Subsurface management

In view of the exploration, utilization and protection of the subsurface the section Fluid Systems Modelling contributes to the future and required field of “subsurface management” in regard of the behaviour of water and other fluids with solid rock in the deeper subsurface. The challenge of the next decades consists in developing a holistic concept along with the technologies and tools required for the sustainable exploitation of georesources. This, also taking into consideration that the subsurface will be at our disposal only once.

In the centre of study interest are ore, crude oil, natural gas and coal deposits, as well as the utilization of geothermal energy, or the storage of gas, carbon dioxide and energy. Successful subsurface management relies on the interdisciplinary collaboration among geology, geochemistry, geophysics, geological engineering, mineralogy, geoinformatics, drilling engineering and hydrogeology.

The multidimensional anthropogenic exploitation of the subsurface has to find solutions to the issues of technical, resource-saving, and environment-friendly feasibility, also against the background of economic analysis. Particularly the exploitation of deposits and storage locations requires a detailed economic analysis. The costs incurred in this context vary strongly, depending on the available infrastructure and the structure of the subsurface. They usually cause the major share of the total costs for such projects. Costs related to storage operations or accompanying monitoring activities are site-specific. The object of planning-related profitability analyses, which take into consideration the prevailing location factors, consists in the determination of the feasibility and the cost-effectiveness of the projects, also in the context of conflicts how to use subsurface structures.

The section Fluid Systems Modelling contributes with its expertise of computer-based assessment and prognosis to the protection of resources and the environment. The technical and economic decision-making process, including the sustainable exploitation of georesources and the protection of others (e.g. groundwater), is controlled with the aid of intelligent management platforms.