Chima Justin Ezekiel

Postdoctoral Fellows


Bldg. 1, 3111 WS06

Contact Information:

Office: 8080236


Justin Ezekiel is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computational Earthquake Seismology Research Group (PI: Martin Mai) and affiliated to the RockGem Research Group of ANPERC (PI: Thomas Finkbeiner) at KAUST. Justin is involved, as a research team member of the Geo-Solutions thrust, in the ongoing Circular Carbon Initiative (CCI) program at KAUST. His main tasks are to identify, model, and carry out techno-economic analysis (incl. uncertainty analysis) of geothermal systems along the Red Sea region for direct-use applications and electricity generation. Prior to joining KAUST, Justin was a Scientific Research Assistant in the Geothermal Energy and Geofluids group, ETH Zurich Switzerland. Here, he focused on modeling the combined enhanced gas recovery (EGR) and CO2-plume geothermal (CPG) systems to leverage on their synergic benefits [pdf]. He was also a Research Assistant at the Laboratory of Gas injection for Improved Gas/Oil recovery in the China University of Petroleum (East China). Here, he was among the team that achieved a country-wide assessment study of CO2-based heat mining and CO2 storage in geothermal reservoirs of China [pdf]. Justin is also affiliated to his Alma mater (Federal University of Technology Owerri, Nigeria) as a Lecturer in the Geology department, where he teaches and mentors Bachelor and graduate students.

Research Interests

Numerical (reservoir, wellbore) modeling of geo-energy system development and applications, with focus on:

 (i) Conventional and CO2-based geothermal energy extraction for direct utilization or conversion to power, coupled with CO2 storage in geological formations

(ii) Uncertainty quantification and optimization of geothermal systems

(iii) Enhancing hydrocarbon recoveries via gas injection, and

(iv) Developing new integrated energy systems such as the combined enhanced gas recovery (EGR) and CO2-plume Geothermal (CPG) system, etc.

Selected Publications

  • Ezekiel J., Adams B.M., Saar M.O., Ebigbo A. Numerical analysis and optimization of the performance of CO2-Plume Geothermal (CPG) production wells and implications for electric power generation. Geothermics 2022;98, 102270.
  • Ezekiel, J.; Kumbhat, D.; Ebigbo, A.; Adams, B.M.; Saar, M.O. Sensitivity of Reservoir and Operational Parameters on the Energy Extraction Performance of Combined CO2-EGR–CPG Systems. Energies 2021:14, 6122. 
  • Ezekiel J., Ebigbo A., Adams B.M., Saar M.O. Combining natural gas recovery and CO2-based geothermal energy extraction for electric power generation. Applied Energy 2020;269:1–21. 
  •  Cui G., Ren S., Rui Z., Ezekiel J., Zhang L., Wang H.. The influence of complicated fluid-rock interactions on the geothermal exploitation in the CO2plume geothermal system. Applied Energy 2017;227: 49-63.
  • Cui G., Ren S., Zhang L., Ezekiel J., Enechukwu C., Wang Y., et al. Geothermal exploitation from hot dry rocks via recycling heat transmission fluid in a horizontal well. Energy 2017;128:366–77. 
  • Ezekiel J., Ren S., Zhang L., Wang Y., Liu Y., Deng J., et al. Displacement mechanisms of air injection for IOR in low permeability light oil reservoirs. International Journal of Oil, Gas Coal Technology 2017;16:1–26.
  • Zhang L., Li D., Ezekiel J., Zhang W., Mi H., Ren S. CO2geological storage into a lateral aquifer of an offshore gas field in the South China Sea: storage safety and project design. Frontiers in Earth Sciences 2015;9:286–99. 
  •  Li D., Ren B., Zhang L., Ezekiel J., Ren S., Feng Y. CO2-sensitive foams for mobility control and channeling blocking in enhanced WAG process. Chemical Engineering Research and Design 2015;102:234–43. 
  • Zhang L., Ezekiel J., Li D., Pei J., Ren S. Potential assessment of CO2injection for heat mining and geological storage in geothermal reservoirs of China. Applied Energy 2014;122:237–46. 


  • 2020 Ph.D., Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2014 M.Sc., Oil and Gas Field Development Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China), China
  • 2008 B.Sc., Geology (Geophysics option), Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria

Professional Profile

  • 2020 – present: Postdoctoral Fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2016 – 2020: Scientific Assistant (Doctoral student), ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012 – 2014: Research Assistant, China University of Petroleum (East China), China
  • 2011 – present: Assistant Lecturer, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria

Scientific and Professional Membership

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) 
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC)


2016 Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for Foreign Scholars and Artists

2012 Joint Post-Graduate Scholarship Award by the Federal Scholarship Board of Nigeria and the China Scholarship Council (CSC)

2008 University Award for the Best Graduating Student in the University, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria

2008 Dean's Award for the Best Graduating Student in the School of Science, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria

KAUST Affiliations

Computational Earthquake Seismology (CES)
Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC)
KAUST Circular Carbon Initiative (CCI)
Physical Science and Engineering Division (PSE)