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.

ordos
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.

snowyrange
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.

map_project
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.

cropped-Slide11
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.

6e4755cd-59ee-4708-9813-3b04241cedd4-large
La Molata Miocene Carbonates, Southeast Spain

PUBLICATIONS

Journal Articles

Nguyen, M.C., Zhang, Y., and Stauffer, P.H., A simulation-based risk analysis of CO2 sequestration in the Duperow Formation at the Kevin Dome site in Montana, USA, Journal of International Greenhouse Gas Control, in preparation

Nguyen, M.C., Zhang, Y., and Stauffer, P.H., Wellbore modeling of the CO2 injection at Shenhua site, Ordos Basin, Journal of International Greenhouse Gas Control, in preparation

Nguyen, M.C., Zhang, X., Wei, N., Li, J., Li, X., Zhang, Y., and Stauffer, P.H. (2017) An Object-based Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis Study in Support of CO2 Storage in Deep Saline Aquifers at the Shenhua site, Ordos Basin, Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources, DOI: 10.1007/s40948-017-0063-5

Nguyen, M.C., Zhang, Y., Li, J., Li, X., Bai, B., Wu, H., Wei, N., and Stauffer, P.H. (2017) A Geostatistical Study in Support of CO2 Storage in Deep Saline Aquifers at the Shenhua Site, Ordos Basin, Energy Procedia, DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2017.03.1720

Posters & Presentations

Onishi, T., Nguyen, M.C., Stauffer, P.H., and Carey, B. (2017) Big Sky Project Preliminary Results, Los Alamos National Laboratory, LA-UR-17-25222, Oral Presentation

Nguyen, M.C., Zhang, Y., Li, J., Li, X., Bai, B., Wu, H., Wei, N., and Stauffer, P.H. (2016) A Geostatistical Study in Support of CO2 Storage in Deep Saline Aquifers at the Shenhua Site, Ordos Basin, 13th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Lausanne, Switzerland, Oral Presentation

Nguyen, M.C., Li, J., Li, X., Zhang, Y., and Stauffer, P.H. (2016) Geological Modeling and Reservoir Simulation supporting CO2 storage in a Deep Saline Formation, Shengbei Injection Site, Ordos Basin, China, 16th LANL Annual Student Symposium, Los Alamos, NM, Poster Presentation

Nguyen, M.C., Li, J., Li, X., Zhang, Y., and Stauffer, P.H. (2016) Geological Modeling and Reservoir Simulation supporting CO2 storage in a Deep Saline Formation, Shengbei Injection Site, Ordos Basin, China, 15th Annual Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage Conference, Tysons Corner, VA, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.34973.31204, Poster Presentation

Jiao, J., Zhang, Y., Miller, S., Nguyen, M.C., Armstrong, R.S., Parsekian, A., Holbrook, W.S. (2016) Integrated modeling of groundwater surface water interaction in Snowy Range, Wyoming, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, 12 December. Abstract # H51L-06, Poster Presentation.

Jiao, J., Nguyen, M.C., Zhang, Y., and others (2015) Integrated Modeling of Groundwater Surface Water Interaction in Snowy Range, Wyoming, WyCEHG Round Up, Laramie, WY, Poster Presentation

Bidgoli, T.S., Watney, W.L., Gerlach, P.M., and Nguyen, M.C. (2014) Episodic Reactivation of Critically-stressed Basement Faults in Southern Kansas: Implications for Wastewater Disposal and Long-term Storage of CO2, GSA Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia, Poster Presentation

Nguyen, M.C., Tsau, J.S., Goldstein, R.H., and Franseen, E.K. (2014) A Reservoir-Analog Study of Scale Up Processes for Facies Distributions and Connected Volumes, KICC Annual Meeting, Lawrence, KS, Poster Presentation

Birdie, T., Watney, L., Gerlach, P., Killion, M., Holubnyak, E., Raney, J., Bidgoli, T., Williams, G., Nguyen, M.C., and Wilson, B. (2014) Impacts of carbon dioxide storage in the saline Arbuckle aquifer on freshwater aquifers in Kansas, 59th Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference, Oral Presentation

Fazelalavi, M., Watney, W.L., Doveton, J., Rush, J., Fazelalavi, M.F., and Nguyen, M.C. (2014) Determination of Capillary Pressure Curves in the Mississippian Limestone, KICC Annual Meeting, Lawrence, KS, Poster Presentation

Tsau, J.S., Nguyen, M.C., Franseen, E.K., Goldstein, R.H., Benson, G., Ballard, M., and Liang, J.T. (2012) La Molata Model Simulation – Impact of Heterogeneous Carbonates on Flow Behavior and Oil Production, (FC)2 Annual Meeting, Houston, TX, Oral Presentation