Internship | Microfracture modelling in cement of CCS wells

The success of CCS is critically dependent on preventing any leakages. Microfractures in the cement between the wellbore and the rock could form an important risk. We perform numerical modelling to understand them better.



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

The complete temperature and pressure field during CO2 injection for CCS can be reasonably well calculated. We have many models available for that – as long as the input is available. The behavior of the cement between well tubing and reservoir rock, however, is not so well known. And indeed, it can be one of the weaker barriers against leakage. This is related to the large pressure and temperature changes that my induce microcracks. The microcracks are possible pathways for leakage along the well trajectory.

We want to improve our understanding of these processes through numerical modelling. The input pressures and temperatures are quite well known, but better understanding is warranted of the two-phase flow behavior in these micro-annuli and their mechanical response to those temperatures and pressures. We started a finite-element workflow to simulate this. In the present project, this workflow will be extended, calibrated and applied to a design field case. We expect a one-way coupling to suffice as well leakage should not impact reservoir pressure/tubing conditions much. The model could take into account the impact of creeping formations, and casing eccentricity.

An essential model result is the aperture of the microannulus along the thickness of the caprock through the life of the well. This output then will be input in analytical or numerical methods that calculate the transient CO2 leakage rate along the casing, across the caprock, over the life of the well. The complicated behavior of CO2 requires the use of a two-phase, 2-component model, including evaporation or CO2 dissolution in water.

The project focuses on a particular field case but the tool should be applicable to any other CCS project.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

We are looking for an enthusiastic student with background in earth sciences, with affinity with physics models and mathematics, and experience in programming and numerical modelling.

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; an internship gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your internship and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable internship compensation.

TNO as an employer

The main location where the student will be working will be in the Applied Geoscience department. This is a busy department with many projects across the department borders and projects from outside TNO in many application areas, like geothermal energy, CO2 storage, gas production risks, etc.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

* Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO. 

Contact: Peter Fokker
Phone number: +31 (0)6-528 03539

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now


Dr. Peter Fokker

  • geomechanics
  • reservoir engineering
  • data assimilation
  • subsidence
  • induced seismicity

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