The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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June 2011

2011 Geothermal Energy Utilization Conference
The Bureau is partnering with Southern Methodist University and corporate sponsors to present the 2011 Geothermal Energy Utilization Conference on the SMU campus in Dallas, June 13–15. The 3-day conference brings together research leaders from both business and academe to discuss specific issues relevant to expanding geothermal electrical production in oil and gas fields. Bruce Cutright of BEG’s STARR group will be presenting “Transformation of Tight Shale Gas Formations to Geothermal Energy Production,” a talk that explores the possibilities of substantially enhancing long-term energy resources by transitioning existing oil fields to geothermal energy production. The conference will explore these opportunities and discuss ready technologies that can make geothermal energy production economically competitive with wind, solar energy, and biofuels.

Dr Svetlana IkonnikovaDr. Svetlana Ikonnikova, former postdoctoral fellow, recently joined the Bureau as a Research Associate -Economist in the Energy group - providing expertise on the STARR program and anchoring above-ground aspects of the new U.S. Shales Project funded by the Sloan Foundation grant. Svetlana received her Ph.D. in Economics and Management Science in 2007 from the Humboldt University of Berlin and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Applied Physics and Mathematics in 2001 and 2003, respectively, from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Dr. Ikonnikova has a number of published articles and presentations on energy economics. Her initial focus will be to conduct research on U.S. shale resource plays, examining economic assumptions implicit in scenarios that achieve selected levels of future gas production.

left to right: Tim Dooley, Michael Hudec, and Martin JacksonTim Dooley and co-authors Michael Hudec and Martin Jackson of the Bureau's Applied Geodynamics Laboratory were presented an Award of Excellence as a "Top Ten" poster presentation at this year's AAPG Convention in Houston for their poster "Canopy Evolution: Deformation Processes and Subsidence Patterns." This is the third time in the past 4 years that the group has been awarded this recognition.

Solar array construction at BEGOn June 2, the Bureau took part in an unveiling of solar panels that had been installed on the Pickle Research Campus. The installation, which includes one set of cells mounted on the ground in a field and another atop a carport (the Bureau location), is touted as being the largest completed solar project at one location in Austin. UT expects, as a result of this installation, to save 263 tons of CO2 emissions annually. For more, see the Austin American-Statesman story.

Dr Sergey FomelSergey Fomel is the 2011 recipient of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) Conrad Schlumberger award, which is given by EAGE for "an outstanding contribution over a period of time to the scientific and technical advancement of the geosciences, particularly geophysics." Consisting of a medal and a certificate, the award was presented to Sergey at the awards ceremony during the EAGE Annual Meeting in Vienna on May 23. For the full citation, click here.

CEE-Sinopec meeting attendees: click to see larger image
From May 31 through June 3, CEE hosted a group of 23 midlevel executives from Sinopec (China) in Houston. The program is a 21-week-long Leadership Executive Education program developed for Sinopec E&P by UT's McCombs School of Business Executive Education. While in Houston, the group attended presentations by CEE-UT senior staff and visited Houston-based oil-field service companies.

click to see complete imageThe AEC conducted its fourth bi-annual all projects review meeting June 1-3 at Schlumberger's Doll Research Center (DRC) in Cambridge, MA. The consortium-funded research continues to mature. A voluminous amount of new and relevant data was presented, and for the first time the agenda included presentations from project Co-PIs which provided additional depth and perspective. More than 150 registered participants attended, including members of the Board of Managers (BoM), Technical Advisory Council (TAC), member company mentors, collaborating principal investigators, and their students.

Dr. Lorena Moscardelli Lorena Moscardelli and Lesli Wood's paper, "Deep-Water Erosional Remnants in Eastern Offshore Trinidad as Terrestrial Analogs for Teardrop-Shaped Islands on Mars: Implications for Outflow Channel Formation," which was published in a recent volume of Geology, was featured in the June 21 edition of Wired Science: News for Your Neurons on the internet. In the article, "Streamlined Islands Could Mean Ancient Oceans on Mars" by Lisa Grossman, Lorena talks about her underwater work in Trinidad and is quoted as saying "Most analogies between Earth and Mars are made using continental (on-land) data sets or environments because that data is easier to gather. I am providing for the first time, as far as I know, a deep-water terrestrial analog." For the whole story, click here.

Dr. Michael Hudec visits PEMEX
Workshop participants (from L to R): Hector Lopez, Ulises Rodriguez, Mike Hudec, David Barrera, Juan Carlos Flores, and Rolando Peterson

Mike Hudec visited Pemex’s offices in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico, April 11-15 to conduct a workshop on salt tectonics in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Participants reviewed seismic data from the area and developed models for the tectonic evolution of the basin.


Project STARROn Wednesday and Thursday, June 22 and 23, STARR researchers showcased their latest research on Haynesville and Bossier shale-gas formation and production. Over the course of the 2-day workshop, Ursula Hammes, Gregory Frebourg, Bob Loucks, and Fred Wang enlightened 25 students and 40 industry participants on the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and mudrock pore studies of the region, while utilizing the Bureau's Austin Core Library for hands-on demonstrations of the area's geology. The workshop was part of an ongoing series aimed at oil and gas professionals and students by the Bureau in conjunction with the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council. Students were sponsored by the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM. BEG's Robert Newsham coordinated the 2-day event.


Associate Director Eric Potter

BEG Associate Director Eric Potter discusses the formation of river beds with two ninth-grade GeoFORCE students at Blackwater Hole on the Frio River near Uvalde on June 29. The GeoFORCE program provides South Texas and Houston-area high school students with the opportunity to travel and learn geology from expert geoscientists around the country.


Ned FrostDr. Edmund "Ned" Frost III recently joined the Bureau as a Research Associate - Carbonate Stratigrapher in the State of Texas Advanced Resource Recovery (STARR) program. The focus of his research will be to conduct reservoir characterization and regional geological studies in carbonate rocks of Texas. In 2007 Ned received his Ph.D. in Geology from the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin, and in 1998 he received his Bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of Colorado. Ned previously worked as a Senior Research Geologist at Conoco-Phillips Subsurface Technology Company in Houston and as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Bureau. Welcome, Ned!


Associate Director Eric Potter

On June 17 and 18, Susan Hovorka served on an eight-member scientific advisory committee at BIGCCS, a technology center in Jaegtovolden, Norway, with the goals of building expertise and closing critical knowledge gaps of the CO2 chain, as well as developing novel technologies in extensive collaborative research. Earlier, at the Trondheim Carbon Capture and Storage Conference in Trondheim, Norway (June 14 - 16), Katherine Romanak (above, left) presented "Soil-Gas identification of Vadose-Zone Carbon Cycling: Implications for Near Surface Monitoring at CCS Sites" and "Sensitivity of Shallow Groundwater Systems to CO2: Case Studies from the Cranfield and SACROC EOR Fields" for Changbing Yang. Katherine also presented a poster titled "Natural CO2 Releases Providing Messages for Stakeholders" with UK collaborator Tim Dixon (above, right) of the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas research program (IEAGHG). Ian Duncan also attended the conference and presented two posters.

 

 

 

 
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