The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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March 2014
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The Spring meeting of the Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology (TCCS) took place on March 20–21 at the BEG Houston Research Center. The meeting was attended by more than 70 researchers, including representatives from 10 sponsor companies. Twenty research presentations were given by TCCS staff and invited speakers, including Tip Meckel (BEG), Yu Zhang (ConocoPhillips), and Jianwei Ma (Harbin Institute of Technology). TCCS co-PI Sergey Fomel welcomed guests with an overview of the consortium's current efforts and was among those presenting research findings in the areas of travel times and velocities, data analysis, imaging by inversion, and signal processing by inversion.
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Industry Day 2014 is scheduled to take place the second week in April in the Bureau's Austin Core Research Center. This year's theme will be "Discovering the Bureau: Energy, Economics and the Environment", and the event promises to highlight the Bureau's unique position among research institutions as an investigator of such key research areas as unconventional oil and gas exploration and production; energy economics; salt tectonics; natural fractures and structural diagenesis; subsurface micro- and nano-sensing; reservoir characterization in carbonates, mudrocks, and sandstones; carbon storage in geological reservoirs; and the increasingly important water-energy nexus. In addition, the event will feature one of the world's preeminent archives of well cores and cuttings.

qIndustry Day 2014 is targeted primarily to current and potential industry partners in the fields of conventional and unconventional energy production, and of environmental concern. The exposition is intended to increase understanding of Bureau research goals and objectives and to encourage further collaboration with our industry partners. Bureau Director Scott W. Tinker will deliver the keynote presentation, and we will welcome Scott Anderson of the Environmental Defense Fund and Peter Duncan of MicroSeismic, Inc., for talks of interest. BEG students will also be spotlighted, presenting posters and summaries of their research studies.

For more information about the event and how to register, please contact Mark W. Blount, Bureau External Affairs.

MSRL Annual Meeting 2014 Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL)held its 2014 Annual Meeting during the week of March 3-7, 2014. Events included a chemostratigraphy workshop (led by Harry Rowe), a petrography users group meeting (led by Kitty Milliken), a short course on mudrock systems (co-taught by Greg Frébourg , Steve Ruppel, Bob Loucks, and Harry Rowe), a core workshop (presented by Loucks, Robert Baumgardner, Frebourg, Katie Rowe, J.D. Pierce, Rowe, and Ruppel), and two days of oral and poster presentatations. Events were held at the Bureau and at UT's Commons center at the Pickle Research Campus in Austin. More than 100 consortium members attended. Research topics included studies of the Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford and equivalent successions, pore characterization and evolution in mudrocks, stratigraphy and chemostratigraphy, and petrophysics and flow modeling. In addition to the above, MSRL presenters from the Bureau included Ray Eastwood , Morteza Elahi , Farzam Javadpour, Lucy Ko, Xufeng Liu, Jiemin Lu, Michael Nieto, Sheng Peng, Rob Reed, Reed Roush, Xun Sun, and Tongwei Zhang,

1On March 6, Bureau geologist Eddie Collins presented an overview of the online Surface Casing Estimator site. Funded by the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and coordinated by the Commission's Groundwater Advisory Unit, the public site provides estimates of the depths to groundwater horizons that may require borehole casing for groundwater protection. The project currently provides industry operators the ability to obtain relatively quick estimates of depths for groundwater horizons in 49 Texas counties. This information can be used to help in obtaining a required surface casing letter from the RRC and to plan wells. Other data provided by the site include aquifer names, geophysical logs, well locations, and land survey boundaries. The website also displays scanned images of more than 6,600 paper geophysical logs from the Groundwater Advisory Unit's vast Q-log library. Researchers envision that the project will eventually create a permanent, publicly available digital archive of log images from all 254 Texas counties. Other Bureau researchers on the project are Tom Tremblay, Aaron Averett, and Jeremy Ortuño.

UT GeoFluids Annual Meeting 2014: click to see larger image More than 90 consortium members representing 11 companies attended the fifth UT GeoFluids annual meeting on February 19–21 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Attendees viewed a broad range of presentations, including experimental results on the use of resedimentation to investigate fabric, acoustic, electrical, and material properties of mudrocks, a topic of particular interest to those studying both conventional mudrocks and gas/oil shales. UT GeoFluids' ongoing work in poromechanical modeling was also reviewed, demonstrating applied models that couple stress and fluid flow with sedimentation and deformation—knowledge pertinent to pore pressure/stress modelers, explorationists, and those doing well planning. The group also viewed a variety of field studies ranging from capillary sealing and column height at the Mad Dog field to outcrop studies of sandstone injection in the Panoche Hills. The meeting concluded with workshops on UTCENDROID software, training and exercises in pressure-stress coupling, and concepts in numerical modeling of salt-induced stress perturbation.

Osareni (Chris) Ogiesoba

Osareni “Chris” Ogiesoba presented a research paper at the AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop (GTW) in San Antonio on February 26. The talk, at the invitation of the AAPG Director of Education and Professional Development, was titled “Seismic multiattribute analysis for shale gas/oil within the Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford Shale in a submarine volcanic terrain, Maverick Basin, South Texas.” Ogiesoba demonstrated the use of Seismic Instantaneous Quality Factor (Q) attribute in identifying brittle zones and hydrocarbon sweet spots within the Eagle Ford Shale and Austin Chalk within the Maverick Basin.


Changbing Yang and well monitoring system The Bureau's Changbing Yang is lead investigator on the GCCC subcontract project Real-time In-situ CO2 Monitoring (RICO2M) Network for Sensitive Subsurface Areas in CCUS. He will oversee large-scale deployment of an optical sensor system at an active CO2-EOR site. Funded by the DOE and awarded by Intelligent Optical Systems, Inc. (IOS), with matching funds from the Jackson School of Geosciences, the 2-year project will deploy an aqueous CO2-monitoring system in water wells. The system will transmit data in real time via network to a remote laboratory (see diagram below). The IOS sensors will be installed in 15 wells, which will be simultaneously monitored using traditional methods. Developed especially for deployment in water wells for long periods of time at a broad range of depths, this sensor has advantages over traditional CO2 sampling, which requires transport of samples to the lab, increasing the potential for error and cost.

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