Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


UpComing this month
Previous month Previous day
Next day Next month

Graduate Seminar - Dr. Zuleima Karpyn


Monday, March 21, 2016


03:00pm - 04:00pm


CPE 2.204


Speaker:  Dr. Zuleima Karpyn, Associate Professor and Quentin and Louise Wood Endowed Faculty Fellow - The Pennsylvania State University

Seminar Title: “Fracture opening and self-sealing behavior and its impact on wellbore cement integrity”


An important risk factor associated with geologic storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) is the seal integrity of abandoned wells, especially when storing CO2 in depleted oil and gas reservoirs. Any loss of seal integrity may cause undesirable migration, leakage of CO2, and reduction of CO2 storage effectiveness. In this work, we investigate the chemical degradation of cement exposed to carbonated water under conditions relevant to geologic carbon sequestration. A series of reactive flow-through experiments were conducted on fractured and non-fractured cement-rock samples. We also present a process-based model to explore parameters controlling the self-sealing and fracture opening behavior of cement fractures.

Results suggests a narrow threshold separating the fracture opening and self-sealing behavior.  Sensitivity analysis showed that residence time and the size of initial fracture aperture control the tendency to self-heal or opening and therefore, determine the long-term integrity of the wellbore cement. 


Zuleima Karpyn is Associate Professor and Quentin and Louise Wood Endowed Faculty Fellow in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.  Dr. Karpyn specializes on multiphase flow and transport in porous media, and X-ray computed tomography. Areas of application include unconventional resource characterization, reservoir engineering, underground hydrology, and environmental remediation.  She holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Universidad Central de Venezuela, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in petroleum and natural gas engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.  Dr. Karpyn is a recipient of the 2008 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award granted by the National Science Foundation, the 2010 Wilson Award for Excellence in Teaching, she is Foundation CMG co-Chair in Fluid Behavior and Rock Interactions since 2014, and 2016-17 Fulbright U.S. Scholar.  She has also served as Associate Editor of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal (2009-2014), and as assistant Editor-in-chief for the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering since 2014.