The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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March, 2007


Wayne (left) and Charlie (second from left) discuss cores with Dr. Maria Dolores de Carvalho and Marcos Francisco Bueno de Moraes.

Charlie Kerans, Wayne Wright, and Eric Potter visited Petrobras’ offices in Rio de Janeiro last week to discuss an upcoming carbonate reservoir characterization project. The trip included a visit to the Petrobras research lab to examine cores and thin sections. Petrobras plans to send 4 visiting scientists at a time to Austin to participate in the team effort and to learn BEG’s workflow for carbonate reservoir studies. 03/27/07

The Bureau's own Jeff Paine will be presenting this Friday's seminar, March 30. Jeff's topic: "Flying the Colorado: Finding Salinity Sources in Stream-Axis EM Data from West Texas." The talk will begin promptly at 8:30 in the Bureau's Main Conference Room. Come early for donuts and conversation. [abstract] 03/27/07

On March 21, CEE’s Michelle Foss gave a presentation titled "North American Energy: A Mexico Perspective" at the Energy Conference for Heads of Mission, which was organized by the Canadian Consulate General (Dallas). The event was held in Houston, with participation by various Consulates throughout the U.S., in order to familiarize the HOM’s with the work of the various networks—particularly the Energy Network, or EnerNet. The Energy Network is one of six

networks established by Ottawa this past year to promote collaboration among various U.S. missions and the Canadian Embassy in long-term, strategic, public diplomacy efforts in key areas. EnerNet’s objectives are to promote research collaboration between universities, research institutions, and think tanks from the U.S. and Canada. 03/26/07

On April 2, the Bureau of Economic Geology and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) will host Scientific Software Day—a day designed to provide practical introductions to several software packages relevant to the research and science communities. Speakers from The University of Texas at Austin and local companies will showcase mostly open-source software that is of general use to scientific researchers. The software packages to be presented are not limited to any one area of science. Talks during the day-long event will cover linear algebra software, workflow, and programming languages and environments. To register, click here.

On April 20, BEG will also host a “Madagascar” school from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Bureau’s Main Conference Room. Sergey Fomel and Jim Jennings of BEG and Paul Sava of the Colorado School of Mines will be leading sessions on the open-source workflow application. Attendance at this open event is free. 03/26/07

Angela McDonnell (left) and Bob Loucks gave 2 of the 30 invited talks at a special symposium in Postojna, Slovenia, “Time in Karst,” at the Karst Research Institute of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The symposium was held March 14–18 and was attended by 130 researchers from 28

countries. Angela presented the research she had done with Bob Loucks and Tim Dooley titled “Quantifying Paleocave Collapse from 3D Seismic Data: Examples from the Paleozoic Section in the Northern Fort Worth Basin, Texas,” and Bob presented his research on “Megascale Architecture and Regional Distribution Patterns of Coalesced, Collapsed Paleocave Systems.” Bob also presented two poster talks. 03/21/07

Professor Robert Bodnar, JSG Allday Lecturer from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, will present "Fluids Associated with Hydrocarbons and Ores in Sedimentary Basins" at this Friday's Technical Seminar. The talk will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Bureau's Main Conference Room. 03/21/07

Members of the FutureGen Texas team in attendance at the ABEC/CCTFT Energy Leadership Forum on March 7. From left to right: Judge Byron Ryder, Russ Baier, Joel Trouart, Steve Walden, Ian Duncan, Scott Rodgers, Jay Kipper, Sharon Campos, and Hoxie Smith.

Members of the FutureGen Texas team attended the Energy Leadership Forum in Austin, Texas, March 6–7. Hosted by Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC) and the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas (CCTFT), the forum provided information and discussion on how clean coal technologies can help Texas meet the challenge of increased energy production with reduced emissions. 03/20/07

BEG's Sue Hovorka (center) helped hundreds of students explore geology by panning for gold as part of Explore UT on March 3.

Hundreds of busloads of students from around the state and thousands of others attended Explore UT to find out for themselves about this great school and all it has to offer. The entire UT community was out in force, including Bureau folks, who had activities for kids, teachers, and parents—panning for gold (pyrite), making pet rocks, and looking deep into the Earth’s surface using 3-D geology. These educational activities let the public know about the important contributions that geologists make to our society. Geoscience activities were organized by the Jackson School, and more than 1,500 people came through the School to participate. Volunteers from the Bureau included Sharon Campos, Sigrid Clift, Jeannie Farahnak, Ursula Hammes and her children Nora and Max, Sue Hovorka and her daughters Maggie and Theresa, Jennifer Logan, Scott Rodgers, and Becky Smyth. Thanks to all! 03/19/07

On March 8, Sergey Fomel participated in the Spring Symposium organized by the Geophysical Society of Houston (GSH) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) in Houston. Sergey presented a talk titled "Semblance and other seismic similarity attributes" to an international audience of about 200 geoscientists. The symposium was organized in honor of M. Turhan Taner, famed Houston geophysicist. Taner's most recent work, a new method of seismic

diffraction imaging, was developed in collaboration with Sergey Fomel and Evgeny Landa and presented at the SEG Annual International Meeting last year. Earlier this year, Sergey gave an invited presentation titled "The seislet transform and seislet frames" at the GSH Signal Processing meeting. 03/19/07

Fred Wang presented his research on the Fullerton Clear Fork field to a packed house of engineers and geologists Wednesday, March 7, at the Midland College Advanced Technology Center in Midland, Texas. His talk, titled “Fundamentals of Rock-Based Reservoir Modeling; A Case History from the Lower Permian Fullerton Field, Permian Basin,” was part of the Permian Basin chapter of the Society

of Petroleum Engineers’ weekly luncheon seminar series. Fullerton is the largest Clear Fork field in the Permian Basin. 03/16/07

Becky Smyth gives a demonstration on storing CO2 in subsurface brine aquifers on the basis of studies at BEG to decrease CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

The March 5th Austin Geological Society’s annual poster session featured four local middle and high school students who conducted experiments on the basis of earth science topics and who had competed at the 2007 Austin area regional science fair competition. They displayed and discussed their award-winning science projects with AGS members. The Bureau of Economic Geology, host of the monthly AGS meetings, provided a tour for students and their parents, during which they could learn about current studies from BEG researchers. Those researchers who gave presentations were Becky Smyth, Corinne Wong, Angela McDonnell, and Eddie Collins. Sigrid Clift served as tour guide. 03/14/07

Postdoctoral Fellow Gil Strassberg presented Friday’s technical seminar. Titled “Comparison of Seasonal Terrestrial Water Storage Variations from GRACE with in situ Measurements from the High Plains Aquifer,” the talk presented results of the first direct comparison of seasonal groundwater storage changes derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data using in situ

measurements in a semiarid region. The seminars begin at 8:30 am Fridays in the Bureau’s Main Conference Room.[abstract] 03/14/07

Michelle Foss and Mariano Gurfinkel attended the leading event on North American LNG industry, the CWC LNG 2007 conference, in San Antonio on March 8-9. Dr. Foss kicked off the event and chaired the opening plenary, which dealt with "Current Supply and Demand Trends." Mariano

Gurfinkel chaired a roundtable discussion on possible bottlenecks for future LNG supplies. For more information, click here. 03/13/07

The annual meeting of the Permian Basin Geological Synthesis Project concluded Tuesday February 27th with a field trip to the Texas Hill Country. The trip, which was led by Steve Ruppel, Bob Loucks, Wayne Wright, and Julia Gale, visited key outcrops of major Texas reservoir systems, including karsted Lower Ordovician Ellenburger, Mississippian Barnett Shale, and Pennsylvanian Marble Falls carbonates and Smithwick shales. The trip was attended by 30 industry geoscientists representing 11 companies. Seay Nance, Eric Potter, and Chris Zahm also attended. 03/08/07

The Center for Energy Economics hosted an exchange visit of 28 students from the University of Alberta MBA program February 19-23. The students, who specialize in Natural Resources and Energy, were in Texas for one-week visiting CEE, energy companies and law firms, regulatory

agencies and the University of Texas campus in Austin. On this opening day of the UA visit, CEE senior staff made presentations on the world outlooks for natural gas and its impact on North America, natural gas and LNG projects, and Texas electricity market restructuring. During their visit to the UT-Austin campus, the students heard the presentations of Dr. Ehud Ronn, Dr. Chip Groat, Dr. Chis Jablonowski, as well as McCombs’ students. Canadian students also presented their research papers on various issues of energy development in Alberta and Canada in general. Download papers and presentations here. 03/06/07

   

 

 
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