The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) Multi-scale Rock Physics Research Program focuses on developing advanced methods and workflows for integrating multi-scale formation data (i.e., measured physical properties of rock-fluid systems from pore to reservoir scale) to enhance reservoir characterization of challenging formations. Examples of such formations include spatially heterogeneous, tight, unconventional (e.g., organic-rich mudrocks), and carbonate formations. The term unconventional refers to formations with complex pore/matrix structure and composition, where conventional rock physics methods fail to perform reliably. We jointly analyze the outcomes from experimental data, analytical rock physics model development, and numerical modeling to evaluate static and dynamic formation properties for reliable characterization of challenging reservoirs, with the intent to enhance production and recovery factors.
The long-term goals of the UT Austin Rock Physics Research Program include:
Goal 1: To develop (a) new laboratory measurement techniques and (b) new interpretation techniques to characterize complex rocks such as spatially heterogeneous, tight, unconventional, and carbonate cores using NMR, multi-frequency electrical, and other measurements,
Goal 2: To develop rock physics methods, algorithms, and workflows for integrating multi-scale formation data in a format that can be directly and easily used in the petroleum industry to solve challenging problems in formation evaluation and reservoir characterization of formations with unconventional and complex rock physics, and
Goal 3: To train professional petrophysicists, rock physicists, and petroleum engineers for the future of the petroleum industry and potential scientists for academia.
Sincere gratitute goes to all the sponsors and supporters of our research projects. Our research activities have been funded and supported since 2012 by industry partners including Aramco Services Company, Baker Hughes, BHP Billiton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Petrobras, University Lands, and Wildcat Technology, as well as American Chemical Society (ACS) through ACS PRF Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) Research Grant, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) through Junior Faculty Research Initiation Award, and Texas Oil and Gas Institute. A note of gratitude also goes to the W. D. Von Gonten Laboratories for making their facility available for part of the experimental work performed in this research program.