The Fluid Dynamics of Flow Control Devices

As increasing international competition and environmental pressures, Canadian oil sands producers must develop new technologies to more competitively deliver their product to market that have lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Flow Control Devices (FCDs) are one such technology. These devices are placed in the injection and production wells and enable more efficient access to the reservoir. The result is improved economics and thermal efficiency which directly is tied to GHG emissions. At this point, the design of FCDs is hit and miss with some working well and others showing poor performance. Thus, there is a gap for optimal design of these devices. The objective of this project is to optimally design FCDs using detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling. This involves fundamental fluid dynamics, multiphase (emulsion) and gas flow, potential heat transfer, and advanced design so that flow regime can be used in and of itself to optimally control the flow into and out of the reservoir. We will use CFD together with observations from existing experiments for validation as well as adaptive design to optimize the performance of the devices.

Faculty Supervisor:

Ian Donald Gates


Giuseppe Antonio Rosi


RGL Reservoir Management Inc.


Engineering - chemical / biological



University of Calgary



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