Jun 13, 2024  
2013-2014 General Catalog 
2013-2014 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Petroleum Engineering (Graduate Program)

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For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here. 

Program Overview

To maintain a high level of production, the oil and gas industry must rely on increasingly complex drilling, production, and reservoir engineering practices. Since its inception in 1929, the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering has earned a reputation for producing engineers who are innovative, yet practical. There are ten faculty members whose areas of expertise include reservoir engineering, petrophysics, drilling and production systems, rock-fluids interaction, enhanced/improved oil recovery, and environmental aspects of the industry.

At the request of the Louisiana oil and gas industry, the department has offered graduate-level course work in New Orleans, and more recently, evening classes on the main campus. The petroleum engineering faculty members also teach graduate-level courses for international programs in Indonesia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Croatia, Mexico, and United Arab Emirates.


Karsten E. Thompson, Chair
Andrew K. Wojtanowicz, Graduate Advisor
Janet Dugas, Graduate Secretary
TELEPHONE 225-578-5215
WEBSITE www.pete.lsu.edu


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School: www.lsu.edu/gradapply. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Student Services, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

Applications for admission including financial support are received and evaluated by the department on a competitive basis that involves students’ academic credentials, research skills, industry experience, as well as department’s availability of funding, office/laboratory space, and faculty interest. Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by The Graduate School and the department (fall: April 1, spring: October 1).

Students seeking admission must submit satisfactory credentials from previous study, acceptable GRE scores above 153 (Verbal) and 152 (Quantitative) , and three letters of recommendation. International students whose native language is not English must also submit a TOEFL or IELTS score acceptable by The Graduate School.

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to some students through the department or other units in the form of research or teaching assistantships. An applicant may contact the department faculty for more information on available assistantship positions. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted in accordance with deadlines (fall: April 1, spring: October 1) established by the LSU Petroleum Engineering Department and The Graduate School.


The department’s unique experimental facilities include the following:

  • The Petroleum Engineering Research & Technology Transfer Laboratory (PERTT Lab) is an industrial-scale facility with full-scale equipment and instrumentation for conducting research related to borehole technology. Much of this equipment was assembled to support past research and training activities in the area of blowout prevention.
  • The Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) Laboratory has been the center of the department’s experimental research activities in the areas of flow through porous media, fluids phase behavior, and gas injection EOR.
  • The Lou Soileau III Rock-Fluids Interactions (RFI) Laboratory houses some unique experimental apparatus and techniques to measure dynamic contact angles and oil/water/gas interfacial tensions at reservoir pressures (up to 20,000 psi) and temperatures (up to 400°F) using live crude oils to evaluate live oil spreading behavior and gas-oil miscibility. This laboratory also houses an optical cell for making dynamic contact angles and IFT measurements at ambient conditions for conducting preliminary screening tests. It is also equipped with a computerized Wilhelmy Plate apparatus (donated by BP) for studying solid-liquid-vapor and solid-liquid-liquid interactions.
  • The Chevron Reservoir Characterization Laboratory is a new state-of-the art facility for interactive visualization and modeling of reservoir problems, to be used for both research and teaching. The facility includes a highdefinition video wall, smart board and HD projector, nine fixed high-performance workstations, and seating and connectivity for up to 25 students or researchers.

Research Programs

Departmental research covers a wide range of research problems associated with drilling and production of oil and gas. The total research funding awarded to the department during the last two years exceeds $3.4 million. Primary research projects include the following:

  • Well Control and Blowout Prevention—Development of technology for safe handling of high subsurface pressures of gas formations during drilling operations. The program encompasses topics such as dynamic kill and unloading procedures, underground blowouts, motion of gas slugs in inclined or underbalanced wellbores, drilling, dynamic and liquid-liquid lubrication, and the automation of well control.
  • Improved/Enhanced Oil Recovery—Research efforts in this area consist of a two-pronged approach to IOR. The first approach relies on the concept of altering rock wettability by using cost-effective chemical treatments; the second approach aims to develop an effective alternative to the currently practiced water-alternating-gas IOR process by making use of the gravity drainage concept in conjunction with horizontal wells. Evaluating and improving the utilization of solvents in IOR processes is another area of study. In addition to developing new concepts, techniques, and processes of improved oil recovery, efforts are also directed at field testing and commercializing promising processes in collaboration with industry.
  • Geomechanics – new research program aimed at using rock mechanics and continuum mechanics concepts to study mechanical interaction of wells with formations in drilling (wellbore stability, pore pressure predictions, well integrity), completion (hydraulic fracturing, reservoir compaction, sand production), and formation characterization (naturally fractured reservoirs).
  • Environmental Control—oilfield process improvements and/or modifications leading to pollution prevention and productivity enhancement. This approach involves modeling of the oilfield process-born mechanisms of pollution and development of new, cost-effective methods and techniques to meet environmental compliance requirements. The program encompasses on-site disposal, downhole injection of drilling and production waste and sequestration of CO2, fluids processing, oil/water separation, subsurface zonal isolation, toxicity testing, and on-site and in situ reduction of produced water.
  • Reservoir Performance Forecast—integration of fundamental reservoir engineering with numerical reservoir simulation, geostatistics, reservoir geology, geophysics, inversion, optimization, and uncertainty analysis. The program includes industrial and government-sponsored programs in grid computing, simulation study design, and flow simulation of data-rich models.
  • Reservoir Rock-Fluids and Fluid-Fluid Interactions—understanding the nature of interfacial forces and devising means to unlock the trapped resources. Since much of the current understanding is from experimental research conducted at ambient conditions, these research efforts concentrate on making fluid-fluid and rock-fluids interaction measurements at realistic reservoir conditions using live fluids.
  • Well Completion Fluid Dynamics—understanding and improving fluids transfer at the well-reservoir interface. The program addresses the process of water invasion at wells and the mitigating technology of dual completions with “downhole water sink.” Also investigated are phenomena of well integrity loss due to fluids migration outside wells (sustained causing pressure, for example) and the relevant control techniques.
  • Digital Rock Physics—computational methods designed to take advantage of new techniques for high-resolution 3D imaging of porous materials. Methods being developed include LBM, FEM, and network modeling. Applications include multiphase flow, high-rate flows, transport in propped fractures, particle transport, and formation damage.

Graduate Faculty

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Zaki Bassiouni. (EM) • Well logging, formation evaluation, reservoir management
Adam T. Bourgoyne Jr (EM) • Drilling engineering
Arash Dahi Taleghani (6A) • Geomechanics of well-reservoir systems, hydraulic fracturing, characterization of fractured reservoirs, rock fracture mechanics and poroelasticity
Richard Hughes (3F) • Oil and gas reservoir engineering, CO2 EOR and sequestration, production data analysis, pore-scale processes
Seung Ihl Kam (M) • Multiphase flow in pipes and porous media, foam and surfactant applications, modeling/simulation and flow experiments
Julius P. Langlinais (EM) • Drilling engineering, well control, fluid flow in pipes, well production system analysis.
Mileva Radonjic (6A) • Carbon storage and capture, global warming mitigation, oil-well cement durability, effective long term zonal isolation, corrosion issues, wellbore stability, geomechanics, enhanced oil recovery
Dandina N. Rao ( M) • Reservoir engineering, enhanced/improved oil recovery, fluid-fluid and rock-fluids interactions
Stephen O. Sears (3F) • Reservoir characterization, reservoir simulation, rock-fluids properties
John Rogers Smith (M) • Drilling engineering, well design, well control and blowout prevention, wellbore integrity, cementing, and sustained casing pressure, rock mechanics, bit performance
Karsten E. Thompson (M) • Pore-scale and multiscale modeling of transport in porous media, computational methods
Mayank Tyagi (6A) • High performance computing, multiphase CFD modeling and analysis of fluid flow and heat transfer in production systems including wellbores (artificial lift techniques) and flowlines; multi-scale/multi-physics modeling of geothermal energy systems, reservoir upscaling algorithms.
Paulo Waltrich (6A) • Multiphase flows in pipes; artificial lift systems; liquid loading in gas wells; production optimization; flow assurance
Christopher White (7M) • Reservoir engineering, characterization, and optimization
Andrzej “Andrew” K. Wojtanowicz (M) • Mechanics and hydraulics of well drilling, completion and production, design and optimization of well construction and operation, environmental control technology in petroleum engineering, water control

Degree Programs


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of Science in Petroleum Engineering

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