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 Victor and Anna Mae Beghini Professor of 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 200 technical papers, reports, and books including a recent update of the classic enhanced oil recovery book Fundamentals of Enhanced Oil Recovery. 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 Gas Flooding consortium and co-director of the Unconventional Natural Resources consortium in the EMS Energy Institute at Penn State University.

Dr. Johns directs the enhanced oil recovery industrial affiliates program (IAP) in gas flooding.


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. In addition, he has 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. Roshanfekr, M., Li, Y., and R.T. Johns, Non-iterative Phase Behavior Model with Application to Surfactant Flooding, and Limited Compositional Simulation, Fluid Phase Equilibria, Vol. 289, No. 2, pp. 166-175, March, 2010.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Johns, R.T. and Orr, F.M., Jr., Miscible gas displacement of multicomponent oils, SPEJ, 1(1), pp. 39-50, 1996.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Johns, R.T., University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, United States, Oil Recovery, Encyclopedia of Energy, Volume 4, Editor-in-Chief: Cutler J. Cleveland, ISNB: 0-12-176480-X, Elsevier Inc., 2004. pp. 701 – 713, 2004.
  13. R.T. Johns, U. of Texas at Austin, Chapter 7, Thermodynamics and Phase Behavior, Volume 1, General Engineering, Dr. John R. Fanchi, Editor, Petroleum Engineering Handbook, Dr. Larry W. Lake, Editor-in-Chief, ISBN: 978-1-55563-108-6; 978-1-55563-113-0 (CD), pp. I-333 through I-369, Society of Petroleum Engineers 2006.
  14. 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.
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