Research on tight oil and gas resources (Theme 2) has built upon well-established industry partnerships to address two grand challenges: imaging and controlling hydraulic fracturing and enabling small-footprint recovery from low-permeability reservoirs. Integrated solutions are focused on a set of big questions: Can we mitigate and manage risks of induced earthquakes? Can we improve hydrocarbon recovery efficiency while reducing resource utilization and sequestering greenhouse gases (GHGs)? How can we assess and reduce environmental impacts?
The induced seismicity team has accelerated commercialization of risk-based software focused on characterizing critical fractures and developing a validated predictive framework calibrated using data analytics. The fracture-surveillance team has deployed the first-ever field prototype for a multicomponent distributed acoustic sensing system and has delivered an industry short course on machine learning in geophysics. Enhanced-recovery research teams have advanced our understanding of adaptive asynchronous CO2 huff-and-puff processes and developed novel optimization strategies for water alternating gas (WAG) processes. Research teams investigating environmental impacts have collaborated in an injection experiment to quantify the fate of methane in groundwater, developed recommendations for groundwater monitoring, conducted life-cycle assessment for tight oil and gas development and developed a highly competitive scalable mobile methane sensing system for emissions detection, quantification and reduction.