CSIRO research investigates shale properties.
The SHARC Consortium: a proposal
Industry participation is being sought in a joint industry project aimed at improving the understanding of shale behaviour.
8 February 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011
The SHARC Consortium is a joint industry project (JIP) aimed at improving the understanding of shale behaviour.
Operational problems involving shales cause billions of dollars of financial losses to the petroleum industry each year. Increasing industry interest in shales in the past few years can be attributed to the substantial savings to be gained from increased knowledge of rock behaviour.
CSIRO, Curtin University of Technology and the National Co-operative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA) are seeking expressions of interest from industry to join the JIP.
A three year initial program of research is planned through a commitment of sponsorship funds at a rate of A$150 000 per year per company. Phase two plans will build from phase one results.
The research collaborators have the key strengths and resources needed to tackle many of the significant issues in shales that are directly relevant to the petroleum industry including:
a multidisciplinary capability strengthened by experimental and modelling approaches to research
funding leverage through CSIRO’s National Research Flagship program that supports large, long-term projects
world class experimental geomechanics, rock physics and petrophysics laboratories
access to the unique facility provided by the Underground Rock Laboratory in Switzerland including data and potential field scale projects
renowned researchers in shale properties, petrophysics, geomechanics and numerical modelling
an excellent track record of conducting research with and for the petroleum industry.
The project will investigate linkages between wave propagation, petrophysical properties and mechanical properties in shales though a multidisciplinary experimental and modelling approach.
The project will investigate the fundamental nature of water in shales, one of the prime factors governing shale behaviour that remains poorly understood.
The long term aim is to develop integrated rock mechanics/rock physics/petrophysics models for shales and this consortium proposal represents a first step towards that objective.
Dynamic elastic and electrical models for shales will be developed and integrated with relevant experimental data for application to such issues as wellbore stability, seal evaluation, pore pressure prediction and 4D seismic interpretation.
In addition, the project will investigate the fundamental nature of water in shales, one of the prime factors governing shale behaviour that remains poorly understood.
The broad deliverables of the JIP include:
Document the state-of-the-art regarding numerical modelling of shales.
Develop database of shale properties.
Demonstrate feasibility of cuttings analysis for shale chemoporomechanical and dielectric properties.
Develop workable numerical models for elastic and electrical properties of shales under varied stress fields using integrated experimental data.
Practical application of experimental results and numerical models to field data or a case study.
Fundamental understanding of the nature of water in shales.
Visualisations of microstructures and ultrastructures in a range of shales, and their relationships to physical and mechanical properties.
CSIRO is one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world. The project has access to CSIRO’s multi-disciplinary resources, skills and expertise. The Earth Science and Resource Engineering Division has a long history of evaluating shale properties for wellbore stability, pore pressure prediction and seal integrity.
Curtin University of Technology is Western Australia's largest university and is a world class, internationally focused institution. The extensive Exploration Geophysics Department is world renowned in rock physics modelling.
NAGRA is a Swiss organisation charged with safe disposal of radioactive waste. It has extensive technical links with the geoscientific communities in Europe, US, and Asia and has many years experience in characterising shale properties from laboratory to field scale.
Find out more about the Shale Research Centre.