Fracture control, networks, fluids and seismic signatures

Fractures, either naturally present or man-made, have a large control on fluid flow in conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon exploration, in geothermal energy exploration and in sequestration measures. The interaction between fractures and fluids, fracture network connectivity, chemical reactions on fracture surfaces, and changes in seismic signature during fracturing has been and will be an important focus of our research

Fracture network development research has been part of several initiatives, e.g., Top-Sector Gas, CATO. A strong cooperation with the unit Geology and partners at Utrecht and Eindhoven Universities is part of this focus. Research on fracture control in permeable chalks, sponsored by Maersk, resulted in the experimental and theoretical development of a geochemical method to close fractures and create a wormhole complex as an alternative to keep a permeable zone for hydrocarbon transport.