Research capability & real world impact for industry

Exploitation of fossil fuel resources such as natural gas requires a balance to be struck between:
- Optimised recovery and stewardship of these state-owned scarce, non-renewable resources through the application of geoscience and petroleum engineering expertise.
- Implications of such exploitation on society and the economy (such as social changes, housing, costs and jobs).
- Implications for the wider environment (such as land use and water impacts or emissions to the atmosphere).

The Centre's capability across these areas is driven by in-house expertise as well as research partners from across the University of Queensland and other institutions. The research program is managed by three professorial research chairs across the Centre's research areas of Geoscience, Petroleum Engineering, Water, and Social Performance.
 
Summary of projects by research capability and real world impact for industry, based on priority areas drawn from the International Energy Agency's Golden Rules of Gas.
 
   

Groundwater 3D online atlas      

Quality assured the data  |  Made it all viewable and in context for the public

Great Artesian Basins: new body of knowledge     Evidence-based body of knowledge to inform how to best manage the finite resource into the future  
Groundwater uses in the Surat and Bowen Basins     New technique for estimating water flow in non-metered bores  |  Being used for improved modelling confidence by UQ & OGIA  
Recharge estimation in the Surat Basin     Measured for the first time in the field recharge rates in representative type locations  |  Being used for improved modelling confidence by UQ & OGIA  
Re-setting water and salt estimations     Independent review which reset early overestimated estimates  |  Fed into improved forward predictive modelling Provided independent new estimates and explained why initial estimates were so much larger
Salt compression     Provides an option to reduce volume of landfill and also to stabilise salts  
Potential uses for salt left over from CSG water treatment     Investigated a beneficial use for salts left over from CSG water treatment  
Methane emissions analysis in the Bowen/Surat     Provided a baseline of occurance of natural hydrocarbons before CSG The baseline helps understand any new occurance and natural viability
Silica characterisation in the coal seam water train Reduces water processing cost and energy use   Reducing & optimising the use of chemicals during reverse osmosis process, hence reducing adverse environmental effects  
Shallow gas environmental risk scoping & management   Could optimise gas production to increase gas supply Improve understanding of potential risks and mitigation strategies  
Ground movement environmental risk scoping & management   Potential to optimise production tailored to geomechanical characteristics Understanding the various contributors to the net movement of the ground surface  
   

Geostatistical techniques: recoverable resources & fluid flow (copulas) May allow for fewer wells, or avoidance of poor wells Improves estimation of resources in highly heterogenous gas reservoirs Improved tool for estimating groundwater impacts in overlying and underlying aquifers  
Integrated sequence stratigraphy   Improves estimation of resources in highly heterogenous gas reservoirs Improved tool for estimating groundwater impacts in overlying and underlying aquifers May lead to better quality predictive modelling for groundwater impacts
Faults & fractures in the Surat Basin   Improves estimation of resources in highly heterogenous gas reservoirs Improved tool for estimating groundwater impacts in overlying and underlying aquifers  
Reservoir modelling: reducing uncertainty with polynomial chaos expansion (PCE)   May improve estimation of resources in highly heterogenous gas reservoirs May provide an improved tool for estimating groundwater impacts in overlying and underlying aquifers  
Well integrity: simple modelling     Provides first connected leak path modelling. Further work is in train Provides first connected leak path modelling. Initial work suggests flow of gas up (or water down) is negligable
   

Cumulative socio-economic indicators - online tool to measure socio-economic change across communities       Independent metrics chosen by stakeholders to measure changes over time
Golden rules of gas: how Queensland stacks up       Highlights where there is most room for improvement and validates the rules as being important
Stakeholder trust in the CSG industry       Snap-shot in time and trend of trust levels across main stakehodler groups as well as advice on trust enhacning measures
How do local small and medium businesses adapt to the arrival of CSG development? SME study: Economic trends & benefits       Provides tips to SMEs
Improving co-existence between on CSG and agriculture       Quantifying effects on production and profitability | Strategies for co-existence
How has CSG been represented in the media & public discourse       How the dynamic of media discourse changed over time from jobs & investment to environmental threat & groundwater
Measuring effectiveness of investment in school education programs       Baseline to be used to assess the future effectiveness of STEM enrichment programs.
Best-practice regulation and governance systems for the unconventional gas sector       Guidelines and robust processes of research integrity and governance that reinforce research outputs from the Centre
   

Well productivity: Environmental stimulation technologies Could provide alternative to hydraulic stimulation Could provide higher recovery per well or conversion of tight resources May find benign chemicals for well bore treatement  |  Possibly enable fewer wells per volume of gas (footprint) Potentially, if an alternative can be found  |  May stimulate business growth or longevity
Enhancing CSG well production through well bottom-hole pressure control Could reduce cost and energy use Could enhance gas production Potentially reduce environmental impact  
Reducing fines damage: Selective wellbore coatings Stabilising fines would reduce work-overs and opex and energy use Could provide higher recovery per well through reduced downtime May reduce work-over related emissions Would require fewer well visits
Well abandonment: advanced plugging technology May be a lower cost than conventional techniques   Potential for improved sealing of gas wells and legacy coal wells  
Converting tight resources with graded particle injection in CSG stimulation

Could enable lower cost stimulations

Could enable higher recovery per well May enable fewer wells per volume of gas (footprint)  

 

Sustainable enhancement of coal seam gas production in Queensland

 

  Could enable conversion of tight resources May enable fewer wells per volume of gas (footprint) Could stimulate business growth or longevity
Well performance: Rock properties using existing field data & real-time drilling data Could reduce data acquisition costs Could allow better optimisation of hydraulic stimulation    
Enhancing well deliverability and reducing the work-over cost using big data predictive analytics Could optimise pump performance and minimise down time and reduce energy use Reduces downtime or 'deferment' on producing wells May enable fewer wells per volume of gas (footprint) and lessen access requirements for rigs maintenance activities which will reduce the environmental impacts associated with well workovers May lessen access requirements for rigs maintenance activities which will decrease the disruption to rural activities where the wells are located, ease local traffic
Well productivity: High pressure water & gas impact on permeability   Increasing the understanding of the fundamental physics of gas recovery    
How does temperature affect gas production?   Scoping study into enhanced recovery by application of heat