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Staff Profile

Prof Andrew Aplin

Professor of Unconventional Petroleum, Director of CeREES in the Department of Earth Sciences

Contact Prof Andrew Aplin

Biography

2014 – present — Director, Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems

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2013 – present — Professor of Unconventional Petroleum, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Durham

1990 – 2013 — Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Professor of Petroleum Geoscience, Newcastle University

2007 – 2008 — Advisor, Overburden Characterisation, BP (part time)

2001 – present — Honorary Professor, Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot Watt University

1997 – 1999, 2001 – 2002 — Director, Dept. of Fossil Fuels and Environmental Geochemistry, Newcastle University, UK

1994 — Visiting Professor, École Normale Superieure, Paris, France

1984 – 1990 — Inorganic Geochemist, British Petroleum Research Centre

1983 – 1984 — Royal Society European Exchange Fellow, CRPG, Nancy, France.

1983 — Ph.D. Marine Geochemistry, Imperial College, London

1978 — B.Sc. Environmental Science, University of East Anglia

Career Research Highlights

I am a primarily a petroleum geoscientist with a particular interest in shales and mudstones. After PhD and postdoctoral research in marine and isotope geochemistry, I spent several years with BP and many at Newcastle University, before joining the department in 2013. With students and RAs, I have worked on many problems linked to the physical and chemical properties of fine-grained sediments, including seals to petroleum reservoirs and CO2 storage sites, leakage, gas shales, and pore pressure estimation. Aiming to apply high quality science to help answer industrially and societally important questions, much of my work has an industrial context and involves collaboration with a diverse range of earth and other physical scientists. I have been involved with and led several, major Joint Industry Projects, have published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and was awarded the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award for Best Paper in AAPG Bulletin in both 2009 and 2013.

Committee and Society Service

2009 - 2010; Panel Member, United Arab Emirates National Research Foundation

Member, Petromaks Review Committee, Research Council of Norway, 2005, 2006, 2008

Conferences and Workshops

2013; Geochemistry of Energy Theme: Co-convenor, Goldschmidt: Geochemical Society

2012; Geochemistry of Energy Theme: Co-convenor, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers

2012; Organizing committee: Conference on Deep-Water Continental Margins: The final exploration frontier, The Geological Society of London

2008: Co-convenor; EAGE Research Workshop on Shale

2009: Co-convenor; SPE-AAPG-SEG Pore Pressure Workshop

2009; 2012: Co-convenor; EAGE Fault and Top Seal Research Workshop

2010: Convenor; EAGE Research Workshop on Shale

Editorial Roles

2008 - ongoing; Associate Editor, Marine Petroleum Geology

2010 - ongoing; Associate Editor, Petroleum Geoscience

Invited Keynotes

2012; "Shale Petrophysics", Statoil Shale Petrophysics Workshop

2012; "Shale Gas in Europe: Some Key Research Challenges", IGEM European Shale Gas Conference

2011; "Source rocks; Character, Prediction and value, The Geological Society of London

Membership of Organizations and Societies

2003 - ongoing; Member, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers

2006 - ongoing; Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists

2006 - 2012; Member, Geochemical Society

Prizes and Awards

2013; Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award for Best Paper in AAPG Bulletin 2011, American Association of Petroleum Geologists

2009; Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award for Best Paper in AAPG Bulletin 2007, American Association of Petroleum Geologists

Recent and Current Grants

2012 - 2015; GeoPOP Phase 3, £550k, funded by Industry

2010 - 2013; Caprocks Phase 3; £1.1 million; with Leeds, Cardiff and Heriot-Watt Universities, funded by Industry

2009 - 2012; GASH (Shale Gas Europe)., funded by Industry

2008 - 2011; Shale Gas Canada; with Calgary University, funded by Industry

2008 - 2011; CASE Studentship: Origin of ultra-high pore pressure, funded by NERC and Shell

2007 - 2010; Quartz Cementation, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and BP

2006 - 2009; Caprocks: Phase 2; with Heriot-Watt and Cardiff Universities, funded by a consortium of 6 Oil Majors

2005 - 2008; Ph.D. Studentship; Non-mechanical compaction of mudstones, funded by NERC and BP

2005 - 2008; NERC in-kind Grant: "Toward process-based design of passive systems for treatment of acidic mine and spoil heap drainage". Co -PI with Adam Jarvis

2006 - 2008; Caprocks: Phase 2, funded by a consortium of 6 Oil Majors

2004 - 2007; NERC Standard Grant: UK Carbon Capture and Storage Consortium

2002 - 2005; Caprocks: Phase 1. With Heriot-Watt and Cardiff Universities, funded by a consortium of 8 Oil Majors

Recent and Current Grants


2012-2016: Multi-scale Characterisation of the Bakken
Formation, £100k, Statoil

Research Interests

My interests are mainly rooted in petroleum geoscience, although I also have a background in environmental geochemistry. My work focusses especially on fine-grained sediments, including seals to petroleum reservoir and CO2 storage sites, gas/oil shales, fluid flow including leakage and migration.

Research Groups

Department of Earth Sciences

  • Climate and Environmental Change
  • Geoenergy, Resources and Waste

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • Aplin, A.C. & Macquaker, J.H.S. (2010). #20, Getting Started in Shales. AAPG/Datapages.

Chapter in book

  • Aplin, A.C. & Moore, J.K.S. (2016). Observations of pore systems of natural siliciclastic mudstones. In Filling the Gaps - From Microscopic Pore Structures to Transport Properties in Shales. Schäfer, Thorsten, Dohrmann, Reiner & Greenwell, H.C. Clay Minerals Society. 21: 33-44.
  • Bernard, S., Wirth, R., Schreiber, A., Bowen, L., Aplin, A.C., Mathia, E.J., Schulz, H. -M. & Horsfield, B. (2013). FIB-SEM and TEM investigations of an organic-rich shale maturation series (Lower Toarcian Posidonia Shale): Nanoscale pore system and fluid-rock interactions. In Electron microscopy of shale hydrocarbon reservoirs. Camp, W., Diaz, E. & Wawak, B. AAPG. 102: 53-66.

Journal Article

  • Obradors-Prats, J., Rouainia, M., Aplin, A. C. & Crook, A. J. L. (2017). Assessing the implications of tectonic compaction on pore pressure using a coupled geomechanical approach. Marine and Petroleum Geology 79: 31-43.
  • Hattori, G., Trevelyan, J., Augarde, C.E., Coombs, W.M. & Aplin, A.C. (2017). Numerical simulation of fracking in shale rocks: current state and future approaches. Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering 24(2): 281-317.
  • Goodarzi, M., Rouainia, M., Aplin, A.C., Cubillas, P. & de Block, M. (2017). Predicting the elastic response of organic-rich shale using nanoscale measurements and homogenisation methods. Geophysical Prospecting
  • Goulty, N.R., Sargent, C., Andras, P. & Aplin, A.C. (2016). Compaction of diagenetically altered mudstones - Part 1: Mechanical and chemical contributions. Marine and Petroleum Geology 77: 703-713.
  • Mathia, E.J., Bowen, L., Thomas, K.M. & Aplin, A.C. (2016). Evolution of porosity and pore types in organic-rich, calcareous, Lower Toarcian Posidonia Shale. Marine and Petroleum Geology 75: 117-139.
  • Newport, Leo P., Aplin, Andrew C., Gluyas, Jon G., Greenwell, H. Christopher & Gröcke, Darren R. (2016). Geochemical and lithological controls on a potential shale reservoir: Carboniferous Holywell Shale, Wales. Marine and Petroleum Geology 71: 198-210.
  • Goodarzi, M., Rouainia, M. & Aplin A. C. (2016). Numerical evaluation of mean-field homogenisation methods for predicting shale elastic response. Computational Geosciences 20(5): 1109-1122.
  • Obradors-Prats, J., Rouainia, M., Aplin, A.C. & Crook, A.J.L. (2016). Stress and pore pressure histories in complex tectonic settings predicted with coupled geomechanical-fluid flow models. Marine and Petroleum Geology 76: 464-477.
  • Haines, T.J., Neilson, J.E., Healy, D., Michiea, E.A.H. & Aplin, A.C. (2015). The impact of carbonate texture on the quantification of total porosity by image analysis. Computers & Geosciences 85: 112-125.
  • Gasparik, M., Rexer, T.F.T., Aplin, A.C., Billemont, P., DeWeireld,G., Gensterblum, Y., Henry, M., Krooss, B.M., Liu, S., Ma, X., Sakurovs, R., Song, Z., Staib, G., Thomas, K.M., Wang, S. & Zhang, T. (2014). First international inter-laboratory comparison of high-pressure CH4, CO2 and C2H6 sorption isotherms on carbonaceous shales. International Journal of Coal Geology 132: 131-146.
  • Rexer, T.F.T., Mathia, E.J., Aplin, A.C. & Thomas, K.M. (2014). High-pressure methane adsorption and characterization of pores in Posidonia shales and isolated kerogens. Energy & Fuels 28(5): 2886-2901.
  • Armitage, P.J., Worden, R.H., Faulkner, D.R., Aplin, A.C., Butcher, A.R. & Espie, A.A. (2013). Mercia Mudstone Formation caprock to carbon capture and storage sites: petrology and petrophysical characteristics. Journal of the Geological Society 170(1): 119-132.
  • Rexer, T.F., Benham, M.J., Aplin, A.C. & Thomas, K.M. (2013). Methane adsorption on shale under simulated geological temperature and pressure conditions. Energy & Fuels 27(6): 3099–3109.
  • Harwood, J., Aplin, A.C., Fialips, C.I., Iliffe, J.E., Kozdon, R., Ushikubo, T. & Valley, J.W. (2013). Quartz cementation history of sandstones revealed by high resolution SIMS oxygen isotope analysis. Journal of Sedimentary Research 83(7): 522-530.
  • Matthies, R., Aplin, A.C., Boyce, A.J. & Jarvis, A.P. (2012). Geochemical and stable isotopic constraints on the generation and passive treatment of acidic, Fe-SO4 rich waters. Science of The Total Environment 420: 238-249.
  • Matthies, R., Aplin, A.C., Horrocks, B.R. & Mudashiru, L.K. (2012). Occurrence and behaviour of dissolved, nano-particulate and micro-particulate iron in waste waters and treatment systems: new insights from electrochemical analysis. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 14(4): 1174-1181.
  • Tueckmantel, C., Fisher, Q.J., Grattoni, C.A. & Aplin, A.C. (2012). Single- and two-phase fluid flow properties of cataclastic fault rocks in porous sandstone. Marine and Petroleum Geology 29(1): 129-142.
  • Day-Stirrat, R.J., Flemings, P.B., Yao, Y., Aplin, A.C. & van der Pluijm, B.A. (2012). The fabric of consolidation in Gulf of Mexico mudstones. Marine Geology 295-298: 77-85.
  • Armitage, P.J., Faulkner, D.R., Worden, R.H., Aplin, A.C., Butcher, A.R. & Iliffe, J. (2011). Experimental measurement of, and controls on, permeability and permeability anisotropy of caprocks from the CO2 storage project at the Krechba Field, Algeria. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 116(B12 ): B12208.
  • Aplin, A.C. & Macquaker, J.H.S. (2011). Mudstone diversity: origin and implications for source, seal and reservoir properties in petroleum systems. AAPG Bulletin 95(12): 2031-2059.
  • Mudashiru, L.K., Aplin, A.C. & Horrocks, B.R. (2011). Voltammetric methods for the speciation of dissolved iron and determination of Fe-containing nanoparticles in mine-water discharge. Analytical Methods 3(4): 927-936.
  • Yang, Y.L. & Aplin, A.C. (2010). A permeability – porosity relationship for mudstones. Marine and Petroleum Geology 27(8): 1692-1697.
  • Armitage, P.J., Worden, R.H., Faulkner, D.R., Aplin, A.C., Butcher, A.R. & Iliffe, J. (2010). Diagenetic and sedimentary controls on porosity in lower Carboniferous fine-grained lithologies, Krechba field, Algeria; A petrological study of a caprock to a carbon capture site. Marine and Petroleum Geology 27(7): 1395-1410.
  • Day-Stirrat, R.J., Dutton, S., Milliken, K.L., Loucks, R.G., Aplin, A.C., Hillier, S. & van der Pluijm, B.A. (2010). Fabric anisotropy induced by primary depositional variations in the silt/clay ratio in two fine-grained slope fan complexes; Texas Gulf Coast and Northern North Sea. Sedimentary Geology 226(1-4): 42-53.
  • Day-Stirrat, R.J., Milliken, K.L., Dutton, S.P., Loucks, R.G., Hillier, S., Aplin, A.C. & Schleicher, A.M. (2010). Open-system chemical behavior in deep Wilcox Group mudstones, Texas Gulf Coast, USA. Marine and Petroleum Geology 27(9): 1804-1818.
  • Matthies, R., Aplin, A.C. & Jarvis, A.P. (2010). Performance of a passive treatment system for net-acidic coal mine drainage over five years of operation. Science of The Total Environment 408(20): 4877-4885.
  • Morrison, M.I. & Aplin, A.C. (2009). Redox geochemistry in organic-rich sediments of a constructed wetland treating colliery spoil leachate. Applied Geochemistry 24(1): 44-51.
  • Day-Stirrat, R.J, Aplin, A.C., Srodon, J. & van der Pluijm, B.A. (2008). Diagenetic reorientation of phyllosilicate minerals in Paleogene mudstones of the Podhale Basin, southern Poland. Clays and Clay Minerals 56: 98-109.

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  • Oil and gas: Unconventional hydrocarbons including gas shales and shale oil

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