Biography

I have more than 25 years’ experience in the global mining industry in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and Australasia. I hold a BSc Honours from Rhodes University (1992) and an MSc from the University of Johannesburg (2002). I started my career as a gold mine geologist in South Africa which led me to becoming involved in industry-wide underground applied research conducting ground-breaking work on the geological controls on rockmass behaviour on ultra-deep mines. I then moved into consulting, considering commodities such as gold, copper, platinum, zinc, lead, uranium as well as nickel, chrome, iron and coal. The work embraced both the generation of greenfields targets and the enhancement of brownfields and operational objectives.  I am a Competent Person for a variety of base and precious metal deposits for international resource reporting codes.

I decided to undertake my PhD at Keele University as the topic not only allows me to integrate my previous experiences ranging from underground rockmass behavioural studies to mineralised systems in carbonates, but also provides me an opportunity to explore the challenging field of hydrocarbon geology.

Research and scholarship

Project:

The geometry and distribution of thrust-fold-related fractures in limestones: implications for the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the Potwar fold belt, N Pakistan
Carbonate reservoirs host some of the biggest hydrocarbon discoveries worldwide. However, reservoir quality and prospectivity in carbonates is commonly a function of porosity and permeability provided by secondary (post-depositional) characteristics, such as fractures (right), rather than the primary (depositional) characteristics of the matrix. Without the presence of fractures, many carbonates are tight to both oil and gas and do not typically host viable fields. Consequently, the structural geological history of carbonates is an important factor in governing their future reservoir potential. Post-depositional shortening by thin-skinned thrusting produces characteristic fold styles within thrusted blocks that host spectacular fracture networks, thus dramatically increasing reservoir potential.
This project will use high quality field outcrops to define fracture characteristics in folded limestones for fold geometries related to thin-skinned thrust tectonics. Those data will be used to develop generic models of fold-related fractures to provide input for reservoir simulation in thrust-fold-related carbonate reservoirs. The work will be applied to a series of proven hydrocarbon fields in the Potwar Basin of the Pakistani Himalayan foreland where thrust-related anticlines host reservoirs within fractured carbonate rocks.


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