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Research

The Australian School of Petroleum (ASP) is home to world-class research facilities, groups and centres, covering a diverse and wide range of areas including:

  • The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies

    Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions to the Atmosphere

    People

    Staff

    John KaldiMark Bunch, Ric Daniel, Ulrike Schacht

    PhD Students

    Michael Gray and Angie Qu

    The ASP is a part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), one of the world's leading collaborative research organisations focused on carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and geological storage (geosequestration).

    More than 100 researchers from Australia and New Zealand are collaborating to develop safe and economical CO2 geosequestration technologies that will make deep cuts in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, reduce the potential impact of climate change. The CRC commenced in October 2003, building on an extensive program of geological storage research undertaken by the APCRC GEODISC Program.

    CO2CRC staff at the ASP, are predominantly involved in storage research projects comprising both fundamental and applied areas of research. The prime focus of the research is the selection of storage sites, their adequate characterisation with respect of storage capacity, and an understanding of the physical and chemical processes which will take place during and after injection. In addition, an understanding and selection of the technologies available for monitoring the movement of the stored CO2 and an assessment of the risks associated with all phases of the process from major components of the research activities.

    Key Research Projects, Regional Studies and Demonstration Projects

    ASP researchers are focusing on the following areas:

    Researchers based at the ASP are currently or have recently been involved in a number of regional studies

    More information about CO2CRC and its projects, including the Otway Geosequestration Research Project in south-western Victoria, is available at www.co2crc.com.au.

  • Improved Business Performance Group

    People

    Staff

    Steve Begg and Matthew Welsh

    PhD Students

    Belinda Bruza, David Newman

    The Improved Business Performance Group (IBPG) is a research group within the ASP, dedicated to improving economic outcomes in industries such as oil and gas that operate under conditions of uncertainty. IBPG expertise is in the application of economic, psychological and management theory to real world problems faced by industry managers and technical specialists.

    Research is funded by a combination of government grants programs and linkages with industry partners, either through funding for specific programs or generally through their support of our "research club" the Centre for Improved Business Performance (CIBP). Research is conducted in association with staff from the University of Adelaide's Graduate School of Business and School of Psychology and international collaborators from the University of Stavanger in Norway and UC Irvine in the United States.

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  • Mercury Injection Capillary Pressure Analysis

    The Australian School of Petroleum researches the measurement of capillary pressure and pore network characteristics of reservoirs, cap-rocks, fault seals and intra-formation seals.

    Mercury Injection Capillary Pressure Research includes:

    • Injection and withdrawal data in spreadsheet form
    • High pressure porosimetry (to 60,000psi)
    • Pore network characterisation
    • Saturation height function
    • Free-water level determination
    • Calculation or recovery efficiency
    • Data conversion to reservoir conditions
    • Directional injection capability
    • Empirical evaluation of cuttings to core correlation factor
    • Threshold pressure determination for seal evaluation
    • Integration with SEM sample characterisation

    Non-Petroleum MICP Applications

    • Pore structure for pharmaceuticals andceramics
    • Filter characterisation for the waste disposal industry
    • Artificial membrane characterisation for engineering geology

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  • Stress, Structure and Seismic Group

    People

    Staff

    Simon Holford, Rosalind King (Geology and Geophysics), Khalid Amrouch, Alan Collins (Geology and Geophysics)

    PhD Students

    Ernest Swierczek, Adam Bailey, Alex Robson, Fun Meeuws, Mojtaba Rajabi, Rowan Hansberry, Lachlan Richards, Francesco Arboit, Alison Kirkby


    The stress, structure and seismic group (S-cubed) at ASP consists of petroleum geoscientists and engineers with expertise on petroleum geomechanics, tectonics and neotectonics, and seismic interpretation. The last decade has seen huge growth in the application of in siu stress-related analyses to petroleum exploration and development in Australia. The Stress, Structure and Seismic Group at the ASP has been the key driver for the increasing application of petroleum geomechanics in Australia.

    The contemporary stress field has a major impact on the exploration for and exploitation of hydrocarbon reservoirs, especially with respect to:

    • Wellbore stability
    • Hydraulic fracture stimulation
    • Structural permeability: predicting open natural fracture directions and planning deviated drilling directions in fractured reservoirs
    • Structural permeability: predicting seal integrity/pre-drill assessment of prospects requiring fault-seal
    • Determining the nature of recent fault reactivation

    The Stress, Structure and Seismic Group has research funding from the ARC, the petroleum and geothermal industries and state government. Major projects include the The Australian Structural Permeability Map, Detachments in evaporites and shales: their controls on fold-thrust belt style and wedge geometry, The Australian Stress Map, Compressional Deformation and Uplift of the Passive Southern Australian Margin, Present-Day Stress and Tectonics of Delta-Deepwater Fold-Thrust Belts, SE Asian Stress Map and Geomechanics and Structure of CO2 Sequestration. The group also provides consulting and training on in-situ stress determination, wellbore stability, fracture stimulation and seal integrity, seismic interpretation, 2D and 3D structural modelling (using Move and Dynel).

    The Stress, Structure and Seismic Group has close and fruitful links with the petroleum industry. The world-leading geomechanis company Ikon GeoMechanics is a spinout from this Group, and many former group members now hold senior technical roles in structural geology and geomechanics within the petroleum industry.

    Australasian Stress Map

    The key public domain output of the Stress, Structure and Seismic Group at the ASP is the Australasian Stress Map which is a database of stress orientation measurements and related information for the Australian Continent that can be viewed at www.asp.adelaide.edu.au/asm.

    Tectonics of Australian Petroleum Provinces

    The tectonic forces that have acted on the Australian plate during the Cenozoic are responsible for source rock burial and trap formation within many of Australia's most important hydrocarbon-producing basins. The forces that continue to act on these basins at the present-day influence many factors relevant to hydrocarbon exploration, including fault reactivation, seal integrity, natural and induced fracture orientation and wellbore stability.

    ASP has major expertise in the structural geology of Australia's hydrocarbon provinces and has the capability to conduct integrated applied research projects focussed on solving tectonic problems, with particular strengths in the following areas: seismic interpretation, volcanism in sedimentary basins, geomechanics, stress and fault analysis, subsidence and uplift analysis, thermal history modelling and 2D-4D structural modelling.

    Recent and ongoing studies have focussed on understanding tectonic controls on hydrocarbon prospectivity and production in the North West Shelf, Cooper Basin, Perth Basin, Bight Basin, Otway Basin, Bass Basin and Gippsland Basin using 2D and 3D seismic, log and thermal history data.

    More Information

    For further information contact: Simon Holford
    simon.holford@adelaide.edu.au

  • Reservoir Analogues Research Group

    People

    Staff

    Kathryn Amos, Rachel Nanson, Peter McCabe, Ric Daniel, Mark Bunch, Ulrike Schacht,

    PhD Students

    Treena Bron, Blaise Fernandes

    Affiliated Researchers

    Bruce Ainsworth, Boyan Vakarelov, Steve Hasiotis

    The main focus of the Reservoir Analogues Research Group (RARG) is the documentation of modern and ancient reservoir analogues across a range of depositional environments (dryland, marginal marine, deep water) with the aim of improving hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation techniques. Definition and prediction of stratigraphic architectures and ranges of potential reservoir and heterogeneity geometries are core components of the group's work. The sedimentology and stratigraphy expertise in the group is complimented by seismic and 3D reservoir modelling expertise which permits the direct application of outcrop and subsurface data to hydrocarbon extraction issues.

    RARG is the largest sedimentology/stratigraphy research group in the southern hemisphere (15+ active members). Two major company funded research consortiums are run by the group: Lake Eyre Basin Research Group (LEBARG) - focused on dryland reservoirs; and the WAVE Consortium - focused on the prediction of reservoir geometries and heterogeneities in wave-influenced marginal marine systems. The group also conducts research into the impacts of depositional architecture on CO2 migration and sequestration.

    For more information, please visit our website.

    More Information

  • Reservoir Characterisation at Pore Level

    ASP has staff investigating the petrology and diagenesis of reservoirs associated with petroleum and the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2). A mixture of research and consulting work is carried out in the Petrology Lab at ASP.

    Current Projects

    Investigating CO2-related diagenesis in the Otway and Surat Basin.

    People

    Staff

    Ulrike Schacht, Ric Daniel

    More Information

  • Seals/Caprock Research Group

    Seals research at the Australian School of Petroleum consists of a group of petroleum sedimentologists characterising fine grained sediments in terms of mercury injection capillary pressure (MICP) seal capacity, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-Ray mineralogy and Gamma logs. Research in present day seal analogues is also incorporated into the characterisation to gain a larger understanding of seal thickness, areal extent and depositional environments.

    The principal analytical tool used is an Autopore 9410 mercury injection capillary pressure porosimeter, which is housed at ASP and is used in the evaluation of reservoir lithologies, cap seals, intra-formational seals and fault seals. MICP measurements may be integrated with seismic to microstructural data to provide a robust basis for interpretation of the reservoir potential, sealing capacity and stability/strength of individual strata.

    People

    Staff

    Dr Ric Daniel, Professor John Kaldi

    Students

    Michael Gray

    More Information

  • Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery

    People

    Staff

    Manouchehr Haghighi, Alireza Salmachi, Mohammad Sayyafzadeh

    PhD Students

    Maqsood Ahmad, Jack Pokalai, Nicole Ditty, Fathima Mohamed, Mehrdad Rezazadeh

    The Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery (EOGR) group at ASP is involved in different enhanced oil and gas recovery projects both in conventional and unconventional resources.

    Present Projects

    • Enhanced Gas Recovery by simulation of flowback operation in tight gas reservoirs
    • Wettability alteration of tight sand reservoirs using nanoparticles
    • Flow Visualisation of Miscible CO2 Flooding under Gravity Domination
    • Automatic History Matching of Reservoir Simulation using Genetic Algorithm
    • Experimental and Modelling of Thermal Recovery of Coal Seam Gas Reservoirs
    • Petrophysical Evaluation of Shale Gas Reservoirs

    Research Facilities

    The EOGR group has access to the following ASP lab facilities:

    • High-pressure high-temperature automated coreflood apparatus
    • Porosimeter, Permeameter, Viscometer, Densitometer
    • Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometer
    • High pressure automated PVT apparatus

    Software

    • Full suite of CMG reservoir simulators
    • Full suite of Neotec software for production engineering and multiphase flow
    • Others - Petroleum Experts, Roxar, Schlumberger

    More Information

    For further information contact: Associate Professor Manouchehr Haghighi

     

    • Waterflooding and Emproved Oil Recovery, Formation Damage and Unconventionals

      People

      Staff

      Pavel Bedrikovetsky, Themis Carageorgos, Alexander Badalyan, Zhenjiang You, Abbas Zeinijahromi

      PhD Students

      Azim Kalantari, Keyiseer Aji, Alireza Keshavarz, Sara Borazjani, Yulong Yang

      Present Projects

      • Suspension and emulsion flow in porous media. Applications in aquifer contamination by bacteria, virus and oil droplets propagation, productivity of artesian wells, brain stroke prediction, design of cancer blocking methods, industrial filtering of fluids, potable water treatment
      • Improved Waterflooding by using nano-particles
      • Low-salinity Waterflooding by water composition alteration and induced fines migration
      • Improved Waterflooding by injection of poorly treated water
      • Polymer  or Surfactant Low-salinity Flooding
      • Gas-based EOR (WAG, CO2-flooding)
      • Effects of fines migration on well productivity/injectivity
      • Injectivity damage during seawater injection and PWRI
      • Formation damage due to oilfield scaling
      • Enhanced Geothermal projects, fresh water storage
      • Design of new technologies for Unconventional Resources and their math modelling
      • Characterisation of pore space geometry from coreflooding

      More Information

      For further information contact: Professor Pavel Bedrikovetski - pavel.bedrikovetski@adelaide.edu.au

    • Adelaide University Number 1 Test Well

      People

      Staff

      Mary Gonzalez

      Research Applications

      • Multiphase flow in pipe and annuli
      • Liquid loading of gas wells
      • Validation of vertical lift computer models
      • Gas flow metering (2 phase)/SCADA
      • Artificial Lift
      • Smart Completions / Telemetry
      • Surface processing / separation
      • Downhole separation
      • Well pressure control

      Teaching Applications

      • Well perfomance
      • Nodal analysis
      • Formation evaluation
      • Rock properties
      • Wireline operations
      • Logging operations
      • Well killing procedures
      • Well unloading procedures
      • Artificial lift
      • Flow metering
      • SCADA applications

      More Information

      For further information contact: Mary Gonzalez - maria.gonzalezperdomo@adelaide.edu.au

    Australian School of Petroleum
    THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

    SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

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    F: +61 8 8313 8030
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