Category Archives: News and Events

Latest CRGC-related News and Events.

Visiting Academics

Professor Wayne Pennington

 Prof. Wayne Pennington from Michigan Tech, is visiting the Discipline of Exploration Geophysics, Curtin University as a Fullbright Senior Scholar until April 2019. He is collaborating with Prof. Boris Gurevich on research in changes to the subsurface due to production from or injection into a reservoir.

Pennington, a geophysicist, conducts research centered on the response of Earth materials to changes in physical conditions, such as stress, saturation, and temperature. The applications of this work are found in induced seismicity and oil and gas exploration and development.

He has worked in both academia and in industry and has conducted fieldwork at sites around the world. In the 1970s, he studied tectonic earthquakes in Latin America and Pakistan. In the 1980s, at the University of Texas at Austin, he studied the relationship of earthquakes to oil and gas production. Beginning in 1985, he worked at the research laboratory for Marathon Oil Company, studying and developing novel techniques to improve the identification of, and production from, oil and gas reservoirs.

Since 1994, he has been at Michigan Tech, teaching and conducting research into geophysical observations of oil and gas production.  He spent several years as the Chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, and became the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering in 2013, moving to the permanent position in 2014.  Retiring from active administration and teaching in 2018, he continues to be engaged in research projects involving oil and gas reservoir characterization and monitoring. He provides services including training and consulting to the industry and governmental agencies.

Pennington has served as the President of the American Geosciences Institute and as the First Vice President of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.  He was a Jefferson Science Fellow at the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development.  He has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers and coauthored one book with two of his students.

Dr Cheng-hao Cao

The CRGC welcomes Dr. Cao, a Visiting Postdoc from China. He received his PhD in Geodetection and Information Technology at the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Hohai University and his research includes Non-linear pre-stack seismic inversion for multiple parameters based on information mergence and Public welfare program for monitoring of water pollution for Kui River in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.

Cheng-hao will be visiting Curtin until June this year, undertaking research under the Supervision of Prof. Boris Gurevich on “Squirt flow in the 3D complex porous medium” as well as “Transition between fluid flow with different scales”

Ms Wenhui Tan

Ms. Tan is a visiting Occupational Trainee from China, who holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Geological Engineering from the School of Earth Sciences and Engineering at Suzhou University. She is currently undertaking her PhD in Exploration Geophysics at Hohai University. Her research interest is in Brittleness characteristic of tight oil reservoirs, rock physics.

Wenhui will be at Curtin for a year, working under the supervision of Dr. Vassili Mikhaltsevitch to analyse the brittle characteristics of rocks to establish the relationships between rock brittleness and elastic properties for the basis of seismic inversion of rock brittleness.

Seminar: Our Evolving View of Time-Lapse Seismic Monitoring: 20 years of the same old Teal South data

by Prof Wayne Pennington, Dean and Professor Emeritus, Research Professor of Geophysical Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Thursday 21st February 2019, 11AM–12PM

ABSTRACT: The first ocean-bottom time-lapse seismic studies for reservoir monitoring were conducted at Teal South in the Gulf of Mexico.  The data from this field, including one legacy streamer survey and two post-production ocean-bottom surveys have been used repeatedly to demonstrate new aspects of analysis and interpretation. This seminar will walk through that history, since 1998, with examples from recent publications.

Seminar: Recent advances in land seismic acquisition technology

by Dr Tim Dean, Research Fellow, Exploration Geophysics, Curtin University

Thursday 31 January 2019, 11AM – 12PM

ABSTRACT: Despite a downturn in the land seismic acquisition industry the pace of technical innovation has not slowed; in just the last four years there have been ten new land seismic acquisition systems introduced.  These new systems are lighter, record data for longer, and produce higher quality data than those previously available.

Advances have not been restricted to the receiver side, with new seismic sources and positioning systems being introduced.  In this presentation I outline these recent advances and will show samples of many of the new nodes that have been introduced.

Academic Promotions

CRGC researchers Roman Pevzner and Brett Harris were promoted to Professors on 1 December 2018. Academic promotions recognise the significant contribution of staff to their disciplines, students and the University.

Congratulations to Prof. Pevzner and Prof. Harris on this achievement!

EAGE Student Chapter

Students from the Disciplines of Exploration Geophysics and Petroleum Engineering at Curtin University have successfully launched a Student Chapter in collaboration with EAGE.

This marks the opening of the first EAGE Student Chapter in Australia and was established with the aim to inspire discussion, collaboration and the exchange of ideas among future Geoscientists and Engineers.

You can follow the Chapter’s journey via Facebook

Student Awards: CRGC 2018

Mr. Yongyang (Jerry) Sun has been awarded the prize for Best Student Paper at the CRGC Annual Meeting 2018 for his presentation “Solid substitution constrained by numerical simulation based on the finite element modelling”.

Votes were submitted by Sponsors of the CRGC and based on quality of content as well as presentation delivery. A cash prize of $1000 was awarded.

Student Awards: ASEG WA 2018

The CRGC extends its congratulations to PhD student Alex Costall who was awarded the ASEG WA Student Award for 2018, with his thesis topic “Dynamic Groundwater Flow and Seawater Intrusion in High Quality Coastal Acquifers”.

MSc (Geophysics) student Alejandro Sanchez was awarded the ASEG WA Branch best student presenter award at the ASEG WA Branch Student Technical Night on 28 November 2018.

Seminar: Fibre-optic sensing DAS applied to seismic imaging and reservoir monitoring at the CO2CRC Otway Project

Ms. Julia Correa, PhD Candidate, Exploration Geophysics, Curtin University

Title: Fibre-optic sensing DAS applied to seismic imaging and reservoir monitoring at the CO2CRC Otway Project

Held: Thursday 22 November 2018, 2PM–3PM


Seismic monitoring constitutes an essential step during the development of a CO2 geosequestration project, as it assures the injected fluid is safely stored in subsurface. However, seismic monitoring is often used restrictedly. Such surveys are highly expensive as an extensive amount of equipment needs to be deployed. Additionally, the access of large areas during the survey lead to high environmental and social impact.

In this work we test the applicability of Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technology for permanent and continues seismic monitoring in the context of CO2 geosequestration projects. DAS uses standard fibre-optic cables to form a series of distributed seismic receivers. Fibre-optic cables are relatively inexpensive, offer long durability and can operate in extreme conditions. Moreover, DAS is able to acquire seismic data instantaneously along the cable at fine spatial sampling intervals.

This research is set at the CO2CRC Otway project. The Otway project is located ~240 km away from Melbourne, Australia. The site has two wells instrumented with fibre-optic cables (one well on production tubing; the other well behind the casing). The wells contain a set of straight single-mode fibres, though, one of the cemented cables has a combination of conventional single-mode and specialty high-sensitive DAS fibres. Additional 40 km of fibre optic cable is deployed in 11 receiver line trenches along with 908 buried geophones.

Through the analysis of multiple datasets and different configurations, we demonstrate that DAS is the receiver of choice in many monitoring applications which would benefit from permanent receiver installation. DAS has a potential to outperform conventional geophones as a seismic sensor used to conduct imaging and monitoring of the subsurface. However, the nature of the measurement is different and must be taken into account, from survey design to data processing and interpretation

Seminar: Seismic Monitoring Systems for critical structures

Dr. Cvetan Sinadinovski

Title: Seismic Monitoring Systems for critical structures

Held: Monday 19 November 2018, 11AM–12PM


An innovative Seismic Monitoring System for critical structures (high-rise building, bridges, dams, hospitals) in civil engineering and Oi and Gas industry will be presented. The system uses Earthquake Business Continuity technology as a platform designed to provide the tools and information needed in near-real time to measure the impact and manage emergency response for potentially destructive events. The process aims at preserving assets and protecting access to Services for maximum public safety before, during and after an earthquake.

 BIO: Dr. Cvetan Sinadinovski has more than 25 years of professional experience in Geophysics in Australia and internationally.  He has worked as a researcher in Geoscience Australia and the Australian National University in Canberra. During the last decade, Cvetan was a Geophysical specialist in the Advance Research Centres of the oil and gas industries in the Middle East. Currently, he has a role of a science advisor for universities and academic institutions.