International Success at ATCE Dubai 2016

Texas A&M University had a strong presence at the International Student Paper Contest at ATCE Dubai this past September. Each division had an Aggie Petroleum Engineer placing, making our team true international champions!

Undergraduate Division:     Melissa Leroy – 2nd Place
Master’s Division:               Hanyu Li – 1st Place
PhD Division:                      Karin Gonzalez – 3rd Place

In the Undergraduate division, Melissa Leroy won second place for her paper “Pattern Realignment Optimizes Waterflood in Thin Bed Sandstone.”

The objectives of this study were to determine the remaining waterflood potential for a deep, thin-bed sandstone reservoir with an existing waterflood and to propose a plan to maximize the economics of future field performance. The solution was to realign existing patterns by converting selected current producers to injectors, which allows for the production of hydrocarbons not initially contacted by the waterflood. The dominant benefit of this approach to increasing recovery is that it does not require drilling new wells to increase production. These recommendations are being implemented in the West Verden Hoxbar Unit in Caddo County, OK, where studies show that these conversions are economic at oil prices as low as $29/barrel.

Hanyu Li placed first in the Master’s division for his paper “Wave Propagation Models Capture Pressure Diffusion Behavior in Heterogeneous Unconventional Reservoirs,“ earning him the title of world champion.

Determining estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) using information from the boundary-dominated flow regime is not a practical achievement in unconventional (low permeability) resources since the time required to reach this flow regime is significant (typically years). In response to this problem, the ultimate objective of this research project was to determine EUR of horizontal wells with multistage fractures using only information obtained after wells reached interference between adjacent fractures. We took the first step toward achieving this objective by simulating the boundary condition in heterogeneous reservoirs using the reflection and transmission mechanism of electromagnetic wave propagation to capture the pressure diffusion behavior. Accurate EUR determination can optimize well spacing and limit the number of unnecessary wells drilled, saving millions of dollars in capital investments.

In the PhD division, Karin Gonzalez won third place for her paper Adaptive Grid Refinement Improves Gas Injection Modeling.”

This work introduced a new method for creating adaptive mesh refinements and coarsening in compositional reservoir simulation. The methodology targeted individual cells for refinement based on forecasted compositional fronts and quadtree grid-size analyses. Application of the new approach optimized spatial discretization across the simulation grid, resulting in improved computational performance and better representation of complex fluid phase behavior.


Left to right: Karin Gonzalez (PhD, 3rd place), Hanyu Li (Master’s, 1st Place), Melissa Leroy (Undergraduate, 2nd Place)

Congratulations to our new international champions on this amazing accomplishment! Whoop!

Additionally, TAMU-SPE accepted the 2016 Outstanding Student Chapter Award for the second year in a row. This award would not have been possible without the amazing hard work and leadership from the officers, board chairs, committee directors and co-chairs, faculty mentors, and members!


Outstanding Student Chapter Award 2016