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

2The Bureau mourns the recent loss of John Ullo, a friend and employee at the Bureau and an exceptional researcher whose insight and counsel were key in the advancement of BEG's Advanced Energy Consortium. Having received his Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from MIT, John pursued his technical interests in mathematical modeling, computational physics, reservoir evaluation, and nanotechnology applications at Schlumberger Oilfield Services for 35 years. Serving in several R&D management positions in North America and Europe, John was Director of Research for Reservoir Evaluation at the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center from 1996 through 2001 and Vice President & General Manager of the Schlumberger Austin Technology Center from 2001 through 2004. Bureau Director Scott Tinker summarized Ullo's impact in his role in the AEC Consortium: "To John's AEC family, John was a keystone. He will be so deeply missed by all who know him. He had a fundamental impact on one of the great technical challenges of our time and one of the unique consortia of our time. I am very thankful for his vision, intelligence, expertise, and counsel."


1Bureau researchers Eddie Collins (left) and Jeff Paine drilled, sampled, and geophysically logged four boreholes in the Nueces River Delta and surrounding upland areas during the week of July 16–20. Comparatively little is known about the geologic history of the thick and extensive Upper Quaternary deposits (Beaumont Formation and younger) on the Texas coastal plain. The drilling of these 100-ft-deep boreholes is a first step toward improving knowledge of the geologic impact of the repeated cycles of sea-level rise and fall that characterize our recent geologic past.

Determining the most effective and safest means of mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide is a shared concern of scientists and the public worldwide. As a leader in the technology and monitoring of geologic carbon storage, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center makes outreach a top priority. In 2012, the GCCC has accelerated efforts both to welcome carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) experts from around the world to their facilities in Austin and to travel to meet with international colleagues. GCCC Principal Investigator Susan Hovorka attended the China-Australia Geologic Storage Technical Symposium in Beijing, China, in April, providing an overview of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies. GCCC outreach
In June, Hovorka and Katherine Romanak attended the International Energy Agency (IEA) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Joint Network Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The joint network coordinates four of IEA’s geological storage networks, combining the expertise of international organizations at the forefront of research, development, and demonstration of GHG mitigation technologies. Changbing Yang was invited to speak on monitoring large-volume CO2 injection at Cranfield at the International Workshop on Geological CO2 Sequestration in Changchun, China, in July. Yang also gave two lectures on reactive transport modeling in subsurface environments at Jilin University. In August, Susan Hovorka will attend the 34th International Geological Conference in Brisbane, Australia, to give the keynote talk focusing on the Cranfield project. Also in August, the IEAGHG will sponsor a summer school in Beijing. Katherine Romanak is lecturing in the course, and GCCC student Mary Hingst is attending. This November, the International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (GHGT-11) will be held in Kyoto, Japan. Presentations by Susan Hovorka, Tip Meckel, Katherine Romanak, JP Nicot, and STORE's Hilary Olson have been accepted. To learn more about GCCC activities, click here.

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The Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC) sponsored its sixth biannual all-projects review meeting May 30–31, 2012, at Schlumberger’s Doll Research Center (DRC) in Cambridge, MA. All of the funded research teams, representing 23 universities, research institutes, and national labs from around the world, converged in Boston to share their most recent results, test methodologies, particles, and design strategies. More than 165 registered participants attended this meeting, including members of the Board of Managers (BoM), Technical Advisory Council (TAC), member-company mentors, collaborating principal investigators, and their students. The 2 days were divided into the four AEC technology thrust areas, with project managers introducing their respective sections and reviewing the current research status of each. The Mobility portfolio covered simulation, metrology, and coating-synthesis research from molecular, to pore, and, finally, to core scales. Sessions also reviewed Nanomaterial Sensors projects, the Contrast Agent portfolio, and communication and sensing technologies that will be integrated into microfabricated electronic sensors for subsurface application. David Chapman also hosted a 1-day workshop on Friday, June 1, that included a tutorial on hydraulic fracturing.

 

 
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