Chair for Characterization of petroleum systems

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Chair for Characterization of petroleum systemsUPPA-CNRS

Dr. Guilhem Hoareau is holder of a Higher Education - CNRS Chair, based on a public collaboration between the CNRS and UPPA, and hosted in the Laboratory of Thermodynamics and Energetics of Complex Fluids (LFCR). The Chair was created in September 2012, and aims to investigate mineralogical and geochemical modifications of reservoir rock during the geological history of sedimentary basins. This topic underlies geoscience applications oriented towards the characterization of conventional and unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. It aims at enhancing our understanding of reservoir evolution, which depends on several parameters such as temperature, pressure, sedimentation rate, tectonics, or fluid flow. The final purpose is to be able to predict the conditions necessary for a good preservation of reservoir properties during burial (porosity, permeability).

To tackle such challenges, several approaches are followed. They include direct examination of rocks in the field or on drilling cores, but also optical and electronic microscopy (Cathodoluminescence, Secondary Electron Microscopy), geochemistry (stable and radiogenic isotopes, electron microprobe), fluid inclusion microthermometry, and fluid-rock interaction modelling.

Since its integration in the LCFR, Guilhem Hoareau has co-supervised 4 PhD students, including three sponsored by Total SA. He has set up a microscopy lab including optical microscopes, cathodoluminescence and fluid inclusion microthermometry stages, and raised about 410 k€ through public tenders and industrial collaborations, in addition to the chair-related budget (50 k€). He has established collaborations in several public and industrial research labs in France and elsewhere (Univ. Montpellier, Paris, Kensas State University, British Geological Survey, BRGM, IFPEN, Total…)

New projects (started in 2016 and 2017) include the development of in situ dating of carbonate by laser-ablation techniques (coll. IPREM-UPPA), studying the impact of mantle fluids on carbonate reservoir dolomitization (coll. Total), the geochemical characterization of unconventional reservoirs (Vaca Muerta, Argentina; coll. Total), or geochemical modelling of gas injection and storage (coll. LMAP-UPPA, LATEP-UPPA).