KICC students include the following:
Karin Abrahamsson is a first-year Master’s student working with Dr. Luis Gonzalez in studying the modern displacement of corals and other back reef biota by crustose coralline algae and rhodoids in southwestern Puerto Rico. High resolution analysis (petrographic, elemental, isotopic, and geomicrobiological) will be conducted on crustose coralline algae and rhodoids collected from reefs near La Parguera in southwestern Puerto Rico and Isla de Mona. This study integrates diverse quantitative data to investigate the controls of climate and ocean chemistry on the recent genesis and distribution of rhodoids in shallow environments. Results will offer an increased understanding of carbonate systems containing crustose coralline algae and rhodoids as important hydrocarbon reservoir rocks in the geologic past.
Elson Core is a second-year Ph.D. student working with Dr. Evan Franseen. Elson’s research interests include sedimentology, stratigraphy, and especially sequence stratigraphy of carbonate systems in the Caribbean region. He obtained his bachelor and masters degrees at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. His masters project focused on sequence stratigraphy of a Neogene mixed carbonate-siliciclastic system in the Dominican Republic. Elson’s Ph.D. project will evaluate controls on deposition and reservoir character of Cenozoic heterozoan-dominated carbonate systems, with a focus in the Caribbean. The goal is to develop predictive sequence stratigraphy and sedimentologic models for exploration and reservoir characterization of heterozoan systems. The study will have direct application to Cenozoic heterozoan-dominated reservoir systems in the Caribbean and the Indo-Pacific regions.
Erich de Zoeten is a second-year Master’s student working with Dr. Robert Goldstein to understand diagenesis of both mud-rich and grainy basinal carbonates using cores of Wolfcampian and Leonardian strata from the eastern Midland Basin (Howard County, Texas). Results from this study will integrate with other sedimentologic and stratigraphic analyses to develop a conceptual diagenetic model. This model will improve prediction of conventional, unconventional, and non-reservoir porosity in basins with similar geologic histories. This study will enhance petroleum exploration of unconventional carbonate mudstone reservoirs and deepwater conventional carbonate reservoirs with applicability to numerous plays such as the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford Shale.
Adrienne Duarte is a near-finished Master’s student working with Dr. Gene Rankey studying how internal stratal architecture and petrophysical variability impact the seismic character of isolated platforms. This project utilizes synthetic seismic models with a range of facies attributes and petrophysics to test the hypothesis that such geologic parameters create a statistically discernable impact on 3D seismic character of isolated platforms. 3D geologic models created in Petrel, are converted to synthetic seismograms, and seismic attributes will be extracted. Results of this study are expected to reveal objective, reproducible differences in seismic character of synthetic models built with distinct geologic properties.
Alyssa Flotron is a second-year Master’s student working with Dr. Evan Franseen and Dr. Robert Goldstein to understand the sedimentologic and stratigraphic controls on deep-water carbonate and mudrock reservoirs of Leonardian strata from the eastern Midland Basin (Howard County, Texas). Through analysis of core and petrophysical well log data, stratigraphic and sedimentologic conceptual models will be developed, which will improve the prediction of both conventional and unconventional reservoir rocks in similar deep-water settings. This study will improve petroleum exploration of unconventional carbonate and mudstone reservoirs as well as conventional reservoirs.
Alexa Goers is an almost-done M.S. student working with Dr. Gene Rankey and Dr. Stephen Hasiotis studying the nature and distribution of trace fossils within carbonate shoreface environments. This research integrates sedimentology and ichnology of modern and Pleistocene deposits in the southeastern Bahamas to quantify the spatial variability of trace fossils and ichnofabrics. This study establishes how trace-fossil associations of carbonate shoreface environments compare to ichnologic patterns in siliciclastic analogs, and explores the relationship between ichnofabrics, cementation patterns, and petrophysical variability. Results produce a conceptual ichnofacies model that can be used to reconstruct facies distributions in heterogeneous ancient carbonate systems, and provide the means to assess biogenically modified reservoirs. Alexa’s research is partly supported by AAPG, GSA, SEPM, and the Paleontological Society.
Hamilton Goodner is a second-year Master’s student working with Dr. Gene Rankey, exploring the relationship between carbonate depositional fabrics and pore networks. His research integrates petrography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) with petrophysical analysis to systematically isolate specific attributes of depositional fabric (dominant grain type, grain size) and evaluate their effect on pore networks and, in turn, petrophysical parameters (phi-k). Results are expected to provide an improved understanding of the influence “starting point” (i.e. depositional fabric) has on setting a trajectory for the evolution of pore networks. Implications of the study include constraining phi-k ranges that are used as input for facies-based reservoir models.
Hannah Hubert is a first year Master’s student working with Dr. Gene Rankey. Her research explores the deposition and early diagenesis of Holocene lacustrine microbialite deposits from the Bahamas as analogs to the pre-salt reservoirs of the South Atlantic. Through the integration of lab and field analyses, conceptual models will be developed of the distribution of microbialites, and where present, their primary porosity development, connectivity, and preservation. This study will provide new insights regarding controls on potential facies and a predictive framework for understanding the quality and distribution of microbialite reservoirs by exploring the relationship between growth fabrics and porosity in lacustrine microbial carbonates. This relationship affects reservoir quality, distribution, and continuity, so understanding the growth fabrics and porosity of these deposits is crucial to successful assessment and ultimate exploitation.
Adam M. Jackson is currently a Ph.D. student who is using ichnocoenoses, ichnofacies, and ichnofabrics to examine and describe differences in ichnodiversity, abundance, and tiering of nearshore to deltaic marine deposits between high- and low-paleolatitudes of icehouse and greenhouse global climates. These ichnological approaches will relate how endobenthic communities vary with physiochemical settings attributed to latitude and climatic regime. His research focuses on the icehouse Permian Mackellar Formation in Antarctica and the greenhouse Upper Cretaceous Dakota Group in western Colorado. He is currently working with Dr. Stephen T. Hasiotis and is partially funded through NSF.
Katherine Kuklewicz is a first year Master’s student working with Dr. Luis Gonzalez. Her research explores the genesis of Quaternary laminated calcrete (i.e. caliche) deposits from Puerto Rico as analogs for other calcrete deposits, both modern and ancient. The study investigates the controls of calcrete formation by comparing the texture, fabric, and morphological characteristics of calcrete from regions with high and low precipitation. Results of the project will establish diagnostic criteria that allow identification of the hydroclimatic conditions under which calcrete formation took place, and hence better interpret the extent of carbonate diagenesis affecting reservoir porosity and permeability.
Michelle Mary is currently a Ph.D. student studying modern carbonates, examining the trends and controls on bioerosion, encrustation, and early cementation on isolated platforms. Relevant to climate change and reservoir analysis, this research is testing the hypothesis that bioerosion, encrustation, and cementation on isolated platforms vary in a manner that is both quantifiable and predictable. An NSF-IGERT scholar, she works with Dr. Gene Rankey, and her research is funded by ExxonMobil, AWG, and University of Kansas.
Negar Nazari is a M.S. student working with Dr. Reza Barati. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanism of stabilizing the surfactant generated CO2 foams using polyelectrolytes and polyelectrolyte complex nanoparticles (PECNP). She is doing her tests on Indiana limestone core samples with Mississippian crude oil. She conducts Interfacial Tension (IFT) and foam column durability measurements to see the effect of molecular weight and structure of polycations on effectiveness of stabilizing the foam and also optimize the most stable polyelectrolytes or PECNP systems. Also, she is conducting high pressure high temperature (HPHT) view cell tests to select an optimized systems with and without crude oil. Rheology tests will be done to see the flow behavior of the foam and finally she conducts the coreflooding measurements to demonstrate the improvement of oil recovery with the mentioned system and optimize the performance of polyelectrolyte and nanoparticle stabilized CO2 foam for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).
Tom Neal is an M.S. student working with Dr. Gene Rankey on the modern carbonate ramp of the northeastern Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. His project characterizes and numerically models the Holocene northern Yucatan ramp system to enhance understanding of carbonate ramp sedimentary dynamics in general. The project integrates remote sensing, field, petrographical and granulometrical observations of surficial modern sediments with climate data, oceanographic observations and 2D numerical hydrodynamic modeling of waves, tides and currents across the study area. Synthesis of sedimentologic analysis and modeling provide qualitative and quantitative results on variability of, and controls on, sediment transport and accumulation in the shoreface. Modifying geologic and oceanographic parameters create a series of conceptual scenarios representing different ramps, as could be present in the stratigraphic record. These conceptual analyses constrain the impact of a variety of processes and controls on carbonate ramp systems, including ancient reservoir analogs.
Clay Robertson is a second-year Master’s student working with Dr. Paul Enos and Dr. Evan Franseen on a project aimed at understanding depositional environments, sedimentologic controls, stratigraphic architecture, and reservoir characteristics of Osagean spiculitic-rich rocks in the Anadarko Basin. The data gathered from this study will be used to delineate reservoir geometries, and develop a conceptual model to be used for the prediction of high quality reservoir zones in the Anadarko Basin and throughout the Midcontinent. This research is possible due to core provide by Devon Energy.
Abdul Wahab is an M.S. Fulbright Scholar from Pakistan working with Dr. Paul Enos and Dr. Robert Goldstein. His research focuses on porosity evolution associated with unconformities in a mid-Cretaceous high-relief carbonate platform in east-central Mexico. The goal is to provide a reservoir analog relevant to understanding porosity and permeability relationships associated with unconformities in shallow-water platform-margin carbonates in the subsurface, e.g. the Golden Lane, Isthmus, and Campeche reservoirs of the Gulf of Mexico, and similar reservoirs of any age.
Fan Zhang is a second-year Master’s student in Geophysics working with Dr. Chi Zhang. His research focuses on better understanding the petrophysical properties of reservoir rocks (i.e. carbonate and tight sandstone) using combined method of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and spectral induced polarization (SIP). The project is now mainly focusing on investigation of carbonate and aiming to quantitatively evaluate pore structure and its effect on NMR T2 relaxation time, complex electrical conductivity and permeability in carbonates. Results hope to generate 2-D or 3-D correlation cross plots of complex pore geometries like pore size distribution, dominant pore size, porosity with NMR and SIP response and finally improve the estimation of petrophysical properties and calibrate the parameters of permeability models in carbonate.
Yousuf Fadolalkarem now is employed at Saudi Aramco.
Zhaoqi Li proudly works for the Texas BEG!
Tony Pugliano finished in December 2015, and works now for Devon.
Aimee Scheffer now works for ConocoPhillips!
Dustin Stolz graduated and now works for Sampson.
Mark Villarreal has recently graduated, and is with Newfield Exploration.