Professor Jim Underschultz

Honorary Professor

UQ Centre for Natural Gas
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Overview

With >35 years of experience, more than 100 publications on the subject, Jim has built a reputation in petroleum hydrogeology, unconventional hydrocarbons and carbon storage research. He is currently President of Petroleum Hydrogeology International and is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland. He is Science Leader Storage for ANLEC R&D, Chair of the Geotechnical Reference Group for the CTSCo Surat CCS Project and sits on the Science Advisory Committee for the Peter Cook Centre for CCS Research. Previously, Jim was Professorial Chair of Petroleum Hydrodynamics at the University of Queensland with the Centre for Coal Seam Gas. He was General Manager Science for ANLEC R&D with an annual research budget of ~$18 million AUS applied to more than 50 active research projects supporting Australia’s CCS demonstration. He was CSIRO Theme Leader for the Unconventional Petroleum and Geothermal Energy R&D program with more than 50 Full Time Equivalents and an annual budget of ~$16 million/yr AUS. He sat on the Sustainable Energy for the Square Kilometre Array geothermal project control group, the Australian Mirror Committee of ISO for Carbon Capture and Storage and he managed the hydrodynamics and geochemistry discipline group within the Australian Cooperative Research Centre on CO2 (CO2CRC). Recently, Jim’s research has focused on petroleum hydrodynamics of faulted strata and the incorporation of hydrodynamics into seals analysis (both top and fault seal). His research has varied application to conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, geothermal energy, mining and carbon storage. Jim has an interest in measurement, monitoring and verification (MM&V) systems for assessing reservoir and seal performance. He gained practical field experience on the design and implementation of MM&V strategies for SECARB Cranfield, Otway, Frio and In Salah carbon storage projects. Jim has advised the Canadian, New Zealand, Victorian and West Australian governments and Chevron on carbon storage projects and research programs. Jim has had media training whilst at the University of Queensland and CSIRO, he has experience with community engagement, senate estimates inquiries, and he has worked extensively with executive management teams and Boards of Directors. He has >2100 citations, an h-index of 24 and an i10-index of 51 on Google Scholar.

Jim Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jim-underschultz/86/737/553

Jim ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jim_Underschultz

Research Interests

  • Fluid flow in porous media and hydrodynamic seals analysis
    Recently Jim’s research has focused on petroleum hydrodynamics of faulted strata and the incorporation of hydrodynamics into seals analysis with application to both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons, geothermal energy and carbon storage. At the Centre for Coal Seam Gas Jim has an interest in research on: - CSG Reservoir performance and compartmenalisation - CSG water quality forecasting - Hydrodynamic systems analysis

Research Impacts

Jim's early research in Canada, pioneered the characterisation of hydrodynamic systems in thrust fold belts that contributed to successful development of some Canadian foothills conventional gas discoveries.

Jim's work on the initial assessment of coal bed methane potential in Alberta helped form the pre-competative data that provided the foundation of a new resource type to be developed. His work on faults and hydrodynamics brought him to Australia to assist in the first hydrodynamic assessment of Australia's NW Shelf that provided industry a basis for pre-drill de-risking of fault seals.

Jim translated his knowledge of seals analysis unconventional gas to applications for Carbon Storage, teaming up with Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and participating in the Frio carbon storage pilot in Texas.

His experience provided him the opportunity to take a leading role in the development of carbon storage research in Australia, including the design and execution of Australia’s first carbon storage demonstration at the CO2CRC Otway site in Victoria. The success of Otway led to Australia's investment in the CCS Flagship program.

Jim's current research associated with hydrodynamic processes relating to Coal Seam Gas in Australia is helping lay the foundation for de-risking uncertainty in production performance and aquifer integrity. This supports Australia's ability to capture a share of the rapidly developing international gas market and enables a global shift from coal to gas.

Qualifications

  • Masters (Coursework) of Science, University of Alberta
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Alberta

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Available Projects

  • UQ collaboration with the CSIRO

    Sedimentary basins host important groundwater resources in Australia. Due to their large size, groundwater can be important to multiple users from multiple industries, including the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry. Regional scale groundwater modelling is critical to understand water movement within sedimentary basins and to predict cumulative impacts from groundwater pumping on water users and the environment.

    Regional groundwater models are based on hydrogeological conceptualisations developed using 3D geological models and knowledge of aquifer and aquitard properties and boundary conditions. However, the representation of geological structures such as faults and the hydraulic property attribution of aquifers and aquitards in groundwater models are often informed by sparse data, resulting in large scale uncertainties of the model impact predictions.

    Available PHD Topic: Characterisation and parameterisation of uncertainty induced by faults in regional groundwater models

    This PhD project will focus on the characterisation and representation of the macroscopic hydraulic properties of faults in regional scale groundwater models and quantification of associated uncertainties. The student will apply methods from groundwater and petroleum system approaches for solving a real-world problem of quantifying uncertainty induced by geological structures in the simulation of hydrological variables using a regional scale groundwater model in co-operation with Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), University of Queensland (UQ) and CSIRO.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Mehreen, Syeda U. and Underschultz, Jim R. (2018). Economic synergies from tighter agri-business and coal seam gas integration. Agriculture Value Chain. (pp. 199-224) edited by Gokhan Egilmez. London, United Kingdom: InTechOpen. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.73195

  • Underschultz, Jim, Dodds, Kevin, Michael, Karsten , Sharma, Sandeep , Wall, Terry and Whittaker, Steve (2017). Carbon capture and storage. Sustainability in the mineral and energy sectors. (pp. 437-452) edited by Sheila Devasahayam, Kim Dowling and Manoj K. Mahapatra. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781315369853-23

  • Underschultz, Jim (2017). Unconventional gas. Sustainability in the mineral and energy sectors. (pp. 545-560) edited by Sheila Devasahayam, Kim Dowling and Manoj K. Mahapatra. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781315369853-28

  • Langhi, Laurent, Zhang, Yanhua, Gartrell, Anthony, Brincat, Mark P., Lisk, Mark, Underschultz, Jim and Dewhurst, David (2013). Mechanism of Upfault Seepage and Seismic Expression of Hydrocarbon Discharge Sites from the Timor Sea. Hydrocarbon Seepage: From Source to Surface. (pp. 11-41) edited by Fred Aminzadeh, Timothy B. Berge and David L. Connolly. Tulsa, OK, United States: Society of Exploration Geophysicists. doi: 10.1190/1.9781560803119.ch2

  • Ennis-King, Jonathan, Bradshaw, John, Gibson-Poole, Catherine, Hennig, Allison, Lang, Simon, Paterson, Lincoln, Root, Robert, Sayers, Jacques, Spencer, Lynton, Streit, Jürgen and Undershultz, Jim (2005). Long-term numerical simulation of a portfolio of possible sites for geological storage of carbon dioxide in Australia. Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies. (pp. 711-719) Elsevier Ltd. doi: 10.1016/B978-008044704-9/50072-0

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

  • Honari, Vahab, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Appraisal well test design. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Rodger, Iain, Harfoush, Ahmed and Underschultz, Jim (2019). CO2 injection sensitivity study. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Honari, Vahab, Harfoush, Ahmed, Underschultz, Jim and Wolhuter, Alexandra (2019). DST analysis. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • La Croix, Andrew, He, Jianhua, Wang, Jiahao and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Facies prediction from well logs in the Precipice Sandstone and Evergreen Formation in the Surat Basin. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Sedaghat, Mohammad, Pearce, Julie, Underschultz, Jim and Hayes, Phil (2019). Flow modelling of the managed aquifer recharge areas. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Ribeiro, Ayrton Soares , Rodger, Iain and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Fluid model. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • La Croix, Andrew, Wang, Jiahao and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Integrated facies analysis of the Precipice Sandstone and Evergreen Formation in the Surat Basin. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Garnett, Andrew and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Methodology for assessment of dynamic capacity. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Pearce, Julie, Underschultz, Jim and La Croix, Andrew (2019). Mineralogy, geochemical CO2-water-rock reactions and associated characterisation. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Honari, Vahab, Gonzalez, Sebastian, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Moonie oil field history match and re-evaluation. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Rodger, Iain, Sedaghat, Mohammad and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Multiphase behaviour – relative permeability and capillary pressures. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Wolhuter, Alexandra, Garnett, Andrew and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Notional injection site identification report. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Ribeiro, Ayrton Soares, Rodger, Iain, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Notional injection sites – injection scenarios. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Rodger, Iain, Garnett, Andrew and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Notional injection well design. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Wolhuter, Alexandra, Garnett, Andrew and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Notional pipeline route analysis. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • La Croix, Andrew, Hannaford, Carey and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Palynological analysis of the Precipice Sandstone and Evergreen Formation in the Surat Basin. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Hayes, Phil, Nicol, Chris and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Precipice sandstone hydraulic property estimation from observed MAR responses. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Rodger, Iain, Altaf, Ifti, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Pressure constraints on injection. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Hayes, Phil, Nicol, Chris and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Regional groundwater model. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Gonzalez, Sebastian, Harfoush, Ahmed, La Croix, Andrew, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Regional static model. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Honari, Vahab, Garnett, Andrew and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Risk register report. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Garnett, Andrew, Underschultz, Jim, Ashworth, Peta, Honari, Vahab and Johnson, Ray (2019). Scoping study for material carbon abatement via carbon capture and storage: China engagement: Special edition. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Garnett, Andrew, Underschultz, Jim and Ashworth, Peta (2019). Scoping study for material carbon abatement via carbon capture and storage: Executive summary. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Garnett, Andrew, Underschultz, Jim and Ashworth, Peta (2019). Scoping study for material carbon abatement via carbon capture and storage: Extended socio-economic-technical summary. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Garnett, Andrew, Underschultz, Jim and Ashworth, Peta (2019). Scoping study for material carbon abatement via carbon capture and storage: Project report. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Rodger, Iain, Gonzalez, Sebastian and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Sector model for carbon dioxide injection simulations – gridding and upscaling. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • La Croix, Andrew, Harfoush, Ahmed, Rodger, Iain and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Sector-scale static reservoir modelling of the basin-centre in the Surat Basin. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Gonzalez, Sebastian, Harfoush, Ahmed, La Croix, Andrew and Underschultz, Jim (2019). Seismic files: data set. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Gonzalez, Sebastian, He, Jianhua, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Seismic interpretation – geophysics. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • La Croix, Andrew, Wang, Jiahao, Gonzalez, Sebastian, He, Jianhua, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Sequence stratigraphy of the Precipice Sandstone and Evergreen Formation in the Surat Basin. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Rodger, Iain, La Croix, Andrew, Underschultz, Jim and Garnett, Andrew (2019). Transition zone behaviour test models. The University of Queensland Surat Deep Aquifer Appraisal Project (UQ-SDAAP) Brisbane, Australia: The University of Queensland.

  • Khan, C., Pearce, J. K., Zhou, F., Wolhuter, A., Golding, S. D. and Underschultz, J. (2018). Using managed aquifer recharge for carbon storage: a feasibility study 7-1115-0268. Barton, ACT Australia: ANLEC R&D.

  • Barson, D, Bartlett, R, Hein, F, Fowler, M, Grasby, S, Reidiger, C and Underschultz, J (2000). Hydrogeology of heavy oil and tar sand deposits: water flow and supply, migration and degradation, field trip notes. Natural Resources Canada/ESS/Scientific and Technical Publishing Services.

  • Hitchon, B., Sauveplane, C. M., Underschultz, J. R. and Bachu, S. (1989). Hydrogeology, geopressures, and hydrocarbon occurrences, Beaufort - Mackenzie Basin. Natural Resources Canada/ESS/Scientific and Technical Publishing Services.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • UQ collaboration with the CSIRO

    Sedimentary basins host important groundwater resources in Australia. Due to their large size, groundwater can be important to multiple users from multiple industries, including the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry. Regional scale groundwater modelling is critical to understand water movement within sedimentary basins and to predict cumulative impacts from groundwater pumping on water users and the environment.

    Regional groundwater models are based on hydrogeological conceptualisations developed using 3D geological models and knowledge of aquifer and aquitard properties and boundary conditions. However, the representation of geological structures such as faults and the hydraulic property attribution of aquifers and aquitards in groundwater models are often informed by sparse data, resulting in large scale uncertainties of the model impact predictions.

    Available PHD Topic: Characterisation and parameterisation of uncertainty induced by faults in regional groundwater models

    This PhD project will focus on the characterisation and representation of the macroscopic hydraulic properties of faults in regional scale groundwater models and quantification of associated uncertainties. The student will apply methods from groundwater and petroleum system approaches for solving a real-world problem of quantifying uncertainty induced by geological structures in the simulation of hydrological variables using a regional scale groundwater model in co-operation with Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), University of Queensland (UQ) and CSIRO.