Carbonate Stratigraphy and Reservoir Characterization:
Dr. Tinker's academic training and professional work experience are in carbonate stratigraphy and reservoir characterization. He has conducted extensive field work in the Cretaceous of northern México and the Permian of West Texas; extensive core- and log-based regional subsurface work in the Devonian of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin; and integrated core, log and seismic 3-D reservoir characterization and modeling in the Permian Basin of West Texas. Scott has served on several graduate student committees in the geosciences at UT-Austin and taught a graduate course in reservoir characterization. He has received best paper awards in the AAPG Bulletin and the Journal of Sedimentary Research..
Since 2000, Scott has been deeply involved in academic administration. His research now centers on global energy supply and demand, and on environmental challenges. Most recently Scott has focused on understanding the framework, challenges, and scale of transitioning global dependence on fossil fuels to alternative and renewable energy resources. His most recent project along these lines is a feature-length global energy documentary film called Switch, which was co-produced with award-winning film-maker Harry Lynch.
Unconventional Oil & Gas:
Dr. Tinker has helped establish major programs at the Bureau of Economic Geology in unconventional oil and gas. As a part of this effort, he serves as co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Svetlana Ikonnikova on two multi-million dollar grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that seek to determine the capability of U.S. shale gas and shale oil to contribute significantly to supply for the next 20 years. An integrated team of experts studied the four major U.S. shale basins while considering three related questions: (1) What is the resource base in place, what portion of that is technically recoverable, and what portion is economically recoverable? (2) What pace of activity will be necessary for U.S. shale gas to sustain production at various plateau levels and how achievable are these levels? (3) What are the general implications of higher activity levels? The results of this research will help U.S. and global decision-makers make intelligent regulatory decisions and thoughtful energy policy.
Dr. Tinker conceived of, and along with Jay Kipper formed, the BEG-managed Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC). Scott serves as AEC director and Chairman of the AEC Board of Management, whose function is to provide strategic direction. The AEC's mission is to develop intelligent subsurface micro- and nanosensors that can be injected into oil and gas reservoirs to help characterize the reservoir space in three dimensions. This characterization will improve the recovery of existing and new hydrocarbon resources. Consortium members are researching near-term potential to increase the recovery rate in existing reservoirs by exploiting the unique chemical and physical properties of materials at the nano scale. In addition, by leveraging existing surface infrastructure, this technology has the potential to minimize the environmental impact of oil and gas exploration and production.