Israa Abu-Mahfouz

Research Scientist

Research Scientist

Former Members


Building 5, Level 3, Office 3216-WS06

Research Interests

Dr. Israa Abu-Mahfouz is a specialist in naturally-fractured reservoirs, unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, geomechanics, geochemistry and reservoir modeling. She has more than 10 years’ experience in industry and academia in Jordan, UK and KSA.
Her research focuses on:

1. Characterization of naturally-fractured unconventional carbonate reservoirs using a variety of analytical techniques, including Geostatistical Analysis, Petrographic Investigation (Optical Microscope, Confocal & SEM), and Organic and Inorganic Geochemical Analyses.

2. Lateral and vertical heterogeneities in unconventional source rock sequences.

3. Investigation of Primary Expulsion of Hydrocarbons from Carbonate Source Rocks.

4. Understanding the geological and physico-chemical processes that led to the generation and expulsion of hydrocarbons from these rocks.

Selected Publications

Hydrous Pyrolysis of Source Rock Plugs: Geochemical and Visual Investigations and Implications for Primary Migration S. Grohmann,G. Gaus, J. Klaver, I. S. Abu Mahfouz, V. Vahrenkamp, T. Patzek, J. Urai, R. Littke

European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers, (2021) [Conference Paper]

Fracture Development in Unconventional Reservoirs & its Role in Hydrocarbon Migration & Expulsion
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz, J. Cartwright, V. Vahrenkamp, T. Patzek, R. Littke 
AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE), (2020)

Silica diagenesis promotes early primary hydrocarbon migration
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz, J. Cartwright, E. Idiz, J.N. Hooker, S. Robinson
Geology, 48, (2020)

Genesis and role of bitumen in fracture development during early catagenesis
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz, J. Cartwright, E. Idiz, J.N. Hooker, S. Robinson, S.H.J.M. van den Boorn
Petroleum Geoscience, 26, 4, (2019)

Fractures in mudrocks: Advances in constraining timing and understanding mechanisms.
J.N. Hooker, I.S. Abu-Mahfouz, Q. Meng, J. Cartwright
Journal of Structural Geology, 125, 166-173, (2019)

Genesis of natural fracture systems in mudrocks (Upper Cretaceous-Eocene), Jordan,
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz
DPhil Thesis, University of Oxford, United Kingdom (2019) 

Natural Fracture Systems in Mudrocks (Upper Cretaceous-Eocene), Jordan
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz, J. Cartwright, J.N. Hooker, M.R. Gross
The Geology of Fractured Reservoirs, The Geological Society, conference paper, (2018)

Characterization of fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs.
I.S., Abu-Mahfouz  
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90298 © 2017 AAPG Foundation 2016 Grants-in-Aid Projects,  (2017)

Geo-engineering evaluation of Harrat Irbid Basaltic Rocks, Irbid District—North Jordan.
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz, A. Al-Malabeh, S. Rababeh
Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 9, 5, (1-11), (2016)

Petrogenesis of Irbid District Basalt Rocks (Al-Tura-Beit Ras), Northern Jordan and their Engineering Evaluation as Building and Construction Materials.
I.S. Abu-Mahfouz
M.Sc. Thesis. The Hashemite University, Jordan (2009)


  • 2018 PhD Petroleum/Structural Geology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
  • 2010 MSc Applied Geology, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan.
  • 2007 BSc Geology and Environment, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan.

Professional Profile

  • 2022 - Present: Assistant Professor at King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals
  • 2021-2022: Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2019-2021:  Postdoctoral Fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2018-2019: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK
  • 2017-2019: Tutor/Fieldwork Demonstrator, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK
  • 2014-2019: Researcher, Shell-Oxford Research Group, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK
  • 2012-2014: Senior Geoscientist, Royal Dutch Shell P.L.C (Jordan Oil Shale Company), Amman, Jordan
  • 2010-2012: Senior Geochemical/Geophysical Lab Engineer, Royal Dutch Shell P.L.C, Amman, Jordan
  • 2009-2010: Researcher, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan
  • 2008-2009: Teaching Assistant, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan
  • 2007- 2008: Geoscientist, Al-Emtiaz Engineering Company, Zarqa, Jordan

Scientific and Professional Membership

Member, Oxford Geology Group, OGG, OUGG (2016-Present).
Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, AAPG (2015-Present).
Member, the Geological Society of London, GSL (2015-Present).
Science Ambassador at Science Oxford (2014-2018).
Member, Jordan Geologists Association, JGA (2008-Present).


2019/2020 Inspiring Women in Science, Jordan.

2018/2019 Enrichment and Diversity at St Peters College-University of Oxford, UK. 

2018 Burdett-Coutts Research Award, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford University, UK.

2017 St Peter’s College Graduate Award, Oxford University, UK.

2017 AAPG Foundation Geoscience Research Award (Donald F. Towse Memorial Grant), US.

2016 St Peter’s College Graduate Award, Oxford University, UK.

2014 Shell-Oxford Fully-Funded Scholarship (4-year PhD project in Earth Sciences at Oxford University), UK.

2008 Excellence Award (During MSc. Degree), Hashemite University, Jordan.

Research Interests Keywords

Carbonate Reservoirs Reservoir Modelling and Heterogenity Diagenesis HC Migration and Maturation Mechanical Stratigraphy Geomechanics Naturally-Fractured Reservoirs Unconventional Hydrocarbon Reservoirs