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I am currently undertaking a dual PhD between Heriot-Watt University (HWU) and the University of Ghent (UGhent). My research focuses primarily on characterizing fluid transport in fractures of caprocks for CO2 storage.
Effective storage and containment of injected fluids, over a range of spatial and temporal scales, is reliant upon the sealing capacity of the lithologies overlying geological stores. Low-permeability mudrocks are considered effective candidates to restrict the migration of injected fluids from the host formation, owing to their low matrix permeabi...
To verify successful long-term CO2 storage, it is critical to improve our understanding of leakage along natural faults and fractures within the primary caprock. In the proximity of a fault zone, interactions between multiple fracture sets can create complex networks which can play a fundamental role in fluid transport properties within the rock ma...
Low-permeability geological seals may be compromised by the occurrence of fluid-conductive fault and fracture systems, which can potentially transmit fluids away from the storage reservoir. We performed a systematic laboratory-based investigation into the effect of surface roughness on the fluid flow properties of both natural rock and 3D-printed f...
As part of the European ACT-sponsored research consortium, DETECT, we developed an integrated characterisation and risk assessment toolkit for natural fault/fracture pathways. In this paper, we describe the DETECT experimental-modelling workflow, which aims to be predictive for fault-related leakage quantification, and its application to a field ca...
Flow in fractures is sensitive to their geometrical surface characteristics. The surface can undergo deformation if there is a change in stress. Natural fractures have complex geometries and rough surfaces which complicates the modelling of deformation and fluid flow. In this paper, we present a computational model that takes a digital image of a r...
Heterogeneous fracture aperture distribution, dictated by surface roughness, mechanical rock and fracture properties, and effective stress, limits the predictive capabilities of many reservoir‐scale models that commonly assume smooth fracture walls. Numerous experimental studies have probed key hydromechanical responses in single fractures; however...
Geological sequestration of CO2 requires the presence of at least one competent seal above the storage reservoir to ensure containment of the stored CO2. Most of the considered storage sites are overlain by low-permeability evaporites or mudrocks that form competent seals in the absence of defects. Potential defects are formed by man-made well pene...
In order to understand leakage from deep CO2 storage reservoirs, the flow along fracture networks and fault zones needs to be quantified under varying pore pressure and stress conditions. Fracture flow experiments on a variety of samples will be performed at Heriot-Watt University, along with matrix permeability measurements. Selected samples will then be tested in a high pressure/high temperature flow cell using X-ray CT imaging to better understand the flow path characteristics in relation to flow rates, feeding into model developments (University of Ghent).
Solid, substantiated risk assessment and mitigation measures assuring safe and efficient CO2 storage improves public trust and facilitates societal acceptance as well as accelerating large-scale deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The aim of this project is to generate guidelines for determining the risk of CO2 leakage along fractures across the primary caprock using an integrated monitoring and hydro-mechanical-chemical modelling approach. For this purpose, we will perform laboratory studies to provide relevant parameters for CO2 leakage modelling at small, meso, and large scales for several case studies, incorporating analogue data where possible. The intention is to improve our understanding of realistic leakage geometries and rates for several representative scenarios and to identify containment monitoring technologies that are capable of detecting such caprock integrity issues. We will build on experience gained from the risk-based Measurement, Monitoring and Verification (MMV) programme for the current Quest and the former Peterhead CCS projects. This, together with the insights gained from DETECT, will be integrated within a risk assessment framework using the bowtie method which will allow both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of the risk of CO2 leakage along fractures in the caprock. The resulting bowties will serve CO2 storage operators as guidelines for site-specific risk assessments. Further, the integrated results of this work can be used for communication regarding leakage from CO2 storage in a clear, logical, and substantiated manner.