Senior Research Leader Dr. Srikanta Mishra is one of today’s foremost experts on geosystems modeling, uncertainty quantification and integrated system risk assessment. But at heart, he’s a teacher. Whether simply talking to clients or giving a TEDx talk (What the Frack?), Srikanta brings both passion and clear thinking to the complex issues surrounding oil & gas development.
Srikanta leads reservoir modeling and data analytics activities for the Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Services resource group within Battelle’s Energy & Environment business unit. He joined Battelle in 2010 after a distinguished career in environmental consulting and applied research spanning the fields of petroleum reservoir engineering, carbon dioxide sequestration, nuclear waste disposal and water resource management. In 2013, Srikanta was promoted to Senior Research Leader, the highest technical level for scientists and engineers at Battelle. It is an honor reserved for a small group of outstanding solvers at Battelle; only 11 out of approximately 2,000 technical employees currently hold this distinction.
Srikanta’s early work with Battelle focused mainly on geologic carbon sequestration problems. Since then, he has expanded his subsurface modeling and statistical analysis work to other areas including Improved/Enhanced Oil Recovery (IOR/EOR) and hydraulic fracturing. He’s especially interested in finding practical, affordable solutions for smaller oil & gas producers. He says, “Shortly after coming to Battelle, I realized that there were many small oil and gas producers in Ohio and other parts of the country who needed help improving their oil recovery, but did not have much data to support any traditional analyses or modeling studies. Given my background in petroleum engineering and statistics, this was an exciting challenge for me, and that is what we have been working on for the past few years.”
Srikanta’s team is currently setting up a joint industry project to investigate efficient strategies for improving recovery from the oil-rich Utica shale play in Ohio. Several operators have drilled wells in this region, but have not been able to produce oil at economic rates. If successful, the project could provide a significant boost to oil production in the area. He is also working to bring some of the advanced statistical data mining techniques used for national security and health analytics problems at Battelle to the oil and gas domain. “These broader statistical techniques, along with the advanced statistical training that we are beginning to provide for geoscientists, can bring real benefits to the industry,” he says.
Srikanta plans to continue his research to enable greater use of data-driven analytics to support decisions in oil & gas exploration and production operations. He is also very interested in the energy-environment nexus. In the future, he hopes to bring greater understanding to the environmental impacts of oil and gas development so that the industry can put effective risk mitigation and management strategies in place.
Prior to coming to Battelle, Srikanta worked for INTERA, a geosciences and engineering consulting firm in Texas, and served as Adjunct Professor of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Srikanta holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin, and a BTech degree from Indian School of Mines, all in Petroleum Engineering. He is the author of more than 180 technical publications, a regular instructor of short courses on uncertainty analysis and hydro-fracturing related environmental impacts, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Petroleum Science & Engineering.
In his spare time, Srikanta enjoys traveling with his family to foreign lands, experimenting in the kitchen with Indian and Italian cuisines, and conversing in the ancient Indian language Sanskrit.