Grand Opening of the Houston Research Center on June 4, 2004

A grand opening of the Houston Research Center (HRC) will be held on Friday, June 4, 2004, and will include a short ceremony, an unveiling of plaques acknowledging contributors and partners to date, and a tour of the facility. Invitees include representatives from the NSF; senior representatives from industry, The University of Texas, and U.S. Department of Energy; geological societies; and State and Federal politicians with interests in the facility.


Scott Tinker, Director BEG and State Geologist of Texas
Welcome and Introduction

Juan Sanchez, Vice President for Research, The University of Texas at Austin
UT Commitment to Rock Curation

Annell Bay, Regional Exploration Director, Americas, Shell,
Shell's Midland Facility and Gift

Jim Farnsworth, Vice President, World-Wide Exploration, BP,
The BP Facility

Rita Bajura, Director, National Energy Technology Laboratory
DOE's Role in Subsurface Data Preservation

Steve Hinchman, Senior Vice President, Productions Operations, Marathon
Major Equipment Donation

Tom Menges, President and General Manager, Oxy Permian Ltd.
Corporate Rock Collection Donation

Vince Lemieux, Manager, Information Technology, Unocal
Corporate Technical Library

Rich Lane, Program Director, Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, NSF
NSF and Terrestrial Collections Curation

Craig Dingler, President, Houston Geologic Society
Community Need for a Public Rock and Technical Library


The Houston Research Center
The HRC is a public facility for core research donated to the University by BP. A full technical library was donated by Unocal. The HRC is more than 120,000 ft2. in size, 30,000 ft2. of which is composed of a core layout room, office space, three conference rooms, and meeting areas. The remaining 90,000 ft2. houses more than 500,000 boxes of geologic material (core, cuttings, thin sections, outcrop samples, and paleo samples) that is accessible to the public via a searchable, online database ( This database includes the entire BEG holdings, which total 1.7 million boxes of rock material.

The HRC is much more than a core warehouse. With two geologists on staff as well as core technicans, the HRC serves the public by providing easy access to geologic material, a facility for short courses or society meetings, and a full geologic, geophysical, and engineering library that has an on-staff technical librarian. The Houston Geological Society Bulletin has published extensive articles about the HRC (April 2003 and February 2004).

For more information about the HRC, please contact Laura Zahm (713-896 8560; or Beverly DeJarnett (713-983-9420;

For more information on the facility, click here.

Click here for a pdf-formatted brochure about the HRC.