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Departments & Programs


Industrial Affiliate Programs

Industrial affiliate programs are supported by corporate membership fees. These programs provide an avenue for industry to contribute to and sustain research and teaching in the Stanford School of Earth Sciences. Companies receive facilitated access to research programs and to participating faculty and students. Corporate members typically attend annual meetings, receive copies of reports and publications, and have opportunities to recruit students.

Designed to expedite the transfer of knowledge from academia to the larger society, and to facilitate the dialogue between academia and industry, industrial affiliate programs are organized and maintained in ways that preserve the independence and integrity of the university and its academic objectives, while allowing industry partners to contribute to research in which they have long-term interests.

Basin and Petroleum System Modeling Group

Director: Stephan A. Graham
Annual membership: $40,000
Research focus: The Basin and Petroleum System Modeling program seeks to be a recognized center of excellence for training and research in visualization and quantification of the geohistory of basins and petroleum systems by (1) training the next generation of petroleum systems modelers, (2) devising quantitative tools that, in combination with assessment methodology, can be used to rigorously evaluate geologic risk in various petroleum exploration settings, and (3) conducting basic and applied energy-focused research.

Center for Aquifer Simulation

Director: Steven M. Gorelick
Annual membership: $50,000
Research focus: An interdisciplinary program to develop and integrate Earth science and engineering techniques used to analyze and assess contaminant behavior originating from point and non-point sources, in both the unsaturated near surface and the saturated subsurface.

Geothermal Program Affiliates

Director: Roland N. Horne
Annual membership: $20,000
Research focus: Geothermal reservoir engineering to advance the forecasting, evaluation and development of geothermal fields.

Smart Fields

Director: Khalid Aziz
Annual membership: $50,000
Research focus: The real-time monitoring, model updating and optimal control of oil and gas fields is known in the industry by various names, including Smart Fields, i-fields, e-fields, closed-loop reservoir management, etc. Such a system could be implemented in existing fields or in new fields that are developed by using optimization techniques to determine the location, number and type of wells.

Stanford Center for Carbon Storage (SCCS)

Directors: Mark Zoback, Sally Benson and Tony Kovscek
Annual membership: $100,000
Research focus: Enhanced recovery of oil and gas combined with CO2 storage, mixed gas injection processes, the development of monitoring technologies for all classes of geological storage, the characterization of both near-well and distal geochemical processes during CO2 injection, and computational optimization of the design and operation of large projects.

Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity

Director: Mark D. Zoback
Co-Directors: Greg Beroza and Jack Baker
Annual membership: $75,000
Research focus: to address the variety of scientific and operational issues associated with the managing the risk posed by induced and triggered earthquakes.

Stanford Center for Reservoir Forecasting

Director: Jef Caers and Tapan Mukerji
Annual membership: $35,000
Research focus: General problem of reservoir characterization and performance, including forecasting, interpreting reservoir geology and geophysics, geostatistics, reservoir engineering, and simulation.

Stanford Earth Sciences Algorithms and Architectures Initiative (SESAAI)

Director: Biondo Biondi and Hamdi Tchelepi
Annual membership: $20,000
Research focus: (1) Evaluate modern High Performance Computing (HPC) architectures for reservoir-simulation and seismic-imaging algorithms. (2) Develop new algorithms that take advantage of modern HPC architectures. (3) Develop "data streaming" abstractions that facilitate efficient porting of reservoir-simulation and seismic-imaging codes to modern HPC architectures. (4) Influence the future technological offering by Information Technology (IT) companies to better meet needs of reservoir-simulation and seismic-imaging algorithms.

Stanford Exploration Project

Director: Biondo Biondi and Jon Claerbout
Annual membership: $45,000 (continuing sponsor), TBD (new sponsor)
Research focus: 3-D seismic applications such as waveform inversion, velocity estimation by wavefield operators, multidimensional image estimation, and 4-D (time-lapse) reservoir monitoring by passive and active seismic imaging.

Stanford Project on Deep-water Depositional Systems

Director: Stephan A. Graham and Donald R. Lowe
Annual membership: $20,000
Research focus: Study of deep-sea sedimentary deposits (the last, major untapped reservoir of fluid hydrocarbons on our planet) and the geologic processes which produce them.

Stanford Project on Productivity & Injectivity of Horizontal Wells

Director: Khalid Aziz and Louis Durlofsky
Annual membership: $15,000 to $30,000
Research focus: Development of improved methods for predicting the performance of horizontal wells.

Stanford Rock Fracture Project

Director: Atilla Aydin and David Pollard
Annual membership: $30,000
Research focus: Faulting and fracturing of rock problems relevant to oil and gas reservoir charaterization the flow of underground fluids.

Stanford Rockphysics & Borehole Geophysics Project

Director: Gary Mavko
Annual membership: $51,000
Research focus: Properties and processes in rock as related to geophysical exploration, crustal studies, and tectonic and borehole processes.

SUPRI-A (Stanford University Petroleum Research Institute): Thermal Oil Recovery Program

Director: Anthony R. Kovscek
Annual membership: $30,000
Research focus: Recovery of heavy oils by steam injection and in situ combustion.

SUPRI-B (Stanford University Petroleum Research Institute): Reservoir Simulation Affiliates

Director: Khalid Aziz and Hamdi Tchelepi
Annual membership: $30,000
Research focus: Identification and development of numerical techniques, and the use of computers to predict performance of oil recovery processes, especially that of enhanced oil recovery methods.

SUPRI-D (Stanford University Petroleum Research Institute): Well Test Intepretation Affiliates

Director: Roland N. Horne
Annual membership: $20,000
Research focus: Automated methods for well test interpretation.