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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:

  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Petroleum

    The Australian School of Petroleum has in-house expertise in the study of the sedimentology and stratigraphy of conventional and unconventional resources, from grain and pore to basin scales. Research projects range from very focused and specific through to broad integrated analyses, all with direct application to the exploration and production of oil and gas.

    Our particular expertise includes:

    • Core logging and facies analysis
    • Development of depositional models
    • Modern and ancient (outcrop and subsurface) analogue studies with a focus on fluvial and marginal marine environments, coal-bearing strata, architecture of sandstone reservoirs, and experimental investigation of deep-marine gravity flow processes.
    • Formation evaluation by integration of core information with wireline log data
    • Wireline log correlations and sequence stratigraphic framework development
    • Seismic stratigraphic interpretation and seismic geomorphology
    • Reservoir mapping to constrain 3D geological models
    • Sequence stratigraphy of non-marine strata
    • Independent technical review of geological reports
    • Diagenetic alteration, geochemistry and porosity evolution in the subsurface
    • Analysis of sealing units to conventional reservoirs (including Mercury Injection Capillary Pressure Analysis)
    • Thermal history modelling and basin analysis
    • Source rock quality and lateral variability
    • Assessment of fossil fuel resources

    People

    Staff

    Professor Peter McCabe Professor John Kaldi Dr Kathryn Amos Dr Mark Bunch Dr Ulrike Schacht Mr Carmine Wainman

    HDR Students

    Chen Yu Re-interpreting palaeo-environments of the Permian to Triassic Sydney Basin – application to facies interpretation, sequence stratigraphy and coal geology.

    Melissa Craig- Clay-Rich Turbidity Currents: Experimental Investigation of Flow Dynamics and Depositional Processes

    Yang Liu- Controls on the Accumulation of Coal: A Global Perspective

    Sandra Mann- A focus on the sedimentology of transgressions in interior seaways: Utilising modern and outcrop analogues to interpret the subsurface Cretaceous Murta Formation, Eromanga Basin, Australia Now working as a Graduate Geologist in the oil and gas industry.

    Carmine Wainman- A Predictive Model for the Thickness, Lateral Extent and Regional Variations in Composition of the Walloon Coal Measures.

    Jessica Trainor- Palynology, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of the Early Cretaceous to Late Jurassic of the Northern Barrow Delta, Carnarvon Basin, Australia.

    Erik Dunlop- Harnessing the Dynamic Production Behaviour of Stress Buttressed, Self Fracturing Cooper Basin Deep Coal Gas Reservoirs.

    Fengtao Guo- Sequence Stratigraphy, Facies Architecture and Petroleum Potential of the Rosenealth Shale, Epsilon formation and Murteree Shale in the Cooper Basin, Australia

    Angie Qu- Determining CO2 Storage Reservoir Potential of the Paaratte Formation, Otway Basin, by Forward Stratigraphic Modelling

    Tess Dance-Reservoir Characterisation for CO2 Storage

    Recent PhD graduates

    Michael Gray (2017)- Evaluating Seal Capacity for Carbon Dioxide Storage in the Otway Basin Now working as a Graduate Geologist in the oil and gas industry

    Tessa Lane (2016)- Evolution and Architecture of the Holocene Mitchell River Megafan and Delta, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

    John Counts (2016)- Sedimentology, provenance, and salt-sediment interaction in the Ediacaran Pound subgroup, Flinders Ranges, South Australia http://hdl.handle.net/2440/105869 Awarded Dean’s Commendation for Thesis Excellence. Now working as a postdoctoral researcher at IFREMER, France.

    Sara Moron Polanco (2016)- Understanding the origin and controls on the development of anabranching rivers. Digital thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/99976 Awarded Dean’s Commendation for Thesis Excellence. Now working as a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Melbourne.

    Katherine (Treena) Bron (2015)- The petroleum Prospectivity of Australian Impact Structures and Related Sediments and Their Influence on Petroleum Systems.

    Consortium Member Login for Completed Projects

    WAVE

    LEBARG

  • Improved Business Performance Group

    People

    Staff

    Steve Begg and Matthew Welsh

    PhD Students

    David Newman

    The Improved Business Performance Group (IBPG) is a research group within the ASP, dedicated to improving decision outcomes in industries such as oil and gas that operate under conditions of uncertainty. IBPG expertise is in the application of economic, psychological and decision 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  School of Business and School of Psychology and collaborators from the University of Stavanger in Norway and the University of New South Wales.

    More Information

  • Stress, Structure and Seismic Group

    People

    Staff

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

    PhD Students

    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

  • Enhanced Oil and Gas Recovery

    People

    Staff

    Manouchehr Haghighi, Alireza Salmachi, Mohammad Sayyafzadeh

    PhD Students

    Jack Pokalai, Fathima Mohamed

    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 Improved Oil Recovery, Formation Damage and Unconventionals

      People

      Staff

      Pavel Bedrikovetsky, Abbas Zeinijahromi, Zhenjiang You, Themis Carageorgos, Alexander Badalyan, Sara Borazjani, Pengxland Diwu, Xiaofeng Tian, and Hadi Madani

      Students

      Saurabh Naik (PhD Students), Gabriel Malgaresi, Larissa Chequer, Yong Wang, Abdullah Al-Sarahi

      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
      • Characterisation of pore space geometry from coreflooding
      • Well stimulation in coal seam shale gas reservoirs
      • Characterisation of coal seam and shale gas reservoirs from production data
      • Management of fines migration and production in coal seam and shale gas reservoirs
      • Enhanced gas recovery by proppant injection in coal seam, tight gas and shale gas naturally fractured reservoirs
      • Enhancement of gas rates in unconventional reservoirs using nano particles and surfactants
      • Prevention, mitigation and predication of fines migration and production in unconventional reservoirs
      • Systems of conservation laws for two-phase flow in porous media, Exact solutions for displacement of oil by low-salinity water

      More Information

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

    • Unconventional Gas Reservoirs Research Group

      This research group has been established to provide petroleum engineering research on unconventional resources in Australia.

      People

      Staff

      Manouchehr Haghighi, Alireza Salmachi and Mohammad Sayyafzadeh

      PhD and Masters Students

      Fathima Mohamed, Jack Pokalai and Sume Sarkar

      The research themes of the Unconventional Gas Reservoirs Group are mainly focused on reservoir simulation, production data analysis, production history matching, enhanced gas recovery, well placement optimisation and drilling fluid design in unconventional reservoirs (coalbed methane, tight gas and shale gas reservoirs).

      Research Facilities

      The Drilling Fluid Laboratory is fully equipped with up to date equipment to perform drilling fluid tests. The HPHT viscometer is able to measure drilling mud rheology at elevated pressure and temperature for deep drilling in shale gas reservoirs.

      Software

      Eclipse, CMG, TNavigator and Landmark package are used for research purposes.

      Research Applications

      • The use of Nano particles to improve drilling mud properties for drilling in shale gas reservoirs
      • Production data analysis of CBM wells
      • Flow back modelling in hydraulically fractured wells
      • Inverse modelling, uncertainty quantification and optimisation
      • Production history matching
      • Infill drilling optimisation in CBM reservoirs
      • Thermally enhanced gas recovery from CBM reservoirs

      Publications

      Please visit staff home-pages for lists of publications:
      Manouchehr Haghghi, Alireza Salmachi and Mohammad Sayyafzadeh

      More Information

      For further information contact: Alireza Salmachi - alireza.salmachi@adelaide.edu.au

    • Adelaide University Number 1 Test Well

      People

      Staff

      Mary Gonzalez

      MPhil Student

      Fahd Saghir

      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

    Contact

    T: +61 8 8313 8000
    F: +61 8 8313 8030
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