Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Jon Olson

Photo of Olson, Jon

Department Chair and Professor

Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Chair and Frank W. Jessen Professor

Phone: (512) 471-7375, (512) 471-3161
Office: CPE 5.168B, CPE 2.502

Research Website:

Research Areas: Reservoir Geomechanics, Hydraulic Fracturing, Induced Seismicity, Naturally Fractured Reservoir Characterization, Unconventional Resources

Educational Qualifications:

B.S., Civil Engineering, B.S., Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 1984, magna cum laude

Ph.D., Applied Earth Sciences, Stanford University, 1991.

PGE Courses Taught:

PGE 334 (Reservoir geomechanics)

PGE 301 (Engineering, energy, the environment)

PGE 301 (Laboratory)

PGE 379 (Hydraulic fracture design and evaluation)

Research: My research currently focuses on production optimization and environmental impact issues related to hydraulic fracturing and unconventional oil and gas development.  My students and I work on problems of induced seismicity, physical and numerical modelling of hydraulic fracture propagation from horizontal wells, the interaction of hydraulic fractures with natural fractures, shear-enhanced permeability due to deformation in heavy oil reservoirs stimulated by steam injection, modelling production from unconventional gas and oil reservoirs, wellbore stability and reservoir compaction and subsidence. I also continue to do work in quantitative structural geology related to natural fracture characterization.

Awards & Honors:

SPE Distinguished Member Award, 2016

Frank W. Jessen Professor in Petroleum Engineering, 2015-present.

The Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Chair, 2015-present.

George H. Fancher Professorship in Petroleum Engineering, 2014-2015.

SPE Distinguished Lecturer, 2014-2015 tour.

AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, 2007-2008 tour.

Michel T. Halbouty ’30 Visiting Chair in Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University, Fall 2005.

Halliburton Faculty Award, 2000.

Halliburton/Brown & Root Young Faculty Award, 1998.

Anadarko Fellowship #2 in Petroleum Engineering, 1996-2014.

Highlighted Publications and Google Scholar Profile:

Wu, Kan, Olson, J.E., 2014, “Investigation of Critical In Situ and Injection Factors in Multi-Frac Treatments: Guidelines for Controlling Fracture Complexity,” SPE Productions and Operations.

Dahi-Taleghani, Arash, Olson, J.E., 2013, “How Natural Fractures Could Affect Hydraulic Fracture Geometry,” SPE Journal.

Sheibani, F., and Olson, J.E. , 2013, “Stress Intensity Factor Determination for Three-Dimensional Crack Using the Displacement Discontinuity Method with Applications to Hydraulic Fracture Height Growth and Non-Planar Propagation Paths,” International Conference for Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing (HF2013), Brisbane, Australia, May 22 - 23.

Wang, W, Olson. J.E., and Prodanović, M., 2013, “Natural and Hydraulic Fracture Interaction Study Based on Semi-Circular Bending Experiments,” URTeC 1576910, presented at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference held in Denver, Colorado, August 12-14.

Bahorich, B., Olson, J.E., and Holder, J. , 2012, “Examining the Effect of Cemented Natural Fractures on Hydraulic Fracture Propagation in Hydrostone Block Experiments,” SPE 160197, presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 8-10.

Park, N., Olson, J.E., and Holder, J., 2010 (June), “The Application of Stress Corrosion Cracking to Time Dependent Shale Stability”, SPE Drilling and Completions.

Bryant, Steven L. and Olson, Jon E., 2010 (March), “Training carbon management engineers: removing a major hurdle for geologic CO2 storage by increasing educational capacity”, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.

Olson, J.E., Laubach, S.E., and Lander, R.H., 2009 (Nov.), “Natural fracture characterization in tight gas sandstones: Integrating mechanics and diagenesis”, AAPG Bulletin.

Philip, Zeno, Jennings, James, Olson, Jon, Laubach, Stephen and Holder, Jon, 2005, “Modeling Coupled Fracture-Matrix Fluid Flow in Geomechanically Simulated Fracture Networks,” SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, v. 8(4), p. 300-309.

Olson, Jon E., 2003, "Sublinear scaling of fracture aperture versus length: an exception or the rule?," Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 108(B9), Art. No. 2413.

Du, Jing, and Olson, Jon E., 2001, “A poroelastic reservoir model for predicting subsidence and mapping subsurface pressure fronts,” Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering, v. 30, p. 181-197.