University of Texas at Austin

News 2012

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Representatives from UT toss cowboy hats in the air as they invite the greenhouse gas technologies community to Texas for GHGT12.

November 24, 2012: Just announced at GHGT11 in Kyoto, Japan: The University of Texas at Austin will be the primary host of The 12th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT12), which will be held in Fall 2014. The primary sponsor of event is the United States Department of Energy.

The GHGT conference series has established itself as the premier international conference on greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. The conference is held every two years, in IEAGHG member countries, and has become a focal point for international research on CO2 capture and storage.

Space has been reserved at the conference center in downtown Austin for the 1,800 delegates from over 50 countries who are expected to attend. We are delighted by this exciting opportunity to showcase The University of Texas at Austin, the Bureau of Economic Geology, and the Gulf Coast Carbon Center to the world. [Link]


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The GCCC was delighted to host visiting researcher Lia Bressan from CEPAC.

December 20, 2012: Exchange between Center of Excellence in Research and Innovation in Petroleum, Mineral Resources and Carbon Storage (CEPAC) and GCCC. Lia Bressan from CEPAC (Brazil) spent the last two months at GCCC as a visiting researcher. She focused on learning CO2 monitoring methods, including gas tracers and soil gas monitoring. She will transfer knowledge of these techniques to be used in CEPAC's upcoming campaign of CO2 injection, a project called MMV CO2 Field Lab.


December 3-7, 2012: American Geophysical Union Meeting. JP Nicot presented the talk "Texas review of hydraulic fracturing water use and consumption." Brad Wolaver and Ian Duncan were co-authors on the talk "Energy reliability related to water availability under climate extremes in Texas." Sean Porse presented "Using analytical and numerical modeling to assess the utility of groundwater monitoring parameters at carbon capture utilization, and storage sites" along with co-authors Medhi Zeidouni, Susan Hovorka, and Michael Young. Medhi Zeidouni presented the talk "Above-zone temperature variations due to CO2 leakage from the storage aquifer" with Seyyed Hosseini and JP Nicot. Seyyed Housseini presented the talk "Time-lapse compressibility monitoring of CO2 leakage in above zone monitoring interval" with co-author Medhi Deidouni. Julie Ditkof presented "Time lapse seismic signal analysis for Cranfield, MS EOR and CCS site" with co-authors Tip Meckel and Susan Hovorka. San Francisco, CA


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Katherine Romanak (left) and STORE's Hilary Olson (center, right) organized the side event on CCS.

November 27, 2012: United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change/COP-18 The University of Texas at Austin partnered with the Carbon Capture and Storage Association to host a Side Event focused on "CCS Capacity Building and Global Status: Educational Opportunities and Lessons Learned." Katherine Romanak chaired the event. Hilary Clement Olson discussed the various geological carbon storage capacity building initiatives undertaken by the university's STORE training center. The University of Texas at Austin also hosted an exhibit booth at the meeting, promoting geological carbon storage research, education and training programs at various university units: the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering and the Gulf Coast Carbon Center at the Bureau of Economic Geology and the Institute for Geophysics.


November 18-22, 2012: International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT-11). A number of GCCC talks have been accepted. Susan Hovorka will give two talks: "CCU&S via Stacked Storage—Case Studies from CO2-EOR Basins of the United States" and "Three million metric ton monitored injection at the SECARB Cranfield project—project update." Tip Meckel has four abstracts accepted: "Offshore CCS in the northern Gulf of Mexico and the significance of regional structural compartmentalization," "Leakage Fingerprints During Storage: Modeling Above-zone Measurements of Pressure and Temperature," "Estimating CO2 Leakage Rate along a Fault: Model and Field Application," and "Characterizing buoyant plume migration through domains with fine-scale heterogeneity." Katherine Romanak will present "Assessment of alleged CO2 leakage at the Kerr Farm using a simple process-based soil gas technique: Implications for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) monitoring." JP Nicot will present "Potential Subsurface Impacts of CO2 Stream Impurities on Geologic Carbon Storage" with GCCC co-authors Katherine Romanak, Patrick Mickler, Silvia Solano, Changbing Yang, Jiemin Lu, and Tongwei Zhang. STORE's Hilary Olson will present "CO2 Injection for Geological Storage: A series of activities for training professionals and educating students in geological carbon storage." Kyoto, Japan


November 20, 2012: IEAGHGT-11 A talk by Katherine Romanak on soil-gas monitoring at the Weyburn-Midale Project was the subject of a blog posting by Sam Neades of IEAGHG. Kyoto, Japan


November 8, 2012: The Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) recognized Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (Allentown, Pa.) at its recent meeting in Perth, Australia.

The GCCC provides monitoring expertise to Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., which is shipping CO2 from its hydrogen plant at the Valero Refinery in Port Arthur TX for injection into the West Hastings Field oil reservoir as part of an enhanced oil recovery effort. For more information about this project please click here.

Along with the other recognized projects, the Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. project will appear in a yearly project portfolio on the CSLF website to keep the global community updated on progress. With CSLF recognition, these cutting-edge projects will gain enhanced global visibility and widespread knowledge-sharing opportunities.

Two other GCCC projects, the Frio Pilot Project and the SECARB project at Cranfield, have previously been previously recognized.


October 29, 2012: Visit to GCCC by Dr. Boris Gurevich from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Dr. Gurevich gave a talk on modeling the seismic response for the Otway CCS Pilot project. Austin, TX

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Susan Hovorka and Mehdi Zeidouni converse with Boris Gurevich following his talk.


October 25, 2012: UT Energy Symposium. Susan Hovorka, Gary Rochelle, and Douglas Huey are the featured speakers for a Carbon Capture and Storage Panel Discussion. Austin, TX


October 22, 2012: EOS, a news magazine of the American Geophysical Union. Research by Katherine Romanak, Changbing Yang, and Susan Hovorka (A process-based approach to CO2leakage detection by vadose zone gas monitoring at geologic CO2 storage sites. Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL052426, 2012) was featured in the Research Spotlight of the October issue of EOS. Click here to link to the story [PDF].


October 11, 2012: Visit to GCCC from China Petroleum Company. Dr. Po-Yu Wu from GCCC member company China Petroleum Company (CPC) Taiwan visited and presented an update on design and status of CPC's field test. Austin, TX


October 10, 2012: Visit to GCCC by Po-Yu Wu of CPC Corporation, Taiwan. Wu is the Department Chief of the Drilling & Production Department at the Exploration & Development Research Institute. GCCC staff exchanged information about CCS projects in the US and Taiwan. Austin, TX

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Po-Yu Wu of CPC Corporation in Taiwan with GCCC staff during a visit in October.


September 21, 2012: Texas Tech University. Susan Hovorka presented a talk to the Geology Department, "What to do about CO2?: Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Lubbock, TX


September 21, 2012: Visit to GCCC from Japan CCS. Shiro Ohkawa and Satoshi Aramaki spent the day at GCCC sharing knowledge and experiences with staff about upcoming CCS projects at Tomakomai and about the GCCC's efforts in Cranfield. Austin, TX


September 17, 2012: EarthSky. Susan Hovorka is interviewed by the popular science media source about carbon capture and storage, and what's known and what's a challenge. She says, "It's a personal and financial decision we need to make it as a community of energy consumers. But the possibility is completely available to us, to move forward on this option." Read the full interview here [Link].


September 17, 2012: The GCCC is delighted to act as one of the groups at BEG hosting Christian Hermanrud on sabbatical from Statoil (Norway) and University of Bergen. Hermanrud presented "Fluid flow and overpressuring: some observations and challenges" in which he covered a variety of topics that he has studied including overpressure, shale porosity, erosion and water drops, fluid flow in shale, leakage from fault block traps in the Barents Sea, and soft sediment deformations and implications for CO2 storage. Austin, TX


August 21-23, 2012: NETL Carbon Storage R&D Project Review Meeting. Ian Duncan presents "Developing a Comprehensive Risk Assessment Framework for Geological Storage of CO2." Ramon Trevino presents "Gulf of Mexico Miocene CO2 Site Characterization Mega Transect." Susan Hovorka gives keynote presentation on the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership – Cranfield. Pittsburgh, PA


August 20, 2012: Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security Meeting. Seyyed Hosseini and Susan Hovorka attended discussions, clarified interpretation and use of available data, and brain stormed on basic science research topics. GCCC is supporting CFSES by providing field data from Cranfield and Frio projects. Austin, TX


August 12-18, 2012: 6th IEAGHG International CCS Summer School. Marlo Gawey was one of forty-seven students representing twenty-two nationalities selected to participate in the Summer School. Katherine Romanak participated as as a lecturer and mentor. Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.

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Marlo Gawey works with international students on a group project during summer school.

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Katherine Romanak with other mentors and lecturers at the summer school.


August 5-10, 2012: 34th International Geological Conference. Susan Hovorka gives keynote talk "Progress Update on major monitored injections in the US--SECARB Cranfield project." Brisbane, Australia


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Vanessa Lopez-Nunez lecturing during the CEPAC workshop in Brazil.

July 30 - August 3, 2012: Understanding Carbon Capture and Storage. Vanessa Nuñez-Lopez will teach part of this short course sponsored by The Center of Excellence in Research and Innovation in Petroleum, Mineral Resources and Carbon Storage (CEPAC) and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande in Porto Alegre, Brazil.


July 17-18, 2012: USGS-NETL Workshop on Re-evaluating Storage Efficiency Estimates. Co-hosted by SECARB on behalf of RCSP program. Susan Hovorka presented, "Experience from the SECARB Cranfield large-scale field test relevent to capacity estimation." Austin, TX


July 12-13, 2012: Water and Biodiversity Impacts of Energy Change. Rebecca Smyth was invited to this Conference of Experts hosted by The Nature Conservancy and sponsored by Shell to present a talk titled "Carbon capture and storage, assessing impacts on shallow subsurface environments." The goal of the conference is to understand how water resources (quantity or quality) can be impacted by future energy use, extraction or generation. Denver, CO


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Yang, second row in blue shirt, with CCS experts and students at Jilin University.

July 4-5, 2012: International Workshop on Geological CO2 Sequestration. Changbing Yang was invited to give a talk "Monitoring large volume CO2 injection at Cranfield: the early test of SECARB Phase III" co-authored with Susan Hovorka. This workshop was supported by the Earth Science Division, the National Science Foundation of China, they Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology Department, the China Geological Survey, and Jilin University. In the workshop, Yang shared the experiences on monitoring technologies, especially shallow groundwater chemistry monitoring to his Chinese colleagues. In addition, Yang was also invited to give two lectures on reactive transport modeling in subsurface environments to graduate students from Jilin University. Changchun, China


June 28, 2012: 18th Annual Texas Regional Collaboratives Symposium on Energy, Engineering and the Environment. Susan Hovorka presented "Carbon Storage and Climate" to a group of K-12 teachers and undergraduate summer interns. Austin, TX


June 19, 2012: IEA GHG Joint Network Meeting. Susan Hovorka gave a review of monitoring methods and led a breakout session. Katherine Romanak led a breakout session. Santa Fe, NM


June 5-15, 2012: Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration program. Zahid Khandaker was selected as a participant in the 10-day program, which combines classroom instruction with group exercises, CCS site visits and hands-on activities. Birmingham, AL

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Khandaker Zahid (leaning over table) attends a RECS workshop conducted by Dr. Jack Pashin, Director of the Energy Investigations Program at the Geological Survey of Alabama in their Tuscaloosa core warehouse.


May 30, 2012: DOE-FE-China Exchange Project Meeting. Susan Hovorka presented "Overview of CCUS." Houston, TX


May 21, 2012: The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science 2012 Texas Water Summit. Rebecca Smyth attended the conference, which brought together leaders from industry, government and academia to address issues important to securing water for Texas' future. Austin, TX


May 23, 2012: Luminant Carbon Management Program Research Review Meeting. Seyyed Hosseini presented a talk titled "Fluid Flow in Porous Media for CO2 Sequestration." Austin, TX


May 22, 2012: Climate Change Subcommittee Greater Houston Partnership (GHP). Sue Hovorka presented "CCS Technology Update" via phone.


May 19-22, 2012: The 2012 AAPG Southwest Section Convention. Seyyed Hosseini and Jiemin Lu taught a short course "Monitoring, Verification and Accounting (MVA) for CO2 Sequestration and Enhanced Oil Recovery" hosted by the Fort Worth Geological Society. Fort Worth, TX


May 20, 2012: GCCC Students Hit the Road for Summer. Summer is around the corner, and GCCC students are taking advantage of the break from classes to gain-on-the-job training. Click here for the full story [PDF].


May 17, 2012: The paper "Analytical model for CO2 injection into brine aquifers containing residual CH4" written by lead author Seyyed Hosseini has been accepted for publication in Transport in Porous Media.


May 15-17, 2012: International Knowledge Sharing in MVA/MMV. Susan Hovorka presented "Cranfield Large Scale Injection-Monitoring 3.5 Million tones Stored." Mobile, AL


May 15, 2012: Congratulations to Katherine Romanak, Changbing Yang, and Sue Hovorka for their presentation at the Annual CCUS meeting, which was selected as one of the top 12 among hundreds. Their work, "Monitoring CCS-EOR Systems Using a New Process-Based Leakage Detection Method: Assessment of Allegen CO2 Leakage at the Kerr Farm Weyburn-Midale EOR Field, Saskatchewan," was chosen by conference attendees on the following merits: ground-breaking, insightful, and innovative.


April 30-May 3, 2012: Annual Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration Conference. JP Nicot presented "Potential Impacts on Carbon Storage of Impurities in the CO2 Stream" and "An Overview of the Sim‐SEQ Project and the Sim‐SEQ Study Site." He also participated in round table with CCS/CCUS leaders called "Recognizing and Managing 'Risks' Associated with Development and Deployment of CCS/CCUS: What Has Been Done (or Being Done) to Mitigate Them." Ian Duncan presented "The Nature of Methane Leakage from natural Gas Wells as an Analogue for Shallow CO2 Migration: Does Bubble Transport and Slug Flow in Fractures Dominate?" and "Evaluating Risks of CO2 Transportation: Potential Impacts of CO2 on Human Health." Katherine Romanak presented "Monitoring CCS‐EOR Systems Using a New Process‐Based Leakage Detection Method Assessment of Alleged CO2 Leakage at the Kerr Farm, Weyburn‐Midale EOR Field, Saskatchewan." Seyyed Hosseini presented "Site characterization and reservoir history matching for geological CO2 Sequestration at the S3 site" and "Temperature Monitoring at SECARB Cranfield Phase 3 site using Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) Technology" for author Vanessa Nunez. Pittsburgh, PA


April 22-25, 2012: American Association of Petroleum Geologists 2012 Annual Convention and Exhibition. Andrew Nicholson presented "Fault and Top Seal Strength at Nansen Field, East Breaks, Gulf of Mexico." Long Beach, CA


April 17, 2012: China-Australia Geologic Storage Technical Symposium. Susan Hovorka gave overview of CCUS. Beijing, China


April 5, 2012: Permian CCUS Center. Rebecca Smyth was invited to give talk titled "Shallow Groundwater Monitoring at the SACROC Oilfield, Scurry County, TX: Good News for CCUS" at the Colorado School of Mines. Golden, CO


March 28, 2012: "Sensitivity of groundwater systems to CO2; application of a site-specific analysis of carbonate monitoring parameters at the SACROC CO2-enhanced oil field" by Katherine Romanak, Rebecca Smyth, Changbing Yang, Susan Hovorka, and Jiemin Lu has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. A sensitivity analysis from SACROC indicates that the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) is a strong indicator of CO2 in modeled environments, suggesting that site-specific characterization of an aquifer may not be necessary if DIC is used as the primary monitoring parameter.

GCCC's Jiemin Lu is lead author on a paper published in the Journal of Chemical Geology, "CO2-rock-brine interactions in Lower Tuscaloosa Formation at Cranfield CO2 sequestration site, Mississippi, U.S.A." The authors conclude that the rock in the reservoir at Cranfield is relatively unreactive with CO2. The potential for mineral trapping as well as geochemical changes that might impact freshwater are minimized.


March 23, 2012: Science Night at Fern Bluff Elementary School. GCCC Students Sean Porse and Marlo Gawey presented "What to do about CO2?" Austin, TX


March 19, 2012: The paper "Scoping analysis of brine extraction/re-injection for enhanced CO2storage" by Seyyed Hosseini and JP Nicot has been accepted for publication in the journal Greenhouse Gas Science Technology.


March 10, 2012: South By Southwest Interactive Conference. Katherine Romanak attended a international forum with women from the Global Women Scholars Network, a research collaborative network funded by the National Science Foundation, and Climate Wise Women, a project of the Earth Island Institute, who were running an interactive multimedia event on women and climate change at the 2012 SXSW conference. Austin, TX

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Climate Wise Women is a group of grassroots women community leaders who travel the globe to share their experiences of living with climate change. Romanak is seated at the head of the table.


March 7-8, 2012: 7th Annual Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Stakeholders' Briefing. Susan Hovorka led SECARB Cranfield Project – Panel Session. Katherine Romanak led SECARB Cranfield Project – Panel Session. Rebecca Smyth presented "Report on Continued Characterization." Mobile Alabama


March 5, 2012: Visit to GCCC by scientists from Scotland and Taiwan. Stuart Haszeldine, Stuart Gilfillan, and Domokos Gyore from the Scottish Centre for CCS updated information on CCS in the United Kingdom. Shoung Ouyang, Manager at ITRI, presented progress on carbon sequestration activities in Taiwan. Opportunities for collaboration with GCCC were discussed by both groups. Austin, TX

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GCCC staff with Stuart Haszeldine, Stuart Gilfillan, and Domokos Gyore (center) and Shoung Ouyang (left).


March 3, 2012: UT Explore. Yihua Cai, Zahid Khandakar, Gordon Smith, Mary Hingst, Marlo Galwey, Sean Porse, Stuart Coleman, Carlos Puerta, Logan West, Kersten Wallace, and Brad Wolaver provided educational and entertaining activities at the GCCC booth "What to do with CO2." Over 50,000 students and parents attended The University of Texas at Austin's 12th annual campus-wide open house. Austin, TX


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The Rosenfield Plaque awarded to Carey King.

February 28, 2012: Carey King Receives Rosenfield Plaque. This one time award was presented to King in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of energy economics for his paper titled, "Energy intensity ratios as net energy measures of United States energy production and expenditures" published in Environmental Research Letters. King described a new method to measure energy return on energy invested (EROI) that can be estimated every year, rather than the previous best method which gave estimates at best every five years. To read the press release describing the work, please click here.


February 27, 2012: Visit to GCCC by Giorgio Caramanna. Caramanna presented work on natural analogue studies to GCCC staff. Opportunities for collaboration including an upcoming IEAGHG Environmental Impacts workshop and further study on natural analogs of seepage for understanding processes related to CCS leakage were discussed. Austin, TX


February 23-24, 2012: Visit to GCCC by John Gale, General Manager of the IEAGHG R&D Programme. Austin, TX


February 7-9, 2012: Carbon Management Technology Conference. Katherine Romanak, Vanessa Nuñez-Lopez, and Changbing Yang attended. Orlando Florida


February 3 and 6, 2012: Visit to GCCC by Tim Dixon, Manager of CCS and Regulatory Affairs for the IEAGHG R&D Programme. Austin, TX

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Tim Dixon of the IEAGHG R&D Programme speaks to GCCC staff.


January 30, 2012: Longhorn Grand Challenges Scholars Program. Katherine Romanak was invited as an expert to present a talk on her research titled "Geologic CO2 Storage" to this group, which is an initiative of the National Academy of Engineering. The students in this program, undergraduates from across campus, are working on ways to face the NAE 21st Century Grand Challenges with innovative research and design projects. For a link to the lecture please click here [Video link]. Austin, TX


January 25-27, 2012: University of Texas Carbon Capture and Storage Conference (UTCCS-1) In cooperation with the Luminant Capture Program in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Geological CO2 Storage JIP at the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, GCCC hosted a three-day long meeting for sponsors and stakeholders that included both oral presentations and poster sessions by staff. Austin, TX


January 11, 2012: Visit to GCCC by representatives from RITE, the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth based in Kansai Science City, Kyoto, Japan. The representatives, Kinichirio Kusonose, Ziqiu Xue, and Kochi Takizawa, gave several presentations on CCS in Japan including the Nagaoka CCS injection site and met with GCCC staff throughout the day. Austin, TX


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