Bureau of Economic Geology

Gulf Coast Carbon Center

News 2022

October 23–27, 2022: The GCCC will be actively participating at the Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT)-16 conference that will be held in Lyon, France. Click here for a day-to-day summary of presentations, sessions chaired, lead panelist discussions that representatives of the GCCC will be actively involved in this year. This document also includes the abstracts for each presentation by the GCCC. We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

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October 6, 2022: Dr. Tip Meckel presented CCS topics at the annual statewide members meeting of the Texas Land & Mineral Owners Association.




October 5, 2022: Dr. Tip Meckel spoke to members of the National Ocean Industries Association about offshore CCS and the opportunities presented for the Gulf of Mexico in Colorado Springs, CO.

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Ramon Gil



September 27–28, 2022: Ramon Gil-Egui attended the 2022 Midwest Regional Carbon Initiative Partners and Stakeholders Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Ramon specifically attended an Environmental Justice (EJ) Workshop, hosted by the Battelle Memorial Institute, that is scheduled to explore how EJ fits with carbon capture and storage (CCS). 




Romanak and Jenkins

Dr. Katherine Romanak with the GCCC has been delighted to host Dr. Charles Jenkins, a long-time colleague, mentor, and friend from CSIRO in Australia as a UT Austin Visiting Scholar.



September 27, 2022: The GCCC has been hosting Dr. Charles Jenkins between July 10–September 27, 2022 as a UT Austin Visiting Scholar. Dr. Charles Jenkins is a Senior Principal Research Scientist from Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia. Charles is part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) research consortium and is the Science Lead for Australia’s most advanced CO2 storage project, known as the Otway Project. The Otway Project, located in the onshore Otway Basin in south-eastern Australia, is known as the world’s largest research and geological sequestration demonstration project. Charles was instrumental in the Otway Project’s design, risk assessment, regulatory compliance, monitoring and public relations programs. The first of several phases with the Otway Project successfully injected, and closely monitored, 65,000 tonnes of CO2-rich gas (80% carbon dioxide; 20% methane) into a depleted natural gas reservoir. To read more about the Otway Project, click here.







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September 13th, 2022: Dr. Katherine Romanak will be teaching a carbon capture and storage (CCS) course to Reliance Exploration and Production in India Standard Time. See promotional flyer.




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September 7, 2022: Dr. Tip Meckel was an invited panelist for the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Research Centre (UKCCSRC) Autumn Conference 2022. Dr. Meckel presented a current summary of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the United States, which focused on the modifications for Section 45Q tax credits within the Investment Reduction Act. Dr. Meckel highlighted the recent progress of CCS along the Gulf Coast, where many recent project announcements have led to growing momentum for CCS development in the region. See promotional flyer.



Jose Eduardo Ubillus


September 7, 2022: We welcome UT Austin M.S. Student, Jose Eduardo Ubillus, who starts with the GCCC this fall. Jose Eduardo Ubillus is currently advised by Dr. Tip Meckel, Dr. Sahar Bakhsian, Dr. Hailun Ni, and Dr. David DiCarlo from the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (PGE). Dr. Hailun Ni originally proposed the graduate student M.S. project that Jose will be working on, entitled “Laboratory experiments and modeling to accurately evaluate critical CO2 saturation for geologic carbon storage.” Dr. Ni's idea was recently awarded a Seed Grant by the UT Austin Energy Institute. Jose is from a little town, named Manta, along the coast of Ecuador that has “incredibly nice beaches and great food”. He graduated in February of 2022 as a Petroleum Engineer from Escuela Politecnica Nacional located in Quito, Ecuador. Welcome, Jose.


Tip Meckel

Photograph by Katie Thompson


September 1, 2022: We are excited to announce that Dr. Tip Meckel was featured in the September 2022 issue of WIRED Magazine in an article entitled, "The Big Business of Burying Carbon." Dr. Meckel was featured in the first part of the article, explaining how one of the first offshore CO2 storage leases was developed in the Texas offshore. A link to the article is here.  Congratulations Dr. Meckel.

Photo: Dr. Tip Meckel holding a sandstone sample from core at the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Austin Core Research Center

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August 31 and September 1, 2022: Dr. Katherine Romanak attended the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) Workshop: Exploring State Carbon Management Policy, Programming, and Technological Opportunities that took place in Wilsonville, Alabama at the National Carbon Capture Center. Dr. Romanak delivered a presentation on carbon storage and reported on carbon capture activities in Texas during a state roundup panel.



Hailun Ni

August 26, 2022: The GCCC and Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (PGE) received The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute Energy Seed Grant thanks to Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Hailun Ni. Dr. Ni proposed the project entitled, “Laboratory experiments and modeling to accurately evaluate critical CO2 saturation for geologic carbon storage”.  This “proposal was selected out of many strong applications” that had been submitted.   

Dr. Ni is excited about the award, since the grant will help fund and support a graduate student to conduct core- and tank-scale experiments as well as reservoir simulations. Under Dr. Tip Meckel’s mentorship, and in collaboration with Dr. David DiCarlo and Dr. Sahar Bakhshian, Dr. Ni will supervise a UT Austin M.S. student who will perform future cutting-edge laboratory experiments and research.  Congratulations, Dr. Ni, the GCCC is very proud of your accomplishments! 


Richard Larson



August 23, 2022: The GCCC’s Dr. Sahar Bakhshian, in collaboration with Prof. Charles J. Werth and Prof. Maria Juenger from UT’s Civil Engineering Department, received the UT Austin Energy Seed Grant in support of a project entitled, Self-sealing capacity of wellbore cement under geologic CO2 storage. Funds from this grant will support the GCCC M.S. student, Richard Larson, who will conduct microfluidic experiments. 



August 22, 2022: We welcome incoming M.S. students, Ismail Halim Faruqi, and Chinemerem Clement Okezie. They will both be advised by Dr. Alex Bump and will work with him on exploration for and de-risking of storage resources. Ismail Halim Faruqi is originally from Jakarta, Indonesia. Ismail received a 2017 Bachelors of Engineering degree in Geological Engineering from the Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung, Indonesia. Chinemerem Clement Okezie is originally from Umuchu, Nigeria. Chinemerem received a 2019 Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Federal University of Technology in Owerri, Nigeria.  

Ismail Halim Faruqi

Ismail Halim Faruqi

Chinemerem Clement Okezie

Chinemerem Clement Okezie






August 19, 2022: The GCCC’s Dr. Sahar Bakhshian and Dr. Susan Hovorka, in collaboration with Prof. James Dyer from UT’s McCombs School of Business, received the UT Austin Energy Seed Grant in support of a project entitled Combining quantitative leakage risk assessment with financial liability for CO2 geologic storage: Providing information to the insurance sector. This funding will support incoming Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Refaat Hashish, who joins the GCCC this October. 


August 15 – 17th: Several members of the GCCC attended the 2022 Carbon Management Project Review Meeting organized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh, PA. The GCCC had multiple presentations at this meeting including:

  • Storage to Support Large Volume CO2 Hubs: Tools for Assessing the Maximum Density of Injection Wells in an Area - by Dr. Susan Hovorka
  • How Should We Monitor to Detect Leakage Offshore – by Dr. Katherine Romanak
  • Field Validation of Monitoring, Verification, and Accounting (MVA) Technology for Offshore Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Novel Ultra-High-Resolution 3D Marine Seismic Technology (P-Cable) (FE0028193) – by Dr. Tip Meckel
  • GoMCARB Partnership 2021-22 Research Highlights (GOMCarb) (FE0031558) – by Ramon Trevino
  • Portrait of a Depleted Field, Offshore Gulf of Mexico and its Potential for CCS (FE0031558) –  by Dr. Alex Bump
  • Data Needs for Estimating CO2 Storage Capacity in Saline Aquifers with EasiTool: An Onshore Example from the SECARB Region – by Dr. Carlos Uroza
  • Environmental Justice Considerations for CCS Projects, by Ramón Gil-Egui, Dr. Susan Hovorka and Dr. Katherine Romanak
People at meeting

Pictured in image, from left to right: Ramon Trevino, Tip Meckel, previous alumni Izaak Ruiz (now with Repsol), Alex Bump, and Sue Hovorka.


Shadya Taleb Restrepo

Shadya Taleb Restrepo

August 11, 2022: Congratulations to our M.S. student, Shadya Taleb Restrepo, who was recently selected for the 2022 Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS) program.  RECS is a leading carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) education and training experience, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, that also serves as an ongoing career network for graduate students and early career professionals in the United States of America.  Attendees receive hands-on experience from world-renowned experts on a range of CCUS topics ranging from science to technology to policy and business. This year, between September 11–20, 2022, attendees will participate in various site tours, live lectures, discussions and group exercises associated with CCUS deployment in Colorado and Wyoming. RECS 2022 attendees will benefit from CCUS experiences in the region including commercialization, targeted investments, and technology deployment. RECS alumni (>600) share their CCUS work experience, and facilitate opportunities for networking and getting exposure to the RECS community, which is particularly important for graduate students and early-career researchers. Congratulations, Shadya! 


August 4, 2022: Susan Hovorka gave a lecture on Geologic Storage as part of Carbon Dioxide Management at AIPG Texas section Geodayz meeting at Pickle Research Campus, Austin Texas.

June 30, 2022: GCCC congratulates postdoc Hailun Ni on a successful application to the BEG Proposal Development Assistance Grant Program.

June 6, 2022 Susan Hovorka participated in the National Academy of Science’s Committee on Earth Resources (CER) Spring 2022 Meeting on “Basin-scale carbon sequestration".

May 19–20, 2022 (New Orleans, LA) The GCCC participated in the 5th International Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage Workshop. Our own Katherine Romanak was co-chair of the workshop, Dr. Susan Hovorka served as the official host, and both Drs. Tip Meckel and Alex Bump were members of the organizational steering committee. This dynamic group was involved with chairing 5 out of 9 sessions held during the 2-day workshop that included 170 attendees (50 in-person and 120 virtually); they chaired or co-chaired key topical sessions that included the introduction or setting the scene for the workshop (Romanak), a status update on 16 international projects (Hovorka and Romanak), technical aspects of depleted fields (Bump), containment and pressure management (Meckel), and monitoring offshore CCS (Romanak).  GCCC Staff facilitated discussions following each session. On the first day of the workshop, Dr. Alex Bump and Dr. Carlos Uroza presented "Gulf of Mexico Depleted Field Example" within the technical aspects of depleted fields session. Please view the agenda and download presentations or videos from this comprehensive summary of CCS projects developing offshore here.  

May 3, 2022 Tip Meckel and GoMCarb partner Daniel Chen participated in Second Carbon Summit hosted by the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, Coverage from the Southeast Texas Business Journal, Volume 13 Issue 3, June 2022 noted that the conference was “three times bigger than in 2019” and that “industry’s participation was the icing on the cake”. 

May 18, 2022 (New Orleans, LA) The DOE NETL GoMCarb Partnership partners (i.e., GCCC staff and partners from LBNL, LLNL, Lamar University, Aker Solutions, Texas A&M GERG, Trimeric, UTIG GBDS) presented an overview of the previous years’ research results. In attendance (remotely and in person) were parties interested in sub-seabed carbon geo-sequestration in the Gulf of Mexico, GoM (e.g., DOE and other federal and state officials/regulators, businesses and the GoMCarb advisors).  The meeting was hosted by Southern States Energy Board and held in conjunction with several other meetings: 1) SECARB Offshore Partnership annual research review, 2) a GoM states and federal regulators workshop, and 3) the 5th International offshore CCS workshop, led by Tim Dixon, IEAGHG R&D Programme General Manager. Attendance at the meetings exceeded expectations because of current high interest in GoM sub-seabed carbon geo-sequestration.

April 4-7, 2022 Tip Meckel and Susan Hovorka attended the 2022 Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Gordon Research Conference in Ventura California. Hovorka gave a paper on “Remaining Challenges in Storage of CO2 in Deep Saline Formations”

4/14/2022 Susan Hovorka attended the 1st Symposium on Legal System Changes to Address Climate Change and the Energy Transition hosted by the State Bar of Texas ENRLS and Texas Law Environmental Journal and presented a talk “CCUS in Texas – potential and path forward”.

April, 2022: GCCC congratulates postdoc Hailun Ni on being awarded the equipment matching fund by the JSG Equipment Committee to support the purchase of new laboratory equipment for her research project on monitoring CO2 plume migration and trapping with tank-scale ultrasonic sensing.


Illustration of the ultrasonic system setup (left) and the corresponding acquired 2D zero-offset images (right) for a submerged brass bar (a) and water-filled glass beads (b).

Sharing our experience of attending the AAPG-CCUS 2022 conference in Houston, TX:

Dr. Susan Hovorka, Dr. Tip Meckel, Dr. Katherine Romanak, Ramon Trevino, Dr. Sahar Bakhshian, Dr. Alex Bump, Dr. Carlos Uroza, and Dr. Hailun Ni from GCCC and Dr. Shuvajit Bhattacharya from TORA recently attended the AAPG CCUS 2022 conference in Houston. GCCC members extensively contribute to this conference by serving on the technical committee, chairing several technical sessions, delivering talks, and presenting posters.

In her luncheon speech, Dr. Hovorka delivered a talk on Getting to Closure and addressed how CO2 storage permanence is tied to careful site selection, well-engineered injection strategy, and a well-designed monitoring strategy. Dr. Romanak made an oral presentation on the Importance of Environmental Monitoring. In her oral presentation, Dr. Bakhshian talked about a hybrid deep learning and process-based methodology to detect anomalies in soil gas monitoring data applicable to CO2 geological storage. Dr. Bhattacharya delivered two talks entitled Predicting Sweet spots for CCUS in Fractured Hydrothermal Dolomites in Michigan, Integrating 3D Seismic Attributes, Seismic Inversion, and Petrophysics, as well as, Overpressure on the Gulf Coast: Identification and Implications for Carbon Storage. Dr. Bump and Dr. Ni presented their research studies in the poster session held on the last day of the conference. Dr. Jiemin Lu, one of the former GCCC members, presented a poster entitled Drill Cores from a Large-Scale CO2 Storage Reservoir at Cranfield, Mississippi. His poster presentation included displaying a collection of sandstone and seal cores of the lower Tuscaloosa from the Cranfield field in Mississippi.

The Risk Assessments session was co-chaired by Dr. Bakhshian and Dr. Ni. Mr. Trevino from GCCC and Dr. Ali Tura from the Colorado School of Mines co-chaired the Subsurface Storage session held on the first day of the conference. The subsurface Storage session on the second day was co-chaired by Dr. Bhattacharya.

Attending the AAPG-CCUS conference was also a rewarding experience for GCCC members from a networking standpoint, as they had a chance to meet with their former graduate students, industry peers, and consortium industry sponsors.

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Dr. Meckel met with his former students at the AAPG-CCUS conference. From left: Izaak Ruiz (now with Repsol Green Ventures Americas), Dr. Tip Meckel, and Dr. Prasanna Krishnamurthy (now with ExxonMobil).


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GCCC members met with their former colleague Dr. Jiemin Lu (now with Schlumberger). From left: Dr. Alex Bump, Dr. Jiemin Lu, Dr. Susan Hovorka, and Ramon Gil-Egui.
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Dr. Susan Hovorka met with her former student, Melianna Ulfah (now with Tetra Tech). From left: Dr. Carlos Uroza, Dr. Susan Hovorka, and Melianna Ulfah.
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Dr. Sahar Bakhshian and Dr. Hailun Ni co-chaired the Risk Assessments session.
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Ramon Trevino co-chaired the Subsurface Storage session with Dr. Ali Tura from the Colorado School of Mines.
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Dr. Hailun Ni (left) and Dr. Sahar Bakhshian (Right) at the poster session. Dr. Hailun Ni presented her study on Predicting CO2 Gravity-Driven Drainage Saturation using Machine Learning.

March 16, 2022: Dr. Tip Meckel attended a CCS Roundtable organized by the UK Consulate in Houston, Department of International Trade. Comparisons of UK and US CCS activities was discussed, with a lot of focus on how experience might be shared.  A final report from the working group will be issued soon.

February 25, 2022:  Tip Meckel participated in a US-DOE and India workshop on CCS. Meckel presented on the topic of onshore versus offshore storage in the Gulf Coast. 35 attendees included academic researchers from India and the US, and representatives from US-DOE and their counterparts in India.

Shadya Taleb Restrepo

February 2022: GCCC congratulates GRA  Shadya Taleb Restrepo on being selected for the RMAG Foundation’s Robert M. Cluff Scholarship   The Foundation Trustees were impressed by her academic record, extensive work experience, and well-presented research topic that involves fluid, specifically CO2, migration and long-term storage at the pore-scale level using microfluidic devices with an overall emphasis on CO2 storage

Click here for "RI0283. Geological CO2 Sequestration Atlas of Miocene Strata, Offshore Texas State Waters"


For a flyer on GCCC mission, activities, impact, and goals, please click here.

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas

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