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Title: Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources - Quarterly Progress Report October 2011 to December 2011
Authors: Smith, Philip J.
Issue Date: Jan-2012
Type: Report
Pages: 57
Abstract: The Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources program is part of the research agenda of the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy (ICSE) at the University of Utah. The Clean and Secure Energy program hosted an External Advisory Board on November 1-2, 2011 and the kickoff meeting with industrial partner American Shale Oil (AMSO) on October 25, 2011 for the Strategic Alliance Reserve (SAR) projects. Researchers in Task 3.0 are developing a modified assessment tool for evaluating regional economic and environmental effects of unconventional fuel development. In order to achieve this goal, researchers have created a module within the assessment tool framework for conventional oil and gas development in the Uinta Basin that include drilling schedules, well depth distributions, and production curves. They have also collected greenhouse gas and criteria pollutants emissions data as a prelude to developing an air emissions module. Data obtained from the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining (DOGM) and from other sources will be used for model validation/uncertainty quantification (V/UQ). This approach is being used due to the lack of unconventional fuel data available for V/UQ. Subtask 3.2 researchers are focusing on developing a flamelets reaction/mixing model that can be coupled to Large Eddy Simulation (LES) codes to model subgrid scale reaction and mixing processes. This flamelets model will be used in the parametric study of the International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) oxy-fuel-fired furnace. Stability problems with the IFRF furnace geometry and boundary conditions in the LES code ARCHES have slowed down efforts to complete a V/UQ analysis of this system. Research and analyses on three different sections of the Skyline 16 core (GR-1, GR-2, and GR-3) was the focus of Subtasks 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, and 4.9 during this quarter. The Subtask 4.3 has completed thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) pyrolysis of demineralized kerogen that has extracted from Gr-1, GR-2, and GR-3. For all three kerogens, onset points (start and end) in the pyrolysis zone are close to identical. In Subtask 4.5, researchers analyzed the GR-1, GR-2, and GR-3 samples before and after pyrolysis. The images reconstructed from X-ray computed tomography (CT) show that pores are generated along the kerogen-rich layers in the GR-1 sample while directional fractures along the thin, kerogen-rich layers are observed for GR-2 and GR-3 samples. Work in Subtasks 4.6 and 4.9 are focused on providing models for oil shale kerogens and experimental data for model validation. The Subtask 4.6 team studied the effect of the interaction of organic materials (e.g. kerogen) with inorganic materials on the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrum and obtained both 13C SSNMR and pairwise distribution function (PDF) measurements on the kerogens isolated from the three core sections. Subtask 4.9 researchers verified through ashing tests that the demineralized kerogen samples used in Subtasks 4.3 and 4.6 had a mineral content of about 5%. Structural and lattice parameters have been extracted from the cross polarization (CP) and single pulse (SP) magic angle spinning (MAS) spectra, revealing that the organic matter in all three kerogen samples is similar. Subtask 4.7 will also be performing in-situ stress tests on the same section of oil shale cores once the apparatus is fully designed and evaluated. Design during this quarter focused on the internal measurement systems, specifically the measurement of axial and radial deformation of the samples while they are being tested. The other Task 4.0 projects have focused on simulation of various in situ processes. Subtask 4.1 researchers have completed a topical report on heat transfer processes inside the representative computational geometry used for an evaluation of Red Leaf Resources’ ECOSHALE capsule technology. They have also implemented a more complex geometric representation of the fractured oil shale bed by using two distinct particles in contact to represent three shapes and by decreasing the size of the convective channels. The Subtask 4.2 team has proposed a sequential combination of in situ pyrolysis, in situ combustion, and CO2 enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to increase recovery of unconventional fuels while increasing production energy efficiency. They have evaluated the effect of time for switching from in situ pyrolysis to in situ combustion on overall production and energy supplied. Work on Subtask 4.8 was suspended this quarter due to the PI’s maternity leave. Subtask 5.0 researchers have completed two topical reports, one on conjunctive water management (already submitted) and the other on cross-jurisdictional resource management (to be submitted next quarter). In Task 6.0, the project team has determined that a two-pronged approach to profitability analysis in the Market Assessment is needed: the Supply Price Method and the Net Present Value Method. The four unconventional fuel development scenarios are being updated to reflect these changes. Additionally, five sections of the Market Assessment report have been completed in page layout form and are ready for publication after final proofing. The remaining five sections are being laid out at the rate of one section per week. The three SAR subtasks were officially launched at the project kickoff meeting with AMSO. Initial work in Subtask 7.1 is focused on collecting information in the public domain on constitutive mechanical and thermal properties of oil shale. A data analysis specialist is being consulted in order to assess the best methodology for processing large volumes of experimental data. Subtask 7.3 researchers have used the HPC-based tools developed for Subtask 4.1 to create a preliminary simulation of a three-day heating process for a computational domain more representative of the AMSO process.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/11158
Appears in Collections:ICSE Management

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