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.

Machine Learning Initiative: UT GeoFluids has teamed up with BP to study how data science through machine learning can expand our understanding of sub-surface pore-pressure and stress and help improve pore pressure and stress prediction.

55th Rock Mechanics Geomechanics Symposium: Maria Nikolinakou chaired this conference with Gang Han from Saudi Aramco. The conference was online June 21-25, 2021, with 600 attendees from 41 countries. The technical program had 5 tracks (Petroleum Conventional and Unconventional, Interdisciplinary, Civil, Mining, and Geothermal) and included 76 technical sessions, 4 keynote lectures and the first ARMA DEI panel of Women in Rock Mechanics. Symposium papers are available through One-Petro.

Pore Pressure Prediction Patent: The UT GeoFluids FES method, Pore-Pressure Prediction Based on Velocities Coupled with Geomechanical Modeling, was issued U.S. Letters Patent number 11,022,709 on June 1, 2021

Jean Joseph d’Hooghvorst graduated in June 2021 with his PhD with honors (cum laude) from the University of Barcelona. His thesis “Geomechanical Study of the Tarfaya Basin, West African Coast, using 3D/2D Static Models and 2D Evolutionary Models” presents a full geomechanical approach to study the present-day and the evolution through time of the stresses and strains in salt basin systems.

Liam Eagle graduated from Tufts University with a Masters of Science in the Field Of Study Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Padraig Doran is a new student joining the GeoFluids group working on his masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Tufts University.

UT GeoFluids 2021 April 6th - April 8th, 2021. Thank you to everyone who attended! Members will find the recorded talks and abstracts under Presentations on the consortium member pages.

BOOK: Peter Flemings's book, A Concise Guide to Geopressure, is now available. Get your copy here:
This book arose from the UT GeoFluids Consortium and it summarizes many of the concepts and case studies we have presented and you have contributed to.

View all UT GeoFluids publications on the publications page
Members can access copies of publications at the Member Area Publication Site
If you don't know your password please contact Felicia Garcia-Hildenbrand.

Hooghvorst, JJ, Nikolinakou, MA, Harrold, TWD, Fernandez, O, Flemings, PB, Marcuello, A., 2021, Geologically constrained evolutionary geomechanical modelling of diapir and basin evolution: A case study from the Tarfaya basin, West African coast. Basin Research.

Bhandari, A.R., Flemings, P.B., Hofmann, R.,2021, The dependence of shale permeability on confining stress and pore pressure. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering.

Flemings, P. B., Phillips, S.C., Boswell, R., Collett, T. S., Cook, A., Dong, T., Frye, M., et al., 2020, Pressure coring a Gulf of Mexico deep-water turbidite gas hydrate reservoir: Initial results from The University of Texas-Gulf of Mexico 2-1 (UT-GOM2-1) Hydrate Pressure Coring Expedition: AAPG Bulletin, v. 104, no. 9, p. 1847-1876,

Daigle, H., Reece, J.S., Flemings, P.B., 2020, A Modified Swanson Method to Determine Permeability from Mercury Intrusion Data in Marine Muds. Marine and Petroleum Geology.

Wiggs, D.M., Flemings, P.B., Spikes, K.T., Nikolinakou, M.A., 2020, Mudrock Velocity Andisotropy Based on History of the Full Strain Tensor. Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Heidari, M., Nikolinakou, M. A., and Flemings, P. B., 2020, Modified Cam-Clay Model for Large Stress Ranges and its Predictions for Geological and Drilling Processes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125(12).

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.