GEOL40560 Geofluids and geomechanics

Academic Year 2023/2024

This 2.5 credit module concerns the behaviour of fluids and stresses in the subsurface as a function of natural geological processes and in response to human-induced perturbations. Topics include single and two-phase flow processes at a range of spatial and temporal scales, the development and release of heat, overpressures and stresses, and natural fluid/rock interactions during basin burial and inversion. Applications to geothermal and hydrocarbon energy systems and CO2 sequestration will be addressed in lectures and practical classes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:
• Describe the occurrence and behaviour of natural geofluids and subsurface stresses
• Explain the principles and key petrophysical properties associated with single and multi-phase flow in porous media.
• Explain geomechanical and geofluids issues associated with safe and efficient management of earth resources

Indicative Module Content:

Lecture 1: Mechanical compaction in Sedimentary Basins
Lecture 2: Formation, Migration and Trapping of hydrocarbons
Lecture 3: Heat Flow and chemical compaction
Lecture 4: Fluid expulsion and hydrodynamic flow
Lecture 5: Two-phase fluid / rock properties
Lecture 6: Chemical and physical properties of oil and gas
Lecture 7: Viscous, Capillary and Gravity forces in two phase flow
Lecture 8: Primary and secondary hydrocarbon production drive mechanisms
Lecture 9: CO2 sequestration associated with enhanced hydrocarbon production.
Lecture 10: CO2 sequestration in saline aquifers and depleted reservoirs

Practical 1: Oil and Gas migration, trapping and leakage.
Practical 2: Oil Reservoir Pressures and hydrodynamic fluid contacts
Practical 3: Fluid contacts, PVT properties and volumetrics calculations
Practical 4: Examination of dynamic flow simulation results of a producing oilfield.
Practical 5: Physical observations in fluid/fluid/rock behaviour

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module combines lectures and 3-hour practical classes. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Additional Information:
Students must be registered to F181 MSc in subsurface characterisation and geomodelling

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Exam Unspecified No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Continuous Assessment: Assessment of practical material Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Ongoing practical work will be discussed with students individually and collectively whist it be being performed during the scheduled practical classes. Post-assessment feedback will be provided on submitted assignments

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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