation of crude oil, bio-surfactants and biomarkers
Water based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) employs different techniques to optimize the flow of oil and to minimize the residual oil left behind by the water flooding of oil. The injection water can be modified to improve recovery by altering composition or for example add bacteria (MEOR: microbial enhanced oil recovery). A thorough analysis and characterization of the reservoir fluids is required for optimizing these techniques. A molecular characterization of the crude oil constituents provides the link between well-established models for mixtures of simple molecules and improved models for reservoir fluids that consist of many complex components and ill-defined fractions. The characterization will be based on modern analytical methods including advanced gas and liquid chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry (GCxGC, QTOF, Orbitrap MS). Other methods available for petroleum analysis include FTIR, ICP-OES and NMR.

The project will involve work with partner laboratories and with the team in the fluid characterization and recovery processes groups at DHRTC. The position can be defined as a postdoc or a PhD position.

Application potential
The line-of-sight application potential of this project is to assist the screening processes of potential water based and microbial recovery methods primarily in the Dan field.

For PhD: a Master’s degree in analytical, organic or physical chemistry, geochemistry or similar

For Postdoc: a PhD degree in analytical, organic or physical chemistry, geochemistry or similar
  • Exceptional skills in analytical experimental chemistry;
  • Experience with chromatography and mass spectrometry. Other analytical techniques such as NMR, FTIR, ICP-MS/OES are also relevant.
  • Interest in applied research;
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment;
  • Excellent writing and communication skills in English;
You can read about the scientific basis for the centre’s activities here:

For further information about the positions, please contact Senior Researcher Karen Feilberg.

Approval and Enrolment of PhD students
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The salary and appointment terms of the PhD position are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The appointment terms of the Postdoc will be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. Postdoc employment is for a period of two years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Karen Feilberg,

You can read about the scientific basis for the centre’s activities here:
Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 24 August 2018. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file.

In the field “Please indicate which position you are applying for” please indicate whether you are applying for the PhD position or the Postdoc position.

The file must include:

  • Application stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Research statement and names and addresses of three references
  • For PhD candidates: Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma. Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • For postdoctoral candidates: Diploma (MSc/PhD) and list of publications
Candidates may apply for the PhD position prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The overarching purpose of The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre is to identify new technological and conceptual solutions that will enable increased oil and gas extraction in the Danish section of the North Sea. The research activities at the centre cover selected aspects of expertise: Reservoir characterization, Enhanced Oil & Gas Recovery Processes, Drilling & Production Technology Concepts and Production Facilities, Materials Research & Design. The centre will develop deep, new understanding within these disciplines with a line-of-sight to application. Located at The Technical University of Denmark research groups at the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Aalborg University and the Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark will be affiliated with the Centre. When fully operational, the centre will employ and engage more than 100 people.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.