Characterization, Sensing, and Imaging 2018-10-01T15:45:39+00:00

Characterization, Sensing, & Imaging

Characterization, Sensing, & Imaging

Geologic materials and the fluids they contain have diverse physical properties, chemical properties, and configurations. For example, rock that holds oil has pores that can be as small as nano- to micro-meters in size. These pores are dispersed throughout in ways that can be well-connected or poorly connected due to the properties of the rock. This variability directly impacts how fluid flows and where it is located in the subsurface. This variability also pushes the bounds of our ability to characterize, image, and sense resources in enough detail. Current production methods only recover an estimated 5 to 25 percent of a reservoir’s total available volume. This is partly due to a poor understanding of how fluids flow in the subsurface. This is especially true for fractures and poorly understood geomaterials such as shale.

What We Do

Sandia maintains fundamental science, experimentation, modeling-simulation, and up-scaling capabilities focused on coupled rock mechanics-chemical processes; wellbore and near wellbore reaction and flow processes; and fluid mechanics, including very high pressures and complex load paths.

Sandia maintains a capability in the field of nanochemistry which includes molecular dynamics modeling and nanopore fluid reactive transport modeling and prediction. Sandia also develops autonomous, embedded, and compressed sensors, acoustic communications, inversion, and taggant/tracer technologies.

Within the sensing space, Sandia develops downhole sources and sensing technologies including autonomous, embedded, and compressed sensing and acoustic communications. Sandia develops geophysics-based inversion approaches and software as well as geochemistry-based taggants and tracers to image and monitor subsurface fluid flow. Sandia also has capabilities in underwater sensing and networking and real-time greenhouse gas monitoring that integrates multiple data streams.