- Leader: Danny Reible, PhD PE BCEE NAE, Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair
- Co-Sponsor: Dr. Duane Nellis, TTU President
- Co-Sponsor: Dr. Robert Duncan, TTU Vice President for Research
- Co-Sponsor: Dr. Albert Sacco, Jr, Dean, Edward E. Whitacre College of Engineering
- Co-Sponsor: Kay Tindle, Research Development Team, Office of the Vice President for Research
Chemistry, Materials and Technological Developments
- Leader: Bill Hase
- Co-Lead: Rajesh Khare
- Co-Lead: Michael Findlater
Comprehensive understanding of the chemistry and physics of the fracturing processes, from the behavior of pre-fracturing chemical and particle additives, to site-specific drilling, fracturing, and production operations, to management of the post-fracturing chemical by-products.
- Assessment and improvement of currently used chemical and particle additives in hydraulic fracturing.
- Computational modeling of fluid flow and thermodynamic behavior in hydraulic fracturing processes.
- Process chemistry and modeling for removal of chemicals and salts from produced and flowback waters to allow recycling in further fracturing or alternative non-potable water usage.
- Remote sensing, data visualization, and mechanistic modeling of drilling, fracturing, and gas/oil production operations.
The Lifecycle of Water
- Co-Lead: Venkatesh Uddameri
- Co-Lead: Danny Reible
Conduct research on innovative water treatment technologies, water resources development, and reuse and management to reduce water footprint in hydraulic fracturing operations.
- Evaluate the feasibility of using brackish groundwater resources for hydraulic fracturing operations.
- Map water resources availability and fracturing water needs to minimize the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing operations.
- Understand the solution chemistry of produced and flowback waters associated with West Texas shale plays and barriers to reuse these waters.
- Develop new water treatment models (modules) to assess technologies for treating produced and flowback water.
Public Engagement and Education
- Co-Lead: Melanie Sarge
- Co-Lead: Erik Bucy
Examine public understanding of hydraulic fracturing and its processes.
- Design and implement effective hydraulic fracturing communication and education efforts.
- Examine media coverage of hydraulic fracturing.
- Explore the broader social issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing within the water scarce region of West Texas.
Subsurface Processes and Technology
- Co-Lead: Marshall Watson
- Co-Lead: Mohamed Soliman
- Co-Lead: Tom Lehman
Conduct research in areas of hydraulic fracture propagation, analysis and simulation. Research will be also conducted on impact of hydraulic fracturing on productivity of wells.
- Develop techniques to design and optimize placement of hydraulic fractures based on geomechanical, petrophysical and geochemical aspects of unconventional formation.
- Develop simulator(s) to study fracture propagation in the presence of natural fractures and other special circumstances.
- Conduct research on the impact of hydraulic fractures on hydrocarbon production in the presence of natural fractures both using analytical and numerical solutions.
- Conduct research on analysis of fracturing data to predict/optimize fracture treatment including proppant transport in wells.
- Conduct research on methods to enhance far field complexity.