Rock Deformation and Fluid Transport Using state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, we investigate why natural rocks deform, and how this changes local fluid transport. Faulting and Crustal Mechanics Our group carries out a variety of studies that approach problems of faulting and crustal mechanics in geologic environments by integration of various types of data. Typically, these studies involve working with data on the magnitude and orientation of in situ stresses, seismological data, geodetic data, etc. Reservoir Geomechanics We are carrying out a series of studies, usually in close collaboration with the oil and gas industry, on problems in oil and gas reservoirs, potential CO2 repositories and geothermal reservoirs.
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As demonstrated by the dramatic decrease in CO2 emissions associated with electrical power generation in the United States, fuel switching from coal to natural gas has the potential to yield immediate, and significant, climate benefits in many countries around the world. The benefits to air quality are equally important in many areas where coal-related air pollution poses a significant threat to human health.
In addition, the widespread availability of global gas resources and natural gas liquids has the potential to provide critically needed thermal fuels for cooking and heating in the developing world and obviating the dramatic health impacts associated with indoor air pollution. Extensive use of depleted oil and gas reservoirs for CO2 storage represents the only reasonable strategy for sequestering sufficient volumes of CO2 to significantly reduce GHG emissions and thus positively limit climate change.
The oil and gas industry of the future needs to be in the businesses of producing hydrocarbons and sequestering CO2. Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics. Reservoir Geomechanics, published by Cambridge University Press in is now its 15th printing. His online course, also entitled Reservoir Geomechanics, has been completed by over 10, students around the world.
Zoback has received a number of awards and honors, including the Walter H. Bucher Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In he was elected to the U.
In he received the Robert R.
Free Notes: This interdisciplinary course encompasses the fields of rock mechanics, structural geology, earthquake seismology and petroleum engineering to address a wide range of geomechanical problems that arise during the exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs. The course considers key practical issues such as prediction of pore pressure, estimation of hydrocarbon column heights and fault seal potential, determination of optimally stable well trajectories, casing set points and mud weights, changes in reservoir performance during depletion, and production-induced faulting and subsidence. The first part of the course establishes the basic principles involved in a way that allows readers from different disciplinary backgrounds to understand the key concepts. The course is intended for geoscientists and engineers in the petroleum and geothermal industries, and for research scientists interested in stress measurements and their application to problems of faulting and fluid flow in the crust. Lecture 1 is a course overview to introduce students to the topics covered in the course. Lectures follow 12 chapters of Dr.