July 7–12, 2019: Katherine Romanak instructs at the 13th IEAGHG Summer School. The summer school provides a 5-day intensive on all aspects of carbon capture and storage for early-career practitioners and students, including session themes on health and safety, policy, economics, and industrial uses of CO2 . The program has been held in seven countries with attendees from 50 countries since the program started. This year the summer school was held in Regina, Canada and included a field trip to the Boundary Dam 3 CCS Facility and Aquistore storage site. Romanak taught a session titled "Shallow Monitoring & Verification (Onshore & Offshore)".
June 19–20, 2019: Tip Meckel chaired the Mission Innovation workshop Topic 4: Storage Monitoring in Trondheim, Norway. The workshop aims to increase technology readiness levels for early, innovative projects to push them to development and provide guidance paths for emerging CCUS technologies, including collaboration opportunities.
June 17–19, 2019: Katherine Romanak and Tip Meckel attended the 10th Trondheim Conference on CO2 Capture, Transport, and Storage (TCCS-10) in Norway. Romanak delivered a keynote on Wednesday titled, “Revelations in monitoring: Why environmental monitoring isn’t just for leakage anymore”, and chaired the CO2 injectivity and EOR panel. Meckel gave his talk, “Perspectives of offshore CCS from the northern Gulf of Mexico, USA”, for the storage site characterization group. The conference is one of the largest and best known for knowledge transfer within the CCS field with 150 oral presentations, six sessions, more than 100 poster presentations, and participants from more than 25 countries.
June 11, 2019: GCCC outreach coordinator Sarah Prentice and undergraduate research assistant Margaret Murakami presented at the Groundwater to the Gulf (G2G) summer institute at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. The institute is a 3-day, field-trip based programming from local water experts for Central Texas teachers that emphasizes techniques for teaching water-based curricula for grades 4 through 8. Educators bring lessons back to their classroom about the path of water from its origin in Central Texas to its destination in the Gulf of Mexico. Sarah and Margaret presented “CO2--Too Much of a Good Thing?” a free curriculum with TEKS-aligned activities, and resources for 50 local educators. The institute contributors include representatives from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, City of Austin Watershed Protection and Wildlife Preserves, the Lower Colorado River Authority, Westcave Preserve, among others. Download the lesson plan here.
June 11, 2019: Tip Meckel partnered with the Port Arthur, Texas Chamber of Commerce to hold a meeting for local decision-makers and stakeholders to learn about the current CO2 management and the available federal 45Q tax credit opportunities and how energy companies can qualify for in order to receive significant tax credits for near-term projects that avoid carbon dioxide emissions.
June 10, 2019: A novel application of high-resolution 3D seismic (HR3D) helped GCCC scientists monitor an offshore carbon storage site near Tomakomai, Japan more precisely by offering more detailed and precise images of the subsurface above the injection zone. Read about the benefits and potential of the technology for monitoring large-scale, commercial offshore carbon storage with 50 days' free access to the study published online today in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control titled, "High-resolution 3D marine seismic acquisition in the overburden at the Tomakomai CO2 storage project, offshore Hokkaido, Japan".
May 24–June 3, 2019: GCCC Senior Researcher Tip Meckel attended a field trip in late May in Utah sponsored by the ExxonMobil UT Energy Scholars Program. Also in attendance were UT professors and researchers from the UT Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering Department (Espinoza, Tavassoli, Sun, and Zheng), as well as various researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and specialists from ExxonMobil. The purpose of the 3-day trip was to observe fault zone complexity in outcrops in southeastern Utah, in order to properly conceptualize them in reservoir simulations of CO2 injection. The photo shows the UT group at the famous Little Grand Wash fault zone (can you spot it behind us?), which has associated CO2 and petroleum expression at the surface.
May 22-24, 2019: Susan Hovorka participated in a study group on the global mapping of negative emissions technologies in Edinburgh, Scotland led by Jennifer Wilcox of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Florian Kraxner of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. This working group assessed diverse pathways to attain negative emissions. Hovorka was able to provide information about storage in deep saline formations and associated with enhanced oil recovery, and discussed how monitoring approaches developed to document carbon retention for these technologies might be applied to related storage types, such as basalt storage.
May 22, 2019: We are proud of our 2018 MSc graduate Reinaldo Sabbagh, who has received the Best Poster Award from the AAPG’s Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG) from last year’s 2018 ACE meeting. The poster is entitled: “Pre-Injection Reservoir Characterization for CO2 Storage in the Near Offshore Areas of the Texas Gulf of Mexico”. Reinaldo will receive the award May 22 at the joint DEG/EMD luncheon at the 2019 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. Reinaldo is currently a Research Scientist Associate III at the Bureau of Economic Geology, where he contributes to subsurface geologic model development.
May 11, 2019: Katherine Romanak's partnership with two universities in Trinidad and Tobago was featured throughout the day on the Spectrum News channel in Austin.
May 8–9, 2019: Ramón H. Treviño presented at the Offshore Technology Conference held annually in Houston. The conference is for energy professionals to transfer knowledge and skills to further scientific and technical advancements in offshore environments. View slides from the conference talks, What Offshore CCS Will Look Like in The Gulf of Mexico: Perspectives from Texas and Monitoring Stored CO2 to Document Permanence.
May 6–9, 2019: Tip Meckel attended the Gordon Research Conference on CCUS in Switzerland. The conference series provides an international forum for the presentation and discussion of frontier research on capture, utilization, and storage of carbon dioxide. Various aspects of CCUS were discussed by participants, including ongoing scientific breakthroughs and systemic aspects, its role in enabling negative emissions and in various industrial sectors. Tip presented posters on the collaborative studies of the offshore Gulf of Mexico (authored by Ramón Treviño and Susan Hovorka) as well as the laboratory study of heterogeneity effects on buoyant fluid migration and saturation (authored by Prasanna Krishnamurthy).
May 6–8, 2019: Susan Hovorka attended the 14th CO2GeoNet Open Forum in Venice, Italy. Hovorka co-chaired Session 4: "Communication – Putting People at the Centre Engaging with, and Creating Benefits for the Community" and gave a talk titled, "Optimizing Monitoring to Document Storage Permanence: Lessons Learned at SECARB 'Early' Test at Cranfield" for Session 3: Monitoring. Download her presentation slides here.
May 6, 2019: Katherine Romanak's partnership with two Trinidad and Tobago universities was featured in a press release titled, Partnership Seeks to Fight Climate Change and Boost Caribbean Nation’s Economy, which was distributed by the university to local, national, and Caribbean news outlets. Read the release here.
May 1, 2019: Graduate research assistants Izaak Ruiz and Omar Ramirez Garcia give a practice presentation to GCCC members, including his research advisor Tip Meckel, preceding his official thesis defense later this month.
April 30, 2019: Multiple women from the Bureau of Economic Geology, including GCCC post-doc Sahar Bakhshian, networked at the 5th annual GLOW Evening of Science and Leadership Banquet. GLOW stands for Geoscience Leadership Organization for Women and is a chance for women students, staff, and faculty members to meet each other and network with other industry professionals.
April 23-26: Katherine Romanak and Susan Hovorka attended the MGSC annual Meeting and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) Technical group meeting that followed in Champaign, IL. Romanak and Hovorka presented their presentation titled, “Advancing Toward Commercialization Final Stages of the SECARB Early Test" to CSLF and received an award for completion of the SECARB Early Test, a CSLF-recognized project, from Åsa Slagturn, the CSLF Technical Group chair. Romanak also participated in Team CCS during the Illinois marathon.
April 15-16, 2019: GCCC program manager Ramón H. Treviño attended the field trip and presented at the Texas Chapter of the annual American Beach and Shoreline Preservation Association symposium, engaging with a variety of coastal stakeholder professionals that work along the Texas coastline.
April 15, 2019: GCCC research associate Vanessa Nuñez-López presented at the monthly lunch meeting of the Austin Women in Oil & Gas. Roughly 20 professionals attended and networked with Vanessa to learn more about CO2 enhanced oil recovery and how operators can reduce project lifecycle emissions to zero.
April 10, 2019: The University of Texas at Austin is proud to be associated with BP's sponsorship of the GCCC, an activity accredited by BP's Advancing Low Carbon program. Activities under the accreditation include efforts within BP to lower emissions such as low-carbon fuels and lubricants, partnerships with startups developing innovative technologies, to global research initiatives, including academic research consortiums like GCCC. In order to qualify for the accreditation, programs must meet selective criteria and be independently validated by a third-party assurance company. BP's website states that "53 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent have been saved or offset through activities delivered by BP, and 4.7 million tonnes through activities delivered by BP partners since the programme began in 2017." GCCC is a part of the global initiative to reduce and offset carbon emissions.
April 10, 2019: GCCC research scientist Katherine Romanak recorded an episode with podcast hosts of the American Shoreline Podcast. In the episode, Romanak explains the risk monitoring measures that carbon capture and storage projects take to ensure safe and long-term storage of carbon dioxide below the ground. Listen to the podcast episode here.
April 3, 2019: GCCC post-doc Zhi Zhong presents his research results applying machine learning to geologic carbon sequestration at the GCCC weekly staff meeting.
April 2, 2019: GCCC research scientists Katherine Romanak and Vanessa Nuñez-López appear in the official GHGT-14 conference highlights video released today by IEAGHG. Romanak introduces and concludes the video, telling of the global importance of the renowned conference, particularly its contribution to carbon capture and storage technology knowledge dissemination. Watch the video here.
March 27-28, 2019: GCCC principal investigator Susan Hovorka, post-doc Sahar Bakhshian, and master's student Sarah Prentice attended and presented at the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) 14th Annual Stakeholders’ Briefing.
March 20, 2019: GCCC master's student Sarah Prentice gave a talk titled, "CO2-EOR Feasibility in SECARB Region Limited by CH4", at the weekly GCCC staff meeting. The research was done as part of her master's thesis project.
March 19, 2019: Emily Moskal attended the monthly Science Pod, a university-wide meeting for all science department communicators, on the UT Austin main campus. Emily pitched two op-ed stories that originate from GCCC research and expertise and will be working with university media relations over the next month to increase GCCC's technical clout in the public sphere. Several other outlets to spotlight GCCC's research were identified and will be added to the group's overall communication plan.
March 15, 2019: Emily Moskal, GCCC program coordinator, met with Travis Hobbs, a business and policy strategist, to discuss avenues to get the relevant technical information that GCCC generates in front of the right policymaker stakeholders that may need it and raise the profile of GCCC's senior researchers as technical consultants. Together, a preliminary stakeholder landscape map was generated.
March 6, 2019: Caroline Reck of Glass Half Full Theatre gave a talk about using puppeteering to communicate the difficult topics revolving around climate change. She plans to include CCS in an upcoming show about mitigation strategies and sought technical advice on concepts related to the technology. Staff enjoyed learning about alternative science communication strategies.
March 4, 2019: GoMCarb advisory committee member Rob Finley mentors two of GCCC's graduate students, offering development and one-on-one training from an industry and academic professional with decades of experience in subsurface geology.
March 2, 2019: Several GCCC students and research scientists demonstrated basic concepts behind greenhouse gases, climate change, carbon dioxide gas, and carbon capture and storage using hands-on activities during the university-wide Explore UT event. The GCCC demo, "What to Do with CO2: Cure for the Feverish Earth", was enthusiastically participated in by dozens of groups of K-12 students. You can find the lesson plan here.
February 27–March 2, 2019: Katherine Romanak attended the annual STEMM-CCS meeting in Amsterdam. During theStrategies for Environmental Monitoring of Marine Carbon Capture and Storage (STEM-CCS) meeting, more than 50 researchers and experts who work on monitoring carbon capture and storage projects met, networked, and shared knowledge gleaned from various projects around the world to gain increasingly-confident and highly-demonstrated skills to support project safety. Romanak is on the group's stakeholder engagement advisory board and attended with other members including Tim Dixon and Mark Chapman.
February 25–26, 2019: Tip Meckel traveled to Oslo, Norway to attend the CLIMIT Summit. The Summit is administered by a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The summit offers researchers and other technology developers to meet and discuss progress and potential areas for further collaboration in four main areas: large-scale testing of carbon capture technologies, CO2 storage and MVA, CO2-EOR, and crosscutting research programs that explore one or more of the formerly stated programs. Tip presented "Global Perspectives on Offshore Storage" and engaged in fruitful discussions with other CCS researchers, bringing back the latest knowledge from global projects to share with other GCCC researchers.
February 25, 2019: Susan Hovorka was interviewed about offshore subsea CO2 storage in a podcast released today, titled "Carbon Sequestration with Dr. Susan Hovorka" produced by the American Shoreline Podcast Network.
February 25, 2019: Susan Hovorka taught "Too Much of a Good Thing" to 40 Texas high school teachers as part of the OnRamps dual enrollment high school day of professional learning. If you're a K-12 educator, download a lesson plan here.
February 22, 2019: GCCC post-doc Baole Wen gave a seminar at the Institute for Geophysics at UT Austin. His talk, titled "Modeling of convective CO2 dissolution in a closed porous media system: from low-pressure ideal gas to high-pressure real-gas conditions", explores the use of mathematical models to capture the behavior of convective CO2 dissolution in closed reservoirs. This work was funded by CFSES. Watch the talk here.
February 22, 2019: Tip Meckel gave a talk titled, "High-Resolution 3D Marine Seismic Monitoring Above an Active CO2 Injection Site, Offshore Hokkaido, Japan", as part of the Bureau of Economic Geology's Friday seminar series. His talk covers the novel use of HR3D as a characterization and monitoring tool for large-demonstration and commercial-scale offshore carbon capture and storage (CCS) sites. Watch the talk here.
February 19, 2019: Emily Moskal and Susan Hovorka attended a meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association in Austin to learn more about diverse groups working on the Texas coast.
Feb 15, 2019: Tim Dixon, GoMCarb advisory committee chair and program manager at IEA Greenhouse Gas, gave a talk titled, "Update on the Role of CCUS in the Global Climate Scene," as part of the Bureau of Economic Geology's Friday seminar series. Watch it here.
February 11-12, 2019: More than 60 carbon capture and storage (CSS) experts, including GCCC researchers, met in Beaumont, Texas to attend the annual meeting of GoMCarb and SECARB Offshore project partnerships which covers project progress and the latest findings of the first two DOE-funded projects looking into offshore CCS. This year's meeting was hosted at Lamar University in collaboration with GCCC. Read the meeting report here.
February 5, 2019: Vanessa Nunez-Lopez presented on a panel at UT Energy Week 2019. The panel, “Clean, Green or In-between: Competing visions of a decarbonized economy", discussed which energy technologies are vital to meet the climate mitigation paths laid out in the latest IPCC report as well as the opportunities and challenges associated with rapidly scaling up emerging technologies such as battery storage, small modular reactors, and CCS. View slides from her talk here.
January 16, 2019: Katherine Romanak presented “Risk assessment on CO2 leakage at CO2 storage sites" at the CCS Technical Workshop in Tokyo, Japan. The workshop focused on risk assessments for geological CO2 storage. Other international speakers included Tim Dixon of IEAGHG, who spoke on the current state of international legislation and regulation on CCS, Josh White of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory who spoke about the progress and challenges of risk management at CCS sites, and Bettina Goertz-Allman from NORSAR who spoke on developments in microseismic monitoring and risk assessment of large-scale CO2 storage. The workshop was organized by the Geological Carbon Dioxide Storage Technology Research Association at the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). There were over 300 attendees to the workshop.
January 3, 2019: Susan Hovorka presented “What To Do With CO2” to the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC) during their field day visit to the Bureau of Economic Geology. Feedback was extremely positive from organizational representatives of the Witte Museum, San Antonio and Forth Worth Zoos, LCRA, TEA, TPWD, Westcave Preserve, and several other organizations offering educational programming.