Our Research

At the Australian School of Petroleum and Energy Resources, our research is focused on helping industry and government safely and sustainably discover traditional and future energy resources, whilst accelerating society’s transition to carbon neutrality through fundamental and applied research on carbon capture and storage.

Carbon capture and storage

A new partnership agreement has been created between Chevron Australia and the University of Adelaide in support of carbon capture and storage research, in which Chevron is contributing more than $2 million to the Australian School of Petroleum and Energy Resources (ASPER). Carbon capture and storage (CCS) represents one of the greatest opportunities to meet global net zero ambitions and advance our lower carbon future.

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Our School is ranked 1st place in Australia, and 11th place in the world in the discipline of Petroleum Engineering, whilst our research outputs contribute to the highest possible ratings (5/5 – above world standard) in the ‘Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy’ and ‘Geology’ fields of research in the Australian Government’s Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) assessment.

Our research engagement with industry is evidenced by almost 30% of our papers having an industry co-author, compared to the Australia-wide average of 2.3%. Much of our research is funded by industry through consortia, research contracts or the ARC Linkage Program, with funded projects providing opportunities for student placements, scholarships and work experience. We also have close research ties to leading scientific organisations including Geoscience Australia, CSIRO and CO2CRC Ltd.

Housed within the University of Adelaide’s purpose built Santos Petroleum Engineering Building, our students and staff benefit from extensive research and teaching facilities, including world-leading experimental fluid flow laboratories, high-performance computing facilities and modern learning spaces.

Our research - Australian School of Petroleum

Higher degrees by research

We offer two postgraduate research degrees:

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) is a two-year full-time (or part-time commitment), and teaches you about applying research methodology to critically evaluate literature and results in your field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is our flagship research award and is the standard qualification for a research career or academic position.

By studying a research degree with the Australian School of Petroleum and Energy Resources, you can undertake a research project in an area of interest.

In either degree you’ll be supported by one of our research supervisors.

Find out more about higher degrees by research

Our research capabilities

Our award-winning researchers have extensive experience in the sustainable management of the subsurface and its resources, with major impacts on engineering, reservoir characterisation, economic and psychological approaches to business decision making and carbon geostorage within South Australia, nationally and internationally.

The school has particular expertise across the following areas:

Subsurface gas storage

Our research provides capabilities that fundamentally address the foundational pillars of the energy transition: Energy Security (methane), Emissions Reduction (carbon dioxide) and Future Fuels (hydrogen).

Subsurface gas storage

Formation Damage and Enhanced Oil-Gas Recovery

Our research examines various forms of modelling to control and enhance the flow, migration and recovery of hydrocarbon resources.

Formation Damage and Enhanced Oil-Gas Recovery

Petroleum Engineering

We focus on the practical application of physics, mathematics, chemistry and geology to petroleum recovery.

Petroleum Engineering

Petroleum Geoscience

We investigate subsurface energy resources’ exploration, recovery, development and management.

Petroleum Geoscience

Stress, Structure and Seismic

Our team seeks to understand the key tectonic processes in sedimentary basins, and identify and recover petroleum, geothermal and unconventional resources.

Stress, Structure and Seismic

Normative and Behavioural Approaches to Decision Making

Our research explores the cognitive, motivational and analytical processes affecting people’s judgements, how they value things and, their choices.

Normative and Behavioural Approaches to Decision Making