Dr David Dewhurst: leading multi-disciplinary research in petroleum geoscience
Dr David Dewhurst, with expertise in geomechanics, shale behaviour and rock properties, is responsible for developing capability and new science directions for the petroleum geoscience group.
27 January 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
Dr David Dewhurst is currently the Research Program Leader for Petroleum Geoscience.
He is responsible for capability development, facilities and recruitment for the Petroleum Geoscience Research Program.
Dr Dewhurst is also the manager of the CSIRO Shale Research Centre and leads the SHARC consortium, a co-funded joint industry project (JIP) aimed at improving the understanding of shale behaviour.
SHARC is investigating the links between geomechanics, rock physics and petrophysics properties of shales, through a micro-to-macro, lab-to-field, experimental to theoretical research project, over three years, and started in November 2009.
The results will have a number of geoscience applications, including:
- wellbore stability
- top seal analysis
- 4D seismic
- shale gas reservoir characterisation
- pore pressure prediction.
The project is collaborative with the:
Additionally, Dr Dewhurst is the head of the CSIRO Rock Mechanics Laboratory, which runs a number of research and commercial projects.
Such projects include working with local service and oil companies providing experimental geomechanical data for field development scenarios. Combined geomechanical and rock physics tests have been used for 4D seismic feasibility studies.
The Rock Mechanics Laboratory has also been involved in characterisation of rock properties for CO2 storage, including the Otway Basin Demonstration Project run by the CO2CRC (Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies) and Chevron’s Gorgon project.
In addition to this, Dr Dewhurst also undertakes microstructural characterisation of reservoir rocks, fault rocks and shales, usually for integration into geomechanics and rock physics projects.
In 1992, Dr Dewhurst moved to the University of Birmingham to apply experimental geotechnical techniques to problems of fluid flow in mud-rich overpressured accretionary complexes.
From 1994-96, he was involved in a joint European Community project between the Newcastle Research Group in Fossil Fuels and L'Institut Français du Pétrole, investigating the role of compaction and lithology on the physical properties of mudrocks with a view to providing better inputs to basin models for the properties of these sediments.
From 1996 to the end of 1998, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Imperial College, London, United Kingdom (UK) researching compaction and faulting in North Sea mudrock seals, through attempting to tie shale physical properties to faulting and seismic character in both two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) seismic datasets.
Dr Dewhurst joined CSIRO Petroleum in 1998 as a research scientist.
In this role he was initially responsible for geomechanical and geological input to the Abnormal Geo-pressure Prediction Program and bringing similar expertise to bear on a project investigating Hydrocarbon Sealing Potential of Faults and Caprocks.
Following on from this, between 2004 and 2009, he conceived, developed and managed the Integrated Predictive Evaluation of Traps and Seals (IPETS) Consortium, which looked at predicting fault and top seal behaviour from an exploration viewpoint.
Dr Dewhurst has been awarded a:
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Geology from Sheffield University in the UK in 1987
Doctor of Philosophy in Physics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, in 1991, for work on noble gas migration during rock deformation.
Dr Dewhurst holds memberships with the:
- AAPG - American Association of Petroleum Geologists
- PESA - Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia
- SPE - Society of Petroleum Engineers
- AGU - American Geophysical Union
- SEG - Society of Exploration Geophysicists
- GSL - Geological Society of London
- EAGE - European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers.
Read more about Petroleum geoscience: meeting energy exploration and production challenges.