Skip to main content
Ebrahim Fathi
Associate Professor, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering



My past six years of research effort focused on hydraulic fracturing in unconventional resources and application of data science to engineering-based problems such as those in unconventional reservoirs and computational fluid dynamics.  

I have been working with the largest gas producer in US in “Developing data-driven models for completion design optimization to enhance overall NPV of Marcellus shale” and major drilling company in "Drilling Performance Monitoring and Optimization Using Artificial Intelligence Algorithms".  I have also worked with different Gas Companies on “Application of Machine Learning in Prediction and Quantification of Well Interference “Frac-Hit” in Marcellus Shale” and  “Predicting Fracture Treating Index Using Machine Learning”. I have also heavily involved in well completion and stimulation studies using multistage hydraulic fracturing in Marcellus shale and developing comprehensive, smart system for Real-Time assessment of hydraulic fracturing performance using the Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) and Distributed Temperature Sensor (DTS) signals in Marcellus shale funded by DOE through MSEEL project. 

I have also expanded my research area in application of data science in computational fluid dynamics to target more funding agencies. I have worked on supported projects titled “Developing a smart proxy for fluidized bed using machine learning” and “Developing Third-Generation reduced order models ROMs for reservoir behavior”. I have also awarded internal funding PSCoR to expand my research in the area of data science application in fluid dynamics problems specially "Development of Smart Proxy Drag Models”. I am also working in a multidisciplinary project on “Developing an integrated multi-scale model for turbulent reactive flows”.


  1. 1. Predication of Fault Reactivation in Hydraulic Fracturing of Horizontal Wells in Shale Gas Reservoirs

    Sponsoring Agency: Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America; total estimated cost: $1,098,628.00


    The overall objective is to develop a fundamental basis for characterization of geomechanical performance of shale gas reservoirs in the process of hydraulic fracturing stimulation. This project focuses on predicting fault reactivation (shear slippage) and improving effectiveness of hydraulic fracturing stimulation to enhance production of horizontal gas shale wells, targeting the Marcellus shale in the Appalachian Basin. Four specific objectives are proposed: (1) to assess the reactivation potentials of faults by identifying the in-situ stress conditions of faults nearby fracture treatment wells, (2) to develop a propagation model for multiple fractures simultaneously created, (3) to characterize the stress state changes of fault and near-fault zones, and predict fault slippage due to hydraulic fracturing, and (4) to optimize fracture design avoiding reactivation of faults.

  2. 2. Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory

    Sponsoring Agency: National Energy Technology Laboratory


    The objective of the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory is to provide a long-term field site to develop and validate new knowledge and technology to improve recovery efficiency and minimize environmental implications of unconventional resource development.

  3. 3. Develop Third-generation ROMs for Reservoir Behavior

    Sponsoring Agency: URS-NETL; total estimated cost: $76,600.00


    Primary considerations in subsurface sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide are the knowledge on gas storability of geological formation, area of review and post-injection site care embracing risks associated with CO2 leakage and fault reactivation. Our overall goal is to produce reduced-order models that accurately described the predicted evolution of pressure and saturations at the reservoir-seal interface over time based on research- and commercial-grade reservoir simulators. The third generation ROMs will expand the second generation ROMs by accounting for additional reservoir classes (including sites associated with enhanced oil recovery). The final products will consist of a suite of ROMs for pressure and saturation at the reservoir-seal interface (as derived from reservoir simulators) that can be integrated with the structure required by different generation of integrated assessment models.

  4. 4. Shale Gas Reservoir Characterization

    Sponsoring Agency: West Virginia University Research Corporation; total estimated cost: $90,000.00


    In a recent study where we evaluated organic-rich shale gas reservoirs, we argued that pore pressure, temperature and confining stress conditions could lead to changes in shale rock characterization. Thus, a new high-pressure, high-temperature, fully automated experimental setup has been designed and assembled to precisely record the core shale sample pressure and temperature up to 5000 psia and 340 oF under different effective stress conditions. Pore volume, compressibility, permeability and adsorption isotherms can be measured using different gases. In new laboratory technique the gas pycnometry approach based on the Boyle’s law has been extended to five-stage pressure-volume change measurements and a simulation-based history-matching algorithm, i.e., randomized maximum likelihood is proposed to estimate optimized properties of the samples.

    Fath's group discussing research

  5. 5. "Development of Smart Proxy Drag Models for Non-spherical Particles in Assembly "

    Sponsoring Agency: WVU Research Corporation, West Virginia University, $19,126.00. (August 15, 2017-August 1, 2018).

  6. 6. "Developing Data-driven Models for Completion Design Optimization to Enhance Overall NPV of Marcellus Shale"

    Sponsoring Agency: EQT Production Company, $88,557.0 (Oct, 2017-Dec 2018).


    What is being proposed here was to develop a novel data-driven technique based on machine learning technology that can be used for (1) quantifying the impact of reservoir, completion, stimulation, and operation parameters on production, ( 2) identifying the best stimulation and operation practices for new wells, ( 3) indexing and ranking the wells for different purposes including identifying well interference, frac hit and re-frac candidates.