UK and European SPE Student Paper Contest

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) coordinates 14 regional Student Paper Contests (SPC) at the undergraduate, master's, and PhD level. Students compete against other students from their region for the opportunity to advance to the International Student Paper Contest, held during the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE). Contestants enter with an abstract of their paper, of which they perform a presentation on the day of the competition, and then the victors who proceed to the International contest at ATCE have their papers published in the conference proceedings and on Onepetro.

The UK annual SPC was last held in November 2014 at Imperial College London where petroleum engineering students from all around the UK had gathered to present their dissertation work at Masters Level.

The work presented by Arash Farhadi, who at the time was a student at London South Bank University, was a feasibility study on Offshore Polymer Flooding, Forecasting production through Integrated Asset Modelling, A Technical and Economic Approach. The objectives of this work was to investigate how capital efficient such offshore projects can be and whether they can be rewarding in terms of economics.

The dissertation was completed under the supervision of Consultant reservoir engineers Alejandro Primera and Jesus Aponte from Primera Reservoir Ltd.     The supervision provided by Primera Reservoir covered areas of reservoir simulation modelling, Integrated Asset Modelling (IAM), uncertainty and risk analysis and the economic evaluation.

The judges voted the work as the winner of the UK SPC 2014 and was therefore invited to present at the European SPC in June 2015. Subsequently, earlier this month Arash Farhadi, who is now part of the staff at Primera reservoir specialized in line of Chemical Enhanced Oil Recovery (CEOR), presented the topic at the European SPC in Budapest where it was subject to positive feedback from the delegates at the event.

The main challenges in regards to implementation and evaluation of this project were the following:

Surface Facilities
  • Space and weight limitations
  • Storage tanks and mixing facilities
  • Water treatment facilities
  • logistics 
Technical Challenge

         Modelling the uncertainties associated with polymer performance and flooding
         Polymer performance under various conditions

Incremental Operational and Capital Expenditures

         Incremental CAPEX and OPEX for the Surface facilities required
         Polymer price
         Oil Price


The following workflow was put into place to address challenges associated :

Since then the path taken by Primera Reservoir in pursue of further research around CEOR has expanded. We are now in collaboration with universities from all around the UK and offer our supervision on the final year and Master’s level dissertations focused on CEOR. In the year 2015, we have supervised 5 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The students will be competing in the 2015 UK SPC in the coming months.