Energi Simulation Industrial Chair Program

Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair

in Reservoir Geomechanics for Unconventional Resources


—Canada’s challenging unconventional resources such as oil sands, bitumen carbonates and tight oil/gas (including shale gas) have advanced significantly in their potential to supply energy to world markets.
—Development of these immense, unique resources will depend on:
  • Efficient, economic extraction technologies;
  • Reduction, storage and/or effective use of CO2;
  • Improved land restoration processes; and
  • Improved understanding of the environmental impact of development including surface and subsurface water.

Our research program investigates the application of soil and rock mechanics for the reservoir geomechanical characterization (at multiple scales), modeling and optimization to advance our fundamental knowledge in these areas and to develop novel technologies and processes to optimize the economic and environmentally sustainable recovery of unconventional resources.

  • shape the science and engineering concepts that underlie the complex behavior associated with unconventional resource recovery.
  • contribute to Alberta and Canada in becoming role models for sustainable and responsible development and utilization of its unconventional resources.
  • create a culture where faculty, graduate, PDFs and undergraduate students work in research teams, blending their in-depth multidisciplinary knowledge.
  • provide a foundation for academe and industry to form long-term, trusted partnerships.
  • —pursue industrial collaboration within research programs extending beyond the development and transfer of technology.
  • —train Highly Qualified Personell and thereby facilitate employment for graduates from our research program.
  • establish a solid platform for future research that will contribute to solutions to meet ongoing and future challenges for recovering Alberta and Canada’s unconventional energy resources.



  1. —In Situ Stress
  2. —Fundamental thermal-hydraulic-(geo)mechanical properties: Oil Sands (primarily in situ – SAGD), Shale (caprock integrity and intraformational shale issues for SAGD), Bitumen Carbonates, Shale Gas, Tight Oil/Gas, and Coal (Underground Gasification of Coal)
  3. —Rock Mass Properties and Behavior
  4. —Numerical Modeling Approaches
  5. —Verification

Research Overview

Our research program offers an environment where reservoir geomechanics research is carried out in a sustained, coordinated and integrated fashion.
—Independent but interrelated research projects are anchored around three major activities:
  • Experimental Investigations;
  • Numerical Modeling; and
  • Field Behavior.

Research Themes

Theme 1: Characterization and Constitutive Behavior
Theme 2: Reservoir Scale Geomechanical Properties
Theme 3: Reservoir Geomechanical Modeling
Theme 4: Field Scale Geomechanics
Theme 5: Optimization