Excellence in Education and Research: An Adaptive and Integrative Approach for E&P

College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences, KFUPM
Dhahran, KSA



The next generation of Exploration and Production (E&P) professionals will face rising challenges as the demand for energy increases, and the discovery and recovery of these energy resources become more complex than ever. Success will require innovative adaptation and integration of technologies from industries beyond the current E&P technical portfolio. Meeting these challenges requires involving talented experts from a variety of disciplines who can aid in developing creative problem-solving approaches. To date, the lines of communication and the modes of engagement between the E&P upstream sector and other fields of science and technology remain underutilized. Engagement of other disciplines in such diverse fields as nanotechnology, biotechnology, atmospheric science, biochemistry, neuro- and cognitive science, behavioral science, artificial intelligence, astrophysics, and aerospace science is greatly needed. Traditionally overlooked by the E&P community, the knowledge, tools, and solutions extant in these diverse fields can immediately contribute to solutions to grand challenges we face in the E&P industry.  Correspondingly, professionals from outside the E&P realm likely haven’t been introduced to the complexity of technical challenges faced by the E&P research community.

The objective of this symposium is to provide an opportunity for participants from within and outside the E&P technical environment to share their expert knowledge, promote venues for immediate knowledge sharing, and properly set the stage for long-lasting, mutually beneficial collaborations.


The event aims to attain the following main objectives:

  1. Provide a primer for articulating grand challenges in upstream E&P.
  2. Illustrate similarities of challenges and relevance of solutions between E&P and other fields.
  3. Showcase capabilities and practical applications of science and technology from other fields in addressing challenges in E&P.
  4. Demonstrate the strength of adaptive and integrative approaches from outside the E&P industry, and project a need for such approaches in solving E&P challenges.
  5. Promote networking among E&P industry professionals and academic researchers and scientists from fields outside E&P.
  6. Develop a priority list and a strategy (roadmap) for adapting solutions from other fields


Areas of interest at this event include (see Table 1):

A1: Data Capture and Analytics

The E&P industry is challenged not only by the uncertainty of its data and scarcity of reliable data, but also by a great lack of capacity to mine the data that it collects. Our reservoirs are vast; however, the only data we are collecting with some degree of certainty are those obtained at the wellhead, the wellbore, and in cores. The rest is indirectly measured, for example, from logs and geophones, or predicted/inferred from modeling. The industry sees a strong need to collect more of the right data and mine, more efficiently, the vast data it collects.

A2: High-Resolution Imaging at Different Scales

Hydrocarbon “reservoirs” are made of solid but porous rocks. Advances are sought in deep-formation logging, gravity, seismic, and electromagnetics. The industry’s goal on this front is to achieve improved subsurface images of rocks and fluids, as well as bridging the information gap between wells that are commonly spaced 1000 m apart or more. We seek to generate clear imagery of the intricate pore networks in the reservoir rock at a variety of scales, using non-intrusive means, to better explore for and recover hydrocarbons.

A3: Coupled Processes and Reactive Transport

Modeling of coupled reactive-transport processes in porous media is important in several fields of geoscience, geoengineering, and materials science. Coupled numerical models represent the fundamental physics of geoengineering processes and include, among others, hydrological, thermal, mechanical, and biogeochemical effects.  An in-depth understanding of these coupled processes is critical for properly assessing the performance of wellbore stability, matrix acidizing, EOR processes, and deep sedimentary basin modeling over long time scales, to name a few.  

A4: Colloid Science and Molecular and Bioengineering

It is hoped that by employing nanotechnology in drilling, completion, stimulation, and injection fluids, one can drill faster, prevent or remove near wellbore damage, mineback hydraulic fractures, plug water-thief zones, reduce waterflood fingering, enhance oil production, and prevent water breakthroughs. In-situ molecular manipulation of contents of challenging reservoirs (e.g., oil upgrading) will allow the reservoir to be produced more efficiently. Biotechnology will provide a venue to adapt functionalities from nature to perfect nano-agent engineering for E&P use. The capabilities become limitless with the possibility of having functionalized molecular agents and “machines” that illuminate the reservoir and intervene to alter adverse transport conditions.



Sunday, October 15 Monday, October 16 Tuesday, October 17
08:00 to 09:00 Shaybah Field Trip
09:00 to 10:00 Keynote: Grand Challenges in E&P A4: Colloids and Molecular Engineering Shaybah Field Trip
10:00 to 11:00 A1: Data Capturing and Analytics A4: Colloids and Molecular Engineering Shaybah Trip
11:00 to 12:00 A1: Data Capturing and Analytics A4: Colloids and Molecular Engineering Shaybah Trip
12:00 to 13:00 Lunch Lunch Shaybah Trip
13:00 to 14:00 A2: Imaging at Different scales Parallel Breakout Sessions Shaybah Trip
14:00 to 15:00 A2: Imaging at Different scales Parallel Breakout Sessions Shaybah Trip
15:00 to 16:00 A3: Coupled Processes Breakout Summary Shaybah Trip
16:00 to 17:00 A3: Coupled Processes Breakout Summary Shaybah Trip
Shaybah Trip
19:00 to 21:00 Dinner: CPG Terrace Dinner: Cultural Center Shaybah Trip


The College of Petroleum Engineering & Geosciences (CPG) at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) is organizing this event. CPG is dedicated to stimulating innovative research endeavors coupled with world-class education. We strive to equip CPG students with creative, quantitative, adaptive, and integrative skills to meet the rising challenges in E&P. In the very near future, students in petroleum engineering and geosciences will develop expertise in multiple fundamental disciplines and combine these with in-depth research to create innovative knowledge to advance the forefront of our industry’s ever-changing landscape.

Section Relevant Fields/Applications Link to E&P
Data Capture and Analytics Uncertainty Quantification Climatology
Astronomy/Astrophysics Space/Aerospace
Artificial Intelligence Machine Learning
Cognitive Science
Geoinformatics Intelligent-Field Reservoir
Management Computational Validation
Seismic Interpretation Prediction,
Mitigation, Monitoring
High Resolution Imaging at
Different Scales
Inverse Problem, FWI NMR, MRI, MT
Computer Gaming Imagery VR, AR
Digital Rock Physics Formation Evaluation,
PP Mapping Fluid Flow Saturation Mapping
Reservoir Monitoring XWEM, BSEM, MT,
Borehole Gravity
Coupled Processes and
Reactive Transport
CO2 Sequestration Biochemistry Bioenergetics,
Metabolic Reactions Nuclear Waste Repositories
Biomedical Poromechanics
Geomechanics Wellbore Stability
Acidizing, CO2 EOR
Reservoir & Basin Modeling
Colloid Science and Molecular
and Bio-Engineering
Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Electrokinetics,
Microfluidics, Extremophiles, Drug Devlivery,
Reservoir nanoagents Smart completion
fluids Self-healing materials Bio-inspired