The group works with conservation laws, especially when applied to multiphase flow in porous media. We deal with research and development of accurate numerical methods and software for flow simulators in petroleum reservoirs, which may be used in oil recovery optimization. The multiphase flow models have non-trivial mathematical difficulties, represented by partial differential equations of elliptic-hyperbolic type. The solution of elliptic-hyperbolic conservation laws is important not only for oil, but also for other areas such as elastoplasticity and magnetohydrodynamics.
One of the difficulties to the recovery of oil in Brazilian pre-salt layer oil fields is the great heterogeneity of the rock. The heterogeneity reduces the efficiency of conventional methods, since a large portion of the oil reservoir is located in places with low permeability and cannot be recovered. In this study we propose to study the method in which pressurized air is injected into the light oil deposit and reacts with part of it, generating heat. The heated oil evaporates from low permeability regions and condenses in regions with high permeability where it can be later retrieved.
Mathematical methods are developed to research "Tertiary Recovery" in mature fields in production decline phase (case of offshore fields in the State of Rio de Janeiro). A multidisciplinary approach, based on Applied Mathematics combined with Modeling and Computer Simulation is being developed for theoretical and numerical investigation of the enhanced recovery of hydrocarbons in heterogeneous oilfields at multiple scales; the remediation processes of groundwater and soil contaminated with non-aqueous liquid phase; and reduction, containment and control of carbon dioxide levels in the environment.