PhD in Geological Modelling - chlorite coat emplacement and fluid flow in chlorite-coated reservoirs
University of Bergen, , Norway
Apply before: 9 February 2023

There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow in the field of sedimentary geology/reservoir physics/physical geography at the Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Department). The position is part of the project DeepReservoir: Predicting reservoir properties in deep structures on the Norwegian Continental Shelf: The critical role of chlorite-coats at the universities of Bergen and Oslo, funded by the Norwegian Research Council, Equinor ASA and AkerBP.

The main ambition for DeepReservoir is to understand the controls on development of porosity-preserving coats of the mineral chlorite on quartz grains. This is important firstly because chlorite coats preserve reservoir properties in deep (3-6 km) reservoirs, something which is of key importance in infrastructure-led exploration for hydrocarbons. There is currently no way to assess the probability of good chlorite coats in un-drilled structures, something which makes deep prospects risky. Secondly, chlorite effectively mineralizes CO2. This effect will be important for large-scale CO2-storage, but we currently know little about the distribution of chlorite in subsurface reservoir rocks. The candidate will work closely with the industry partners.

The main objectives of this PhD project are to understand:

The spatial distribution of chlorite enriched coarse-grained estuarine facies subject to the hydrodynamic conditions under which chlorite minerals preferentially accumulate. The preservation potential of chlorite enriched estuarine facies.

This knowledge will be used to build a static subsurface geomodel that represents a comparable depositional setting. This geomodel can subsequently be subjected to dynamic fluid flow analysis.In particular, the PhD project will consist of 1) investigation of hydrodynamic controls on deposition of precursor clays to grain-coating in the modern Ravenglass estuary, 2) investigation of constraints on hydrodynamic conditions during deposition of ancient estuarine deposits in East Greenland, 3) investigation of realistic geometries of zones with chlorite coats, and 4) writing academic articles that answers the project objectives. The candidate PhD student will spend 9 months (6+3) on secondment at TU Delft to learn from and collaborate with experts at the cutting-edge of environmental hydrodynamic modelling.

Of interest for:
  • Coastal Working Group