Improved Recovery Techniques in Mexico

For the sixth year, the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy was able to organize an Improved Recovery Techniques summer, study abroad course. Led by Dr. Deepak Devegowda, thirteen MPGE students stayed and studied in beautiful Puebla, Mexico from May 14 through 29 through OU’s newest Study Abroad Center on the campus of Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP). A group of 10 local Mexican students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) as well as some industry professionals participated in the course with our students.  It was an intensive course that provided an overview of enhanced oil recovery processes such as gas re-cycling, steam injection processes, chemical flooding and other thermal recovery mechanisms and enhanced gas recovery for coalbeds and organic gas shale reservoirs. The emphasis of this course was on the reservoir engineering aspects of the improved oil recovery processes including description of the process mechanisms, recovery efficiencies and techniques for forecasting waterflood performance. A key aspect of the course is the use of streamline-based simulation to analyze, design and optimize waterflooding. Several case studies were presented to enable a better understanding of the complex interplay between fluid properties, reservoir geology and recovery efficiency. The analysis and interpretation of single- and multi-well tracer tests were also included to address the needs of locating and quantifying bypassed hydrocarbon. The course content placed equal emphasis on conceptual theory and in-class practical exercises using the CMG software; OU and Mexican students worked together in these exercises fostering collaboration and understanding.

After the week-long course, the group enjoyed a cultural trip which began by learning about the Aztec culture with visits to Teotihuacan archeological site, the Templo Mayor site in downtown Mexico City and a visit to the Anthropology Museum. The students also had the opportunity to visit the Zocalo and the National Palace where there are amazing murals from the famous painter Diego Rivera depicting Mexico’s history. The bilingual guide gave them an excellent tour of the history through these wonderful murals.

Then the group flew to the southern region of Chiapas to visit national parks, indigenous communities, colonial towns, such as San Cristobal de las Casa, and ended with a visit to the archeological site of Palenque to learn about Mayan culture. In total, the group visited four UNESCO World Heritage sites giving them a broad overview of the diversity of the Mexican culture. They ate traditional food from many regions of Mexico and tasted all the varieties of chili peppers and spicy cuisine that this country has to offer.  According to the students’ evaluations, one of the most important aspects of this experience was the interaction with local Mexican students.

All participants in our study abroad programs this summer received generous travel scholarships from the Mewbourne School and Mewbourne College. Thank you!

Mexico 1 Mexico 8 Mexico 7 Mexico 4 Mexico 3 Mexico 2 Mexico 6

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