Postdoctoral research position in Integration of Scale, Corrosion and Reservoir Souring Mitigations

Centre for Oil and Gas - DTU
tirsdag 20 nov 18

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Frist 6. februar 2019
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The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applicants for a multisicipline postdoctoral position in the area of numerical modelling of biological proccesses in the subsurface.

Responsibilities and tasks

Biological hydrogen sulphide production in subsurface reservoirs and pipelines is an unfavourable phenomenon as leads to higher operational costs. The produced hydrogen sulphide is a toxic gas leading to health and safety issues; it also enhances infrastructure corrosion among other negative effects. The presence of scales (e.g. CaCO3, BaSO4, FeCO3, FeS) might lead to enhanced corrosion rates due to galvanic effects and fouling of equipment’s, which ultimately lower the production rates. Corrosion is a common problem in the oil and gas industry, which reduces the lifetime of oilfield equipment.

Souring in waterflooded reservoirs is mainly due to respiration of anaerobic microorganisms (sulphate-reducing prokaryotes, SRP) that reduces sulphate to sulphide. These microorganisms may exist indigenously in the reservoirs or/and may be introduced into the system during drilling and waterflooding. Utilising seawater for waterflooding provides additional sulphate and SRP in the system. The main strategies to reduce the probability of souring are: injecting nitrate and/or nitrite to inhibit SRP activity and/or oxidize sulphide; removing sulphate from injection water; and biocide treatments.

Controlling the microbial souring by injecting nitrate to shift the indigenous microbial community away from sulfide production is one of the treatment. However, to predict and design the cost effective long-term strategies for the souring control process more work is needed. The reliable quantification of the mechanism of different treatments under altered reservoir conditions is still a challenge and requires more examinations. The effects of altered reservoir conditions, well flow, and different scale or corrosion inhibition methods on the the performance of the entire system of well and the reservoir have not been studied in detail in chalk reservoirs. Detailed reservoir and well flow simulations incorporating all the relevant available information are required to predict the success of various treatment options while reducing the uncertainties.

The candidate will develope numerical models for coupled proccesses in chalk formations and the injection and production wells. He/She will investigate the interaction among different hydraulic, chemical and biological processes controlling the flow dynamic in the wells and the reservoir. A thorough sensitivity analysis on the effect of different mitigation plans on well and reservoir performance will be conducted. This will be then tested for data measured for the targeted field. The position will be an integrated part of the Scale & Corrosion programme with the focus on improving well integrity.  Co-supervising of Ph.D./MSc students working with reservoir simulation and collaboration with other researchers and students working with advanced water flooding experiments are required. The team will have access to unique field and laboratory data sets to test concepts and methods developed at the centre.  The candidate is expected to work with the team to perform innovative, fundamental, and applied research on:

  • Field scale analysis of altered injection water composition and physical conditions on the microbial souring and scale in the wells
  • Upscaling CFD and thermodynamic analyses for well models
  • Impacts of biocide and nitrate injection on the well flow
  • Combined effects of temperature, pressure and water compositions fluctuations on the well and reservoir performance

The project will involve work with DHRTC partners' research teams and with the team in the fluid characterization and recovery processes groups at DHRTC.

  • PhD degree in mechanical engineering or other relevant areas;
  • Excellent Knowledge of the fundamentals of multiphase flow and transport in porous media and pipes;
  • A good knowledge of geomicrobiology, applied mathematic and CFD is very valuable.
  • Previous experience with devloping numerical codes for reactive transport models is highly advantageous.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment as an independent researcher;
  • Good writing and communication skills in English;
 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 appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employement is 2 years.
 You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information

Further information may be obtained from Dr. Hamid Nick,


You can read about the scientific basis for the centre’s activities here:

Application procedure:
Please submit your online application no later than 6 January 2019.

Applications must contain 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. The file must include:

  • Application letter stating your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)
  • Research statement and names and addresses of three references
  • List of publications

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

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.