Russell T. Johns

Directory Info

Russell T. Johns

Professor of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Program Chair for Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

119 Hosler Building


Biographical Sketch: 

Russell T. Johns is the Chair of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering program, he holds the Victor and Anna Mae Beghini Fellowship in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. Prior to his current position, he served on the petroleum engineering faculty at The University of Texas at Austin from 1995 to 2010. He also has nine years of industrial experience as a petrophysical engineer with Shell Oil and as a consulting engineer for Colenco Power Consulting in Baden, Switzerland. He holds a BS degree in electrical engineering from Northwestern University and MS and PhD degrees in petroleum engineering from Stanford. His research interests include enhanced oil recovery, thermodynamics and phase behavior, unconventional gas engineering, multiphase flow in porous media, and well testing. In these areas he has published over 250 technical papers, reports, and books including a recent update of the classic enhanced oil recovery book Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery. In 2016 he received the International SPE award in reservoir description and dynamics (chemical and gas flooding). Dr. Johns received the SPE Ferguson medal in 1993 for his research on the combined condensing/vaporizing gas-drive process. He served as Co-Executive Editor for SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering journal from 2002 – 2004. In 2009, he was awarded the SPE Distinguished Member award. He is currently an Associate Editor for the SPE Journal and director of the Enhanced Oil Flooding consortium in the EMS Energy Institute at Penn State University.


In addition to the courses he currently teaches at Penn State, Dr. Johns also has taught university courses in Advanced Well Testing, Petrophysics, Reservoir Engineering II (Waterflooding), Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior, Advanced Thermodynamics, Environmental Remediation, Flow in Porous Media, Engineering Design, Advanced Reservoir Engineering, and Enhanced Oil Recovery. He has also taught courses in Gas Flooding, Enhanced Oil Recovery, and Waterflooding to industry.

Educational Background: 

Ph.D. (Petroleum Engineering), Stanford University, 1992

Ph.D. Minor (Water Resources), Stanford University, 1992

M.S. (Petroleum Engineering), Stanford University, 1989

B.S. (Electrical Engineering), Northwestern University, 1982

  • Professional Petroleum Engineer in California
Research Interests: 
  • Enhanced oil recovery
  • Unconventional gas recovery
  • Theory of gas injection processes
  • Geothermal energy
  • Well testing
Active Research Projects: 

Current active research projects include consortia of oil and gas companies to conduct research on gas flooding for enhanced oil recovery. He is also active in experimental studies of surfactant flooding of live crude oils. Additional projects include development of numerical simulation codes for Middle-Eastern oil fields.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Moinfar, A, Sephernoori, K., and Johns, R.T., Development of an Efficient Embedded Fracture Model for 3D Compositional Reservoir Simulation in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs, SPEJ, 19(2), pp. 289 – 303, 2013.
  2. Ahmadi, K. and R.T. Johns, Multiple Mixing-Cell Model for MMP Determination, SPEJ, Volume 16, No. 4, pp. 733-742, December 2011.
  3. Okuno, R., R.T. Johns, and K. Sepehrnoori, Three-Phase Flash in Compositional Simulation Using a Reduced Method, SPEJ, Volume 15, No. 3, pp. 689-703, September 2010
  4. Okuno, R., Johns, R.T., and K. Sepehrnoori, Application of a Reduced Method in Compositional Simulation, SPEJ, Volume 15, Number 1, pp. 39-49, March, 2010.
  5. Charbeneau, R., Johns, R.T., Lake, L.W., and McAdams, M., Free-product recovery of petroleum hydrocarbon liquids, Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation, 20(3), pp. 147-158, Summer 2000.
  6. Johns, R.T., Correction to “Pressure solution for sequential hydraulic tests in low-transmissivity fractured and nonfractured media”, Water Resour. Res., 34(10), p. 2781, October, 1998.
  7. Johns, R.T. and Orr, F.M., Jr., Miscible gas displacement of multicomponent oils, SPEJ, 1(1), pp. 39-50, 1996.
  8. Johns, R.T., Dindoruk, B., and Orr, F.M., Jr., Analytical theory of combined condensing/vaporizing gas drives, SPE Adv. Tech. Series, 1(2), pp. 7-16, 1993.
  9. Lake, L.W., Johns, R.T., Rossen, B., and Pope, G., Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery, Society of Petroleum Engineers, pp. 496, ISBN:978-1-61399-328-6, Richardson, TX, 2014.
  10. Johns, R.T. and Dindoruk, B., Enhanced Oil Recovery: Field Case Studies, Book editor: James Sheng, Chapter 1: Gas Flooding, Book chapter, pp. 1-22, ISBN: 978-0-12-386545-8, Elsevier, 2013.
  11. Russell T. Johns, Penn State University, Editor, Authors: Perry M. Jarrell, BP, Charles E. Fox, Kinder Morgan, Michael H. Stein, BP, Steven L. Webb, Occidental Petroleum, Technical Writer: Linda A. Day, Practical Aspects of CO2 Flooding, SPE Monograph Series, Volume 22, ISBN 1-55563-096-0, Henry L. Doherty Memorial Fund of AIME, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc., Richardson, Texas, 2002.
  12. B. Nojabaei, N. Siripatrachai, R.T. Johns, T. Ertekin, Effect of large gas-oil capillary pressure on production: A compositionally-extended black oil formulation, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Volume 147, Pages 317-329, November 2016
  13. Khorsandi, S., Qiao, C., & Johns, R. T., Displacement Efficiency for Low-Salinity Polymer Flooding Including Wettability Alteration. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/179695-PA, October 2016
  14. Khorsandi, S., Qiao, C., & Johns, R. T., Simulation of Surfactant/Polymer Floods With a Predictive and Robust Microemulsion Flash Calculation. Society of Petroleum Engineers. doi:10.2118/179566-PA, October 2016
  15. Khorsandi, S., & Johns, R. T. (2016). Robust Flash Calculation Algorithm for Microemulsion Phase Behavior. Journal of Surfactants and Detergents, 19(6), 1273-1287.
  16. Ghosh, S., & Johns, R. T. (2016). Dimensionless Equation of State to Predict Microemulsion Phase Behavior. Langmuir, 32(35), 8969-8979, August 2016
Recent Activities: 


  • Executive Editor for SPEREE
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
  • Graduate Studies Chairman
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)


  • SPE Distinghuished Membership Award (2009)
  • "A Peer Apart" by SPE for technical reviews of journal papers
  • 25 year club for SPE
  • SPE outstanding technical editor
  • Dean's fellow
  • Departmental teaching awards