Numerical model illustrating flow focusingUT GeoFluids is managed by the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and is currently supported by 10 energy companies at a cost of ~ $50,000/year. We are at the start of a 10-year effort entitled GeoFluids2020. Our results are used to predict pressure and stress, design stable and safe drilling programs, and predict hydrocarbon migration and entrapment. We study the state and evolution of pressure, stress, deformation and fluid flow through experiments, models, and field study:

  1. Experimental: We analyze fabric, acoustic, electrical, and material properties of mudrocks : 0.1-100 MPa.
  2. Poromechanical Modeling: We develop and apply coupled models to link realistic rheologies, deformation, stress (shear and normal), and pore pressure.
  3. Field Study: We analyze pore pressure, stress, and deformation in both conventional and unconventional basins.

We produce innovative concepts and analysis workflows that couple geology and geomechanics to predict and interpret pore pressure and stress in the subsurface. We have

  • developed online software that predicts reservoir pressure,
  • released databases and material models that describe mudrock material behavior, and
  • developed workflows to predict stress in salt systems and thrust belts.

Our new research aims to develop a unified approach that incorporates stress dependency, creep, mineralogical transformation, and loading path to illuminate the state and evolution of pressure and stress in basins. We are applying this approach to develop two and three-dimensional whole earth models that improve well design, real-time drilling, borehole stability, reservoir simulation and seismic imaging.

Click here for more details about the Consortium, or contact the Consortium Co-Directors, Dr. Peter Flemings and Dr. Jack Germaine.

Logos of current members

We are pleased to announce that Anadarko is the first company to pay its GeoFluids 2020 invoice! Thank you Anadarko!

May 7, 2019: A paper by Will Pinkston and Peter Flemings reveals the complex geologic conditions that contributed to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Read the news release.

May 7, 2019: Maria Nikolinakou visits Hess to present her work in geomechanicalmodeling.

UT GeoFluids2020 update: In April, two further energy companies, Andarko and Hess, signed the GeoFluids2020 MOA amendment. Their addition takes the total number of confirmed industry members for UT GeoFluids2020 to nine. Learn more.

January 8-12, 2019: UT GeoFluids personnel gathered in Marble Falls, TX, for the annual GeoFluids workshop. The students and researchers worked on presentations, posters, and the workshop for the upcoming 2019 UT GeoFluids Consortium Meeting.

December 1-9, 2018: Maria Nikolinakou visited PetroBras in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

View all UT GeoFluids publications on the publications page
Members can access copies of publications at the Member Area Publication Site

2019
Pinkston F.W.M., Flemings P.B., 2019. Macondo well pore pressure regression and implications for the Deepwater Horizon blowout; Scientific Reports https://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42496-0

Casey B., Reece J. S., Germaine J.T. 2019: One-Dimensional Normal Compression Laws for Resedimented Mudrocks; Marine and Petroleum Geology; https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2019.02.023

Gao B., Flemings P. B., Nikolinakou M. A., Saffer D. M. 2019 (in submission): Dramatic fluid overpressuring and megathrust weakening initiate at the trench; Nature Geoscience Member only link

Nikolinakou M.A., Heidari M., Hudec M.R., Flemings P.B. 2019 (in submission): Stress and deformation in plastic mudrocks overturning in front of advancing salt sheets; implications for system kinematics and drilling; Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering Member only link

UT GeoFluids produces innovative concepts and analysis workflows that couple geologic loading and fluid flow to predict pore pressure and stress in the subsurface. These include:

  • UT Centroid: online software to predict reservoir pressure as a function of reservoir geometry and mudstone permeability.
  • Seismic Pressure Prediction Integrated with Geomechanical Modeling: a highly innovative workflow integrating seismic velocity data with geomechanical modeling to predict pressure and the full stress tensor.
  • UT-FAST-P3: An online, educational tool allowing users to predict and compare pore pressure using the full stress tensor while demonstrating why it is important to go beyond vertical effective stress (VES) models.

Learn more.