The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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July 2010

a

In June, Jeff Paine traveled to China to attend a geophysics and geohazards conference and workshop held in Wuhan and Chengdu, China, where he gave invited presentations on geophysics applied to sinkholes. These events, hosted by the China University of Geosciences and the Chengdu University of Technology, were part of the 4th International Conference on Environmental and Engineering Geophysics chaired by Runqiu Huang, Xuben Wang, Jianghai Xia, Yaoguo Li, Shen Yu, and Yixian Xu. Highlights of the trip were a 1-day workshop in Wuhan, a visit to laboratories at the China University of Geosciences, 2 days of geohazard-focused presentations at the conference, and a 2-day field trip to areas affected by the Great Sichuan Earthquake (magnitude 8) of May 12, 2008. Photos depict the village of Beichuan, a former community of about 20,000, that was abandoned after the quake and left largely untouched in memory of the residents who lost their lives. More than 70,000 perished; more than 4,000,000 were left homeless.

b



GCCC
Researchers at BEG's Gulf Coast Carbon Center were instrumental in securing a contract recently awarded by the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for carbon sequestration research. DOE selected NRG Energy, one of the nation's largest electric power providers, to receive up to $167 million of funding to build a post-combustion CO2 capture demonstration unit at the company's W.A. Parish power plant southwest of Houston. A portion of the CO2 emissions will be captured, transported to a nearby oil field and injected deep underground for enhanced oil recovery and long-term storage.

As part of the program, NRG has subcontracted with the Bureau's Gulf Coast Carbon Center to receive up to $19 million to monitor the CO2 during and after injection. Bureau Principal Investigator Rebecca Smyth explained GCCC's primary role: "Our goal is to demonstrate that the injected CO2 stays where they put it. We'll be designing and implementing a monitoring system to try to identify where the carbon dioxide goes in the subsurface - both the deep subsurface, which is 5,000 to 6,000 feet below the surface, and the shallow subsurface. The objective is ensure that the carbon dioxide does not impact drinking water resources."

To learn more, read the article in the Daily Texan or see the official University of Texas at Austin press release.



Julia Gale was an invited speaker at the Global Unconventional Gas 2010 Conference, which was held June 15–17. The event, organized by GTI, was conducted in the 17th-century Koepelkerk in the heart of Amsterdam. Presentations focused on the potential for development of unconventional gas beyond the U.S., along with the challenges.

 

 

 
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