Bureau of Economic Geology

"50 Shades of Earth, Energy and Environmental Modeling"

April 26, 2019 9:00 AM
Dr. Inessa Yurchenko, Dr. Zoltan Sylvester, Dr. Bo Ren, and Dr. Victor del  Carpio

Dr. Inessa Yurchenko, Dr. Zoltan Sylvester, Dr. Bo Ren and Dr. Victor del Carpio
The University of Texas at Austin

In this seminar we would like to give a flavor of various modeling techniques applied to earth, energy and environmental (E3) sciences. E3 modeling creates digital representations of the studied objects, their characteristics, and relationships between them. This numerical approach offers us a laboratory where large amount of complex data can be handled to provide quantitative analysis, sensitivity and scenario testing; and thus, realistic predictions with uncertainty assessment. Modeling can also lead to a better understanding of the processes operating in the studied E3 systems.

The following mini-talks will try to highlight the multidisciplinary nature of earth, energy and environmental modeling:

  • Basin and Petroleum System Modeling (Inessa Yurchenko) uses forward deterministic approach to model burial and thermal histories of sedimentary basins and associated fluids to evaluate conditions for generation, migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons.
  • Stratigraphic Forward Modeling (Zoltan Sylvester) focuses on predicting the geometries and internal stratigraphic structure of depositional systems and the resulting distribution of porosity and permeability. Such models should be validated with field data; and can be flow simulated to evaluate and visualize how stratigraphic structure and heterogeneity affects fluid flow.
  • High-resolution Geological Modeling and Reservoir Flow Simulation (Bo Ren) using the Petrel platform and Texas advanced computing resources. A high-resolution geologic model for the residual oil zone of the Seminole oilfield was built, and then used for the flow simulation of CO2 enhanced oil recovery.
  • Economic Modeling for E3 (Victor Del Carpio) can evaluate how economic variables affect the amount of resource produced, assess how changes in public policies can create incentives/disincentives to invest in infrastructure, and/or analyze how different sources of energy are connected and impact each other.