The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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April 2013
The Houston Research Center The Bureau of Economic Geology will host a Houston Research Center 10th Anniversary Celebration and CoreFest in the second week of May. The event will acknowledge and thank the companies that have provided support and core material to the HRC over the years, and invite guests to experience the incredible repository of cores, cuttings, and well material accessible at the HRC. An open house will run throughout the afternoon and include tours of the HRC and demonstrations of its capabilities, a screening of the energy documentary, Switch, some brief tech talks of interest to corporate guests, an evening reception, and a brief recognition program. The CoreFest will feature material from historic wells and formations on display in the viewing room.

pictured: Robert Dombrowski (left) and Tadeusz Patzek
On Tuesday, April 16th, more than forty researchers discussed preliminary results from the BEG-managed Shell UT Unconventional Research (SUTUR) program on unconventional oil and natural gas. Researchers' presentations included work on reservoir characterization, mass transport, multi-scale physics, and hydraulic fracturing. For more information,click here.

1
BEG Research Scientist Bill Ambrose, former Shuttle astronaut James F. Reilly II, and EMD past president Douglas C. Peters are editors of AAPG Memoir 101, "Energy Resources for Human Settlement in the Solar System and Earth's Future in Space." Memoir 101 is a comprehensive review of energy and mineral resources in the Solar System, including materials that can both sustain future manned expeditions and colonies in space and support Earth's energy and critical-material challenges in the 21st century and beyond. The memoir also features articles by Research Associate Bruce Cutright and Editor Bill Ambrose on resources on asteroids and the Moon, respectively.

3The Bureau has released Report of Investigations No. 276, Anatomy of a Giant Carbonate Reservoir: Fullerton Clear Fork (Lower Permian) Field, Permian Basin, Texas. Edited b2y Senior Research Scientist Stephen C. Ruppel, the volume is co-published with AAPG as AAPG Studies in Geology 63. Contributing authors include current or former Bureau scientists F. Jerry Lucia, Fred Wang, Hongliu Zeng, Jeffrey Kane, Jim Jennings, Rebecca Harrington, and Stephen Ruppel. The publication is currently available online at BEGstore.


AEC nanotechnology laboratory
The Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC) has established a nanotechnology laboratory at the Bureau's Core Research Center (CRC) and is undertaking an extensive metrology study to compare and catalog magnetic nanoparticles (MNP's) for their usefulness in illuminating waterflood and frac-network imaging. The lab is managed by Project Manager Dr. Mohsen Ahmadian (pictured center, above), and research is being conducted in collaboration with scientists at leading universities in the United States, Europe, and South America and member companies including BG, BP, Petrobras, Schlumberger, Shell, Statoil, and Total. The Contrast Agent Program aims to synthesize and characterize various nanoparticles (including MNP's) that will be used for illumination of subsurface reservoirs fluids. The immediate need is to assess the usefulness of MNPs as passive tracers traversing the injected-waterflood front. These tracers could then be imaged using existing electromagnetic cross-well geophysical tools in order to improve the resolution and depth of investigation beyond those of current logging techniques. The nanometrology lab was established to expedite characterization of various MNP contrast agents being synthesized. Its charter is to analyze nanoparticles to determine the relationship between their physical and chemical characteristics (composition, size, crystallinity, surface coating, etc.) and their magnetic permeability. Through generous grants from AEC member companies and matching funding from the JSG Equipment Committee, the lab has purchased a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). Until now, AEC has relied upon a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) for measurement of magnetic properties of nanoparticles. However, the relatively low throughput and high costs associated with SQUID limited the number of samples that could be measured. In comparison, the VSM promises a much higher throughput (about six times that of SQUID) and is suitable for detailed analysis of magnetic characteristics of nanoparticles. The availability of the VSM at the BEG will extend AEC's suite of nanogeoscience tools and encourage new collaborative research and training opportunities for JSG students and research staff in the areas of nanogeosciences, magnetics, paleomagnetics, and metrology.

GulenGürcan Gülen of the Bureau's Center for Energy Economics has been selected by the 2013 Awards Committee of the U.S. Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) to receive a 2013 USAEE Senior Fellow Award. The award is given to individuals who have exemplified distinguished service in the field of energy economics and the USAEE. Recognition of his unanimous selection by the committee will be conferred at the 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Anchorage on July 30, 2013. Founded in 1994, the USAEE is the largest affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics, which provides a worldwide forum for the exchange of ideas, experience, and issues relating to energy economics among corporate, academic, scientific, and government professionals.
 

William Symes (left) and Sergey FomelThe Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology (TCCS) convened its spring research meeting in Houston on March 25–26. More than 60 invited guests and members attended the meeting, including representatives from 12 sponsor companies. Twenty technical presentations were given by TCCS research staff, including postdocs and students, and two guest speakers: Prof. William Symesfrom Rice University (pictured at left with Sergey Fomel) and Prof. Loukas Kallivokas from the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at UT Austin. Eric Potter, Associate Director, Energy Division, opened the meeting with a welcome at the Bureau’s Houston Research Center, and TCCS Co-PI Sergey Fomel presented an overview of the consortium’s current activities and efforts in computational reproducibility.
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