About Us

CO2CRC partners

The University of Adelaide

The Australian School of Petroleum, with the University of Adelaide, is part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), one of the world's leading collaborative research organisations focused on carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and geological storage (geosequestration). Researchers from the ASP work in collaboration with more than 100 researchers from Australia and New Zealand to develop safe and economical CO2 geosequestration technologies that will make deep cuts in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, reduce the potential impact of climate change.

CO2CRC staff at the Australian School of Petroleum (ASP), University of Adelaide, are predominantly involved in storage research projects comprising both fundamental and applied areas of research. The prime focus of the research is the selection of storage sites, their adequate characterisation with respect of storage capacity, and an understanding of the physical and chemical processes which will take place during and after injection. In addition, an understanding and selection of the technologies available for monitoring the movement of the stored CO2 and an assessment of the risks associated with all phases of the  process from major components of the research activities.

Key research projects, regional studies and demonstration projects

At the Australian School of Petroleum researchers are focusing on the following areas.

Reservoir and Seal Characteristion and Stratigraphy

The project is to assess sedimentological and stratigraphic heterogeneity of reservoirs and seals, and to determine the impact on geological storage of CO2.

Discipline Leader: Dr Bruce Ainsworth (ASP) 
Key Researchers: Dr Mario Werner (ASP), Dr Ric Daniel (ASP), Dr Boyan Vakarelov (ASP), Ms Sally Edwards (ASP)

Geomechanics and Petrophysics

The project is to conduct research related to geomechanical and petrophysical aspects of CO2 storage and apply that knowledge to potential CCS sites in Australia and New Zealand.

Discipline Leader: TBA
Key Researchers: Prof Richard Hillis (ASP), Dr David Dewhurst (CSIRO), Dr Andy Nicol, Dr Ranjight Pathegama Gamage (Monash Uni), Dr Sandrine Vidal-Gilbert (ASP), Dr Eric Tenthorey (GA), Mr Jacques Sayers (ASP), Ms Richa Shulka (Monash Uni)

Reservoir Modelling

This research focuses on reservoir engineering to provide information on the injection, migration and final containment of carbon dioxide stored in geological formations. This will assist in the assessment of sites as candidates for geosequestration, and feed into well location, design, monitoring and economic evaluation. This research includes simulation using commercial software. Site-based simulations rely on geological models developed in other activities. The performance of simulation codes is evaluated. Simulation involving coupled geochemistry, coupled geomechanics and coupled hydrodynamics is undertaken and studied.

Discipline Leader: Lincoln Paterson (CSIRO)
Key Researchers: Jonathan Ennis-King (CSIRO), Guangwen Wu (CSIRO), Yildiray Cinar (UNSW), Quingiun Yang (ASP), Donghai Xu (GA).


Investigation of offshore natural analogues for CO2 geosequestration

Investigate offshore natural accumulation of CO2 with the aim of better understanding the behaviour of CO2 in the subsurface. Existing natural accumulations of CO2 in the subsurface will be reviewed and the reservoir and seal rocks sampled and investigated to examine changes related to CO2 influx.

Discipline Leader: Jim Undershultz (CSIRO)
Key Researchers:  Chris Boreham (GA), Karen Higgs (GNS), Allison Hening (CSIRO), Ulrika Schacht (ASP)

Investigation of onshore natural analogues for CO2 geosequestrion

Investigate onshore natural accumulations of CO2 with the aim of better understanding the behaviour of CO2 in the subsurface. Existing natural accumulations of CO2 in the subsurface will be reviewed and the reservoir and seal rocks sampled and investigated to examine changes related to CO2 influx.

Discipline Leader: Jim Undershcultz (CSIRO)
Key Researchers: Ulrike Schacht (ASP)

Investigation of CO2 migration in natural analogues via soil gas measurements

Investigate migration of CO2 with the aim of better understanding the behaviour of CO2 in the subsurface. Undertaking measurements of natural CO2 migration via soil gas measurements at the CO2CRC Otway Project site to understand natural behaviour and provide a baseline for later injection activities.

Discipline Leader: James Underschultz (CSIRO)
Key Researchers: Ulrike Schacht (ASP)

Fluid-rock interaction geochemical modelling

To conduct forward modelling on petrologically characterised samples from sites and natural analogues to predict CO2 –water-rock interaction using equilibrium, kinetic and reactive transport modelling.

Discipline Leader: James Underschultz (CSIRO)
Key Researchers: Ulrike Schacht (ASP), Dirk Kirste (Simon Frazer University)

Researchers based at the Australian School of Petroleum are currently or have recently been, involved in a number of Regional Studies

Sydney Basin – New South Wales

This project aims to assess the CO2 storage potential of the Sydney Basin. A regional overview has been initiated with the purpose to identify, characterise and prioritise potential CO2 sequestration sites within coal seams and /or other porous sedimentary rocks as storage media in the Sydney Basin. Subsequently, selected sites will be investigated in greater detail for there suitability for CO2 injection and storage. The study will be accomplished by integrating activities of the researchers within the CO2CRC with those of external consultants.

Project Manager: Mohinudeen Fiaz (CSIRO)
Key Researcher: Mario Werner (ASP)

Galilee Basin -  Queensland

This project aims to complete a geological and geophysical assessment of the Aramac Trough in the Galilee Basin of Western Queensland and construct a static geological model to be used a s the basis for dynamic reservoir modelling by other projects in the Storage programme. This work originally focused on the Triassic Clematis Sandstone however this has now been extended and further work will be done to capture the potential of the underlying Permian section.

Project Manager: Rick Causebrook (GA)
Key Researchers: Eric Tenthorey (GA), Peter van Ruth (ASP)

Browse Basin – Western Australia

This project aims to assess carbon dioxide storage potential of the Browse Basin, Offshore, Western Australia. To complete a geological and geophysical assessment of a number of ESSCI’s in the Offshore Browse Basin, using available well and seismic data and where appropriate to construct static geological models to be used as the basis for dynamic reservoir modelling by other projects in the Storage program.

Project Manager: Rick Causebrook (GA)
Key Researchers: Peter van Ruth (ASP), Eric Tenthorey (GA), Ulrike Shcacht (ASP), Alfredo Chinios (GA), Annette Patchett (GA), Anna-Lisa Lathinen (GA)

New Zealand – Regional geology

This project aims to assess the CO2 storage potential of New Zealand in order to promote deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage in New Zealand. The project consists of a range of activities including reviewing and analysing publically available data to develop a high level overview of the New Zealand’s potential CO2 storage capacity: identifying matches between emissions sources and sinks: collecting data for specific storage sites and completing detailed studies of specific basins covering depleted gas, saline and coal formations if required.

Project Manger: Rob Funnell (GNS)
Key Researchers: Steve Edrooke (GNS), Brad Field (GNS), Catherine Gibson-Poole (ASP), Mario Werner (ASP), Mark Bunch (ASP), Beale Leitner (GNS)

Demonstration - The CO2CRC Otway Project

Our researchers are also working on the CO2CRC Otway Project in the area of Geomechanics, and Hydrogeology and Geochemistry: Richard Hillis and Ulrike Schacht. Prior to leaving the ASP at the end of 200, Peter van Ruth, and Peter Tingate where also involved in this area.

Contact details CO2CRC researchers Australian School of  Petroleum:

Prof John Kaldi (Chief Scientist, C02CRC), Assoc Prof Bruce Ainsworth, Dr Mark Bunch, Dr Ric Daniel, Ms Sally Edwards,Prof Richard Hillis, Mr Saju Menacherry, Mr Myles Regan, Mr Jacques Sayers, Dr Ulrike Schacht, Dr Boyan Vakarelov, Dr Sandrine Vidal-Gilbert, Dr Mario Werner, Dr Qingjun Yang

About the University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide's mission is to be an Australian leader in research and teaching excellence. We aim to be unequalled in the positive impact our university has on the lives of our students, staff and alumni as well as the local, national and international community.

Our vision is to build upon a tradition of innovation through high-impact research and quality teaching across a broad range of disciplines and professions. The University of Adelaide will continue to be a growing, internationally focused and research driven institution, enterprising in its approach to new opportunities as they arise but clear and consistent in its fundamental direction.

Adelaide aims to further expand the vibrant intellectual and cultural environment it fosters for staff and for students, supporting them in their endeavours and celebrating their successes. Through active and innovative support for research and researchers, the University of Adelaide will continue to enhance the growing international reputation of Australia as a research centre.

About the Faculty of Engineering Maths and Computer Sciences (ECMS)

The Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences provides high quality teaching and research in strategically chosen areas of Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics. Graduates from this Faculty are highly regarded by employers and have been successful in a variety of areas. The academic staff of the Faculty are world leaders in their disciplines, staff who actively contribute to real-world problems through consulting and advanced fundamental and applied research.

The Faculty has close links with industry, and its research is well supported by grants and contracts from both government and the private sector. Many of its technological breakthroughs form the basis of independent companies with University shareholding or joint venture agreements with industry both in Australia and overseas.
Professor Peter Dowd is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

About the Australian School of Petroleum

The Australian School of Petroleum is Australia's pre-eminent centre for education, training and research in petroleum geoscience, engineering and management.

The School was created at the University of Adelaide in July 2003 by the merger of the National Centre for Petroleum Geology and Geophysics (NCPGG) and the School of Petroleum Engineering and Management (SPEM). The NCPGG, founded in 1985, had established a reputation for research in petroleum geoscience and its degrees were widely recognised as giving graduates an excellent grounding for careers in the industry. SPEM was founded in 2001 as a result of a very generous donation from Santos Ltd to the University of Adelaide to establish a world-class petroleum engineering school.

Recognition of the benefits to be gained in bringing together all the disciplines in the upstream petroleum industry led to the merger, and resulted in a school having a structure unique in Australia and Southeast Asia. This structure ensures a focus on the practical needs of the international petroleum industry through the close integration of geoscience, engineering and management in both education and research.

The School comprises of two disciplines; Geoscience, and Petroleum Engineering and Management. It is part of both the Faculty of Sciences, and the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. The ASP is housed in new purpose-built premises on the University's North Terrace Campus. The building was a major component if the Santos donation. The quality of teaching and research makes the ASP internationally competitive, and it has a strong cohort of students from outside Australia.

The School has very strong links with the petroleum industry. Representatives on Advisory Boards at both Discipline and School level guide and oversee activities. Most of the staff have extensive industry experience, and maintain strong ties through consulting, applied research and presentation of short courses. Staff and students are active in professional societies, including SPE, AAPG and PESA.

Australian School of Petroleum at The University of Adelaide is now:

  • one of four Australian university nodes of the CO2CRC;
  • the largest petroleum-focused university program in the Southern Hemisphere, with about 30 full-time staff, 100 undergraduate students and more than 50 postgraduate students;
  • one of only a few institutions in the world offering fully integrated teaching and research programs covering petroleum geoscience, engineering and management;
  • one of three universities in the world with its own research and teaching well located next to its building;
  • one of 12 universities worldwide operating within a 'Master' agreement with Exxon/Mobil for the provision of research and training support;
  • exclusive holder of the NExT (Network of Excellence in Training) franchise for the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East;
  • the location of the Schlumberger/ASP Research and Training Suite; and
  • the site of the South Australian Virtual Reality Centre.

ASP is unique within the University’s structure because of the need for its management arrangements to reflect the integration of its teaching and research goals.

  • The two main discipline emphases - engineering and geoscience - involve two Executive Deans, one from the Faculty of Sciences and the other from the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, working with the Head of School in its overall management to ensure that academic requirements are fully met in each key discipline.
  • On a daily basis, specific discipline matters within the ASP are supervised by two Discipline Leaders appointed as specialist academics in geosciences and in engineering and management.
  • Links to the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences have been further strengthened by the appointment of the ASP's Geoscience Discipline Leader to the Mawson Chair in Geology.


  • To provide high quality training for undergraduate and postgraduate students, and industry professionals
  • To perform applied research, with the overall aim of understanding and reducing risk for the petroleum industry
  • To foster cooperation between the petroleum industry, academia and government, for mutual benefit, and of the society at large

Go to the University of Adelaide website.
Go to the Australian School of Petroleum website.


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