What is KICC?
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The KICC Program: Broad, Deep, Interdisciplinary
The Kansas Interdisciplinary Carbonates Consortium (KICC) is a research and training program specializing in carbonate sediments, rocks and reservoirs. The program is housed in the Department of Geology, Earth Energy and Environment Center at the University of Kansas, and benefits from interactions with the staff of the Tertiary Oil Recovery Program (TORP), Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS).
The program’s focus is on fundamental and applied research on carbonates with industry relevance, including the following:
- Sequence stratigraphic controls on facies distribution in carbonates
- Carbonate diagenetic controls on porosity and permeability
- Geologic reservoir characterization, petrophysics and modeling
- Geophysical signatures of porosity, fractures, fluids, and facies in carbonates
- Carbonate-rich unconventional reservoirs
- Enhanced oil recovery/CO2 sequestration
- Facies distribution and architecture of Holocene carbonates
Level of support
We request funding at a level of $45,000/year/company for full membership in the consortium and access to all deliverable products. All funds will be used for support of the KICC program. The University of Kansas Center for Research has agreed that no overhead will be charged.
Defining Characteristics of the KICC
- Industry relevance. The faculty and staff’s research and teaching cover a complete range of topics, closely aligned to industry-related interests. Faculty have worked in or closely with industry for years, and are actively working on challenges facing industry. See how each project relates to specific industry problems in the following summary.
- Diversity and innovative nature. The program is strongly interdisciplinary, including researchers in modern carbonate sedimentology, seismic imaging, ground penetrating radar, carbonate petrophysics, predictive carbonate diagenesis, quantitative sequence stratigraphy, reservoir modeling and fluid flow simulation, reservoir characterization, geochemistry, paleontology, ichnology and geobiology. The program is among the largest and most diverse of its type in North America. The strong interdisciplinary approach is providing novel insight for better fundamental understanding of carbonate systems. The program has grown in recent years to provide an impressively large and diverse group of students, faculty and researchers.
- Collaborative basis. The KU Department of Geology, Kansas Geological Survey, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Kansas Tertiary Oil Recovery Program (TORP) are known for collaboration; this tradition is evident in the KICC program. Most publications are jointly authored by students and multiple faculty or staff members with differing expertise. The program employs an interdisciplinary approach in which multiple faculty, with diverse backgrounds, commonly work together on research projects and student training. Geochemists, geophysicists, engineers, sedimentologists, and geobiologists all work together in teams to achieve common goals. Although this is not unique among carbonates programs, it is an integral part of the KICC culture, and results in research innovations. KICC faculty know, and students learn, the value of teamwork.
- Student-centered approach. The consortium is a fertile training ground for a large number of students heading to industry with carbonates expertise. Currently, the program has approximately 25 students completing research directly on or related to carbonates. Students from KICC come from a solid community of scholars in which industry is appreciated.
- World-class facilities. Part of being a leader in the field includes developing, utilizing, and applying advanced technology. The consortium includes researchers and students intimately involved with state-of-the-art technology and advanced technology development. The 140,000 ft2 Earth Energy and Environment Center is a state-of-the-art facility focused on integration and outreach to industry partners. Instrumentation includes terrestrial LiDAR, fluid inclusion lab, raman microspectroscopy, stable isotope lab, diagenetic simulation lab, microbe lab, TIMS, laser probe high resolution-ICP-MS, ICPMS, ICP-OES, U-Th/He lab, GC-MS biomarker lab, FIB-SEM with CL and BSE, NMR, SIP, 3D-visualization, micro-CT, advanced PVT, current meters, wave gauges, GPR, and high resolution seismic. Standard industry software packages are used for efficient student training and seamless transfer of results to industry supporters (e.g., Petra and Petraseis, Petrel, PerGeos, Dionysus, CMG-GEM, Eclipse, SMT-Kingdom Suite, Midland Valley Structural Modeling).
- Systematic quantification. A unifying theme of the KICC faculty is their focus on systematically, rigorously, quantitatively addressing controls on depositional process, sequence stratigraphic and diagenetic aspects of carbonates. We go beyond “characterization” to rigorous, systematic, and quantitative approaches and prediction. A central focus is on quantifying important variables, and feeding them into quantitative and conceptual predictive models. The team uses quantitative depositional process and diagenetic data to advance conceptual, forward, inverse, and cellular reservoir models.
- Balance between fundamental and applied. The approach involves a balanced emphasis on both fundamental concepts and practical applications. The fundamentals are proven by funding from agencies such as NSF, and productive students progressing to successful careers in academia, government, and industry research. The practical applications are proven by DOE, RPSEA, and industry funding, a large number of students going on to successful industry careers, and a long and continuing history of providing training for industry through leading short courses, symposia, field trips, and lectures.
- Stepwise into the deep ancient. As a program, KICC is able to take a stepwise approach into understanding ancient reservoirs. Its emphasis on the modern, informs its extensive research on the Miocene and Pliocene. Further research steps back into most time intervals of the deep ancient.
- Engineers, geologists and geophysicists on the same page. Each spring, students characterize a new relatively mature reservoir system for a company. Teams of geologists, geophysicists and engineers work as teams to characterize and model a reservoir, designing a waterflood or some other activity that is presented to the operator. Research projects show similar collaborations.
- Enhanced oil recovery and CO2 sequestration. The program has extensive experience in carbonate systems with several DOE-funded projects.
- Stability and value added. KICC is staffed by investigators who are hard-money funded by the State of Kansas. The University of Kansas Center for Research has agreed to forego overhead charges on KICC membership contributions. Thus, membership funds can be spent directly on enhancing research.