Martin A. Fernø

Martin A. Fernø
University of Bergen | UiB · Department of Physics and Technology

Professor
Underground hydrogen storage and CCS (https://fluidflower.w.uib.no/)

About

148
Publications
36,406
Reads
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2,329
Citations
Citations since 2016
71 Research Items
1981 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Introduction
RESEARCH Multiphase flow in porous media, with emphasis on capillary heterogeneities including permeability contrasts, pore scale distribution and fractures Influence of wettability on fluid flow, fluid distribution and multiphase flow functions Spontaneous imbibition and capillary dominated flow In-situ imaging of dynamic displacement processes in porous media using PET/CT, MRI and CT Enhanced oil recovery techniques including CO2 injection, foam for mobility control and polymer gels
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - present
University of Bergen
Position
  • Professor
April 2015 - April 2015
Université Bordeaux 1
Position
  • Invited Professor
December 2012 - September 2016
University of Bergen
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (148)
Article
Here we show for the first time combined positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) imaging of flow processes within porous rocks to quantify the development in local fluid saturations. The coupling between local rock structure and displacement fronts is demonstrated in exploratory experiments using this novel approach. We also...
Article
The flow of CO2 in porous media is fundamental to many engineering applications and geophysical processes. Yet, detailed CO2 flow visualization remains challenging. We address this problem via positron emission tomography using 11C nuclides and apply it to tight formations - a difficult but relevant rock type to investigate. The results represent a...
Article
Pore-level foam generation, propagation, and sweep efficiency were visualized using silicon-wafer micromodels with an accurate representation of sandstone pore structure, grain shapes and sizes based on thin-section analysis. Foam generation by snap-off was observed both in the interior of the porous network (rectilinear snap-off) and at permeabili...
Article
Under certain boundary conditions during spontaneous brine imbibition into oil-saturated porous rocks, it is possible for co- and counter-current flow to occur simultaneously. These circumstances are formalized into a special Two-Ends-Open (TEO) boundary condition; one end face of the core is exposed to brine and the other end face is exposed to oi...
Article
We present experimental wettability alteration results in originally strongly water-wet, outcrop chalk core plugs using a static and two dynamic aging methods. Dynamic aging with continuous crude oil injection during the entire aging process exhibited greater reduction in water-wetness of the strongly water-wet chalk plugs than static aging without...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Hydrogen storage facilities will need a ramp‐up when the hydrogen share in the future energy mix increase. Large‐scale hydrogen storage can be implemented in empty hydrocarbon fields or ground water reservoirs. Hydrogen storage in such media involve complex interactions with native rocks and fluids, and injection and withdraw...
Poster
Full-text available
Hydrogen (H2) will have a major role in low-carbon energy transitions, and it is vital to develop hydrogen storage facilities to accommodate widespread implementation. Underground hydrogen storage (UHS) offers a widely available large-scale and long-term storage option, but lacks support of experimental datasets on multiphase hydrogen flow. H2 inje...
Poster
Full-text available
Hydrogen (H2) implementation will require large-scale seasonal storage, and underground hydrogen storage (UHS) in porous media has been proposed as one option. H2 injection in porous media involve complex displacement processes, controlled by H2 flow properties and interactions with reservoir fluids and rocks. Despite growing interest in the topic...
Article
Full-text available
Underground hydrogen storage (UHS) has been launched as a catalyst to the low-carbon energy transitions. The limited understanding of the subsurface processes is a major obstacle for rapid and widespread UHS implementation. We use microfluidics to experimentally describe pore-scale multiphase hydrogen flow in an aquifer storage scenario. In a serie...
Article
Full-text available
The flow of CO2 foam for mobility control in porous media is dictated by the foam texture, or bubble density, which is commonly expressed as the number of bubbles per unit of flowing gas. In most high-pressure laboratory studies of foam in porous media, the local foam texture cannot be determined due to opaque flow systems. Here, we unlock real-tim...
Article
Full-text available
Accumulation of microbial biomass and its influence on porous media flow were investigated under saturated flow conditions. Microfluidic experiments were performed with model organisms, and their accumulation was observed in the pore space and on the sub-pore scale. Time-lapse optical imaging revealed different modes of biomass accumulation through...
Book
Full-text available
The oil industry has, in the last decade, seen successful applications of nanotechnology in completion systems, completion fluids, drilling fluids, and in improvements of well constructions, equipment, and procedures. However, very few full field applications of nano particles as an additive to injection fluids for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) have...
Article
Hydrogen storage is essential in hydrogen value chains and subsurface storage may be the most suitable large-scale option. This paper reports numerical simulations of seasonal hydrogen storage in the Norne hydrocarbon field, offshore Norway. Three different storage schemes are examined by injecting pure hydrogen into the gas-, oil-, and water zones...
Poster
Full-text available
CO2 foam flow in porous media at reservoir pressure
Article
Full-text available
Nanoparticles have gained attention for increasing the stability of surfactant-based foams during CO2 foam-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and CO2 storage. However, the behavior and displacement mechanisms of hybrid nanoparticle–surfactant foam formulations at reservoir conditions are not well understood. This work presents a pore- to core-scale charac...
Article
Full-text available
Foam can reduce CO2 mobility to improve the sweep efficiency during injection into subsurface geological formations for CO2 storage and enhanced oil recovery. However, CO2 foams are thermodynamically unstable, so they must be stabilized. Surfactants are often used to generate and stabilize foams in porous media and can be soluble in the aqueous pha...
Article
Full-text available
Foam implementation for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) can greatly improve CO2 mobility control, resulting in enhanced hydrocarbon production and carbon storage capacity. The use of nanoparticles (NP) to create robust foam structures has recently gained attention. Local foam generation and coalescence dynamics can be described by ma...
Conference Paper
Two major challenges in CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are the high mobility of CO2 and reservoir heterogeneity. High CO2 mobility, related to the low density and viscosity of CO2, compared to in-situ fluids can cause viscous fingering, gravity override, and flow in thief zones resulting in poor reservoir sweep efficiency and low oil recoveries. M...
Article
Full-text available
The recent combination of positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging modalities in one clinical diagnostic tool represents a scientific advancement with high potential impact in geoscientific research; by enabling simultaneous and explicit quantification of up to three distinct fluids in the same porous system. Decoupled...
Article
Full-text available
Reduction of the CO 2 mobility is beneficial during subsurface sequestration of anthropogenic CO 2 in saline aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs by mitigating flow instabilities leading to early gas breakthrough and poor sweep efficiency. Injection of CO 2 foam is a field-proven technology for gas mobility control. Foam generation and coalescence a...
Article
In carbon geo-sequestration (CGS), CO2 is collected from large industrial emitters and injected deep into the subsurface. In this context it is vital to know how much CO2 can be pressed into the storage rock matrix. The metric which measures this is the primary capillary pressure. Furthermore, once the CO2 resides in the pore space of the rock it c...
Article
Full-text available
We study the generation and flow of foam through rough-walled, fractured marble rocks that mimic natural fracture systems in carbonate reservoirs. Flow was isolated to the fracture network because of the very low rock permeability of the marble samples and foam generated in situ during co-injection of surfactant solution and gas. The foam apparent...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents experimental and numerical sensitivity studies to assist injection strategy design for an ongoing CO 2 foam field pilot. The aim is to increase the success of in-situ CO 2 foam generation and propagation into the reservoir for CO 2 mobility control, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and CO 2 storage. Un-steady state in-situ CO 2 foam...
Article
Full-text available
Application of foam has been found to mitigate challenges associated with field-scale CO2 floods for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) by providing in-depth mobility control. The field pilots that have been run so far have shown varying results, inferred mainly from interwell tracer studies and production data analysis. A research collaboration has been...
Article
The use of nanoparticles for CO2-foam mobility is an upcoming technology for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in mature fields. Silane-modified hydrophilic silica nanoparticles enhance the thermodynamic stability of CO2 foam at elevated temperatures and salinities and in the presence of oil. The aqueous nanofluid mixes with CO2 in th...
Article
This paper presents an ongoing CO2–foam upscaling research project that aims to advance CO2–foam technology for accelerating and increasing oil recovery, while reducing operational costs and lessening the carbon footprint left during CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Laboratory CO2–foam behavior was upscaled to pilot scale in an onshore carbonate re...
Article
Full-text available
We present numerical interpretations of two experimental sets of spontaneous imbibition tests with combined co-/counter-current flow in high-permeability, unconsolidated sand packs. The experiments were conducted using the TEOFSI (Two Ends Open Free Spontaneous Imbibition) boundary condition, where one end face was in contact with wetting phase and...
Article
Sedimentary methane hydrates contain a vast amount of untapped natural gas that can be produced through pressure depletion. Several field pilots have proved the concept with days to weeks of operation, but the longer-term response remains uncertain. This paper investigates the parameters affecting the rate of gas recovery from methane-hydrate-beari...
Article
An integrated enhanced-oil-recovery (EOR) (IEOR) approach is used in fractured oil-wet carbonate core plugs where surfactant prefloods reduce interfacial tension (IFT), alter wettability, and establish conditions for capillary continuity to improve tertiary carbon dioxide (CO2) foam injections. Surfactant prefloods can alter the wettability of oil-...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reports measurements of relative permeability to methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in hydrate-bearing sandstone core samples. The CH4 (or CO2) permeability was measured at reservoir conditions for different hydrate and brine saturations. The saturation span ranged from 0.18 to 0.60 (frac.) for CH4 gas and from 0.37 to 0.70 (frac.) f...
Article
A carbon–dioxide (CO2) –foam enhanced–oil–recovery (EOR) field pilot research program has been started to advance the technology of CO2 foam for mobility control in a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir. Increased oil recovery with associated anthropogenic–CO2 storage is a promising technology for mitigating global warming as part of carbon capture,...
Article
Spontaneous imbibition is a capillary-dominated displacement process in which a nonwetting fluid is displaced from a porous medium by the inflow of a more-wetting fluid. Decades of core-scale experiments have concluded that spontaneous imbibition occurs by a uniformly shaped saturation front with a rate that scales with the square root of time. The...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes the development of a consistent model system to measure spontaneous imbibition and determine saturation functions in unconsolidated porous media. Sand grains or glass beads were packed in up to 0.5 m long, transparent glass tubes with optical access to local saturation development during spontaneous imbibition processes. The Tw...
Conference Paper
This paper investigates CO2-foam stabilized with nanoparticles (NP) as an enhanced oil recovery (EOR) agent in carbonate reservoirs with high temperature and salt content. Under these conditions surfactants, widely used to stabilize foams, becomes unstable and will not generate strong foam. Our objective is to use NP as a stabilizing agent for surf...
Article
Full-text available
Dissolution of carbonate minerals in porous media is important to many instances of subsurface flow, including geological carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, karst formation, and reservoir stimulation and acidizing. Of particular interest, geological CO2 storage in deep carbonate reservoirs presents a significant long-term opportunity to mitigate a...
Article
Surfaces that stay clean when immersed in water are important for an enormous range of applications from ships and buildings to marine, medical and other equipment. Up till now the main strategy for designing self-cleaning surfaces has been to combine hydrophilic/hydrophobic coatings with high aspect ratio structuring (typically micron scale pillar...
Conference Paper
This paper describes the development of a consistent model system to measure spontaneous imbibition and determine saturation functions in unconsolidated porous media. Sand grains or glass beads were packed in up to 0.5 m long, transparent glass tubes with optical access to local saturation development during spontaneous imbibition processes. The Tw...
Article
Methane gas hydrate may become a significant source of methane gas in the global energy mix for the next decades. The widespread distribution of methane gas hydrate, primarily in subsea sediments on continental margins, makes the crystalline compound attractive for countries with shorelines that seek self-sustainable energy. Fundamental understandi...
Conference Paper
Sedimentary methane hydrates contain a vast amount of untapped natural gas that can be produced through pressure depletion. Several field pilots have proven the concept with days to weeks of operation, but the longer-term response remains uncertain. This paper investigates parameters affecting the rate of gas recovery from methane hydrate-bearing s...
Conference Paper
An ongoing CO2-foam upscaling research project aims to advance CO2-foam technology that accelerate and increase oil recovery, with reduced operational costs and carbon footprint during CO2 EOR. Laboratory CO2-foam behavior will be upscaled to pilot scale in two onshore carbonate and sandstone reservoirs in Texas, USA. Important CO2-foam properties...
Conference Paper
We show experimentally that surface treated silica nanoparticles greatly enhance the thermodynamic stability of CO2-foam compared to other foam stabilizers at elevated temperatures and salinities in the presence of oil. The aqueous nanofluid mixes with CO2 in the porous media to generate CO2-foam for enhanced oil recovery by improved sweep efficien...
Conference Paper
An integrated enhanced oil recovery (IEOR) approach is presented for fractured oil-wet carbonate reservoirs using surfactant pre-floods to alter wettability, establish conditions for capillary continuity and improve tertiary CO2 foam injections. Surfactant pre-floods, prior to CO2 foam injection, alter the wettability of fracture surface towards we...
Conference Paper
Spontaneous imbibition is a capillary dominated displacement process where a non-wetting fluid is displaced from a porous medium by the inflow of a more-wetting fluid. Spontaneous imbibition strongly impacts waterflood oil recovery in fractured reservoirs and is therefore widely studied, often using core scale experiments for predictions. Decades o...
Conference Paper
A CO2 foam enhanced oil recovery (EOR) field pilot research program has been initiated to advance the technology of CO2 foam for mobility control in a heterogeneous carbonate reservoir. Increased oil recovery with associated anthropogenic CO2 storage is a promising technology for mitigating global warming as part of carbon capture, utilization, and...
Article
Here we present a comprehensive experimental investigation on the use of nanoparticles as foam stabilizers during co-injection of supercritical CO2 and brine at reservoir conditions. The performance of such particles to stabilize CO2-foam has ramifications on current implementation of oil recovery and CO2 storage for reduced carbon footprint during...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a numerical study of co-current/counter-current spontaneous imbibition (SI). Spontaneous imbibition is an essential mechanism for oil recovery in naturally fractured reservoirs, where the wetting phase enters the matrix by capillary forces to spontaneously displace the non-wetting phase. When matrix blocks in the reservoir are s...
Article
We present an experimental protocol for fast determination of hydrate stability in porous media for a range of pressure and temperature (P,T) conditions. Using a lab-on-a-chip approach, we gain direct optical access to dynamic pore-scale hydrate formation and dissociation events to study the hydrate phase equilibria in sediments. Optical pore-scale...
Presentation
Full-text available
Laboratory results that study foam generation and flow by adding hydrophilic silica nanoparticles during co-injection with liquid CO2 in sandstone core plugs to reduce CO2 mobility.
Article
Pore-level oil mobilization is studied during low salinity waterflooding by microscopic visualization of water diffusion and osmosis in sandstone silicon-wafer micromodels. The two-dimensional water-wet micromodels apply a controlled, state-of-the-art experimental approach, with a high accuracy pore network, sharp edges and surface roughness to obs...
Article
Underground CO2 storage may reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but suffer from detrimental flow instabilities mainly from development of viscous fingers and density segregation that arise at larger scales. Suggested approaches to mitigate reduction in CO2 utilization include mobility control, conformance modifications and CO2 thickeners, where CO2...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present laboratory results on the feasibility of CO2 injection to produce oil from tight shale oil without fracturing the formation. The hybrid process studied increased recoverable oil by an order of magnitude compared with fracking, and at the same time reduced the carbon footprint by associated CO2 storage. Despite permeability values in the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Direct pore-level visualization of sedimentary methane hydrate growth is presented in this paper. A silicon micromodel was used as porous media with pores and grains replicating the pore network of a thin section of natural sandstone. A transparent glass wafer on top and vertical pore walls with constant height of 25 µm allowed for direct pore-scal...
Poster
Full-text available
Direct pore-level visualization of sedimentary methane hydrate growth is presented at different driving forces.
Article
This study reviews how production of methane from hydrates can be triggered by dissociation of the hydrate structure. Techniques leading to dissociation of hydrates are summarized by pressure depletion, thermal stimulation, and injection of inhibitors. Depressurization is considered to be the most-cost-effective method and is easily implemented in...