Visiting Scholar
Jeff Burghardt, PhD
Staff Scientist, Geosciences Group
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Friday, April 6, 3:15 pm
Sidney & Marian Green Classroom (3550 MEK)

Numerical models are commonly used to estimate the state of stress in the subsurface for various engineering applications. These estimates are subject to considerable uncertainty, and yet, the estimates are almost always deterministic, yielding no information about the certainty of the prediction. For some applications, unquantified uncertainties in stress are often acceptable, because the risks related to geomechanics may be of low relative importance compared to other risks (e.g., recoverable resource volume), for which uncertainties are often quantified. Furthermore, many geomechanics-related risks in the petroleum industry are relatively short-lived (e.g., well bore stability) and decrease in importance with time. In contrast, for wastewater injection or geologic carbon sequestration (GCS), geomechanics-related risks (e.g., seal integrity, induced seismicity) are on par with resource-related risks and are of long-term concern, with the risk generally increasing in importance for a significant period of time. For these reasons, the deterministic stress estimation and risk analysis approaches generally applied in the petroleum industry are insufficient for GCS applications. This presentation will describe a Bayesian approach to geomechanical uncertainty quantification and risk assessment. The method is demonstrated using data from an active enhanced oil recovery/geologic carbon sequestration field as a case study.

Jeff Burghardt is staff scientist in the Geosciences Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Utah State University in 2006, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah in 2011. His dissertation research was focused on computational mechanics and constitutive modeling of geologic media. After completing his Ph.D. Jeff joined Schlumberger, where he conducted research in hydraulic fracturing, production from unconventional petroleum reservoirs, and drilling. Jeff joined the Geosciences Group at PNNL in 2016, where his research topics include geologic carbon sequestration, enhanced geothermal systems, and the intersection of geochemistry and geomechanics.