Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


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Graduate Seminar - Marco Verlaan


Monday, April 25, 2016


03:00pm - 04:00pm


CPE 2.204


Speaker:  Marco Verlaan - Principal Reservoir Specialist, Shell International Exploration and Production

Seminar Title:¬† “Are solvents the future for heavy oil recovery?”


Steam Injection is currently the most prominent technology to recover heavy oil from subsurface reservoirs. This robust technique that relies on the viscosity reduction with increasing temperature has however several disadvantages; high energy consumption, large GHG emissions and water usage. For decades researchers are trying to improve the recovery technology and slowly techniques based on hydrocarbon solvents are being developed and deployed. This presentation will discuss the state of the art in steam/solvent hybrid technology which has been successfully demonstrated in the field. I will share an example of the technology maturation through lab testing and field trial. Meanwhile newer (solvent only) technologies are being developed that promise a step change in energy investment and water usage. However, these technologies provide large challenges with respect to the understanding and modelling of the recovery process.


Marco Verlaan is a principal reservoir specialist with Shell International Exploration and Production. He has been with Shell since 2005 working in EOR research. Marco has a broad range of research interests, with expertise in the areas of miscible, chemical, and thermal recovery; reservoir simulation; fluid-phase behaviour; and fluid flow in fractured reservoirs. He holds an MSc degree in chemical engineering and a PhD degree in petroleum engineering, both from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He is currently based in Shell research centre in Calgary, Canada.