Funding and Sponsors

Current projects

Project Student Collaborator Sponsor

Development of methods to quantify the natural microfracturing of hydrocarbon-bearing shales  

Matthew Ramos

C. Torres-Verdin

Steve Laubach

Statoil

Geomechanical implications of shale acidization

Igor Shovkun M. Sharma Hydraulic Fracturing and Sand Control JIP

Development of geomechanical screening tools to identify risk: an experimental and modeling approach for secure CO2 storage

Hojung Jung Mary Wheeler DOE-NETL

Micromechanical Probing of Rocks subjected to CO2 alteration 

Michael Aman Anastasia Ilgen (Sandia National Labs) DOE-CFSES

DEM modeling of indentation, scratch, and triaxial testing of chemo-mechanical processes

Zhuang Sun M. Balhoff DOE-CFSES

Wettability of reservoir and seal rocks at CO2 storage sites 

Eric Guiltinan B. Cardenas DOE-CFSES

Development of methods to quantify the natural microfracturing of hydrocarbon-bearing shales 

Student: Matt Ramos (matthew.ramos@utexas.edu)

Source rocks can host vast amount of oil and gas. However, these hydrocarbons are usually      highly dispersed in complex and heterogenous formations. Dispersedness and heterogeneity          require significant formation evaluation pre-studies and reservoir stimulation actions to maximize the net energy return and the recovery ratio. Some types of heterogeneity are in fact advantageous, such as natural fractures. Natural fractures create high permeability paths and facilitate reservoir depletion. This project aims at detecting the presence of millimeter and sub-millimeter natural fractures with enhanced well logging techniques.

Geomechanical implications of shale acidization

Student: Igor Shovkun (ishovkun@utexas.edu)

Advanced completion methods seek to maximize the stimulated reservoir volume as a result of   hydraulic fracturing. Shale acidization has been proposed as one method to improve drainage           efficiency. This project studies the influence on the state of stresses post-fracturing induced by        changes in fluid pore-pressure and mineral chemical dissolution. The change of stresses affects             permeability and can either or decrease production rates. The objective of this project is to           determine the impact of acidization on the local state of stresses and ensuring fracture           permeability changes.

Development of geomechanical screening tools to identify risk: an experimental and modeling approach for secure CO2 storage

Student: Hojung Jung (hjung@utexas.edu)

CO2 geological storage can help mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases to the           atmosphere. Meaningful CO2 geological storage would involve massive amounts of CO2 to be         injected underground. However, the injection of CO2 can change the state of stress in the             reservoir rock and the caprock. Changes in stress can lead to mechanical failure of the geological formation at carious length scales. The objective of this project is to characterize in the laboratory the thermos-poro-mechanical properties of reservoir rocks and use relevant measured properties in a state-of-the-art geomechanically coupled fluid flow simulator. Fully understanding these stress changes can   help recognize risks involved in CO2 geological storage and prevent them. 

Micromechanical Probing of Rocks subjected to CO2 alteration 

Student: Michael Aman

CO2 geological storage can help mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Large-scale implementation of CO2 geological storage requires full understanding of the      interaction between injected CO2, host pore fluid, and rock minerals. One of the objectives of this project is to quantify the mechanical degradation of reservoir rocks when exposed to CO2-water mixtures. We aim at measuring these changes over various length scales and determine the impact on effective mechanical properties. The results will help assess risks involved in carbon geological storage. 

DEM modeling of indentation, scratch, and triaxial testing of chemo-mechanical processes

Student: Zhuang Sun

Wettability of reservoir and seal rocks at CO2 storage sites 

Student: Eric Guiltinan