Responsible development of geo-resources is a key thrust area for research in the John and Willie Leone Family department of Energy and Mineral Engineering.
Research in this area spans from characterization of petrophysical and dynamic transport properties of tight sands, shales, and deep saline aquifers for carbon sequestration, to understanding the physics of earthquakes, including induced seismicity, and energy geomechanics including unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs and geothermal energy, to understanding interfacial interactions of highly concentrated carbonaceous solid-water slurries that may be encountered during processes such as gasification.
Research topics and facilities in this cluster area include:
- Experimental and Numerical investigation of Drill bit/rock interaction
- Integrated hydraulic fracturing design in presence of natural fractures
- Novel expandable LCM materials and wellbore strengthening
- Assessment of well integrity after hydraulic fracturing, underground blowout etc.
- Development of advanced Phase Behavior EOS based on curvature analysis of fluid interfaces
- Advanced models for phase behavior, fluid displacement and component transport for design of enhanced oil recovery processes
- Center for Quantitative Imaging - World class academic CT imaging facility that provides access to large-scale X-ray CT instrumentation for non-destructive, 3D sample characterization.
- Reactive shale mechanics and problems associated with lost circulation
- Seismic inversion and application for monitoring CO2 plume during sequestration
- Optimization and feedback control of hydrocarbon recovery processes
- Center for Geomechanics, Geofluids and Geohazards (G3 Center; g3center.org) - an interdisciplinary center focused on rock and fluid physics.
- Mine ventilation and health risk due to dust particulates and other forms of atmospheric pollution