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GSH Geoscience Center & Museum
1790 W. Sam Houston Parkway N
Houston TX 77043
Speaker: Colin Sayers, University of Houston
High porosity sandstones are important for hydrocarbon production, underground CO2 storage, extraction of geothermal energy, and freshwater aquifers. Porosity of sandstones may be estimated using elastic wave velocities, but these depend also on fluid saturation, clay content, pore shape and contacts between sand grains. An understanding of how elastic properties of sandstones depend on these factors is important for characterizing their storage potential, and for geomechanical issues such as sanding, borehole stability, reservoir compaction and fracturing. Ultrasonic velocity measurements in clay-bearing sandstones indicate that much of the clay in shaly sandstones is non-load-bearing. This enables a simple approach for modeling the elastic properties of shaly sandstones that includes the effect of pore concavity and agrees with ultrasonic P- and S-velocity measured in the laboratory. Despite this agreement some clay may reside within the contacts and may act to inhibit the development of quartz cement, thus reducing porosity loss and helping to preserve storage volume. This appears to be the case for the Lower Mt. Simon Sandstone, a target formation for underground storage of CO2 in the Illinois Basin, for which the bulk moduli agree with the predicted bulk moduli, but the shear moduli are lower than predicted. This appears to result from an increase in shear compliance of the grain contacts that may enable sliding along the grain contacts and increase the tendency to shear failure.
Speaker Biography: Colin Sayers, University of Houston
Colin Sayers received a B.A. in Physics from the University of Lancaster, U.K. and a D.I.C. and Ph.D. in Physics from Imperial College, London, U.K. He has previously worked for Shell in the Netherlands and the U.K. and for Schlumberger in the U.K. and U.S.A. He currently holds a position as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston. He is a member of AGU, APS, EAGE, GSH, SEG and SPE, a member of the Research Committee of the SEG, and has served on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Science, Geophysical Prospecting, and The Leading Edge. In 2010 he presented the SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Short Course "Geophysics under stress: Geomechanical applications of seismic and borehole acoustic waves". In 2013 he was awarded Honorary Membership of the Geophysical Society of Houston "In Recognition and Appreciation of Distinguished Contributions to the Geophysical Profession". He shared an award for best paper in The Leading Edge in 2013.
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