Prof Cathy Hollis


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Reader in Petrophysics and Production Geoscience

Co-ordinator of Carbonate Research within Basin Studies

Petrophysics laboratory supervisor

Former programme Director for BEng/MEng Production Engineering

I am a Reader in Petrophysics & Production Geology, University of Manchester (since 2007), where I co-ordinate Carbonate Research within the Basin Studies Group.  I am a carbonate sedimentologist, specialising in diagenesis and pore system characterisation, with over 15 years postdoctoral experience, primarily within the oil industry. Prior to joining the University of Manchester, I spent 6 years as a consultant carbonate reservoir geologist and Team Leader for Badley Ashton and Associates (1995-2001), before joining Shell International Exploration and Production as a production geologist (2001-2005), Carbonate Team Leader and Subject Matter Expert in carbonate diagenesis (2005- 2007). Research during this time concentrated upon the quantification of sedimentary, diagenetic, petrophysical and structural body geometries for improved hydrocarbon recovery from carbonate reservoirs.  This included management and steer of a world-class program in the characterization and modeling of fractured carbonates.

My current research focuses upon conceptual reconstruction of palaeo- fluid flow during (burial) diagenesis and the impact that post-depositional processes have on pore shape, size and connectivity, particularly

• Fault-and fracture controlled burial diagenesis within syn- and post-rift regimes, with ongoing projects in the Lower Carboniferous of northern England & Wales, Jurassic, Morocco, and Cambrian-Devonian, West Canada Sedimentary Basn.  This work utilizes field, petrographical and low temperature geochemical data to relate the post-depositional modification of carbonate sediments during basin evolution.  It is delivering quantitative geometrical data, conceptual and reactive transport models to explain the timing, shape, size and distribution of diagenetic products.
• Regional trends in porosity modification within Cretaceous (Aptian-Turonian) carbonates of the Middle East and North Africa.  Projects are focused on dolomitisation in the western Mediterranean and porosity modification within the Shuaiba and Mishrif Formations on the Arabian Plate.  Coupled with these studies is an ongoing interest in the quantification of pore shape and size, and the relationship between these parameters, diagenetic history and recovery efficiency in carbonate reservoirs.  I am currently working with colleagues in the School of Materials at University of Manchester to optimize imaging and pore network extraction of microporosity using high-resolution X-ray imaging technology, including synchrotron radiation technology.

I currently supervise 8 PhD students.  I also supervise MSc and MEng students.  My teaching includes modules in Carbonate Sedimentology (masters level), Formation Evaluation and Subsurface Data Analysis (masters and undergraduate). 





BSc (Hons) Geological Sciences, University of Birmingham, 1990

PhD, University of Aberdeen, 1995. 'Burial Diagenetic Events, Hydrocarbon Emplacement and Mineralisation in Dinantian Limestones of Northern Britain'

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