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Determining the main controls on fault-associated dolomitisation and their influence on reservoir quality distribution

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  • Full or part time
    Dr E Gomez-Rivas
    Dr J Neilson
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a 4-year PhD studentship for the project “Determining the main controls on fault-associated dolomitisation and their influence on reservoir quality distribution” (see details at http://goo.gl/mdUQmR). This project is part of the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Oil & Gas at the University of Aberdeen.

Predicting the performance of carbonate oil & gas reservoirs is very difficult, because post depositional diagenetic alterations can significantly enhance or degrade their reservoir potential. Fault-controlled hydrothermal dolomitisation is one of the most important processes affecting carbonate reservoirs. It forms when warm fluids are transported from below along faults and react with host limestones. The resulting dolomitised geobodies have a variety of geometries, ranging from massive irregular patches close to faults to stratabound forms that extend several km away from them. Prediction of such geometries, their connectivity and associated reservoir quality is critical to reservoir management but is challenging from limited subsurface data, especially because the main factors determining the transition between these end-members are not fully constrained. This PhD project will use world-class Lower Cretaceous outcrop reservoir analogues to identify the main sedimentological, geochemical and structural controls on the geometry of fault-associated dolostones, and will provide predictive models for their subsurface characterisation. The main tasks will include mapping, stratigraphic logging and correlations, petrographic and geochemical studies, fracture analysis and reservoir modelling.

The successful candidate will have at least an upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) and/or an MSc in appropriate discipline(s) (Geosciences, Engineering). We are able to make offers conditional of attaining these qualifications in the run up to the start date for the PhD (October 2016). The student will participate in a national NERC Oil & Gas CDT Training Academy, to get additional skills in oil and gas that maximise their employability and contextualise their PhD research in the sector.

The other supervisor on this project is Dr. Juan Diego Martín-Martín (University of Barcelona). Applications should be submitted by 12 noon on 31 January 2015.

Funding Notes

There are nine shortlisted projects at Aberdeen, three of which will be funded to the top applicants. Successful candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship. UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award. Outstanding EU candidates who do not meet these criteria can be considered. UNFORTUNATELY, OVERSEAS STUDENTS CANNOT APPLY.


Gomez-Rivas, E., Corbella, M., Martín-Martín, J.D., Stafford, S.L., Teixell, A., Bons, P.D., Griera, A. and Cardellach, E. 2014. Reactivity of dolomitizing fluids and Mg source evaluation of fault-controlled dolomitization at the Benicàssim outcrop analogue (Maestrat Basin, E Spain). Marine and Petroleum Geology, 55, 26-42.

Martín-Martín, J.D., Gomez-Rivas, E., Bover-Arnal, T., Travé, A., Salas, R., Moreno-Bedmar, J.A., Tomás, S., Corbella, M., Teixell, A., Vergés, J. and Stafford, S.L. 2013. The Upper Aptian to Lower Albian syn-rift carbonate succession of the southern Maestrat Basin (Spain): Facies architecture and fault-controlled stratabound dolostones. Cretaceous Research, 41, 217-236.

Martín-Martín, J.D., Travé, A., Gomez-Rivas, E., Salas, R., Sizun, J.-P., Vergés, J., Corbella, M., Stafford, S.L. and Alfonso, P. 2015. Fault-controlled and stratabound dolostones in the Late Aptian-earliest Albian Benassal Formation (Maestrat Basin, E Spain): petrology and geochemistry constrains. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 65, 83-102.

Corbella, M., Gomez-Rivas, E., Martín-Martín, J.D., Stafford, S.L., Teixell, A., Griera, A., Travé, A., Cardellach, E. and Salas, R. 2014. Insights to controls on dolomitization by means of reactive transport models applied to the Benicàssim case study (Maestrat basin, E Spain). Petroleum Geoscience, 20, 41-54.

Application Procedure

Formal applications can be completed online: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply. You should apply for PhD in Geology (irrespective of which discipline the project is based), to ensure that your application is passed to the correct College for processing.

Please ensure that you quote the project title and supervisor on the application form. Informal enquiries can be made to, Dr Enrique Gomez-Rivas ([email protected]), University of Aberdeen with a copy of your current CV and a covering letter detailing your suitability for the project. All general enquiries should be directed to the Graduate School Admissions Unit ([email protected]).

How good is research at Aberdeen University in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.40

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