This course focuses on the interaction of rocks with fluids at different scales, which can induce physical or chemical changes in the reservoir or caprock. These interactions can improve the movement of hydrocarbons, enhance water circulation in engineered geothermal systems, or stop the migration of sequestered greenhouse gases. On the other hand, compaction, leakages, fault reactivation and seismic events can be induced if fluid injection is done without the necessary assessments. Here, the physical and mechanical characteristics of rocks need to be discussed and measured at different scales using laboratory and field techniques. Changes posed by different fluids (water, CO2, etc.) on the porous media during and after injection should be highlighted, as well as precautions and remedial measures. Thus, apart from the fundamental concepts of geomechanics and enhanced production, the methodologies developed to increase the success and safety of fluid injection in subsurface geological sites will be presented in this course.
Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.
Determination of elastic and strength properties of rocks, fluid-rock interactions, variation of in-situ stress and likelihood of failure in different geological formations are an essential part of any reservoir management, production and IOR / EOR studies. In this course, we start everything by introducing the fundamental concepts of geomechanics (theories of elasticity/plasticity, failure mechanisms, and fluid flow in porous media) and show their applications to different areas of subsurface engineering. This will be followed by introducing the concept of hydraulic fractures, as one of the major enhanced production techniques in unconventional reservoirs and engineered geothermal systems, where fracture design improves hydrocarbon recovery and heat production from hot dry rocks in different subsurface conditions. Immiscible and low salinity water flooding as two important approaches of EOR which are linked to geothermal reservoirs and CO2 geo-sequestration technique will be covered in the next section where the concept behind the interaction of CO2 and brine with hydrocarbon-rock systems will be discussed in detail. The final part of the course gives in-depth insight into the mechanism of CO2 storage in different geological sites (depleted reservoirs, aquifers, and coal beds), where the interactions of CO2 with the rocks and subsequent challenges such as compaction, fault leakage and caprock integrity are discussed.
After taking the course, students should understand:
the importance of physical and chemical characteristics of rocks,
the best methods to determine rock properties in laboratory and field scales,
how hydraulic fractures can be designed and created,
the role of fluid selection to enhance oil recovery, and
the concept of Carbon Capture and Storage in geological sites.
After taking the course, students should be able to:
determine geomechanical parameters in laboratory or field scales,
estimate in-situ and effective stresses during production or injection,
design fractures to improve production from hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs,
evaluate, design, and implement carbon storage in different geological sites, and
use software to analyse different reservoirs for production enhancement or storage.
After taking the course, students should:
be comfortable in working in a multidisciplinary environment,
be able to contribute into effective production and management of resources,
be able to analyze, and report their strategy for carbon storage, and
be able to use industrial software to implement their strategies.
Required prerequisite knowledge
Form of assessment
Portfolio assessment with two written reports that each count 50% of the total grade. The portfolio consists of two written project reports. The grade is not given until both of the reports have been assessed and the portfolio as a whole is graded. There is no re-sit opportunities, and students who fail or want to improve their grade must submit a new portfolio the following year.
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology
There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.