Shale Gas Research
Shale gas refers to fine-grained formations, or mudstones, where organic matter has matured significantly to produce predominantly gas, but that gas has not migrated any significant distance and hence the source rock is effectively the reservoir. Researching the petrophysics and geology of mudstone formations is crucial for understanding these formations and there is significant experience of this research in Geology.
The PeMSGas project aims to develop "a guide to petrophysical models for shale gas reservoirs based on sensitivity analysis of key variables". It is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/M007197/1). This project will describe and explain the petrophysical models currently applied to shale gas formations and will carry out sensitivity analysis to investigate the influence of various parameters. The team aims to develop this pilot project into a more substantial collaborative project with industry (JIP) and to apply the findings to the evaluation of shale gas prospectivity in the UK.
Downhole log, core petrophysical and image data through a shale gas formationThe team is led by Professor Mike Lovell with research carried out by Dr Jenny Inwood together with primary investigators Professor Sarah Davies, Dr Stewart Fishwick and Professor Kevin Taylor (University of Manchester).
Current PhD project "Controls on UK Lower Namurian Shale Gas Prospectivity: Understanding the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Organic Matter in Siliciclastic Mudstones" follows on from previous research investigating the heterogeneity of mudstones and how this relates to shale gas. This research is undertaken by Joe Emmings, supervised by Professor Sarah Davies.
People working on Shale Gas Research
- Professor Mike Lovell (Professor of Petrophysics) > is a petrophysicist with a longstanding interest in the petrophysics of unconventional reservoirs. Mike is Principal Investigator on the PeMSGas project as well as being primary student supervisor of a number of past and current projects related to shale gas.
- Professor Sarah Davies (Professor of Sedimentology) > is a sedimentologist who specialises in mudstones and is primary supervisor of a number of past and current student projects related to shale gas. Her role on the PeMSGas project is to help to tie the modelling results to the underlying geology.
- Professor Stewart Fishwick (Senior Lecturer in Geophysics) > is a seismologist who has co-supervised a number of student projects related to shale gas. His role on the PeMSGas project is to support the modelling and sensitivity analysis.
- Dr Jenny Inwood (Petrophysics Research Associate) > is a post doctoral researcher with experience of integrating downhole logging and petrophysical data with geological information. Jenny is the primary researcher on the PeMSGas project and is also co-supervisor on student projects related to shale gas.
Current student projects
- Joe Emmings (PhD student): Controls on UK Lower Namurian Shale Gas Prospectivity: Understanding the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Organic Matter in Siliciclastic Mudstones
- Jess Keeble (4th Year research): Petrophysical Heterogeneity and Anisotropy in the Marcellus Shale
Recent research projects
- The Influence of Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Sedimentology on Petrophysical Properties in Fine-Grained Successions (Dr David Hartigan)
- Biological and Sedimentological Controls on Organic Carbon Content - Understanding UK Shale Gas Potential (Dr Sven Könitzer)
- Controls on Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Organic Matter in Siliciclastic Mudstones: Implications for Source Rock Development in Shale Gas Plays. (Dr Jennifer Graham)
The Shale Gas Research team has links with relevant projects across other University Departments under the Science for the Responsible Management of the Environment theme.