Research

I am primarily interested in the computational modeling of flow in porous media, particularly in subsurface reservoirs. Over the years I have also developed an interest in doing fieldwork and collecting data for input to my models.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership:
“The Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership (BSCSP) is based at Montana State University’s Energy Research Institute. The partnership is supported through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as one of seven regional carbon sequestration partnerships in the country. BSCSP collaborates with key stakeholders in the identification, development, and monitoring of viable and safe approaches for storing regional carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The BSCSP region encompasses Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota, eastern Washington, and Oregon.”

US-China Clean Energy Research Center:
Investigating CO2 sequestration to (1) explain the formation response behavior and (2) forecast CO2 plume movement in the long-term storage safety. Permanent CO2 storage in deep saline aquifers helps reduce carbon footprint as a greenhouse gas.

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Geological map of Ordos basin (Luo et al 2014)

Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology and Geophysics:
Groundwater is an important resource and challenge affecting many lives because so many are dependent on it. Working to help gain a better understanding of the water distribution and transportation in the Snowy Range and Blair Wallis and in a broader sense, the state of Wyoming.

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Snowy Range watershed regional structure model built from airborne EM resistivity data

PAST RESEARCH

Investigation of the Arbuckle Formation – Brine Disposal in Relation to Earthquakes:
In recent years (2013, 2014) Kansas has seen a significant increase in water disposal as a by-product of hydraulic fracturing from oil and gas activities. Built a static model of the Arbuckle Formation in Sumner and Harper counties from stratigraphy, core and logs publicly available from the KGS database. Incorporated injection volumes and pressure data into the model to investigate the role of fluid disposal on fault reactivation in southern Kansas.

South-central Kansas CO2 Sequestration Project:
This is a DOE-funded project of the Kansas Geological Survey. Integrated well heads, tops, logs and horizon data for the 10 CO2 injection areas for a shared Earth model over 18 state counties. Prepared maps and graphs for reporting purposes to Department of Energy.

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CO2 study area (Courtesy of KGS)

Agua Amarga Reservoir-analog Model Scale-up Study:
Simulation gridding is a process where reservoir engineers could potentially screen out reservoir heterogeneity due to change of grid sizes. This project demonstrates how much would be left out if conventional procedure is to be employed to generate simulation grids. Presented a talk at the KICC Annual Meeting in Lawrence, KS 2014.

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Agua Amarga reservoir-analog outcrops (Courtesy of KICC)

La Molata Reservoir-analog Carbonate Model Simulation:
Carbonate formations are estimated to hold about half of the world’s hydrocarbon reserves, yet much of them are not well known. Carbonate reservoir heterogeneity is what we are primarily interested in here. Worked as part of an industry-academic consortium led by ExxonMobil to study hydrocarbon recovery processes in various outcrop carbonate systems of La Molata outcrops in SE Spain.

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La Molata Miocene Carbonates, Southeast Spain