News 2020

February 18, 2020: GCCC undergraduate researcher Margaret Murakami received Best Undergrad Poster Award at the UT Energy Week for her and GCCC research associate Sahar Bakhshian's research on pore-scale multiphase flow simulation in fractured rocks.

margaret shakes hand with award presenter


February 18, 2020: GCCC researchers Susan Hovorka and Ramon Gil-Egui present in San Antonio at the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) Underground Injection Control Conference focused on carbon capture and storage. Mike Paque, the GWPC executive director said in a news release, "This topic is particularly important and timely as many more states are seeking primacy for the Class VI UIC program and there are growing incentives for and interest in implementing geologic storage." Hovorka presented, "Cost of Selecting a Storage Site — Staged Investment to Decrease Risk" and Gil-Egui
presented "Stacked Storage and Tax Incentive Impacts on CO2-EOR Sustainability".

Image of Susan Hovorka at the podium presenting with a slide on reservoir complexity

Susan Hovorka presents at the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) Underground Injection Control Conference


February 11-13, 2020: Three GCCC researchers are participating in the STEM-CCS conference, revealing the latest updates in offshore CCS monitoring, as well as co-organized the coinciding 4th International Workshop on Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage. 

photo of all participants, around 150, at the stem-ccs conference


February 12, 2020: Recent PhD grad Prasanna Krishnamurthy and past master's student Emily Beckham are featured for the work they did as an ExxonMobil-supported UT Energy Institute Emerging Technology Fellow. View the feature here.

Here's what they told the EnergyFactor.

Prasanna Krishnamurthy: I trained as a chemical engineer during my undergrad, and right around that time the IPCC report came in, which was the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which said that CCS would be essential in order for us to meet any of these climate change goals. And that was definitely a very defining moment for me in terms of deciding what I want to do. After that, I sort of pivoted from what I was doing as a chemical engineer and moved to subsurface engineering, so that I can work on this problem.

Emily Beckham: I was studying how to store carbon dioxide that would have otherwise been emitted into the atmosphere. So, trapping it before it's released and pumping it underground. The best part about being a fellow was working with both my advisors and researchers here at UT, but also getting the input from the researchers at ExxonMobil. Getting their perspective and the business lens behind it was really valuable for me as a student.


February 7, 2020: GCCC was awarded a proposal under UT's Energy Institute's Fueling a Sustainable Energy Transition program. The aim of the project, Assuring Long-Term Storage: Technical-Legal-Policy-Business Models, is to build technical and societal confidence in long-term (100-plus years) storage. The results will be a product of GCCC collaborations with other UT research departments: the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations, the Cockrell School of Engineering, the Texas School of Law, and the McCombs School of Business.

schematic of long-term storage modeling pathway

The long-term assurance project will assess CO2 migration over the long-term and at points far from injection, a novel and stark contrast from well-known near-well and short-term (decades) migration studies.



February 11, 2020: Susan Hovorka participated in Ask Energy@UT Experts Anything during the University of Texas at Austin Energy Symposium hosted by the Energy Institute.

social media advertisement of the event


February 6, 2020: GCCC PhD student Prasanna Krishnamurthy successfully defended his PhD dissertation, Geologic Heterogeneity Controls on CO2 Migration and Trapping. Congrats, Dr. Krishnamurthy!

prasanna presents his work with a slide titled, how much CO2 is trapped?


January 28-29, 2020: GCCC co-hosted the 5th University of Texas Conference on Carbon Capture and Storage (UTCCS-5) with the UT Chemical Engineering Department's Texas Carbon Management Program. More than 100 people joined for the two-day technical presentations in conjunction with our biannual sponsor meeting. Read more about the conference on our blog.

Photo of the attendees in the Commons Center atrium at the JJ PIckle Research Campus at dinner tables during the talk

Dr. Varun Rai, director of the UT Energy Institute, gives a dinner talk to the roughly 100 attendees to the UTCCS-5 conference


January 22, 2020: GCCC master's graduate Izaak Ruiz is featured in the monthly GeoFORCE newsletter. Ruiz is now an exploration geologist with Repsol. Here's what he has to say about the GeoFORCE program: 

GeoFORCE, what can I say about this program. This program has completely changed my life for the better. Being born and raised in Eagle Pass, TX, I would have never thought I would be where I am today. GeoFORCE introduced me to the world of geosciences and guided me through college as a first generation student. But not only has this program been a big impact on my academic success, the mentors I have met along the way have given me the best advice when choosing a career path in the energy industry. Thank you Repsol for giving me this new opportunity and thank you to everyone that has impacted my life in some shape or form, especially GeoFORCE.

Izaak's feature in the monthly newsletter

Izaak Ruiz, a past GCCC graduate research assistant, is featured for his graduation of GeoFORCE and subsequent success as an exploration geologist with Repsol.


January 17, 2020: Visiting research scholar Dr. Rob Finley, with decades of academic experience in sedimentology, taught crucial geoscience skills to first-year graduate students, including Melianna Ulfah and John Franey.

photo of rob finley pointing to the computer monitor of seismic data and subsurface models


January 16, 2020: Vanessa Nuñez-López published the article, "Exploring the potential of carbon capture and storage-enhanced oil recovery as a mitigation strategy in the Colombian oil industry," in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. View the article here:


Image of key takeaways from the study
A graph from the article

There are four industrial centers, or clusters, of high-intensity emissions. The authors broke down the industrial sector contributions of CO2 for each of the clusters to demonstrate CO2 capture and storage potential.

Click here to view 2019 news and events.

Click here for "RI0283. Geological CO2 Sequestration Atlas of Miocene Strata, Offshore Texas State Waters"


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