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

Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC) members from Shell and Schlumberger recently visited TNO, a not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands that focuses on applied science. The AEC is funding a research project with TNO that is developing quantum dot-based nanotechnology sensors. QDots exhibit a bright photoluminescence that is highly dependent on the type and size (<10 nanometers) of the particles, as well as their physical and chemical environment. QDots are attractive candidates for nanoscale oil-reservoir sensors because they are inexpensive, nontoxic, environmentally friendly, and detectable at extremely low concentrations.

Michelle Foss (center)and members of Sinopec
During the last week of July in Austin, Dr. Michelle Foss taught a course titled "Global Challenges and Future Outlooks" to a group of 25 midlevel downstream executives from Sinopec (China), who are preparing to lead company operations around the world. The program is a 21-week-long Sinopec Refinery Executive Education Leadership program developed by UT's McCombs School of Business Executive Education. Dr. Gulen of CEE will teach a course titled "Energy Economics" to the group later in the summer.
 

Dr. Scott TinkerDirector Scott Tinker was interviewed earlier in the summer by ABB, a technology-based provider of power and automation products, regarding the global oil and gas energy scene. In this interview, Scott discusses the evolution of technological advances, their impact on the accessibility of reserves, and the importance of access to energy reserves for companies to stay competitive. The trend from conventional to unconventional is highlighted, with a focus on infrastructure and natural gas. Scott talks about the technological challenges in the extraction of unconventional oil and gas and some of the advances that are changing the face of the oil and gas industry. Also discussed are the importance of industrial and individual energy efficiency, notably the impact of effective "broad incentives that encourage industries and individuals to become more efficient." Scott replies to questions about carbon capture and sequestration and the implications of cost on the viability of this new, innovative process. Read the full interview here.

On Friday, August 5, Dr. Scott Tinker hosted the annual meeting of the BEG Visiting Committee. The morning began with an introduction of the committee's newest member, the Honorable Barry Smitherman, who was recently appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve as a commissioner on the Railroad Commission of Texas. The morning agenda continued with an informative discussion of the Bureau's strategic planning process, with great feedback from committee members. The afternoon focused on a preview of the two professional society meetings that the Bureau is hosting in 2012 (GCAGS and AASG), followed by a detailed analysis of ideas for the expansion of the Bureau STARR program.
BEG Visiting Committee 2011
(left to right): Jay Kipper, BEG; Robert Mace, TWDB; Kevin Ward, Trinity River Authority; Mark Vickery, TCEQ; Bud Scherr, Valence Operating; Barry Smitherman, RRC; Jerry Patterson, GLO; Michael Ming, the State of Oklahoma; Scott Tinker, BEG; Tim Brittan, Infinity Oil & Gas; Bud Brigham, Brigham Exploration; Chuck Williamson, Consultant; Michael Young, BEG; Eric Potter, BEG; Bill Ambrose, BEG.

In China and Russia this summer, Sergey Fomel and his colleagues organized Schools on Reproducible Computational Geophysics using the Madagascar Software Package. The school in China was hosted by the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and attracted 230 participants representing 12 Chinese universities, 5 companies, and CAS. The school in Russia was hosted by the Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics (Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) and the Novosibirsk State University.

CEE's Dr. Gurcan Gülen made presentations July 16 - 29 on upstream economics, natural gas and LNG value chains, renewables economics, and project finance to Assistant Energy Experts from the Energy Market Regulatory Authority of Turkey. The group was attending a long-term capacity building program hosted by the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.

Dr. Brad WolaverDr. Brad Wolaver recently joined the Bureau as a Research Associate - Hydrologist in the Environmental Division. His research will focus on building new programs in hydrologic research in areas such as karst systems and water-resource assessments, including sustainable groundwater management for people and the environment, particularly in semiarid and arid regions. Brad received his Ph.D. in Geology in 2008 from The University of Texas at Austin and his M.S. in Hydrology in 1999 from the University of Arizona, Tucson. Previously Brad was a Research Fellow at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, where he created a hydrogeologic conceptual model of the regional aquifer and spring complex on the west margin of the Great Artesian Basin. His results will help guide groundwater development and preserve spring discharge. We welcome Brad to the Bureau.

Tinker"Connecting R&D with the Goals of E&P," an article recently published in the Journal of Petroleum Technology, highlights a recent keynote address by Bureau Director Scott Tinker at the SPE 2011 Research & Development Symposium in Austin. In his talk, Scott described creation of the Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC) and its definitive goal of placing nanotechnology applications in the field within 10 years. The article discusses this and other cutting-edge research now being undertaken for improved energy exploration and discovery. To read the full article, click here. nano

 

 

 

 
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