University of Texas at Austin

News 2008

December 8, 2008: GCCC researchers helped lead the Carbon Capture and Storage Technical Workshop component of Hart Energy’s 6th Annual EOR Carbon Management Conference in Houston. Sue Hovorka, Tip Meckel, and J.-P. Nicot spoke to the audience on public acceptance of CCS, field injection tests, and US EPA draft rules on CO2 storage, respectively. BEG Geoscientist Fares Howari moderated the first of two panel discussions during the workshop, introducing recent findings in CCS projects domestically and abroad.


December 8, 2008: GCCC Principal Investigator Sue Hovorka spoke to the American Waters Works Association during an NETL-organized webinar. The presentation focused on principles of monitoring, validation, and accounting (MVA) in the geologic sequestration of CO2.


November 16-20, 2008: Several GCCC researchers presented the results of their work at the 9th Annual Greenhouse Gas Technology Conference (GHGT-9) in Washington, D.C. Several presentations were based on experiments from the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership ongoing field projects conducted by the GCCC at Cranfield field in southwest Mississippi with support from NETL and the US DOE.


June 2008: BEG Director Scott Tinker presented a talk on Carbon Sequestration in Texas to the Texas House Carbon Caucus in June 2008 that can be viewed in the GCCC Member's Area.


June 9, 2008: GCCC researchers Sue Hovorka, Ian Duncan, and JP Nicot discussed the Role of CO2 EOR in Sequestration for GHG Emissions Reduction with the North American Carbon Capture & Storage Association at the Bureau of Economic Geology in Austin.


June 2008: GCCC presentations from the 7th Annual Conference of Carbon Capture and Sequestration in Pittsburgh, the Austin Professional Landmen's Association meeting, the TCEQ Trade Show, and the SECARB Stakeholders' Meeting have been added to the member's bookshelf.


May 5-8, 2008: GCCC researchers Sue Hovorka, Tip Meckel, and Becky Smyth attended the Seventh Annual Conference on Carbon Capture and Sequestration in Pittsburgh. Meckel gave a presentation titled Integrated Monitoring Design for a Large Volume Commercial Injection, and Smyth presented Geochemical Effects of CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery on the Shallow Dockum Aquifer, West Texas along with Katherine Romanak. Summaries from the conference can be viewed in the GCCC Member's Area.


April 23, 2008: Tip Meckel and Sue Hovorka attended the half-day workshop Injection & Storage of CO2 at the Downtown Hilton Hotel in Austin, which focused on providing electric utilities with the tools to understand underground injection and geologic storage of CO2. Topics covered included geological considerations for siting a CCS project, examination of Federal UIC Program, state primacy issues, current requirements for permitting an injection well, update on the EPAs Public Workshop addressing proposed regulations. This event preceded the UT-CLE Carbon & Climate Change meeting at the Austin Convention Center on April 24-25, where Rebecca Smyth and Ian Duncan presented.


March 18-19, 2008: The Third Annual SECARB Stakeholders Meeting took place in Atlanta. GCCC scientists prepared two presentations for the meeting, that were presented by Tip Meckel that can be viewed in the member's area.


March 2008: Susan Hovorka provided a short overview of geosequestration for UT web interview as part of explore UT on Take Five.


February 26-27, 2008: GCCC scientists, Sue Hovorka and JP Nicot, attended an EPA-led meeting held in Washington, D. C. Proposed UIC Regulations for Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide. The meeting follows the Dec. 3-4, 2007 meeting also held in Washington D.C. on the same topic. The meeting lasted 1.5 days with a focus on technical panels and participation from the audience/stakeholders. Sue was a panelist for the session on monitoring. EPA is still on schedule to publish draft regulations in July 2008. See member's area for a complete summary.


February 14, 2008: GCCC researcher Tip Meckel delivered a presentation at the Texas Carbon Capture & Storage Association meeting in Austin. The presentation, titled Survey Results of Public Perceptions of CCS in Texas, and current field demonstration projects at the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, is in the GCCC Members' Area.


February 7, 2008: GCCC researcher Becky Smyth hosted a planning meeting for the Southwest Regional Carbon Sequstration Partnership (SWP) SACROC site injection experiment that is scheduled to begin in June 2008. Attendees included Kinder Morgan industrial partners and researchers from BEG and the University of Pittsburgh.


February 9, 2008: Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu, a new colleague at Bureau of Economic Geology was in Houston February 9 to attend the conference: Beyond Science: The Economics and Politics of Responding to Climate Change.


January 2008: SECARB Phase II field project at Cranfield includes observation well preparation, construction of reservoir mode, and analysis of a proprietary seismic data set.


January 28, 2008: Susan Hovorka is featured in the February 2008 issue of Texas Monthly as one of the "Top 35 People Who Will Shape Our Future" because of her role at the forefront of CO2 sequestration in Texas.


January 14-16, 2008: The Groundwater Protection Council Meeting in New Orleans was attended by JP Nicot, and Scott Anderson and Susan Hovorka presented a paper titled, "What to Verify. "

Details from the meeting

GCCC staff member JP Nicot attended the Ground Water Protection Council meeting in New Orleans on January 14-16, 2008. The meeting touched upon several topics relevant to the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program including carbon storage. The focus of the carbon storage presentations was on "MMV" (monitoring and verification). The last day of the meeting was co-sponsored by EPA and included a panel discussion which gave the opportunity to the audience to ask questions on the presentations and on MMV in general. Monitoring is another aspect of carbon storage breaking new ground. Current UIC rules require some monitoring but at a much smaller scale than will probably be needed for carbon storage.

Earlier, Bruce Kobelski, in charge of the rulemaking for carbon storage at EPA, gave a short presentation on the rulemaking progress. He was non-committal and didn't reveal much of the current contents of the draft rules (to be released in July 2008) but reiterated the conclusions of the December meeting in Washington D.C., mostly conveying stakeholders' wishes (need for some performance-based components in the rules, AOR cannot be fixed radius, "adaptive rules" written in such a language that no rewriting is needed as science and technology progress) or making statements already made in the past (not sure about impurities in the CO2 stream, EPA is developing a decision tool -"VEF"). He also announced a workshop dedicated to "financial responsibility and long-term liability".

The presentations during the MMV-themed day were either on a very specific topic (perfluorocarbon tracers and fingerprinting, ZERT release in Montana) or more general in nature. However the agreement (presenters and panelists) was that most of the work related to knowledge of the subsurface must be done upfront and that gathering baseline data was extremely important. The size/volume of the subsurface to be baselined and the parameters to be collected were not discussed but the general sense was to initially focus on the vicinity of the injection area and then work in a centrifugal way. How long post-closure monitoring should go was another topic touched upon during the panel discussion with no clear conclusions.

Overall the meeting was more educational in nature than substantial although EPA did collect directly comments and suggestions by attendees.


January 11, 2008: Susan Hovorka presented a talk at UT's Department of Chemical Engineering as part of the Luminant (formerly TXU) Carbon Management Program. The presentation, titled "Recent Progress and Big Ideas on Geologic Sequestration: US/International Perspective," can be viewed here [PPT].


January 9, 2008: The GCCC 2007 Annual Review for Sponsors was held at the Bureau of Economic Geology in Austin. The GCCC staff presented advancements to the GCCC multi-year plan. The meeting was attended by first year GCCC sponsors ConocoPhillips, Eastman Chemical, Shell, LCRA, Austin Energy and Luminant, by new representatives of multi-year sponsors bp and NRG, and be returning representatives of Kinder Morgan, Praxair, Schlumberger, Chevron, and Marathon. Enviromental Defense continues to serve as NGO liason. Sponsors from Entergy were updated by e-mail. Presentations and notes from the meeting can be viewed in the members' area.


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