Q-con is an independent engineering consultancy and service company in the energy industry focusing on subsurface reservoirs. In addition to numerical simulations of reservoir processes, the company is specialized in all types of seismicity induced by operations such as hydraulic fracturing, oil and gas production, mining, geothermal reservoir stimulation and production, waste water disposal and CCS. Q-con is a leading provider of induced seismicitiy hazard assessment in the energy sector on an international level. Additionally, Q-con has long-standing expertise in seismic monitoring of geothermal reservoirs and the processing of microseismic data. Q-con was involved in the largest enhanced geothermal projects (e.g. Soultz-sous-Forêts, Cooper Basin, DHM Basel, Bad Urach, GeneSys, etc.), frequently in a leading position.
Role in the Project
Within the S4CE project, Q-con is developing numerical models, where subsurface fluid flow in a geothermal reservoir is calibrated by induced seismicity observations. Based on measured (seismogram) data, induced earthquakes are being used as in situ pressure gauges, which is called ‘seismo-hydraulic pressure mapping (SHPM)’. In addition to high resolution mapping of the induced seismicity, earthquake source parameters need to be determined. These seismicity observations serve as input for numerical FE models of fluid flow and co-seismic stress redistributions. The underlying workflow is developed within the S4CE project and will be applied to the United Downs geothermal project at Cornwall (UK). It is expected that the SHPM method can be generally applied to all geothermal and hydrocarbon reservoirs, where seismicity is induced by fluid injection. The method will be useful for reservoir characterization, reservoir engineering and reducing seismic risks of geothermal and hydrocarbon projects.
The SHPM method is developed and applied by a team of Q-con’s scientific experts. Task leaders are Dr. Stefan Baisch (responsible for SHPM method), Dr. Robert Vörös (responsible for numerical model implementation), Dr. Elmar Rothert (responsible for seismic data processing) and Pia Carstens (responsible for geomechanical analysis).
In 2003, Dr. Robert Vörös joined Q-con. He is responsible for numerical reservoir simulations and has developed novel approaches for physics-based simulations of induced earthquakes.
Dr. Elmar Rothert joined Q-con in 2006. Being the head of the seismology group, he has processed and interpreted hundred thousands of induced earthquakes.
Pia Carstens joined Q-con in 2012. With a strong geophysical background, she has developed and applied geomechanical analyses in the context of seismic risk assessment.