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Iraj Ershaghi

Iraj Ershaghi

 

Omar B. Milligan Professor

 

Director of the Petroleum Engineering Program

Executive Director of the Chevron–USC Center for Smart Oilfield Technologies at USC

Executive Director of UKC (USC-KOC ) Center for Research and Education

 



Research Topics

  • Naturally Fractured Reservoirs
  • Pressure Transient Modeling
  • Reservoir Characterization and Compartmentalized Systems
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    Research Overview

    Conditioning of Stochastic Reservoir Models with Performance Data 

    Simulations of transport processes in complex geological structure require detailed microlamination studies and inter-flow unit characterization. Synergistic approaches to combine signals from pressure transients and performance data for correlation of geological markers are being developed. Heterogeneities in subterranean reservoirs associated with faults need to be characterized. Multiple interference tests can potentially provide a significant insight into lateral and vertical communications. Predictive models are being developed to examine the impact of fault zones in terms of their transmissivities on pressure transient tests. Various conceptual models should be scrutinized to minimize the non-uniqueness of the predictive process.

    Geostatistical Methods 
    Techniques are being developed for short to long range characterization of flow units using stochastic modeling of reservoir response. Geostatistical models are developed for a variety of sedimentation processes. Studies are in progress to model discontinuities commonly observed in turbidite series. A combination of sequence stratigraphy, geological modeling, and geostatistical technique are necessary to examine discontinuity of flow units and crossflow across such units. A major concern in stochastic modeling of subterranean reservoirs is history matching methods that can capture the essence of various geological realization models. Without an effective dynamic programming approach, the process can become computationally cumbersome. Complexity of the problem becomes more intense when finely girded structures are selected to represent detail flow unit heterogeneities. Studies are underway to develop methodologies for addressing the history matching for stochastic models.

    Fractured Reservoirs
    Multi-phase flow and pressure transient response characteristics of complex fractured rocks are being investigated. Improvements for scale-up processes of laboratory-derived pseudo-properties to large scale networks of fracture are being developed. Process related recovery issues are examined for systems exhibiting multiple porosity behaviors. Interporosity characteristics of tight rocks are being examined for various system properties. Predictive techniques are being developed for recovery processes in fractured systems under the influence of steam, solvent, and low tension floods.

    Well Productivity Improvement
    Studies are underway to develop effective methods for augmenting lift mechanisms in low pressure reservoirs. Initial studies are focused on low pressure gas reservoirs as affected by liquid loading.

    Integrated Asset Mangement
    Collaborative studies are underway addressing the issues related to data mining of massive data from continuously recorded sensors, asset component definition and diagnostics for detection of reservoir flow units.

    Selected Publications



    Iraj Ershaghi, “The Amazing Monterey Formation,” Paper 147585-MS Canadian Unconventional Resources Conference, 15-17 November 2011, Alberta, Canada

    Iraj Ershaghi, Dennis Luna:” Validation Process for Human Factor in Complex Upstream Oil and Gas Operations,” SPE 147654-MS presented at the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 30 October-2 November 2011, Denver Colorado.

    S. Liu, C. S. Raghavendra, Y. Liu, K, Yao. Balogum Olabinjo, R. Roma, J. Ivaahoe, Smith, B, Seren, T. Lenz, C.G. Dinesh Babu and I. Ershaghi :”Automatic Early Fault Detection for Rod Pump Systems,” SPE 146038-MS presented at Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 30 October-2 November 2011, Denver Colorado

    Ku-Han Lee, Antonio Ortega, Amir M. Nejad and I. Ershaghi:” An Active Method for Characterization of Flow Units Between Injection/Production Wells by Injection-Rate Design SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering Volume 14, Number 4 August 2011

    Hyokyeong Lee, Ke-Thia Yao , Olu Ogbonnaya Okpani, Aiichiro Nakano, Iraj Ershaghi: “Hybrid Constrained Nonlinear Optimization to Infer Injector-Producer Relationships in Oil Fields,” International Journal of Computational Science, Volume 4, Number 1, 2010 (February, 2010)

    H. Lee, K. Yao,O. O. Okpani, A. Nakano, and I. Ershaghi,” Identifying Injector-Producer Relationship in Waterflood Using Hybrid Constrained Nonlinear Optimization,” SPE 132359, SPE Western Regional Meeting, 2010 / Date: May 27-29, 2010.

    Kun-Han Lee, Antonio Ortega, Nelia Jafroodi, Iraj Ershaghi:”A Multivariate Autoregressive Model for Characterizing Producer-producer Relationships in Waterfloods from Injection/Production Rate Fluctuations,” SPE 132625-PP SPE, University of Southern California, SPE Western Regional Meeting, 2010 / Date: May 27-29, 2010.

    Hyokyeong Lee, Ke-Thia Yao , Olu Ogbonnaya Okpani, Aiichiro Nakano, Iraj Ershaghi: “Hybrid Constrained Nonlinear Optimization to Infer Injector-Producer Relationships in Oil Fields,” International Journal of Computational Science, Volume 4, Number 1, 2010 (February, 2010)

    Iraj Ershaghi, and D. Chinnappaaraja Gunasekaran:” Optimizing Well Path for Extended Reach Wells in the Fractured Monterey Formation, Offshore California.” SPE 128252-presented at SPE Oil and Gas India Conference and Exhibition, 20-22 January 2010, Mumbai, India.

    F. Banaei-Kashani, H. Lee, C. Shahabi, I. Ershaghi: “A Mutual-Information-Based Metric for Identification of Nonlinear Injector-Producer Relationships in Waterfloods, SPE 121395.

    K. Lee, A. Ortega, A.M. Nejad, N. Jafroodi, I. Ershaghi :”A Novel Method for Mapping Fractures and High-Permeability Channels in Waterfloods Using Injection and Production Rates,” SPE 121353 presentated at the WRM of SPE San Jose, March 25, 2009.

    Lee, A. Ortega, A. Ghareloo, I. Ershaghi, SPE 114222. “A Method for Characterization of Flow Units between Injection-Production Wells Using Performance Data,” presented at the WRM of SPE San Jose, March 25, 2009.

    M. Haroun, I. Ershaghi, SPE 114227: “Heat Management in Steamfloods without the Use of Temperature Observation Wells.” presented at the WRM of SPE San Jose, March 25, 2009.

    Nelia Jafroodi and Iraj Ershaghi:” Detecting Immiscible Flood Fronts in Heterogeneous Systems from Continuous Monitoring of Rate and Pressure,” SPE 111238.

    B. Khoshnevis, R. Rastegar Moghadam, I. Ershaghi California, K. Larbi, and V. Villagran: “Automatic Concurrent Water Collection (CWC) System for Unloading Gas Wells”, SPE 100649-MS

    B. Khoshnevis, R. Rastegar Moghadam, I. Ershaghi, , K. Larbi and V. Villagran:“Automatic Concurrent Water Collection (CWC) System for Unloading Gas Wells, ”SPE 103266

    G. Alipour-Kivi, A. Bugacov, B. Khoshnevis, and I. Ershaghi :“Automated Liquid Unloading in Low-Pressure Gas Wells Using Intermittent and Distributed Heating of Wellbore Fluid,”SPE 100650-MS.

    Al-Anazi and I. Ershaghi, U. of Southern California:”A Conceptual Sensory System for Cross-Hole Reservoir Characterization Using a Pair of Horizontal Wells.””, SPE 9229.

    Iraj Ershaghi: Flood Front Tracking and Pulse Test Time Lags; SPE Journal, April 10, 2008

    Orangi, I. Ershaghi, SPE 114223: “Flood Front Tracking and Pulse Test Time Lags“ Presented at SPE/DOE Symposium on Improved Oil Recovery, 20-23 April 2008, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

    K. Lee, Antonio Ortega, A. Ghareloo, Iraj Ershaghi: A Method for Characterization of Flow Units between Injection Production Wells Using Performance Data; SPE Journal, March 30, 2008

    M. Haroun, Iraj Ershaghi: Heat Management in Steamfloods without the Use of Temperature Observation Wells; SPE Production Engineering Journal, March 30 2008

    B. Khoshnevis, R. Rastegar Moghadam, I. Ershaghi, , K. Larbi and V. Villagran :“Automatic Concurrent Water Collection (CWC) System for Unloading Gas Wells”, SPE 103266-MSPresented at SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 24-27 September 2006, San Antonio, Texas, USA

    B. Khoshnevis, R. Rastegar Moghadam, I. Ershaghi California, K. Larbi, and V. Villagran: “Automatic Concurrent Water Collection (CWC) System for Unloading Gas Wells”, SPE 100649-MS Presented at the 2006 SPE Western Regional/AAPG Pacific Section/GSA Cordilleran Section Joint Meeting, 8-10 May, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

    G. Alipour-Kivi, A. Bugacov, B. Khoshnevis, and I. Ershaghi :“Automated Liquid Unloading in Low-Pressure Gas Wells Using Intermittent and Distributed Heating of Wellbore Fluid,” SPE 100650-MS, Presented at the SPE Western Regional/AAPG Pacific Section/GSA Cordilleran Section Joint Meeting, 8-10 May 2006, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

    M. Reedy and I. Ershaghi: “Reducing Electric Pumping Consumption in Mature Fields: Case Studies,” SPE 100651-MS, presented at the SPE Western Regional/AAPG Pacific Section/GSA Cordilleran Section Joint Meeting, 8-10 May 2006, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

    C. Temizel, and I. Ershaghi, : Aspects of Reservoir Characterization from Waterflood Performance Data, SPE 97725 Presented at SPE International Thermal Operations and Heavy Oil Symposium, 1-3 November 2005 , Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    Ershaghi, and Z. Omoregie: Continuing Education Needs for the Digital Oil Fields of the Future, SPE 97288 Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, 9-12 October, 2005 Dallas, Texas.

    K. McLachlan, and I. Ershaghi: A Method for Reservoir Management of Waterfloods, SPE 97829 Presented at the SPE Eastern Regional Meeting, 14-16 September 2005, Morgantown, West Virginia

    Al-Anazi and I. Ershaghi, U. of Southern California:" A Conceptual Sensory System for Cross-Hole Reservoir Characterization Using a Pair of Horizontal Wells.", SPE 92296 Proceedings of Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference, 5-7 April, 2005 Kingdom of Bahrain

    P.S. Hara, Tidelands Oil Production Co.; J.J. Mondragon III and H.H. Sun, City of Long Beach; Z. Yang, EXGEO; I. Ershaghi, U. of Southern California: " " Applying a Reservoir Simulation Model to Drill a Horizontal Well in a Post-Steamflood Reservoir, Wilmington Field, California," SPE 94021 Proceedings of the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Mar 30 - Apr 01, 2005, Irvine, California

    G. Swanson, Consultant and I. Ershaghi, U. of Southern California:" Water Control Problems and Solutions-Los Angeles Basin Statistics and Case Histories." SPE 94003 Proceedings of SPE Western Regional Meeting, Mar 30 - Apr 01, 2005, Irvine, California

    Z.Yang, EXGEO CGG Venezuela, and I. Ershaghi, U. of Southern California:" A Method for Pattern Recognition of WOR Plots in Waterflood Management," SPE 93870 Proceedings of the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Mar 30 - Apr 01, 2005, Irvine, California