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Coupled Chemo-Mechanical Processes in Geosystems

Start Date: February 22, 2017 - 04:15 PM
End Date: February 22, 2017 - 05:15 PM

By Dr. D. Nicolas Espinoza
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Host: Prof. Carlos Santamarina
Venue: Lecture Hall 1 (2322), Engineering and Science Hall (Building 9)

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​Abstract: Changes of pore pressure and temperature are known to cause strains in water and hydrocarbon subsurface formations. Changes in chemical potential of the reservoir fluid can also induce geomechanical alterations. For example, changes in water salinity are well known to readily affect swelling of clays around the wellbore. This talk discusses changes of stresses induced by gas sorption and mineral dissolution, another type of chemically induced alteration. Results show that chemically induced stresses can lead to large rock stress anisotropy, shear yield, and lower fracture gradients. Such changes can readily affect reservoir permeability and hydraulic fracturing. Thorough understanding of such processes permits manipulating stresses in the subsurface for engineering purposes.

Bio: Dr. D. Nicolás Espinoza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Espinoza earned his Civil Engineering diploma from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba in 2006, and his MS and PhD degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008 and 2011. His primary research interests include Mechanics and Physics of natural porous solids and granular media, including applications to advanced completion techniques, wellbore stability, methane recovery from microporous organic rocks, methane hydrate-bearing sediments, and carbon geological storage. Dr. Espinoza has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed journal articles, served as an expert reviewer for several scientific and engineering journals, and given seminars at various leading research and educational institutions.