The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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May 2012

3On May 30, the Bureau's Gulf Coast Carbon Center will host the Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage & CO2-EOR Technology Exchange at the Houston Research Center. The DOE-sponsored event is a DOE FE-China Shenhua Exchange Project Activity of the U.S.–China Energy Center at West Virginia University in cooperation with the Texas Carbon Capture and Storage Association and North American Carbon Capture and Storage Association. The event will look at a wide range of topics regarding CO2 recovery and utilization and will feature speakers from China and the United States. Bureau Senior Research Scientist and GCCC Director Sue Hovorka will present introductory and concluding comments for the event.


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Bureau Research Scientist Bill Ambrose presented “Geologic Controls on Clean Coal in Texas” at the Hill Country Geoscientists luncheon in Kerrville on May 21. Bill’s talk demonstrated that hypothetical clean-coal facilities could be built in several areas in the Texas Gulf Coast where new CO2 pipelines could link CO2 sources from coal-based power plants to oil fields with potential for enhanced oil recovery.

2Dixon Coulbourn is remembered at BEG for his 15 years of service, including his work as an IT systems administrator, but in a story published May 19, he was remembered by the Austin American Statesman for his varied and often eclectic artistic contributions to the community.


Dr. Shirley Duttton and Scott TinkerOn May 15, the Bureau honored 18 employees at its 2012 Staff Service Awards Luncheon. The annual ceremony recognizes individuals for their service to BEG and The University of Texas at Austin. Senior Research Scientist Shirley Dutton (pictured with Director Scott Tinker) topped the list, celebrating her 35th year of service at the Bureau. Others recognized during the ceremony include Paula Beard, Cari Breton, Melissa Garcia, Darrell Haynes, Randy McDonald, and J.P. Nicot, 10 years of service; John Andrews, Robert Reedy, Ramon Trevino, and Hongliu Zeng, 15 years of service; Sharon Campos, Reuben Reyes, and Tom Tremblay, 20 years of service; Lana Dieterich, 25 years; and Seay Nance and Jeff Paine, 30 years of service. The event was coordinated this year by Amelia Bridges.

A
The future of energy was the topic of discussion for Traverse City, Michigan high school students on May 10th and 11th, as ninth graders and seniors were treated to a special screening of Switch at the city's State Theatre. Directed by Harry Lynch, the award-winning film features Bureau Director Scott Tinker on a global quest to explore the realities of energy resources and alternatives, including coal, solar, oil and biofuels. Tinker was present at both screenings to conduct follow-up question-and-answer sessions with the students. [more]

Dr. Michelle FossOn April 17, Michelle Foss testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at its hearing on “Tapping America’s Unconventional Oil Resources for Job Creation and Affordable Domestic Energy.” To view a detailed summary of her talk, click here, or to view video of her testimony before the committee, click here. Foss also presented at the Argus North American Gas Conference on March 22 in Houston and at the CWC Group Conference on LNG in San Antonio on April 26. On March 21, Dr. Gürcan Gülen taught a course titled Gulan“Energy Economics” to a group of 22 midlevel upstream executives from Sinopec (China), who are preparing to lead company operations around the world. The program is a 21-week-long Sinopec Upstream Executive Education Leadership program developed by UT’s McCombs School of Business Executive Education. On March 26, Dr. Gülen presented “Moving Energy to Markets: Regional Electric Power Grids” at the Latin American Forum VII organized by the Jackson School of Geosciences in collaboration with the Energy Institute at UT-Austin, Greater Houston Partnership and Council of the Americas.


Dr. Michael YoungMichael Young, Bureau Associate Director of Environmental Systems, will moderate a panel at the upcoming 2012 Texas Water Summit being convened by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas, May 20 - 21. The session, titled "Technological, Economic, and Legal Challenges to Realizing the Potential of New Water Sources," will feature a panel of experts who will discuss the challenges of resource development and management in the coming decades. Panel members include Jorge Arroyo, Director, Innovation Water Technologies, Texas Water Development Board; Stacey A. Steinbach, J.D., Executive Director, Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts; Michael Webber, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy; and Kent Zammit, Senior Program Manager, Environment, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The event is being co-sponsored by the Bureau and hosted by The University of Texas at Austin at the AT&T Conference Center. To learn more, or to register for the conference, click here.

Jeff Paine Senior Research Scientist Jeff Paine presented a talk and organized a workshop on hyrofracturing at the recent Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems (SAGEEP), convened by the Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS) March 25-29 in Tucson, Arizona. Jeff presented "Integrated, Student-Led Hydrogeophysical Investigations at a Suspected Central Texas Sinkhole," a review of a student-designed geophysical field study using frequency-domain electromagnetic induction, electrical resistivity, ground-penetrating radar, microgravity, and seismic refraction methods. The study was conducted during a fall 2011 class on Hydrogeophysics taught by Jeff and JSG scientists Jack Sharp and Jack Holt. Results of data acquisition and processing were integrated by the students in a jointly written comprehensive report. Jeff also convened a workshop he helped organize titled "Hydraulic Fracturing 101: What Is It, What Are the Issues, and How Can Geophysics Help?" The workshop examined hydraulic-fracturing issues from the industry and environmental perspectives, as well as the application of multiple geophysical approaches to monitoring possible shallow impacts of hydrofracturing operations. Jeff discussed the use of electromagnetic induction (EM) as a shallow assessment and monitoring tool.



top, left to right: Bob Loucks, Stephen Ruppel, Robert Reed, and Ursula Hammes. below: Julia Gale, Peter Eichhubl, Andras Fall, and Stephen Laubach.
The Bureau sent a contingent of more than 35 scientists to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Annual Convention in Long Beach, April 22–25. Among those in attendance were Scott Tinker, Eric Potter, Bill Ambrose, Bruce Cutright, Beverly Dejarnett, Tim Dooley, Dallas Dunlap, Shirley Dutton, Peter Eichhubl, Andras Fall, Greg Frebourg, Julia Gale, Ursula Hammes, Xavier Janson, Stephen Laubach, Kitty Milliken, Lorena Moscardelli, Chris Ogiesoba, Robert Reed, Stephen Ruppel, David Smith, Tobias Weisenberger, Lesli Wood, Laura Zahm, Hongliu Zeng, and Zongwei Zhang. Attendees also included visiting scientist Hongtao Zhu and students Vishal Maharaj, Matthew Uddenberg, Migdalys Salazar, Siwei Li, Yao You, and Adam Stater. AAPG Energy Minerals Division presented the President's Certificate for Excellence in Presentation to two groups of Bureau authors. Bob Loucks, Stephen Ruppel, Robert Reed, and Ursula Hammes were recognized for "Spectrum of Pore Types in Siliceous Mudstones in Shale-Gas Systems," and Julia Gale, Peter Eichhubl, Andras Fall, and Stephen Laubach won for "Natural Fractures in Shales: Timing, Sealing, Mechanisms of Formation, and Relevance for Shale-Gas Reservoirs." Student and STARR researcher Rattanaporn "Jah" Fongngern also won 4th place for her poster "Sequence Stratigraphy, Sandstone Architecture, and Depositional Systems of the Lower Miocene Succession in the Carancahua Bay Area, Texas Gulf Coast."
 
 
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