Chima Justin Ezekiel

Postdoctoral Fellows

Post-doctoral Fellow

  • Finkbeiner Group


Justin Ezekiel is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Computational Earthquake Seismology Research Group (PI: Martin Mai) and affiliated to the RockGem Research Group, 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. 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. 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 pioneer team that achieved the first 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

Reservoir (incl. wellbore) modeling and simulations of:

  1. CO2 storage in geological formations,
  2. Conventional and CO2-based geothermal energy extraction for direct utilization or conversion to power,
  3. Uncertainty quantification and optimization of geothermal systems
  4. Enhancing hydrocarbon recoveries via gas injection, and
  5. 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 2021.
  • 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 CO2 plume geothermal system. Applied Energy 2017;227: 49-63.
  • 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., Ezekiel J., Li D., Pei J., Ren S. Potential assessment of CO2 injection for heat mining and geological storage in geothermal reservoirs of China. Applied Energy 2014;122:237–46.


  • Ph.D., Earth Science, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2020
  • M.S., Oil and Gas Field Development Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China) China PR, 2014
  • B.Tech., Geology (specialization in Geophysics), Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria, 2008

Professional Profile

  • 2020 – Present: Postdoctoral Fellow, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2016 – 2020: Scientific Research Assistant, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2011 – 2016: Graduate Assistant (promoted to 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 Scholarships 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

Non-KAUST Affiliations

  • Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria