University of Texas at Austin

News 2018


July 4, 2018: During a recent visit to the Equinor research office in Trondheim, Tip Meckel met with Philip Ringrose and others in the CO2 group to discuss future research ideas. As part of the visit, Tip also met with Allard Martinius, a researcher at Equinor and also a full professor at TU Delft. Dr. Martinius has a long history of studying sedimentary architectures, so it was a pleasure to meet him at the famous 'wall' of sedimentary relief peels of tidal bar deposits that he was instrumental in bringing to Equinor's office in Trondheim (see photo). After summarizing recent related research conducted at GCCC, further discussions included overlapping interests in deltaic architectures (see photo of Delft3D model), sediment compaction, and flow simulation in realistic depositional architectures at many scales. It was a real honor to spend a morning with Dr. Martinius and future collaborations are planned to further develop our understanding of CO2 saturations in complex depositional facies and architectures.

Allard Peel and Tip Meckel

Allard Martinius and Tip Meckel.

model

Delft3D Model.

 


June 24-29, 2018: Katherine Romanak, Tip Meckel, Hilary Olson, and master’s student, Izaak Ruiz, traveled to Trondheim, Norway for the 12th IEAGHG International Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Summer School hosted by the Norwegian CCS Research Centre (NCCS). The summer school trains international researchers of all backgrounds (engineers to economists) in every aspect of the CCS value chain via a series of expert presentations, discussion groups, and team projects. Ruiz was one of sixty students chosen to participate in the highly competitive program. Romanak, Meckel and Olson served as expert mentors for the students, helping them with group projects throughout the week aimed at answering in-depth important questions currently relevant to CCS. Katherine Romanak delivered two presentations detailing the environmental impacts of storage and near surface monitoring. Katherine also hosted the GCCC’s attribution game called “Portrait of an Anomaly” developed by Susan Hovorka to incite participants to consider the cost and value-effectiveness of monitoring and think about what key drivers are required to deliver an optimum outcome for a storage project.

IEAGHG Summer School Classroom

IEAGHG Summer School Classroom in Trondheim, Norway.

 

Mentorship

Katherine Romanak mentoring young women at the IEAGHG Summer School.

 


June 26, 2018: Sarah Prentice assisted in the Industrial Minerals Educator Workshop. Sarah took the visiting group on tours of the core storage site and TACC and distributed 30 GCCC carbon lesson plans to teachers interested in educating their students about CO2.

 

Workshop Activities

 


 

June 24, 2018: Sarah Prentice and Omar Ramirez have been selected to attend the prestigious RECS CCS Summer School held in Birmingham, Alabama, July 22, 2018. RECS is an intensive CCUS education and training program. RECS has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences as a key program in building the CCUS workforce to tackle carbon storage.


June 17, 2018: The GCCC hosted a delegation for SINOPEC to disscuss CCUS. Sun Zhibin, Huang Jinshan, Song Xin, Wang Guisheng, and Jin Yue stopped in Austin as part of their global study tour. SINOPEC now has experience with CO2 EOR in five fields. Seyyed Hossieni presented modeling for CO2 EOR; Pooneh Hosseininoosheri presented CO2 EOR case studies and trapping quantification; Vanessa Nunez presented carbon balance for EOR projects; Peter Tutton presented source sink matching, case study and optimization with uncertainty; and Susan Hovorka presented experience with containment and environmental monitoring.

SINOPEC visit to GCCC

SINOPEC visits the GCCC to discuss CCUS.


Susan Hovorka

Hovorka on the Net Power Plant Field Trip

June 13, 2018: Susan Hovorka presented “Status of CCS and CCUS – progress has been made” at a workshop of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) that Eddie Trevino of the Texas Comptroller’s office, State Energy Conservation office hosted in Houston, Texas. Susan Hovorka also visited the novel Net Power pilot plant in La Porte, Texas, on the workshop field trip.

 


June 12, 2018: Sarah Prentice and Linda McCall presented a water science activity to K-12 teachers as part of the Groundwater to the Gulf Summer Institute at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Sarah Prentice presenting at G2G

Linda McCall and Sarah Prentice conducting a demonstration with Central Texas educators.

Linda McCall at G2G

Linda McCall teaching a water science activity to a local teacher.

 


May 20-23, 2018: Reynaldy Fifariz presented a poster at the AAPG 2018 ACE (Annual Convention and Exhibition) in Salt Lake City, Utah. His poster, “Seismic Geomorphology of the Early and Late Miocene Carbonate Systems in an Active Tectonic Margin, Offshore East Java, Indonesia,” explores his dissertation research about the Oligocene-Miocene carbonate systems in offshore East Java, Indonesia. By utilizing 3D seismic data in order to describe and interpret the seismic geomorphology, he was able to investigate controls on the carbonate systems development in an active tectonic setting through the Miocene. He is co-supervised by Dr. Xavier Janson and Dr. Charles Kerans in the RCRL, BEG.

Fifariz presenting at the AAPG 2018 ACE

Caption goes here.


Peter Tutton

Peter Tutton

May 19, 2018: Congratulations to Peter Tutton and Emily Beckham who recently completed master’s theses in the Jackson School of Geosciences and graduated Saturday.

Peter finished his M.S. in Energy and Earth Resources under the supervision of Dr. Ben Leibowicz and Dr. Susan Hovorka. His thesis examined optimal selection of sources, reservoirs and transportation routes given uncertainty in future CCS demand. Peter will avoid the gloomy British weather for the next few months by working with the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, Bureau of Economic Geology. He will continue to inventory carbon sources and carry out source-sink matching. 

It was a pleasure to do my research as part of the GCCC. There is such a broad range of backgrounds and expertise, which truly helped develop my understanding of the subject and maximize my own contribution as a mechanical engineer. ​​​​​​~ Peter Tutton

Emily finished her M.S. in Geological Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Tip Meckel investigating the relationship between CO2 migration and deltaic stratigraphy. This involved the integration of geologic modeling, fieldwork, and Gulf of Mexico reservoir characterization. Her thesis was title "CO2 Storage in Deltaic Environments of Deposition: Integration of 3-Dimensional Modeling, Outcrop Analysis, and Subsurface Application". She starts work in fall 2018 with ExxonMobil as an Exploration Geologist.

I have loved working with the GCCC in large part because it is such an interdisciplinary group. The researchers of the GCCC set a welcoming tone of applied intellectual inquiry through many different disciplines--I have learned far more than I ever thought I would in grad school from both my colleagues in GCCC and through feedback from industry sponsors. ~ Emily Beckham

 

Dr. Tip Meckel and Emily Beckham

Dr. Tip Meckel and Emily Beckham

 

Emily Beckham JSG

Emily Beckham in front of the Jackson School of Geosciences

 

 


May 19, 2018: Peter Tutton received the EER Director’s Award in recognition of his insightful research and excellent Master’s presentation.  His thesis, Carbon Capture and Storage Network Optimization Under Uncertainty, was co-supervised by Dr. Ben Leibowicz and Dr. Susan Hovorka.

Peter Tutton, Dr. Ben Leibowicz, Chris Lanham

Peter Tutton, advisor Dr. Ben Leibowicz, and Chris Lanham

 


Tip Meckel presenting

Tip Meckel presents his p-cable work at Tomakomai.

May 3-4, 2018: The 3rd International Workshop on Offshore CO2 Geological Storage was held in Oslo, Norway organized by the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) in partnership with IEAGHG and hosted by the Research Council of Norway. Additional support was provided from the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF). Sponsorship was also provided by Statoil and the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Steve Winberg, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, and Torgeir Knudsen, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy were in attendance and gave introductions to begin the workshop. Katherine Romanak co-chaired the conference with Chair Tim Dixon (IEAGHG) and presented Welcome and Scene-setting: How to ‘Learn from our learnings’ to remind attendees of the overall objectives of the workshop: to share the knowledge of those who are doing offshore storage with those who want to do and to work towards an international collaboration on an offshore storage project that will serve many nations. Romanak also chaired the Monitoring offshore CO2 storage/EOR session, which highlighted important topics such as seismic monitoring, seafloor/environmental monitoring, and leakage detection. Tip Meckel presented his technical research on the shallow seismic (p-cable) at Tomakomai, and storage resource assessment of the Gulf of Mexico. Other key topics discussed at the workshop included CCS for hydrogen value chain opportunities including offshore, including how the new 45Q tax rules might stimulate CCS projects in the USA, infrastructure, project updates, standards, regulatory frameworks such as the London Protocol, and public funding lessons including how CCS might be supported through the Green Climate Fund. The workshop ended with a brainstorming session on how to collaborate on an offshore project and conclusions and recommendations. Participants at the offshore workshop had the opportunity to visit the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy plant in Oslo, one of the proposed facilities for CO2 capture for the Norwegian Northern Lights project including offshore CCS.

The offshore workshop was held in conjunction with the US/Norway Bilateral meeting aimed at identifying emerging areas of common interest between the two countries for future CCS research and development. Tip Meckel presented on the newly formed GoMCARB partnership lead by the BEG, focused on the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting included an update on the CO2 data share project, micro-seismic monitoring at Decatur, tools and hardware for offshore storage, NRAP for offshore and R&D co-operative projects. Initiatives such as ACT (Accelerating CCS Technologies), NCCS (the Norwegian CCS Centre), and ECCSEL (European CCS Laboratory Infrastructure) were also highlighted and discussed.

Conference Attendees

The 3rd International Workshop on Offshore CCS attendees.

 


Izaak Ruiz

Izaak Ruiz

March 22, 2018: GCCC graduate research assistant Izaak Ruiz has been accepted to the IEAGHG Summer School for CCS hosted by the Norwegian CCS Research Centre that takes place the week commencing the 25th June 2018 in Trondheim. IEAGHG’s Summer Schools are the only CCS education program to have a truly international focus. With the location moving around the world, the program has now taken place in over 7 countries covering Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. The Summer School is a great opportunity for networking and informal discussion with a range of experts attending (over 20 from both industry and research) who are all world-leading scientists in a wide range of fields.

 


 

Vanessa Nuñez-López

Vanessa Nuñez-López

February 28 - March 1, 2018: Vanessa Nuñez-López attended ACI's 10th Carbon Dioxide Utilization Summit in Tampa, Florida, to present "The Carbon Balance Evolution of CO2-EOR: an Opportunity for Net-Carbon-Negative-Oil." Carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) enhances oil production by injecting CO2 into depleted oil reserves to displace residual oil toward production wells in a solvent/miscible process for extraction. Often this injected CO2 has been sourced from natural CO2 accumulations. Recently, projects have emerged that use anthopogenic CO2 captured from industrial facilities. 

In this presentation, Vanessa Nuñez-López answered the question as to whether CO2-EOR represents a valid option for greenhouse gas emission reduction. The debate has centered around whether or not the injected and stored volume of CO2 counters the emissions associated with the processes throughout the entire value chain. The GCCC carried out a DOE-NETL funded study titled "Carbon Life Cycle Analysis of CO2-EOR for Net Carbon Negative Oil (NCNO) Classification" to examine the question and found that CO2-EOR not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions but also provided valuable information to those seeking tax credits for carbon dioxide sequestration.


AAAS Family Days Activity
AAAS Family Day Activity

February 18, 2018: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center attended Family Days at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual conference held in Austin, Texas. Two graduate students, Sarah Prentice and Peter Tutton, presented an interactive activity to educate children and their families about what CO2 is, why it's relevant to them and their everyday lives, and what we can do to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere. 


February 12, 2018: Susan Hovorka gave a guest lecture and demo to 21 high school teachers of JSG’s OnRamps Dual Enrollment Earth, Wind, and Fire course at the University of Texas at Austin. 


Conference Attendees

January 31, 2018: The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) co-hosted an expert workshop in Paris on the potential for advanced CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) to decarbonize oil production. Vanessa Nuñez-López discussed Net Carbon Negative Oil (NCNO) and its relation to the lifecycle analysis of carbon.


 

UTCCS-4 Group Picture

January 30-31, 2018: A little over one hundred researchers and industry experts who work on carbon capture and storage assembled at The University of Texas to share knowledge and discuss emerging technologies during UTCCS-4. This bi-annual event, in its fourth iteration, was presented by the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, the Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security, and the Texas Carbon Management Program. 

Plenary talks were given by Howard Herzog, from MIT's Energy Initiative, who put CCU and negative emissions in perspective, and by IEAGHG's Tim Dixon, who used the opportunity to share the impact of GCCC on the field of CCS in a global context.

The meeting included four major areas of focus. A carbon capture track was facilitated by Gary Rochelle of the Texas Carbon Management Program. A carbon storage research track focused on basic science results from the CFSES program and was led by Larry Lake. The Gulf Coast Carbon Center led a track Tuesday morning on their new CarbonSAFE project. And GCCC led tracks on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning showcasing general GCCC achievements over the last four years. Wednesday afternoon was reserved for a GCCC sponsors-only meeting hosted at the Bureau of Economic Geology.


Award

January 30, 2018: Congratulations to Pooneh Hosseininoosheri who won the “Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Research Award” for her poster "CO2-EOR/Storage: How black turns to green" at GAIN 2018. The annual event hosted by the Graduate Engineering Council at The University of Texas at Austin is a broad networking opportunity that allows The Cockrell School of Engineering to showcase its best and brightest graduate students.


January 24-25, 2018: Susan Hovorka served as an expert reviewer for the UK Geo Energy Observatories, a project of the British Geological Survey and many collaborators to develop well-arrays to support a wide variety of geotechnical research including geologic storage of CO2. She was able to share lessons learned from US DOE funded projects to assist in making this new venture as successful as possible. Nottingham, UK


CO2 Sequestration Atlas of Miocene Strata, Offshore Texas State Waters

January 19, 2018: GCCC is delighted to announce the publication of eological CO2 Sequestration Atlas of Miocene Strata, Offshore Texas State Waters, edited by Ramon Trevino and Tip Meckel. The Atlas summarizes research undertaken as part of a multiyear study (2009–2014) of Texas State Waters and the adjacent Federal Offshore Continental Shelf. It provides a resource for exploring the geological CO2 sequestration potential of the near-offshore waters of Texas via large-scale regional and qualitative, as well as detailed quantitative, information that can help operators quickly assess CO2 sequestration potential at specific sites. This is the first comprehensive attempt to accomplish this goal in the near offshore Gulf Coast and United States. For more information, please click here. To purchase a copy, please follow this link.


 

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