The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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January 2010
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On January 12 - 13, 72 attendees representing 16 company members of the Bureau's newest Industrial Associates program, the Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL), attended the consortium's 2-day inaugural meeting at the Bureau. The twin goals of both the consortium and the meeting are developing new understandings of mudrocks (shales),the most common sedimentary rock type, with specific reference to issues bearing on characterization, exploration, and exploitation of potential gas-bearing systems. The MSRL is working to collect, analyze, and integrate a wide spectrum of geological data sets using stratigraphic and facies analysis, micro- and nanoscale imaging, geochemistry, structural studies, and rock properties analysis as a means to this end. Day 1 of the meeting featured 18 oral presentations by Bureau scientists (including PI Steve Ruppel, Fred Wang, Rob Reed, Kitty Milliken, Bob Loucks, Julia Gale, Scott Hamlin, Uschi Hammes, Ruarri Day-Stirrat, Tongwei Zhang, and Farzam Javadpour) and project collaborators Alton Brown and Niki Hughes. Day 2 included core workshop presentations by Ruppel, Hentz, Loucks, David Hull, Hamlin, Hammes, and Seay Nance and a short course on the fundamentals of mudrock petrology by Kitty Milliken. The MSRL is part of the Bureau's multipronged effort to confront basic research questions in unconventional energy systems.
[Full story]



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Dr. Farzam Javadpour's paper titled "Nanotechnology-Based Micromodels and New Image Analysis to Study Transport in Porous Media” has been selected as the best paper published in the Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology (SPE Canada). Farzam received the Dr. S.M. Farouq Ali Best Paper Published in the JCPT 2008 Award in a ceremony in Calgary in October 2009. The paper was co-authored by Mr. Douglas Fisher from the Alberta Research Council. Congratulations Farzam!


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"Industry icon" is the acknowledgment recently bestowed upon BEG Director Scott W. Tinker by Oil and Gas Investor magazine in its January 2010 issue. The energy journal's feature story traces Tinker's history from early educational mentors to his leadership roles at BEG, AAPG, and AASG. It also discusses his recent worldwide lecture tour and his role in an upcoming feature-length documentary on global energy. To read the full article, click here.


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On January 21, 2010, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) hosted the annual meeting of its Industrial Associates. The Bureau's Gulf Coast Carbon Center is a leader in developing and providing technical and educational resources to effectively and safely implement carbon storage and sequestration (CCS). BEG Director Scott Tinker opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees, including representatives from many of the Industrial Associates - Environmental Defense Fund, ExxonMobil, Schlumberger Carbon, Conoco Phillips, Marathon, BP, Kinder Morgan, Chevron, Aramco, Entergy, and Luminant. The focus of the morning session was a 5-year retrospective summarizing the growth and accomplishments of the GCCC. Presentations were made by GCCC Researchers Susan Hovorka, Ramon Trevino, David Carr, Katherine Romanak, JP Nicot, and BEG researcher Gurcan Gulen. Topics included staff growth, outreach, funding, technical achievements, monitoring, assessment of risk, and legislative and economic considerations. GCCC students and research assistants presented their major achievements. Afternoon sessions explored recent accomplishments and current projects. The meeting concluded with discussion between GCCC and Associates, focusing on developing plans for future activities and objectives for the next 5 years.



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On January 26-27 in Washington D.C., the Center for Energy Economics, jointly with Terra Group, held an invitation only forum titled "New Challenges in Siting Transmission Lines". The CEE
co-sponsored event was attended by over 75
federal and state policymakers and regulators,congressional energy and environment staff, independent system operators, transmission owners and developers, and majorenvironmental groups and other stakeholders.



Tip Meckel attended a joint Australia-China workshop on Carbon Sequestration in Canberra the week of January 18. The meeting was hosted by Geoscience Australia as part of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. Meeting attendees included delegations from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China University of Petroleum, Australian government, British Geological Survey, and industry. Tip presented on technical accomplishments
of the GCCC field projects at Frio Pilot and Cranfield and also provided an overview of the U.S. DOE Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program. In early February, Australian mining company Resourcehouse Ltd. announced a record $60 billion agreement to supply 30 million tons of coal annually over 20 years to China Power International Development Ltd., part of major power producer China Power Investment Corp.

For more information, click here.

 

 

 

 
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