Bureau of Economic Geology

Dr. Sheng Peng

Sheng Peng
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology
The University of Texas at Austin
University Station, Box X
Austin, Texas 78713-8924

My research is oriented to the understanding of porous media and flow dynamics, with emphasis on subsurface energy and environmental applications. I apply and develop new laboratory and analytical methods in matrix porosity, permeability, and relative permeability measurement; pore network characterization; and fluid-flow processes and dynamics for complex fractured nanoporous media. My research is focused on both fundamental and applied aspects. Currently, most of my studies are related to shale gas and oil systems. My previous experiences before joining the Bureau of Economic Geology are mostly related to contaminant transport and remediation in the vadose zone and groundwater.

Research Interests

Petrophysics and multiphase fluid flow in unconventional reservoirs:

  • Permeability, relative permeability, resistivity, and saturation
  • Spontaneous imbibition and wettability
  • Multiphase flow (gas/water, oil/water) processes and dynamics
  • Optimal production strategy and enhanced oil recovery


Ph.D. Environmental Hydrogeology, University of Arizona, 2004

M.S. Environmental Science, Beijing Normal University, 2000

B.E. Environmental Planning and Management, Suzhou Institute of Urban Construction & Environmental Protection, 1997

Professional History

Research Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2014–present

Research Fellow, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 2013–2014

Assistant Research Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Texas at Arlington, 2011–2013

Associate Professor, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, 2007–2010

Project Hydrogeologist, GeoSystems Analysis, Inc., Tucson, Arizona, 2005–2007

Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Arizona, 2004–2005

Assistant Environmental Engineer, Sound Environmental Engineering Group, Beijing, 2000–2001

Select Publications

Peng, S, 2020. Gas-Water Relative Permeability of Unconventional Reservoir Rocks: Hysteresis and Influence on Production after Shut-in. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering. doi:10.1016/j.jngse.2020.103511. (This paper was presented at URTeC 2020 prior to publication)

Peng, S., Y. Liu, L. Ko, W. Ambrose, 2019. Water/Oil Displacement by Spontaneous Imbibition Through Multiscale Imaging and Implication on Wettability in Wolfcamp Shale, Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, July 22–24, 2019, Denver, Colorado, doi:10.15530/urtec-2019-194.

Peng, S., 2019. Gas Relative Permeability and Evolution during Water Imbibition in Unconventional Reservoir Rocks: Direct Laboratory Measurement and A Conceptual Model. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering-Formation Evaluation, SPE-198896-PA, doi:10.2118/198896-PA.

Peng, S., R. Reed, X. Xiao, Y. Yang, Y. Liu, 2019. Tracer-Guided Characterization of Dominant Pore Networks and Implications for Permeability and Wettability in Shale, Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, doi:10.1029/2018JB016103.

Peng, S., B. Ren, M. Meng, 2019. Quantifying the Influence of Fractures for More Accurate Laboratory Measurement of Shale Matrix Permeability using a Modified Gas Expansion Method, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering-Formation Evaluation, SPE-195570-PA, doi:/10.2118/195570-PA.

Peng, S, T. Zhang, R. Loucks, J. Shultz, 2017. Application of mercury injection capillary pressure to mudrocks: Conformance and compression corrections. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 88, p. 30–40, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2017.08.006

Peng, S, and X. Xiao (2017). Investigation of multiphase fluid imbibition in shale through synchrotron-based dynamic micro-CT imaging, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, vol. 122, doi:10.1002/2017JB014253.

Peng, S, A. Hassan, R.G. Loucks, 2016. Permeability estimation based on thin-section image analysis and 2D flow modeling in grain-dominated carbonates. Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol. 77, p. 763–775, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.07.024.

Peng, S., B. Loucks, 2016. Permeability measurements in Mudrocks using gas-expansion methods on plug and crushed-rock samples. Marine and Petroleum Geology, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.02.025.

Peng, S., J. Yang, X. Xiao, B. Loucks, S. Ruppel, T. Zhang, 2015. An integrated method for upscaling pore-network characterization and permeability estimation: Example from the Mississippian Barnett Shale. Transport in Porous Media, vol. 109, no. 2, p. 359–376, doi:10.1007/s11242-015-0523-8.

Peng, S., F. Marone, S. Dultz, 2014. Resolution effect in X-ray microcomputed tomography imaging and small pore's contribution to permeability for a Berea sandstone. Journal of Hydrology, vol. 510, 403–411. 

Peng, S., N. Wang, J. Chen, 2013. Steam and air co-injection in removing residual TCE in unsaturated layered sandy porous media. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, vol. 153, p. 24–36. 

Peng, S., S. Dultz, M. Zhang, Q. Hu, 2012. Pore structure characterization of Berea sandstone using synchrotron X-ray computed tomography: resolution effect and comparison with mercury intrusion porosimetry. Journal of Hydrology, vol. 472, 254–261. 

Peng, S., Q. Hu, R. P. Ewing, C. Liu, and J. M. Zachara, 2012. Quantitative 3-D elemental mapping by LA-ICP-MS of basalt from the Hanford 300 area. Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 46, p. 2035–2042.

Peng, S., Q. Hu, S. Hamamoto, 2012. Gas diffusivity in rocks: measurement and its correlation to porosity, pore-size distribution, and permeability. Water Resources Research, vol. 48, no. 2, p. W02507, doi:10.1029/2011WR011098.

Peng, S, Wu, W., Chen, J., 2011. Removal of PAHs with surfactant enhanced soil washing: Influencing factors and removal effectiveness. Chemosphere, vol. 82, p. 1173–1177.

Peng, S. and M. L. Brusseau, 2005. The impact of soil texture on air-water interfacial area in unsaturated sandy porous media, Water Resources Research, vol. 41, no. 3, p. W03021, doi:10.1029/2004WR003233.


Associate Editor, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 2019–present

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas

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