News 2024

2024: A Quick Review

June 29, 2024: The GCCC is proud to announce that our EER-JSG M.S. Student, Previna Arumugam, was the co-recipient of an Outstanding Student Award from the IEAGHG International CCS Summer School that was held between June 23 and 29, 2024 in Darwin, Australia.

Every year, this CCS summer school systematically picks the top 2 students in the program. The other recipient, Dillon Ramsook, is currently an Asst. Prof. at The University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT). The IEAGHG CCS summer education program has become quite a competitive summer school over the last several years. This year, there were only 45 participants from 28 countries selected from 200+ applications of professionals and students who applied from all over the world. Previna's current M.S. advisor is Dr. Alex Bump. Congratulations to Previna and Dillon! Hook’em Horns!

Outstanding Student Award winners
From left to right: John Kaldo (University of Adelaide), Dillon Ramsook (UTT), Previna Arumugam (Gulf Coast Carbon Center, EER-JSG M.S. Student), and Tim Dixon (General Manager and Director of IEAGHG) celebrating top student awards.


Alex Bump presenting talk


June 26, 2024: For our weekly GCCC group meeting, Alex Bump presented, “Gulf Coast Faults and Fluid Flow.”



June 23–29th, 2024: Katherine Romanak attended IEAGHG’s 2024 International CCS Summer School as an instructor, and we are excited to announce that a GCCC’s graduate student, Previna Arumugam, was selected to attend as a student this year. IEAGHG International CCS Summer School was held in Darwin, Australia this year. This 5-day CCS course includes lectures from world-leading scientists and experts, interactive sessions, field trip and group activities, panel discussions, networking opportunities, student presentations, and career talks. To read more about this program, click here.

Meeting attendees
From left to right: Research Professor, CCS Expert & Summer School Instructor Katherine Romanak (Gulf Coast Carbon Center), Previna Arumugam (Gulf Coast Carbon Center, EER-JSG M.S. Student), Tim Dixon (General Manager and Director of IEAGHG), and John Kaldo (University of Adelaide). 










ExxonMobil logo

June 21, 2024: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center hosted their 2nd Sponsors’ Meeting at ExxonMobil’s Energy Center’s Town Hall in Spring, TX for 2024. Our research group was delighted to share results from current carbon storage projects with respect to modeling, sand tank/lab experiments, onshore and offshore field-based projects, subsurface assessments, outreach projects, and updates about state and federal policies.

We thank ExxonMobil for generously hosting and sponsoring the GCCC's Sponsors' Meeting. Special thanks to Matthias Imhof and Taylor Rodriguez for coordinating all the details that went into logistics for our event.

Thanks to our presenters: Sue Hovorka, Tip Meckel, Seyyed Hosseini, Alex Bump, Carlos A Uroza, Hailun Ni, Shuvajit Bhattacharya, Zhicheng William Wang, Sawsan Almalki, Chaves German, Angela Luciano, Ismail Halim Faruqi, and Dolores van der Kolk. There was great research shared from our researchers, Katherine Romanak and Sahar Bakhshian, that could not be there as well as from our students who have graduated this year from the Jackson School of Geosciences or the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Thanks to Dolores van der Kolk for running the logistics of our meeting, feel free to contact her if you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the GCCC. Hook'em, team!

ExxonMobil building
Meeting attendees







June 12th, 2024: The GCCC hosted a weekly meeting and welcomed several new students including the following three Research Traineeship Experience (RTX) students:

Ashtyn Christian is currently pursuing a degree in Geology with a minor in GIS at Texas A&M University – Kingsville (class of 2025). This summer, Ashtyn will be working with Susan Hovorka on a project focused on creating an ArcGIS map to showcase the depth of the USDW base for counties along the Texas coastline, bringing datasets together for a cohesive view of the protected depths of groundwater essential to CCS projects in the region.

Ashtyn is from Lagarto, Texas, located near Lake Corpus Christi, and he enjoys hunting, working out, and playing video games. Ashtyn has been on several geology field trips, mainly in Central Texas, to gain field experience in courses such as Mineralogy, and Field Methods. He is particularly interested in GIS and remote sensing methods.  

Priyansh Dhandha

Priyansh Dhandha is currently pursuing a degree in Economics with a Certificate in Elements of Computing and Applied Statistical Modeling at The University of Texas at Austin (class of 2025). This summer, Priyansh will be working with Ramón Gil-Egui and Sahar Bakhshian on utilizing natural language processing to perform sentiment and emotion analyses around CCS sites proposed for Class VI injection. This project will help gain a better understanding of the public perception surrounding these projects.

Priyansh is originally from India, and he loves playing golf, working out, spending time outdoors, coffee, and house music. He is excited about working on CCS given how promising CCS projects are. Priyansh’s interests include Machine Learning, Macro Finance, Financial Economics, and Econometrics.



Taegon Hibbitts

Taegon Hibbitts is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering at University of Maryland at College Park (class of 2026). This summer, Taegon will be working with Hassan Dashtian on utilizing automated classification of methane supper emitters using satellite data.

Taegon enjoys reading, going to the gym, and playing video games. He plays the viola in the Gamer Symphony Orchestra at the University of Maryland, where they exclusively perform video game music. Taegon is also a brother of the Kappa Theta Pi professional tech fraternity at UMD. He is passionate about technology and programming, enjoys  working on PCs, and researching consumer technologies.

Melianna Ulfah

June 3, 2024: The GCCC welcomes Melianna Ulfah who is starting a Ph.D. with the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG) in collaboration with the GCCC and Center for Injection and Seismicity Research (CISR) at the Bureau of Economic Geology. Melianna is currently working with CISR to investigate induced seismicity caused by the impact of saltwater disposal injections in West Texas.

For her Ph.D., Melianna will be supervised by the GCCC’s Dr. Alex Bump and CISR’s Dr. Katie Smye; her project will have a geomechanics focus with respect to CO2 storage and saltwater disposal (SWD) injection. For her PhD project, Melianna will analyze the pressure interactions between injection wells and the possibilities of triggering distal earthquakes. By understanding the mechanisms behind the migration of induced seismicity, this collaborative study with CISR aims to evaluate potential outcomes and will develop effective prevention strategies for geological CO2 storage.

Melianna was born and raised in Indonesia. She studied geophysics during undergraduate years at Universitas Padjadjaran, and worked as a field geophysicist in the Mahakam Delta, Indonesia. Melianna received a M.S. degree from the Energy and Earth Resources Program at the JSG.  For her M.S., she worked with the GCCC to build a geologic-petrophysical model for testing different injection scenarios, and analyzed the impacts on CO2 plume migration and pressure distribution. After graduation, Melianna interned with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and her research focused on CO2 storage estimation capacity in the Northern California Basin. For the last few years, Melianna worked at Tetra Tech with a newly founded carbon sequestration team, supporting the technical analysis of CCS operations for the Class VI permit application. When not immersed in CCS research, Melianna practices Ashtanga yoga, hikes with their dog, and enjoys solving jigsaw puzzles with friends.

June 3, 2024: Our research group at the Gulf Coast Carbon Center is excited about the 17th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, known as GHGT-17, that will be held between October 20–24th, 2024 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Researchers from our group are authors or co-authors on 14 presentations at this prestigious carbon capture and storage conference. Click here to download all of their abstracts.

May 21–22, 2024: Dr. Tip Meckel attended the first CCUS Permitting Task Force for Federal and non-Federal Lands meeting. This meeting was hosted by USGS in Reston, VA, and USGS Director, Dr. David Applegate, provided a warm welcome. Tip serves on the Federal Lands committee with ~ 20 other experts from industry and government. For more information, check out:

The Chair of the Federal Lands committee is Tara Righetti from the University of Wyoming and Julio Friedmann from Columbia University is the Chair for the non-Federal Lands group. The work of the Task Force is covered by the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Topics covered in the initial meeting included permitting reform, pipeline regulation and oversight, financial incentives, and recommendations for capture development. Both Task Forces (Federal and non-Federal Lands) have a legislated list of 8 duties and a requirement to produce a report each year. Tip will provide an update on this topic at the GCCC Sponsors’ Meeting in Houston on Friday, June 21.

Muhammad Haseeb Mukhtar

May 20, 2024: The GCCC welcomes Muhammad Haseeb Mukhtar for a 2024 summer internship with Seyyed A. Hosseini. Muhammad's summer project involves simulating wellbore leakage for the development of leakage risk profiles to help constrain risks for CO2 injection sites.

Muhammad is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston (class of 2025). Muhammad is a reservoir engineer, dedicated to understanding the migration patterns of CO2 and brine in saline aquifers for carbon storage. Muhammad is known for designing advanced multiphase, fluid-flow models to explore and analyze extended aquifer systems. He is currently working on investigating unconfined aquifer systems and developing improved boundary conditions. Muhammad’s technical interests include reservoir engineering, petroleum geology, CO2 storage, enhanced-oil recovery (EOR), hydrogeology, reservoir characterization, reservoir modeling, fluid dynamics, multiphase flow modeling, geological mapping, and geomodelling.



May 17, 2024: Ramón Gil-Egui collaborated on a Global CCS Institute report that was released to the public entitled, "Building Our Way to Net-Zero: Carbon Dioxide Pipelines in the United States." This report may be accessed here.

May 17, 2024: Argenis Pelayo provided the GCCC with an update about his M.S. research in a presentation entitled, “Impact of Subsurface Settings on CO2 Storage Leakage Risks: Implications for Financial Responsibility and the Insurance Industry.”

May 16, 2024: As part of The University of Texas at Austin designating 2024 as the “Year of AI,”  Seyyed Hosseini and Dolores van der Kolk organized the Bureau of Economic Geology’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Workshop for Bureau researchers.

The Bureau‘s AI Workshop highlighted GCCC researchers Seyyed, Shuvajit Bhattacharya, and postdoctoral fellow Hongsheng Wang.  Zoltán Sylvester provided an “Introduction to AI,” which was followed by several technical presentations by Bureau researchers and a few panel discussions about AI benchmarks, monitoring, and physics. Approximately 60 attendees from the Bureau attended this all-day event. Congratulations to all those who helped put together a wonderfully successful event that will help encourage collaborations for years to come.

May 13, 2024: Excited to announce a manuscript that Hailun Ni co-authored is available online, check out:

Mishra, A., Ni, H., Mortazavi, S.A., and Haese, R.R., 2024, Graph theory-based estimation of probable CO2 plume spreading in siliciclastic reservoirs with lithological heterogeneity: Advances in Water Resources, v. 189, no. 104717, p. 1–17,

Go to May 10th flyer

May 10, 2024: Tip Meckel participated in the Texas Energy Tour hosted by PowerHouse Texas and the Texas Energy & Climate Caucus, that provided a summary on innovative energy technologies in Houston, TX. State legislators and topical experts visited Port Houston, Air Alliance Houston and NETPower. Tip provided participants with perspectives on carbon capture and storage (CCS) along the Gulf Coast. If you have CCS input for the interim session of the State Legislature, please connect with Tip.


May 7, 2024: Since 2018, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) has been instrumental in facilitating technology transfer and providing expert guidance to Trinidad and Tobago for the development of their national Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) program. The collaborative goals set by the country has included: 1) developing a comprehensive CO2 storage atlas to identify potential storage sites, 2) launching a Center of Excellence in CCS to foster innovation and expertise, 3) initiating a pilot project to demonstrate the practical application of CCS technologies, and 4) securing funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support CCS initiatives.  Historically, the GCF has been hesitant to fund CCS projects.

In a groundbreaking move today, however, the government of Trinidad and Tobago launched the "CCUS Collaborate" initiative, funded in part by GCF readiness funds. This initiative, led by the University of the West Indies and the University of Trinidad and Tobago, marks the establishment of a dedicated center for CCUS research. The GCF Readiness Programme is set to bolster a variety of CCS-related capacity-building activities, including the development of a storage atlas for saline formations, as part of a broader project with Suriname. A heartfelt congratulations to everyone involved for their unwavering perseverance!

The journey began in 2017 with the planting of a seed at our side event at COP23 in Bonn. It is with pride that we acknowledge the stimulation and support provided by The University of Texas at Austin's Gulf Coast Carbon Center with our partner, IEAGHG. However, the lion's share of credit is due to the CCUS pioneers at the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the University of the West Indies. Their leadership has set a global precedent! Special recognition goes to the individuals who have been pivotal in this endeavor: Andrew Jupiter, David Alexander, Donnie Boodlal and Raffie Hosein. Their contributions have been instrumental in achieving this milestone.

May 5th, 2024: For a riveting read, take a look at a new Gas Science and Engineering publication by Jianqiao Leng, Alex Bump, Seyyed A. Hosseini, Tip Meckel, Zhicheng Wang, and Hongsheng Wang entitled, “A comprehensive review of efficient capacity estimation for large-scale CO2 geological storage.” Click here to read more.

May 3rd, 2024:  Tim Dixon, the Director & General Manager of IEAGHG and one of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center's Honorary Senior Research Fellows presented "International Developments in Offshore Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Deployment" as part of the Bureau of Economic Geology's Special Seminar Series. Have a listen to Tim Dixon's presentation here. Special thanks to Katherine Romanak for hosting this presentation update.

Katherine Romanak introducing Tim Dixon
Tim Dixon presenting talk



Pictured here: Argenis Pelayo, Sawsan Almalki, Tim Dixon, Previna Arumugam, Alex Bump, Katherine Romanak, Ismail Halim Faruqi, Sean Avitt, Chinemerem Clement Okezie, Hongsheng Wang, Richard Larson, and William Wang.

May 3rd, 2024: Happy Friday from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, located within the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin.

As we start wrapping up another academic year, our Fridays over the last 2 semesters have been buzzing and busy! Student courses and faculty teaching schedules are typically lighter on Fridays, and a large percentage of our group is available to meet up. We typically host weekly group meetings about various technical topics in the morning and students often meet with GCCC researchers to discuss their projects in the afternoon.

Today, we had the privilege of having many visitors at the GCCC including Tim Dixon (IEAGHG) who gave a special BEG Seminar today, Charles Jenkins (CSIRO) visiting from Australia, Vanessa Núñez-López [U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)], and several others who met, mentored, and advised graduate students about their careers. Thanks to all of our visitors today!

Walking through and seeing the various conversations and meet ups between graduate students, students and postdocs, students and faculty, and international research fellows made for a great day. Photos just can't capture it all. Hearing international visitors and our researchers (a.k.a. CCS world-renowned experts) meet, listen, answer questions, mentor, and take notes from student interactions, makes the Gulf Coast Carbon Center a beautiful place to be. We have hope for the future, thanks to our visitors, researchers, postdocs, and students.

May 1–31, 2024:  Charles Jenkins joins us from CSIRO, located in Canberra, Australia as one of his last visits as part of his sabbatical funding from CSIRO. During the last two years, Charles has joined us at the GCCC at the BEG for a total of six months. Over this period of time, Charles has observed the CCS landscape in the United States change a lot as new funding initiatives have been rolled out. Charles is interested in seeing what obstacles and opportunities arise as more people seriously contemplate CCS projects. Charles mentioned that the current “stress test” for CCS does not reveal any new technical issues, but he is sure there will be lessons that he can take back to Australia. Australia is on a similar trajectory with respect to CCS, but with different regulatory and financial mechanisms.

May 1, 2024: Announcing a new publication entitled, “An experimental investigation on the carbon dioxide (CO2) storage capacity of the composite confining system" by Hailun Ni, Alex Bump, and Sahar Bakhshian in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. Click here to read more.


April 26, 2024: Delighted to announce that Zhichang (William) Wang, Cheng Peng, Luis Ayala, and Seyyed Hosseini have published the following paper in Interpore and have also been featured on the cover of the premiere issue, take a look here.

Wang, Z.W., Peng, C., Ayala, L.F., Hosseini, S.A., 2024, A framework for simulating the partially miscible multi-component hydrocarbon fluids in porous media via the pseudo-potential lattice Boltzmann model: InterPore, v. 1., 21 p.



April 25, 2024: Alex Bump and Katherine Romanak visited BOEM headquarters in Washington, D.C. to present a workshop entitled, “Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) 101 Day.”  Approximately 200 people attended, both in person and online, from BOEM field offices for the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific and Alaska.  Alex provided BOEM teams with a morning overview of CCS and an afternoon deep dive into offshore carbon storage plays. Katherine wrapped up the day with discussions about understanding environmental impacts, risks, and monitoring. 

Alex Bump presenting talk
Katherine Romanak presenting talk




April 19, 2024: The GCCC was proud to watch several GCCC graduate students present their Master’s Theses at the Jackson School of Geosciences as part of their requirements for graduating.

  • Chinemerem Clement Okezie (EER) presented “Calibrating Performance Prediction for Large-Scale Injection
  • Christopher Deranian (EER) presented “Evaluating the Financial Implications of Injectivity Risk in Compartmentalized Reservoirs for CCS
  • Ismail Halim Faruqi (EER) presented “CO2 Storage Potential in the Late Neogene Interval, Federal Offshore, Gulf of Mexico Shelf
  • Richard Larson (EER) presented “The Effect of Microscale Heterogeneity on the Transport of Carbon Dioxide in Geologic Carbon Sequestration
  • Maria Paula Madariaga Cubides (EER) presented “Assessment of CO2 Storage Potential of the Wilcox Group, Onshore Texas, USA

In addition, Jose Ubillus (PGE) also handed in his Master’s thesis entitled, “Laboratory Experiments and Modeling to Evaluate Critical CO2 Saturation for Geologic Carbon Storage.”

Congratulations to all of our students who have been busy wrapping up their projects this year!

April 19, 2024: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center's researcher, Alex Bump, summarized "Composite Confining Systems: Rethinking Petroleum Seals for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Storage" recently as part of the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Seminar Series. A description of his presentation and a recording can be found here.

Alex with co-authors, Sahar Bakhshian, Hailun Ni, Sue Hovorka, Iulia Olariu, Dallas Dunlap, Seyyed Hosseini, and Tip Meckel notably won the 2023 Bureau's publication of the year award for this research that was published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, v. 126, p. 1–12.

Thanks to the Bureau of Economic Geology's Seminar Series at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin for hosting Alex. Congratulations to Alex and the GCCC team for this great achievement.

April 19,  2024: As a Churchill Trust Fellow, Nils Hay with the Mid West Development Commission of Western Australia, joined us at the Gulf Coast Carbon Center’s weekly meeting to discuss "Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the (Australian) Mid-West." To read more about Nil's adventure, click here.




April 15, 2024: Congratulations to Shuvajit Bhattacharya, Hailun Ni, and Nicola Tisato (from the Jackson School of Geosciences, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences) for being selected to receive a 2024 Strategic Energy Seed Grant from the University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute. Out of 61 proposals, this group was 1 of 12 proposals selected. These funds will help to kick off their research project entitled, “Lab-to-field scale time-lapse seismic monitoring for carbon storage.”

April 11–12, 2024: Zhicheng (William) Wang will attend “Breaking the Barrier: A Conference on Integrating Reserves and Emissions” hosted by Ryder Scott and Combocurve in Houston, TX. 

April 11, 2024: The GCCC will meet with a visitor from U.S. Department of Energy. 

April 11, 2024: Ramón Treviño attended, and presented, at the Texas American Shore and Beach Preservation Association’s (ASBPA) 2024 Texas Chapter Coastal Symposium. Ramón presented “Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS): Recent Regional Gulf of Mexico Developments” at the symposium, which was held at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.

April 10–12, 2024: GCCC Representatives will attend and present at GEOGULF2024 in San Antonio, TX. Alex Bump will chair a morning session entitled, Geologic Carbon Storage on the Gulf Coast, on April 12th with the following presentations from our group:

08:00    Maria Paula Madariaga and Carlos A. Uroza: Assessment of the Wilcox Group for CO2 storage potential, in an area onshore South Texas
08:25    Alex Bump: Pressure Space: The key subsurface commodity for CCS
08:50    Timothy Mcmahon, Shuvajit Bhattacharya, Qiqi Wang, and Katherine Yut: Potential for carbon sequestration in depleted Eagle Ford Shale Reservoirs
09:15    Jose Ubillus Alcivar: Laboratory experiments and modeling of the impact of small-scale heterogeneities on geologic carbon storage

April 10, 2024: Ramón Gil-Egui attended a joint Southern States Energy Board and Center for Carbon Management in Energy (CCME) CCUS Commercialization Acceleration Consortium Meeting at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. 

April 10, 2024: Katherine Romanak and Sue Hovorka were invited to provide remarks on panels for CO2NNECT: CO2 Conversations held in Austin, TX. Katherine will be speaking on “The Safety of Carbon Dioxide Storage” session of the agenda to help answer common safety questions and dispel myths about geologic storage. Sue will be on a panel for a Q&A session following a CO2 Storage Insurance Discussion.

April 9th, 2024: Congratulations to Alex Bump and co-authors Sahar Bakhshian, Hailun Ni, Sue Hovorka, Iulia Olariu, Dallas Dunlap, Seyyed Hosseini, and Tip Meckel for winning the 2024 Tinker Family Bureau of Economic Geology Publication Award. Their paper entitled, "Composite Confining Systems: Rethinking Petroleum Seals for Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Storage" was selected as the Bureau's publication of the year for 2023!

Special thanks to Scott W. Tinker and his family, for creating such a special award for our researchers at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin.












April 9, 2024: The GCCC’s Sue Hovorka will attend DAC Dialogues: Bridging Policy and Innovation for Direct Air Capture (DAC) Deployment hosted by the Great Plains Institute and the Carbon Capture Coalition in Austin, TX. DAC Dialogues is a 1-day long session that “aims to accelerate the deployment of DAC technologies by fostering synergies between state and federal policy and industry implementation efforts.” 

April 5, 2024: Susan Hovorka presented a virtual overview of carbon capture and storage (CCS) to the Texas Farm Bureau

April 5, 2024: Katherine Romanak provided the GCCC Team with a presentation entitled, “Environmental Baselines: Can’t Live with Them, Can’t Live without Them” for the GCCC’s weekly meeting series.  

April 1–3, 2024:  Dr. Tip Meckel participated in the ISEM Energy Round Table in Galveston. Tip provided an evening keynote on the current CCS landscape, focusing on project experience and opportunities for project development, with emphasis on the Gulf Coast and offshore Gulf of Mexico. 

March 29, 2024: As part of the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Seminar Series, Hailun Ni presented "Using Sand Tank Experiments to Model CO2 Plume Migration and Trapping," which was recorded and can be watched online here. To learn more about Hailun’s lab, please check out the Sandbox Lab.

Bureau of Economic Geology’s Seminar Series, Hailun Ni Announcement

UT Tech talk promo

March 28, 2024:  Alex Bump provided the Bureau of Economic Geology with an overview of his research and thoughts for geologic carbon storage, the variables that matter, and the play for storage.  In his presentation entitled, Playing for Keeps: Novel Concepts for Carbon Sequestration, Alex outlines how carbon storage is fundamentally different from classic petroleum plays. As you may know, it is the same subsurface, but there are different goals and different constraints that conspire to create a very different idea of what “good” prospects are. To have a listen to Alex’s talk, have a listen here

March 27, 2024: Katherine Romanak provided a virtual keynote presentation about Monitoring, Measurement and Verification (MMV) Principles: Principles and Objectives to the Emissions Reduction as part of Alberta’s Carbon Capture and Storage Executive Series.  

UT Energy Institute logo

March 26, 2024: The Bureau of Economic Geology's Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) had a strong presence for UT’s Energy Week, hosted by the UT Energy Institute. GCCC presentations included the following on this date:

Combining Quantitative Leakage Risk Assessment with Financial Liability for CO2 Geologic Storage - Sahar Bakhshian and Sue Hovorka (Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences) and James Dyer (Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management; McCombs School of Business)
Self-Sealing Capacity of Wellbore Cement Under Geologic CO2 Storage – presented by Richard Larson with co-authors: Charles Werth and Maria Juenger (Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering; Cockrell School of Engineering) and Sahar Bakhshian (Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences)
Laboratory Experiments & Modeling to Accurately Evaluate Critical CO2 Saturation for Geologic Carbon Storage - presented by Jose Eduardo Ubillus with co-authors: Hailun Ni, Sahar Bakhshian, (Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences) and David DiCarlo  (Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering)

Long-term Surveillance of Plugged and Abandoned Wells for Immediate Detection of CO2 Leakage in Geologic Carbon Storage Sites - Sahar Bakhshian, Sue Hovorka and Michael Young (Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences)

March 23–31, 2024:  Dr. Tip Meckel led an offshore high-resolution 3D (HR3D) seismic survey in the Gulf of Mexico. The DOE-funded project re-visited a site where Tip and team collected a HR3D seismic dataset in 2013. This site has shallow gas anomalies, and the recent survey will allow an assessment of 4D monitoring capabilities for these types of shallow gas anomalies that are analogs for potential CO2 leakage from deep-storage reservoirs. Other UT participants included the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Dallas Dunlap, UTIG's Dan Duncan, and GCCC graduate student Previna Arumugam.

Workers on boat
View from boat
Members of the team
Ship Proteus







March 21, 2024: Sue Hovorka presented “The SECARB early test at Cranfield, what we knew in 2009 and what has changed since then” at the GCCC’s weekly meeting. Thank you, Sue! 

March 19–21, 2024:  Special thanks to Carlos Uroza for representing the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center by participating in the symposium, entitled the Role of Geosciences in Carbon Storage, which was held in Mumbai, India. Carlos was invited by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Asia-Pacific Chapter to provide a presentation on the potential for CO2 storage in the Gulf of Mexico area. Carlos presentation was held on March 20th and he chaired sessions with the theme of Seismic Reservoir Characterization on March 20th and Monitoring on the 21st. 

Carlos presenting
Carlos presenting
Carlos asking a question





March 18, 2024: A group of GCCC graduate students including Ismail Faruqi, Richard Larson, and Chinemerem Okezie, competed with UTIG’s undergraduate student Jake Margoshes, in the Imperial Barrel Award Program (IBA) competition. This was a historic year, since this was the first IBA that featured carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.

The team was coached by Dr. Tip Meckel and the grouped worked on a project in the Otway Basin, located along the southern coast of Australia. Special thanks to industry mentors Chris Freeman (Shell), Nathan Robinson (Sempra Infrastructure), and Jonathan Osmond (DNV) for their mentorship, time, and effort.  

Ola, Angela and Sue in field of bluebonnets


March 15, 2024: Ola Terjeson Miljeteig, VP of CCS Solutions from Equinor in Stavanger, Norway, visited the GCCC and discussed "Equinor's Perspectives on Business, R&D, and Opportunities in CCS" at our weekly meeting.


March 14th, 2024: Excited to announce that the GCCC’s Alex Bump and Sue Hovorka led a workshop associated with and, following the SPE-AAPG-SEG Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. Alex and Sue provided a 1-day long short course, between 8:30 am to 5:00 pm entitled, Characterizing, Permitting, and Monitoring Novel Storage Plays Optimized for Saline Reservoirs.  Click here for a .pdf of the short course webpage.

CANCELLED: Sue Hovorka and Carlos Uroza planned to co-lead a short course with Blake Mock, Ryan Rupert, and Daisy Gallagher, entitled, Introduction into CCUS Whole Core Acquisition, which was cancelled due to registration numbers.


March 13, 2024: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center’s Texas-Louisiana Carbon Management Community (TXLA CMC), officially emailed the first quarterly newsletter as well as the latest copy of the TXLA CMC phone book out to members. Would you like to become a community member of TXLA CMC ? If so, complete the registration form here.

Korean film crew filming



March 12, 2024: Susan Hovorka and Angela Luciano, from the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center, hosted a film crew from Korea Education Broadcasting System (EBS) in South Korea. They are filming an episode entitled, The Era of Decarbonization to showcase how various nations are responding to the challenges and opportunities of the energy transition and they wanted to ask the GCCC about carbon capture and storage (CCS). 


March 11–13, 2024: The GCCC’s research group had a large impact at the 2024 SPE-AAPG-SEG Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX this year:

CCUS 2024 Group photo

Events on Monday, March 11 

1:40 pm - Geology and Reservoir Simulation-guided Time-lapse Seismic Modeling for CO2 Plume Detection in an Onshore CCS Site: Lessons Learned by S. Bhattacharya*1, S. Bakhshian1, B. Gremillion1 (1. The University of Texas at Austin), Theme 6: Monitoring Plan Optimization
1:40 pm - Impact of Small-Scale Heterogeneity on Field-Scale Simulations of CO2 Geologic Storage by J. E. Ubillus1, H. Ni2, S. Bakhshian2, D. DiCarlo1, T. Meckel2  (1. Hildebrand Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas at Austin; 2. Bureau of Economic Geology), Theme 2: Dynamic Simulations I
1:40 pm - Environmental and Financial Risk Assessment of Leakage in Geologic CO2 Storage by S. Bakhshian*1, A. Farhadinia1, S. Hovorka1 (1. University of Texas at Austin), Theme 3: Capacity Integrity and Risk III
Sessions Co-Chaired by GCCC Representatives:

Events on Tuesday, March 12 

1:40 pm - How Close is Too Close? The Importance of Pressure Space for Storage Project Development by Alex Bump* (Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin), Theme 1 Storage Resources and Capacity 1

2:00 pm - Calibrating Performance Prediction for Large-Scale Injection by C. C. Okezie*1, A. Bump2, S. Hovorka2 (1. Energy and Earth Resources, University of Texas at Austin; 2. Bureau of Economic Geology), Theme 1 Storage Resources and Capacity I

2:20 pm - Impact of Societal Risks on CO2 Storage Capacity of Proposed Storage Sites by R. Gil-Egui*2, J. E. Ubillus1, S. Hovorka2 (1. Hildebrand Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas at Austin; 2. Bureau of Economic Geology), Theme 8: ESG and Stakeholder Engagement

2:40 pm - Advanced CO2 Storage Capacity Estimation with EASiTool V.5 by Z. W. Wang1, S. Hosseini1 (1. Bureau of Economic Geology, UT Austin), Theme 1 Storage Resources and Capacity I

Sessions Co-Chaired by GCCC Representatives:

Events on Wednesday, March 13

Mid-Day Posters:

External and Internal Controls on Petrophysical Heterogeneities of the Wilcox Group, Onshore Texas: Implications on Safe CO2 Storage by S. Bhattacharya*1, C. A. Uroza1, Y. Li1, S. Hovorka1(1. The University of Texas at Austin), Theme 1: Subsurface Storage and Site Selection
Assessing the Potential for CO2 Sequestration in the Chandeleur Sound Area, Offshore Louisiana, USA by C. A. Uroza1, Y. Li1, S. Hovorka1(1. Bureau of Economic Geology), Theme 1: Subsurface Storage and Site Selection

Using Sand Tank Experiments to Model and De-Risk CO2 Geological Storage by H. Ni*1, A. Feitz2, E. Tenthorey2, H. Nourollah3, S. Hovorka1(1. Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin; 2. Geoscience Australia, Canberra; 3. CO2CRC Limited, Melbourne), Theme 3: Subsurface Risk Assessment

Evaluating the Potential for CO2 Storage in Federal Waters of Gulf of Mexico Shelf by I. Faruqi*1, A. Bump1, S. Hovorka1, C. A. Uroza1(1. Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin)

Collage of workshop pictures


March 10, 2024: Excited to announce that the GCCC’s Shuvajit Bhattacharya led a workshop associated with and, leading up to the SPE-AAPG-SEG Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) Conference at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. Shuvajit led a 1-day short course between 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, entitled Well Logging and Petrophysics for Geologic Carbon Sequestration. Click here for a .pdf of the short course webpage.




Previna Arumugam on beach in diving gear

March 8, 2024: Congratulations to our Master’s Student, Previna Arumugam, for being selected to take part in the prestigious IEAGHG International CCS Summer School that will be held in Darwin, Australia in June of 2024. During this course, an international group of 45 students from study carbon capture and storage (CCS) for a week, complete activities, and take a field trip. We are also pleased that Dr. Katherine Romanak will continue as one of the course instructors. 

Each year, the location of this school moves around the world, and the program has taken place in various countries across Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. IEAGHG arranges to have experts participate from all over the world, and they take pride having a diverse range of students from a variety of technical backgrounds. The IEAGHG summer school currently has 708 alumni representing 60 countries. 

To read more about Previna, we have included a recent LinkedIn discussion (pdf) that Previna wrote about “Conquering the Depths: A Dive into Fear and Triumph.” Congratulations, Previna! 

March 8, 2024: At the GCCC’s weekly meeting, Dolores van der Kolk provided a presentation entitled, Sedimentary Facies & Heterogeneity: Implications for CCS.

Dr. Ruichang Guo

March 4, 2024: The GCCC welcomes Dr. Ruichang Guo as a new Postdoctoral Fellow who will be working with Dr. Seyyed Hosseini. Ruichang received his Ph.D. degree in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2022.  His research focuses on multiphase flow in porous media, geological carbon sequestration, underground hydrogen storage, machine learning, hydraulic fracturing, and horizontal drilling technology. Ruichang worked as a senior researcher on ultradeep horizontal drilling technology in SINOPEC for six years. Ruichang also holds a Ph.D. degree in petroleum engineering and a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from China University of Petroleum. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for the journal of Geoenergy Science and Engineering. Welcome to the GCCC, Ruichang!

February 26–28, 2024: GCCC Representatives Angela Luciano, Sue Hovorka, and Seyyed Hosseini attended the 2024 Groundwater Protection Council Meeting in Oklahoma City, OK. 

On February 26, Sue co-chaired a Class VI Work Groups Training Workshop Training/Curriculum Development Workgroup with Corey Shircliff (Louisiana DNR), and Todd Boesiger (Nebraska OGCC). 

On February 28,  Seyyed co-chaired a Breakfast Meeting: Complementing the CCS Class VI Well Permit Process with DOE-NETL's SMART Initiative Tools & Workflows with Hema Siriwardane (US Department of Energy), Hari Visvanathan (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Angela provided a presentation on Class I UIC Documenting Long-Term Operational Success of Class I Wells in the US Gulf Coast to Build Confidence in the UIC Program.

Sue provided a presentation on Class VI UIC & CCUS Issues Related to Multiple Wells Perforated in the Same Injection Zone. 

February 24, 2024: Special thanks to the GCCC’s Sue Hovorka and Ramón Gil-Egui for volunteering at STEM Girl Day at UT Austin, hosted by UT Austin’s Women in STEM (WiSTEM). Sue and Ramón joined a group, organized by Linda McCall, from the Bureau of Economic Geology to help with Water and Rocks: A Water-Flow Demonstration.

At this event, ~10,000 K-8th graders and over 5,000 parents, Girl Scout Troop Leaders, Teachers, and other Chaperones participated. The Bureau’s team of volunteers taught groundwater concepts by showing attendees how water flows through aquifer systems and rivers. Attendees were also able to meet our geoscientists and learn about different career paths in Earth Sciences. Thanks to Carson Werner for photos from the event. 

Stem Girl Day
Stem Girl Day
Stem Girl Day
Stem Girl Day




February 23, 2024: Zhicheng (William) Wang had a presentation entitled, Numerical Simulation 101 & 201: Introduction to Macro-Scale Simulations, and Pore-Scale Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM) for our team of researchers and students at our GCCC weekly meeting.

February 22, 2024: Tip Meckel presented the AAPG Distinguished lecture for the University of Oklahoma’s Pigott Colloquium Series. His presentation entitled, “The Role of Carbon Capture and Geologic Storage and Opportunities for Geoscientists Accompanying Energy Diversification” was well received. Later this spring, Tip will also visit Rice University and the Colorado School of Mines as part of this prestigious speaker series. Congratulations, Tip, for this honor and for spreading the word about carbon capture and storage. 

February 20, 2024: Ramón Treviño presented “Carbon Capture & Sequestration: Implications for Groundwater” to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ’s) bi-monthly brown bag seminar. These seminars provide continuing education credits to TCEQ geoscientists licensed by the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists. Sixty five people attended the presentation.

USGS Meeting

February 13–14, 2024: Sue Hovorka, Alex Bump, and Tip Meckel traveled to Reston, Virginia for an in-person only, Joint DOE-DOI Technical Workshop on Basin-Scale Issues for Carbon Storage. According to the United States Energy Association, “the objectives of the workshop included discussing effective ways to aggregate and serve data, and to provide DOI Bureau information for developing models for management of the nation’s vast Federal land and ocean resources.” 

The topics and attendees represented both with onshore and offshore expertise and interests from many different agencies that are now becoming involved in CCS. Lengthy discussion sessions allowed great exchange of knowledge and ideas.  Alex Bump had a presentation entitled,  “Effective Basin Management for Different Types of Basins.” Special thanks to Sean Brennan and Rajesh Pawar for leading great discussions on basin-scale issues for carbon storage at this meeting. 



February 13, 2024: The Texas-Louisiana Carbon Management Community (TXLA CMC) hosted the first public kick-off meeting in a webinar. TXLA CMC, in response to NETL’s Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0002799, includes a carbon capture and storage (CCS) network from The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University Kingsville, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, University of Houston, Lamar University, and Louisiana State University. A goal of TXLA CMC is to utilize experts from these Universities to support and share information about CCS to communities and to diverse stakeholders in the Gulf Coast Region.
The Gulf Coast Carbon Center's Sue Hovorka is the PI for TXLA CMC and Angela Luciano is the Project Manager. In the first webinar, University leaders introduced themselves and highlighted project objectives. If you are interested in joining the TXLA CMC phone book for updates or to find out more about TXLA CMC activities, please sign up here.

February 9, 2024: Hailun Ni’s graduate student, Jose Ubillus, presented an update on his research entitled, "How do you scale up insight from lab experiments and core data to help build plume models that reflect real-world CO2 plume migrations, correctly?" at the GCCC’s weekly meeting.

February 8, 2024: Excited to announce that Dr. Katherine Romanak virtually presented on the topic of “Carbon Capture - Monitoring, Safety and Geologic Impact of Underground CO2 Injection” to the Healthy Planet Action Coalition (HPAC). The HPAC is “an international organization that advocates for an urgent and more ambitious global response to climate change.”

EASiTool logo


February 2, 2024: Zhicheng (William) Wang held a virtual EASiTool Workshop for participants currently in the Society of Exploration Geophysicist’s (SEG’s) Evolve Program. The SEG Evolve Program is a 6-month-long virtual internship, where mentors guide a multidisciplinary group of students and professionals from different countries through real-world datasets. William provided a training session for groups working on carbon storage projects using EASiTool software to help them conduct storage capacity estimations, and associated, economical evaluations. William extends his gratitude to Jessica Dostal and Jim DiSiena from SEG for their contributions during the workshop. 


January 30 – February 1, 2024: In Houston, TX, the GCCC’s Carlos Uroza attended the conference entitled, “Investable CCUS Projects in Oil & Gas 2024: Pathways for Commercially Viable Capture, Transportation, Storage, and Utilization for EOR” specifically geared towards “combining financial incentives with technical and logistics solutions.” 

While at this meeting, Carlos provided a 20-minute presentation about, “Identifying and Assessing Suitable Saline Aquifers for CO2 Storage Based on their Geological, Hydrological, and Geochemical Properties.” This presentation was categorized under aquifer selection and characterization in a session entitled, “Mastering CO2 Storage Site Selection: Comprehensive Analysis of Oil Wells, Depleted Reservoirs, and Saline Aquifers.” The following list outlines the considerations and assessments that Carlos’ presentation touched on:

  • Ensure the integrity of the saline aquifer and assess an aquifer’s ability to contain  injected CO2 over the long term securely
  • Understand the interaction between CO2 and the saline aquifer, including its solubility, mineral reactions, and the potential for CO2 trapping mechanisms such as dissolution, residual trapping, and mineralization
  • Develop effective injection strategies to optimize CO2 storage, considering factors such as injection rates, well design, and operational monitoring techniques to track the movement, behavior, and fate of the injected CO2 within the aquifer
  • Conduct comprehensive risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential risks associated with saline aquifer storage, including geological risks, operational risks, and potential impacts on groundwater resources and the environment
  • Establish a robust monitoring and verification program to continuously monitor CO2 behavior, aquifer pressure, and potential leakage, ensuring the safety and integrity of the storage operation.

January 30, 2024: Hailun Ni and Sue Hovorka took undergraduate and graduate students from the Jackson School of Geosciences on a field trip at Austin’s Core Research Center for their course entitled,  “GEO371T/391: CO2 Injection and Storage in Geological Formations.” 

Field Trip 1
Field Trip 2







January 29, 2024: Special thanks to Professor Myles Allen, from the University of Oxford, for visiting us at the Bureau of Economic Geology and Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Myles provided a riveting seminar and visited with many of our researchers, postdoctoral fellows and students throughout the day. Thanks to Katherine Romanak for organizing this event.

Romanak and Allen

January 24–25, 2024: Associated with UTCCS-7 held on January 23, 2024, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) and the Texas Carbon Management Program (TxCMP) hosted a joint meeting for Sponsors of their consortiums. On January 24, approximately 110 people attended this meeting in person, and ~114 people joined, virtually. On January 25th, approximately 75 people attended this meeting in person, and 64 people joined in, virtually. 

The event was a great success and even included two sessions in a workshop-style format. Seyyed Hosseini hosted a workshop on the “Best Practices in Dynamic Modeling.” Sue Hovorka, Katherine Romanak, and Ramón Gil-Egui hosted a “Roundtable Discussion about Handling Societal Aspects of CCS.”

January 23, 2024: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC), joined the Texas Carbon Management Program (TxCMP), and the UT Energy Institute to host UTCCS-7, UT’s CCS Showcase that features a day of presentations covering current CCS topics and CCS technical research at UT Austin. The event was held at the UT Austin’s Pickle Research Campus Commons Conference Center’s in Austin, TX. We had ~170 people who attended the event in person, and ~204 people log in remotely to listen in to presentations throughout the day. Tim Dixon, from IEAGHG, provided a summary of this event here. Presentations that are permitted to be publicly available are included on the event’s page found here. 

January 16, 2024: Lucy Atkinson, Dorothy Dankel, and Katherine Romanak published, “The effect of monitoring complexity on stakeholder acceptance of CO2 geological storage projects in the US gulf coast region” in Frontiers in Marine Science.

January 11, 2024: On behalf of the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC), Carlos Uroza was the guest speaker for the Geophysical Society of Houston’s Unconventional and New Energy Special Interest Group, which was hosted by TGS. Carlos provided a lunch-time presentation to the society entitled, “Exploring the Opportunities for CO2 Storage in the Gulf Coast Area.” Click here to read more about the event. 

January 11, 2024: Alex Bump's graduate student, Ismail Faruqi, presented at a Sponsors' Meeting for the ongoing, industry-supported, Gulf of Mexico Basin Depositional Synthesis (GBDS) Project spearheaded by The University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG). Ismail’s presentation entitled, “Evaluation of CO2 Storage Potential in Federal Waters, Gulf of Mexico Shelf” was well received at this meeting in Austin, TX. The GCCC enjoys collaborating with the GBDS and we thank GBDS for the invitation.

January 5, 2024: Angela Luciano presented a Tech Talk entitled, “Documenting Long-term Operational Success of Class 1 Wells in the US Gulf Coast to Build Confidence in the UIC Program” at the Bureau of Economic Geology.

January 5, 2024: Carlos Uroza’s graduate student, Maria Madariaga, presented an update at the GCCC’s weekly meeting about her Master’s research entitled: "Assessment of the Wilcox System for CO2 Storage Potential, onshore South Texas."

Click here to view 2023 news and events.

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


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