Energy-related research is a major strategic priority at UWA and reflects the importance of the resources industry to WA and Australia.
The UWA Centre for Energy Geoscience (fromerly Centre for Petroleum Geoscience and CO2 Sequestration), in the School of Earth & Environment at the University of Western Australia in Perth, encompasses a broad range of geology and geophysics expertise related to subsurface characterization and monitoring of the Earth.
This involves research at various scales, including advanced computational 3D and time-lapse 4D seismic imaging of subsurface reservoirs and fluid flow, detailed core, log and outcrop-scale reservoir geology analysis, depositional systems, sedimentology and bio/sequence stratigraphy, and basin-scale structural and tectonic evolution studies.
Our research has applications to hydrocarbon exploration and recovery, unconventional energy resources, subsurface CO2 sequestration, plate tectonics and earthquake seismicity, environment and climate change. We enjoy collaborations with academic, government and industry colleagues across Australia, and at international universities and research labs.
As Western Australia becomes a major hub for the petroleum industry, this Centre collaborates with UWA's Centres for Oil and Gas Engineering, Exploration Targeting, Tectonics, The Energy and Minerals Institute as well as industry.
The Centre's research includes the following themes, with applications to conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons and CO2 sequestration, and with links to geothermal and groundwater:
- 3D Earth Modelling – Geological analysis and model building from the tectonic scale (plate motions and forces, rifting), to the basin scale (basin evolution, structure, stratigraphy, source, seals, reservoirs), to the reservoir scale (depositional environments, geologic heterogeneity, reservoir fluid flow).
- 3D Geophysical Imaging – Exploration of new areas in difficult imaging environments for locating hydrocarbons and CO2 sequestration potential, with links to geothermal and groundwater resources. Exploration and development of new hydrocarbon concepts, fields and reservoirs in complex depositional environments including estimation of detailed reservoir properties.
- 4D Geophysical Monitoring – Time-lapse monitoring of subsurface fluid flow for optimising hydrocarbon recovery and CO2 sequestration, with links to groundwater and geothermal projects.
It also contirbutes to investigations on how to sequester CO2 in an environmentally sustainable way. UWA's CO2 Processing and Sequestration Laboratory is a world-class carbon storage research facility and an important component of Australia's national efforts to achieve a carbon-reduced resources and energy economy.
Commencing 2015, UWA will offer a Geophysics Honours degree, focused on the interdisciplinary study of the earth, oceans, atmosphere and beyond, using the quantitative methods of physics, mathematics and computer science.
Winthrop Professor Lumley is Chair in Geophysics and Director of the Centre for Energy Geoscience.