Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Engineering

The Petroleum Engineering Research Group focuses on scientific advances underpinned by fundamental and applied solutions to the challenges of oil and gas industry. The need to optimise production from hydrocarbon reservoirs is underpinned by the requirement to design oil and gas wells with due consideration for safety and well integrity, performance of the reservoir, production optimisation, impact on environment, and eventual abandonment and decommissioning procedures. This requires an appropriate identification of candidate wells for workover, enhanced and improved oil recovery processes, infill-drilling or artificial-lift methods. The development and use of new technologies and automation to ensure a cost effective oil and gas exploration and production has never been more important.


With focus on maximising economic recovery from reservoirs, we carry out research in: (i) Fluid flow through porous media; (ii) Reservoir Engineering, Modelling and Simulation; (iii) Petroleum Production, (iv) Well and Drilling Engineering, and (v) Geomechanics and Wellbore Integrity.


Research in fluid flow through porous media focusses on multiphase flow in porous media, including fluid-fluid and fluid-rock interactions and applications to the selection, design and analysis of improved/enhanced oil and gas recovery systems through chemical, steam, gas or microbial injection.  Numerical and experimental techniques are employed to understand the underpinning physics that control the interaction between reservoir formation, hydrocarbon, and the injected fluid. 


Research in reservoir engineering, modelling and simulation focuses on (i) advanced reservoir modelling and simulation, (ii) reservoir rock characterization using CT scanning and NMR, (iii) development of digital rock technology for multiscale reservoir modelling to optimise oil recovery.


Research in petroleum production focuses on (i) the development of ultrasound technology for removal of scales in production tubulars, (ii) production optimisation in conventional reservoirs and unconventional shale reservoirs, (iii) flow assurance and (iv) corrosion of production tubulars.  The emphasis of our research is on the development and use of new technologies, intelligent systems and automation to achieve a cost effective oil and gas production and transportation.


Well and drilling engineering research focuses on (i) the development of environmentally friendly drilling muds based on biodegradable materials, (ii) formation damage due interaction between reservoir rocks and drilling muds or oil field chemicals, and (iii) application of artificial intelligence to well design. 


Research in geomechanics and wellbore integrity focuses on the mechanics of fracture of low strength geological materials and CO2 geological utilisation and storage.  The research aims to develop safe and reliable approaches to oil and gas extraction from conventional and unconventional reservoirs through a better understanding of how the operation parameters affect the mechanical behaviour of reservoir rocks.