- Postgraduate Researcher
Jess Franklin is a PhD researcher within the hydrocarbon spoke of iCRAG. Jess graduated with a BSc (Hons first class) in Geology from UCC in 2011 and worked in gold exploration in Canada before joining iCRAG in 2015 under the supervision of Dr. Shane Tyrrell at NUI Galway. Her research aims are to establish clearer links between sandstone provenance and reservoir quality. This will be done through detailed characterisation of Triassic reservoir sandstones using sedimentary analysis, petrography and developing and testing various geochemical techniques, working closely with the Geochemistry platform within the hub. General research interests include sedimentary provenance and petrography.
Natural oil and gas is found in reservoir sandstones buried deep below the earth’s surface. The process of finding and extracting these hydrocarbons can be long and difficult. Sandstones are eroded from mountains and transported by rivers and/or wind before being deposited and buried. My project aims to find a link between reservoir sands and their source area. If we know where the sandstones came from and what path they took before being deposited we can better predict their distribution in the sub surface. In this way we may be able to de-risk hydrocarbon exploration.
Project title: Development of novel sediment tracers: investigating the primary controls on reservoir sandstone quality
The aim of this study is to assess and test the relationship between provenance and sandstone reservoir quality. Rigorous testing and application of integrated provenance techniques coupled with the investigation of the key factors influencing reservoir quality during burial and diagenesis, will identify potential causes of provenance-controlled reservoir sandstone heterogeneity from a micro- to a macro-depositional system scale. This will be achieved through assessment of a well characterised, though heterogeneous, sedimentary system – the Lower Triassic of NW Europe.
A multi-proxy approach is being employed to ensure rigorous provenance analysis linked to detailed assessment of diagenesis. High resolution sampling will be completed to encompass a full range of sedimentary facies and burial depths. Detailed characterisation of the targeted sandstones will be conducted using optical microscopy, SEM and RAMAN microscopy, CL and autophase mapping, with a keen focus on diagenetic phases. Heavy mineral analysis, U-Pb zircon geochronology and Pb isotopic analysis of feldspar are being utilised to identify and constrain the relative contribution from possible source areas. These studies aim to move towards first order quantitative modelling of sedimentary systems and their detrital products to de-risk hydrocarbon exploration
- Postgraduate Researcher
- Energy Security
- Sediment Tracking, Petrography, Pb Isotopic Analysis, Provenance, Sedimentology, SEM