Portrait of Dr Ben Clennell

Dr Ben Clennell

Dr Ben Clennell: leading CSIRO's petroleum exploration and production research

Dr Ben Clennell's expertise ranges from gas hydrates to marine and structural geology.

  • 26 September 2008 | Updated 31 May 2012

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Ben Clennell leads the Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Theme in CSIRO’s Earth Science and Resource Engineering (CESRE) Division.

Ben has a distinguished record in geological and geophysical research and is an expert in petrophysics, natural gas hydrates in marine environments, hydrodynamics in porous media and more generally in marine and structural geology.

Since joining CESRE, Dr Clennell has set up the Petrophysics laboratories at the Australian Resource Research Centre and the x-ray CT scanning facilities.

He also led the Blue GDP research theme and the subsurface prediction and description research within CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship for several years.

Most recently, Dr Clennell led CSIRO’s Rock Properties Group where he managed the iGEM-4D project, which looks at multiphysics investigations for reservoir management in the Brazilian pre-salt, and contributed to several major projects on shales, such as the SHARC Consortium.

Dr Clennell has worked in close collaboration with partners from the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WA:ERA) at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia, where he also supervises a number of PhD students.


Dr Clennell has eleven years of postdoctoral experience researching and teaching in the areas of marine geology, rock mechanics and rock physical properties at the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds in the United Kingdom (UK).

He worked as a consultant on fault sealing with the Rock Deformation Research Group and participated in two Ocean Drilling Program cruises investigating active tectonics and gas hydrates.

He joined CSIRO in 2003 having spent the prior five years as a visiting Professor at the Universidade Federal de Bahia in Brazil.

During his time in Brazil, he conducted research into petrophysics applications for petroleum geology and hydrogeology, and developed electrical and electrokinetic systems to characterise tight gas sands.

Dr Ben Clennell has over 11 years of experience in marine geology, rock mechanics and rock physical properties.

Academic qualifications

Dr Clennell has been awarded a:

  • Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geology, University of Oxford, England, 1985-1988
  • Doctor of Philosophy Geology, Royal Holloway University of London, England, 1998-1992. Thesis 'The Melanges of Sabah, Malaysia'.

Achievements and activities

Dr Clennell has published thirty-five papers in peer reviewed journals, authored ten peer reviewed books and special proceeding chapters and produced numerous expanded conference abstracts. His scientific work has been widely cited, and he is the recipient of numerous industry and academic awards.

Dr Clennell is an active member of several societies: 

  • Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Society of Core Analysts Chapter of The American Geophysical Union and Society of Petrophysicists
  • Well Log Analysts(SPWLA) (committee member of the Formation Evaluation Society of Australia Chapter of SPWLA, invited as a 2006-7 Distinguished Lecturer)
  • Fellow of the Geological Society of London.

He has served on expert panels at two international Gas Hydrates research meetings and has been a committee member of MARGO, the peak body for Australian Marine Geoscience.

Dr Clennell also played a part in CSIRO's participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP).

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