Bureau of Economic Geology

Gulf Coast Carbon Center

News 2023

February 1, 2023: The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative recently awarded the Port of Corpus Christi in southern Texas $16.4 million to assess the technical and economic feasibility of permanently storing captured carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial operations.  

Of the $16.4 million, $7.3 million was awarded to the CarbonSAFE Phase II – Storage Complex Feasibility: Coastal Bend Offshore Carbon Storage project with Principal Investigators, Dr. Tip Meckel from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, and the Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Pollack from the Port of Corpus Christi Authority (POCCA) leading the helm.  

For this award cycle, the Port of Corpus Christi received the largest total award of those announced by the DOE and was notably the only recipient of CarbonSAFE funding in Texas. To read more, please click here.

January 26th, 2023:  The GCCC hosted a premier CCS group from the University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT) and the University of the West Indies (UWI). The group included Dr. David Alexander (UTT), Dr. Donnie Boodlal (UTT), Prof. Raffie Hosein (UWI), and a current Ph.D. student Mr. Paul Singh (UWI). This group has been working on storage capacity in hydrocarbon fields with support from the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries (MEEI) and using data from Heritage (state-owned oil and gas company), Shell, and BPTT.  Since 2017, Dr. Katherine Romanak has been collaborating with this team and they are currently working toward a saline capacity assessment for CCS in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Seyyed Hosseini hosted a 3-hour EASiTool Training Workshop for the group. We are excited to help support CCS, nationally, and internationally!

CCS Trinidad_Tobago meeting

January 20 to 22, 2023: Two of our master's students, Jose Ubillus (Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering) and Richard Larson (Jackson School of Geosciences, Energy and Earth Resources), competed in the 3rd Annual Energy AI Hackathon hosted by the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering.

The PGE AI Hackathon is a programming competition where students are tasked to solve a real-world geostatistical problem using data analytics and machine learning in Python. This year's challenge was to develop a model that could predict failure in electrical submersible pumps (ESPs). Over the course of 48 hours, students compete to create the best code with the highest predictive ability. Richard’s team, “the Hackalopes”, won 2nd place overall and Jose’s team, "the Fractals", won an honorary prize for an outstanding presentation and speech. Congratulations, Richard and Jose, and to all competitors and organizers. Hook’em!

Group photo-Hackalopes

Richard's team "the Hackalopes" won 2nd place in the competition and are photographed here with AI Hackathon organizers Prof. John Foster and Prof. Michael Pyrcz.

Group photo - Fractals

Jose's team "the Fractals" won an honorary prize for outstanding presentation and speech. The team is photographed here with AI Hackathon organizers Prof. John Foster and Prof. Michael Pyrcz.


Blazej Ksiazek

Blazej Ksiazek


January 17, 2023: Dr. Sahar Bakhshian has hired a new graduate research assistant, Blazej Ksiazek, for the spring and summer of 2023 to work on a project entitled: Combining quantitative leakage risk assessment with financial liability for CO2 geologic storage: Providing information to the insurance sector. Blazej is currently a M.S. student with the Petroleum Engineering Department at UT Austin who received his Bachelor's in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Blazej is originally from Chicago, Illinois.  Blazej's M.S. degree focus is about data analytics and machine learning-assisted subsurface resource modeling. Blazej is also a member of the UT Austin PetroBowl team and the UT Austin Polish Club. Welcome, Blazej!

January 16th, 2023:  One of our scientists from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, Dr. Alex Bump, was interviewed for a podcast, produced by the Global CCS Institute. In this interview, Dr. Bump describes how CO2 is injected, how CO2 storage sites are developed, how CO2 plumes move and are monitored, and how new storage sites may be identified in the future. This great 35-minute podcast about carbon storage discusses why the U.S.A. and the Gulf of Mexico are geologically significant places for storing carbon dioxide. To hear a fantastic update about CCS , click here.

If you would like to learn more, download Dr. Alex Bump and Dr. Sue Hovorka’s recent publication entitled, "Fetch-trap pairs: Exploring definition of carbon storage prospects to increase capacity and flexibility in areas with competing uses" by the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control.  


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

© 2021 Bureau of Economic Geology | Web Privacy Policy | Web Accessibility Policy