The Jackson School of Geosciences was a key sponsor of the University of Texas at Austin’s inaugural Energy Week event, and the Bureau had strong participation. In a session entitled, “Oil and Gas Supply and Economics”, Center for Energy Economics chief energy economist Michelle Michot Foss provided the audience of industry representatives, faculty and students a comprehensive overview of international oil and gas supply, demand and business dynamics. Her talk included discussion of global interactions and geopolitics, addressing a full picture of the hydrocarbon sector going forward. Session panelist Svetlana Ikonnikova, co-principal investigator of the Bureau’s Shale Resource and Reserve Study, updated the audience on the methodology, models and key projections of the nearly complete study of the four main U.S. shale gas plays (Barnett, Fayetteville, Haynesville and Marcellus), and on the preliminary work her multidisciplinary team is conducting to study the production and reserves of the two primary U.S. shale oil plays (Eagle Ford and Bakken).
That evening, the Jackson School’s student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists hosted a Town Hall Meeting panel discussion of “The Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing.” Moderated by renowned Wall Street Journal reporter and author Russell Gold, the panel included the Bureau’s director, Scott W. Tinker, and researchers Julia Gale and Ian Duncan. The panel responded to a great number of questions previously submitted by the large audience of students, researchers and faculty. The insights of the panelists covered a wide range of issues related to hydraulic fracturing which included its economic benefits, effects on communities, perceived environmental concerns, and future as an energy exploration technique.