Geosciences and Subsurface Technologies

Unlocking our petroleum producing reservoirs

Continued development of innovative subsurface technologies is addressing the main engineering and geological barriers to the commercially viable exploitation of complex reservoirs.

WA:ERA’s critical mass of over 35 geoscience researchers are employing their substantial expertise to characterise and develop challenging reservoirs for optimal production.

Core scientific capabilities being applied to improve effectiveness in targeting oil exploration and maximise the return on investment in hydrocarbon production, include applied geology and tectonics, drilling and wellbore mechanics, high performance computing, 3D and 4D visualisation, geochronology and petroleum and environmental geochemistry.

“We will increasingly need to get smarter about developing our energy sources (hydrocarbon or otherwise), while simultaneously finding new ways to protect our precious environment.”

Professor David Lumley, Winthrop Professor/Chair in Geophysics, UWA

Research Snapshot

The Seafloor Stability Joint Industry Project is seeking to develop a broad understanding of deep crustal and shallow geological processes such as tectonic folding, faulting and warping, submarine land-sliding and mass gravity flows, ground failures and secondary hazards, that are actively shaping the North West Shelf. The project will be a milestone in the understanding of geohazard processes in the Western Australian marine environment, benefiting the offshore industry by providing information to support planning and assessment of development options.

Shales are fine grained rocks that can act as barriers to fluid flow underground, causing problems in wellbore stability, pore pressure prediction, seal integrity and seismic imaging. The CSIRO Shale Research Centre conducts experimental and theoretical research addressing critical issues related to clay-rich sediments and rocks.

Research Alliance Members

The University of Western Australia
Curtin University

Industry Alliance Partners