September 13–15th, 2023: The 6th International Workshop on Offshore Geologic CO2 Storage, hosted by the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, IEAGHG, and Storegga, will be held at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
September 1, 2023: As a collaboration with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), we are excited to announce the release of an Earth-Science Reviews manuscript that Dr. Tip Meckel co-authored entitled, Evaluation of geological CO2 storage potential in Saudi Arabian sedimentary basins. To read more click here.
September 1, 2023: The GCCC welcomes 5 new graduate research assistants to our program and 1 undergraduate research assistant.
- Previna Arumugam is currently a Jackson School of Geosciences Energy and Earth Resources (JSG EER) Master’s Student under the supervision of Drs. Alex Bump and Seyyed Hosseini. As a Geophysicist, Previna previously worked for Hisbiscus Petroleum and was a Graduate Engineer with Repsol in Malaysia. In 2019, Previna received a Bachelor of Technology from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS located at Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia. Following graduation, Previna participated in Repsol’s Master’s Training Program in Madrid for a year.
- Sean Avitt is currently a JSG Geosciences Master's Student who will be advised by Dr. Tip Meckel. For the past 10 years, Sean worked at the Railroad Commission of Texas focusing on groundwater protection and well injection regulation. Sean graduated with a B.S. degree in Geology from The University of Texas in 2009.
- Germán Chaves is a JSG EER Master’s Student who will work with Drs. Alex Bump and Seyyed Hosseini on subsurface uncertainty, storage risks and monitoring design. For the last 12 years, Germán worked on the development of oil and gas fields in the Llanos Basin, Colombia for Tecpetrol and Perenco. Germán holds a 2011 M.S. in Petroleum Engineering from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, New Mexico and 2007 B.E. in Petroleum Engineering from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellín, Colombia. Germán is originally from Colombia.
- Chris Deranian is also a JSG EER Master’s Student. As part of Chris' Master’s project, he will focus on CO2 injection risk under the supervision of Dr. Sahar Bakhshian. Chris plans to assess injectivity risk profiles and mitigation options using CMG-based simulations; he is also working as a Student Associate with the Austin Technology Incubator. As a previous Energy Analyst and Consultant in Colorado, Chris worked with utilities, energy commissions, and private entities on energy system transformations. Chris, originally from Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.A received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland in 2019.
- Argenis Pelayo is a JSG EER Master’s Student who will be advised Dr. Susan Hovorka. For the last 4 years, Argenis worked as the Head of Product for JP Global Digital. Argenis has a 2020 MBA from the Universidad Interamericana de Panama in Panama and a 2019 Bachelor’s in Geophysical Engineering from the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela. Argenis is originally from Venezuela.
- Trinity Ivy, as an undergraduate, is majoring in Environmental Science through the Jackson School of Geosciences. She has kicked off working at the GCCC by helping us update our publication database with Dr. Dolores van der Kolk, but will be working with Dr. Sue Hovorka on an upcoming project. Trinity is originally from Alvarado, TX, U.S.A.
August 29–31, 2023: The GCCC’s Ramón Treviño will attend and present a talk on August 31, 2023 at the Texas Groundwater Summit held in San Antonio, TX. This summit is organized by the Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts.
August 28–September 1, 2023: Representatives from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center will be attending the 2023 FECM / NETL Carbon Management Research Project Review Meeting that will be held in Pittsburgh, PA and will have presentations on Wednesday, August 30th.
10:55 to 11:20 am – Offshore Gulf of Mexico Partnership for Carbon Storage - Resources and Technology Development (GOMCarb) (FE0031558) Dr. Susan Hovorka
11:45 am to 12:10 pm – Coastal Bend Offshore CO Storage Feasibility Study (FE0032271) Dr. Tip Meckel
1:10 to 1:35 pm – Field Validation of MVA Technology for Offshore CCS: Novel Ultra-HighResolution 3D Marine Seismic Technology (P-Cable) (FE0028193) Dr. Tip Meckel
2:25 to 2:50 pm – Environmental Monitoring and Stakeholder Engagement in the GoM Region: Progress and Next Steps (GoMCarb) Dr. Katherine Romanak
2:50 to 3:15 pm – Subsurface Success in the Gulf of Mexico and Breakthrough Ideas for Industry (GoMCarb) Dr. Alex Bump
August 26 to September 1, 2023: GCCC Representatives will attend AAPG and SEG’s International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy (IMAGE) 2023. Participants include the following:
Tuesday, August 29th – 1:20 pm Poster Station 3: Assessing CO2 storage capacity in onshore saline aquifers: An example from the Frio Formation, South Texas, USA by Carlos A. Uroza1, Karen Meador2, Susan Hovorka1, Katherine Romanak1, Shuvajit Bhattacharya1, Dallas Dunlap1 (1. Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin; 2. Consulting Geophysicist)
Wednesday, August 30th – 4:05 pm Oral Presentation (Room 361B): Regional CO2 storage resource evaluation in the Gulf of Mexico shelf using pressure-based capacity estimate by Ismail Faruqi1, Alexander P. Bump2 (1. Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin, 2. Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin)
On Wednesday, August 30th the GCCC will also be presenting at the Carbon Management Pavilion, which will include:
- At 3:40 pm Carlos Uroza will present on Challenges in CO2 geological storage, onshore Texas
- At 4:05pm Charlie Y.C. Zheng will present on Reservoir compartmentalization constrains achievable CO2 storage capacity: Prescreening the middle U.S. outer continental shelf
Dr. Carlos Uroza will co-chair the following topical sessions: Deepwater Sedimentary Systems 1 (on the morning of Aug. 30th), Reservoir Characterization (on the morning of Aug. 31st), and Stratigraphic Mapping (the afternoon of Aug. 31st).
Friday, September 1st 8:30 am to 5:00 pm – Dr. Carlos Uroza will be a panelist for the CCS Workshop (in Room 371A) entitled, Insights and Questions Related to CCUS and Reservoir Characterization Utility in Terms of Static Earth Model Description Based on Geophysical Methods. Read more about this workshop here.
August 8–10th, 2023: The IEAGHG Monitoring Network Meeting will be held at the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. Drs. Sue Hovorka, Katherine Romanak, and Alex Bump will be in attendance.
July 24–28th, 2023: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center hosted a GeoFORCE 12th grade academy for a week of fun learning activities. Special thanks to Dr. Sue Hovorka, Dr. Katherine Romanak, Dr. Alex Bump, Dr. Zhicheng ‘William’ Wang, Fred Closmann, Linda McCall, Poe Chen, Ismail Faruqi, and Chinemerem Okezie for teaching and working with 15, 12th graders from all over Texas. Students worked on real-world CCS projects, utilized the GCCC’s EASiTool for project development, and developed business plans. Students will present their projects at AGU in San Francisco in December.
July 22, 2023: Dr. Tip Meckel presented Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) topics in the Gulf Coast for the National Association of Counties annual meeting held in Austin, TX. The Gulf States Counties and Parishes Caucus session was attended by ~ 100 stakeholders and decision makers from the states around the Gulf of Mexico. Some had heard of CCS in their County-based work, but there was a great opportunity to expand the dialog and provide information and resources. Thanks to Jefferson County, Judge Jeff Branick, for chairing the session.
July 21, 2023: Drs. Sue Hovorka, Katherine Romanak, Tip Meckel and Alex Bump provided a presentation about coastal Carbon Capture and Storage for ~30 people at the Texas General Land Office.
July 17–21, 2023: Dr. Sahar Bakhshian’s M.S. Student, Richard Colt Larson, attended the Discrete Simulation of Fluid Dynamics Conference at the University of New Mexico (UNM), in Albuquerque, NM. This conference was sponsored by the UNM Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Richard chaired a session, and presented his research entitled, Redistribution of Residual CO2 due to Interfacial Pressure Driven Mass Transport in Heterogeneous Pore Structures.
July 16–25, 2023: The GCCC’s M.S. student, Jose Ubillus, will be attending the 19th annual RECS program (RECS 2023), which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy & Carbon Management (FECM). This year, the program will be held across Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Jose is 1 of 32 participants selected, and recognized, as young leaders in carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and the energy transition.
June 29, 2023: The Switch Energy Alliance (SEA) invited Dr. Sahar Bakhshian from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center to discuss carbon capture and storage at the Bureau of Economic Geology to a group of staff and teachers from the U.S.A. The group of 8 teachers included 1 that focuses on elementary school education, 2 that focus on middle school education, and 5 that focus on high school education. These teachers cover a variety of Earth and Environmental Science courses in the U.S.A, which include units on energy and the energy transition. They work for the SEA Energy Education Program by helping this alliance design educational content that is available for free online.
June 22–23, 2023: As an observer, Ramón Treviño attended an EPA Region 6 public hearing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The purpose of the hearing was for the EPA to receive input from the public on the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources’ application for UIC Class VI primacy. The hearing was originally scheduled for one day, but registration by people and groups wanting to speak was so great that the hearing was extended to three days. Ultimately, many registered speakers did not participate in the hearing.
June 20–22, 2023: Dr. Katherine Romanak virtually attended, and presented, at a workshop held by the National Academies of Science entitled, Climate Intervention in an Earth Systems Science Framework: A Workshop. This workshop drew on the recent National Academies report Next Generation Earth Systems Science at the National Science Foundation to present climate intervention as an integrative, but expansive framework, encompassing both natural and social processes. This workshop helped to create a dialogue covering the human, physical, and technical dimensions of climate interventions, and will situate these considerations within the context of convergent research and the capacities of the National Science Foundation.
William joined Linda MCall and Lucy Phlegar, from the Bureau of Economic Geology, to present hands-on experiments to 40 teachers from Central Texas. G2G is a field-trip based, summer institute for Central Texas educators that emphasizes classroom techniques and resources on water science, rivers and changing climate conditions. Thanks to William, Linda, and Lucy for sharing how carbon capture and storage can help decrease global temperatures and how teachers can help students visualize carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
June 13–14, 2023: Dr. Katherine Romanak was an invited speaker at the Global Cement and Concrete Association CEO Gathering and Leaders Conference, held in Zurich, Switzerland. Katherine discussed the safety of carbon storage to promote CCUS as a solution for this hard-to-abate sector.
June 12–August 25, 2023: The GCCC's M.S. Student, Shadya Taleb Restrepo, will be interning with Repsol's Geological Low Carbon Group based in Houston, Texas. For this internship, Shadya will evaluate a potential geologic carbon storage location while working with mentors that have different technical backgrounds. Congratulations, Shadya!
June 5–7, 2023: Dr. Katherine Romanak was an invited speaker at the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Conference held in the major industrial center of Point Lisas, Trinidad and Tobago. Katherine presented a talk, virtually, entitled “An Update on CCS: Where are we now?”
June 3 – 4th, 2023: Dr. Katherine Romanak participated in discussions around the Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan First Global Dialogue (Decision 4/CMA.4, paragraphs 8 and 11) under the Sharm el-Sheikh Mitigation Ambition and Implementation Work Programme (MWP).
June 1st, 2023: The GCCC welcomes Zahra Bajalan as a summer graduate research assistant who will be working with Dr. Sahar Bakhshian on reactive transport modeling of CO2 and brine leakage to groundwater aquifers. Modeling experiments will provide insight for possible risks associated with CO2 storage injection and groundwater quality. Having research experience with numerical modeling of multicomponent fluid flow through porous media, Zahra became interested in fundamentals associated with diffusive mass transfer in fluid systems. For the past few years, Zahra has conducted research on atomic simulations for diffusivity calculations in different systems within the Chemistry Department at UT Austin. This summer, she plans to expand her numerical modeling expertise into porous media via geo-hydro-chemical modeling.
June 1st, 2023: The GCCC welcomes Dr. Ali Farhadinia as Dr. Sahar Bakhshian’s Research Engineering/Scientist Assistant who will model and simulate CO2 and brine leakage into drinking water resources to quantify potential impacts of leakage regarding groundwater quality. Dr. Farhadinia is a Reservoir Simulation Engineer with several years of experience in the petroleum industry. Ali has worked in research and development, enhanced oil recovery (EOR), reservoir evaluation and development, CO2 sequestration/EOR, as well as naturally and hydraulic fractured reservoirs.
In 2008, Ali graduated with a PhD in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering from UT Austin. Following 3 years of postdoctoral research, Ali worked with BP for 5 years, and has worked as a consultant for the last several years in a variety of modeling and simulation of complex reservoir engineering problems. Welcome, Ali!
June 1, 2023: The GCCC welcomes the Jackson School of Geoscience’s Energy and Earth Resources (JSG EER) M.S. student Sawsan Almalki to our team. Sawsan will be working with Dr. Seyyed Hosseini for her M.S. project and will focus on investigating the “Value of Information in Geostatistical Modeling of CO2 Storage Sites and Quantifying the Impact of the Associated Uncertainties.” In 2015, Sawsan received a B.S. degree in Geoscience from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Sawsan, originally from Saudi Arabia, brings several years of professional experience having worked for Saudi Aramco in the developed, southern oil fields of Saudi Arabia. Welcome aboard, Sawsan!
June 1st, 2023: Dr. Sahar Bakhshian's M.S. student, Richard Colt Larson, was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF). For this Fellowship, Richard will participate in a 10-week summer research program for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing STEM majors that kicked off in Washington D.C.. Richard is selected to work at the Los Alamos National Lab (LANL), where his project will focus on studying CO2 residual and dissolution trapping in saline formations.
May 31, 2023: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center, as a group, met with Dr. Thomas Demchuk to discuss the resolution of biostratigraphy in the region and services that Petrostrat provides.
May 30th, 2023: The GCCC congratulates our high school intern, Devon Bump, for graduating high school with distinction. Devon worked on a CCS infographic to present to her high school peers entitled, “Carbon Capture and Storage: Helping the World Combat the Effects of Climate Change.” Devon also received the Austin High Academy of Classical Studies Environmental Achievement Award. Congratulations, Devon!
May 24, 2023: As a group, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center had discussions about well monitoring technologies with Baker Hughes representatives, Mr. Gabe Casanova and Mr. Ole Engels, from the Houston office.
May 23, 2023: Dr. Sue Hovorka provided a presentation via zoom to PetroChina, entitled “Status Update on CCS: Texas and US CCS 在美国与德州的发展现状” at the Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development (RIPED) 20th International Cloud Class on Frontier Energy Science Technology (ICC-FEST). Special thanks to Dr Sang Guiqiang for organizing this event. Sue also thanks Dr. Hailun Ni, Dr. Jiaoqiao (Tim) Leng, Dr. Hongsheng Wang, and Dr. Zhicheng (William) Wang for helping to translate materials.
May 22 – 24th, 2023: Drs. Katherine Romanak, Alex Bump, and Seyyed Hosseini provided EOG in Dallas, TX with a CCS training course.
May 22, 2023: An article by Drs. Alex Bump, Sahar Bakhshian, Hailun Ni, Iulia Olariu, Dallas Dunlap, Seyyed Abolfazl Hosseini, and Tip Meckel entitled, "Composite Confining Systems: Rethinking Geologic Seals for Permanent CO2 Sequestration" was released online from the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. Click here to download this article.
May 17th, 2023: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) met with the newest sponsor of the GCCC’s Industrial Affiliates program, JERA Americas Inc. Thanks to Mr. Soichiro Ota for spending time with our group at the GCCC located at the Bureau of Economic Geology. We were delighted to visit with Mr. Ota and to learn more about JERA Americas Inc.
May 16, 2023: The Jackson School of Geosciences released a news article about Dr. Tip Meckel being selected for a White House Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage. Read more about the article here.
May 10, 2023: Thanks to Dr. Alex Bump, the Gulf Coast Carbon Center was excited to host one of our GCCC alums from Tetra Tech in one of our regularly scheduled weekly meetings for our group. Melianna Ulfah, now a Geologic CO2 Storage Project Scientist at Tetra Tech, works on CCS projects. Melianna brought one of her Tetra Tech mentors, John Lebas, to discuss Tetra Tech's involvement with CCS projects. Melianna discussed her transition from being a student at the GCCC to being active in the CCS industry. Melianna and John also discussed their perspective on developing CCS projects: What is the industry struggling with? And what tools, maps, insights, etc. do they wish they had when starting within the CCS industry, etc.
In 2021, Melianna completed a JSG Energy, and Earth Resources Master’s Thesis entitled, "Plume Migration and Pressure Evolution Analyses for Recommendations in Offshore CO₂ Storage Acreage Leasing Policy (download)." Her thesis was advised by Dr. Sue Hovorka.
May 8th, 2023: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center congratulates Dr. Sahar Bakhshian for receiving the prestigious Jackson School Outstanding Educator Award from the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin.
As a Research Associate at Bureau of Economic Geology’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center, Sahar is a nontraditional candidate for this award, since teaching is not a required role within this research position. Sahar’s students, however, surpass expectations and have been achieving numerous awards across the university (Energy Institute, The University of Texas at Austin) and the State of Texas. Sahar's mentorship and advisement is a continuous thread in student outstanding achievements.
Congratulations for this notable accolade, Sahar Bakhshian, and for being an outstanding advisor. We are incredibly proud of you and all of your students. Thank you for being such a great role model. To read more about Sahar, her award, and others, click here.
May 8th, 2023: The GCCC’s International Fellow, Dr. Charles Jenkins, a Senior Principal Research Scientist from CSIRO in Perth Australia, has started an approximately 2-month professional visit at the Gulf Coast Carbon Center. Charles is particularly interested in how the upsurge in CCS in the USA will be accommodated by regulatory systems. Communicating technical information to federal and state bureaucracies is shaping up as a key task for the research community in CCS.
May 8th, 2023: Members of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center joined the 4th joint webinar with CSIRO in Perth, Australia. Dr. Esti Ukar from the BEG at UT Austin introduced her research on reducing emissions from mining, leading on to considerations of basalts for CO2 storage. Dr. Lionel Esteban from CSIRO in Perth also introduced CSIRO’s research in this area, and summarized his project. Finally, Dr. Jonathan Ennis King from CSIRO in Melbourne described real-life attempts to inject CO2 saturated water, something of importance for basalt storage but also proposed from time to time as a way of making CO2 storage safer in sedimentary reservoirs.
May 5th, 2023: Open to Debate released "Is Carbon Capture Essential to Fighting Climate Change?" to their list of podcasts. Thanks to Dr. Katherine Romanak with the Gulf Coast Carbon Center at the Bureau of Economic Geology for injecting science into this narrative about how carbon capture and storage (CCS) should be employed to decrease global CO2 emissions. Have a listen here.
May 4–6, 2023: Congratulations to all graduates celebrating this season. Special congratulations to the Gulf Coast Carbon Center's Edna Rodriguez Calzado, Yushan Li, Angela Luciano, and Shadya Taleb Restrepo for participating in graduation events over the weekend!
We are happy to announce the following M.S. degree recipients:
Edna Rodriguez Calzado officially completed her M.S. in May 2023 entitled "Estimating CO2 Storage Capacity, Injectivity, and Storage Costs for Large-Scale CCS Deployment & Carbon Dioxide Removal Goals (download)”. Edna’s advisors included Dr. Susan D. Hovorka and Dr. Alex P. Bump.
Yushan Li officially completed her M.S. in May 2023 entitled, “Assessing an Offshore Carbon Storage Opportunity at Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana (download)”. Yushan’s M.S. was advised by Dr. Susan D. Hovorka.
May 4, 2023: Thanks to Dr. Tao Zhang from the Southwest Petroleum University in Nanchong, Sichuan, China for inviting Dr. Sahar Bakhshian to present a virtual talk entitled, “The Role of Pore-Scale Physics in CO2 Trapping and Migration in Geologic Formations” to the University.
May 2–4, 2023: Thanks to Dr. Katherine Romanak for providing educational training for the Federal Interagency CCUS Task Force Training Course, which was held in Birmingham, Alabama. Katherine provided CCUS training on monitoring, safety and environmental impacts of CO2 storage to the attendees from several U.S. government agencies including: the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology; Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy and Carbon Management & National Energy Technology Laboratory; Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, & Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement; Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration; and the Department of State’s Environmental Protection Agency.
May 2–4, 2023: Dr. Seyyed Hosseini attended a 3-day integrated meeting in Santa Fe, NM for 3 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funded projects (e.g. SMART, EDX4CCS, and NRAP) to help accelerate geologic carbon storage deployment in the U.S.A.
May 1, 2023: The spring 2023 semester is officially over at UT Austin. The Gulf Coast Carbon Center would like to thank Dr. Dana Thomas, Dr. Sahar Bakhshian, Dr. Shuvajit (Jit) Bhattacharya, Dr. Alex Bump, Sue Hovorka, Dr. Tip Meckel, and Dr. Hailun Ni for co-teaching the course entitled, “GEO371T/391: CO2 Injection and Storage in Geological Formations” to both undergraduates and graduate students at the Jackson School of Geosciences. Way to go team!
April 25 – 27th, 2023: Seventeen representatives from the GCCC attended the SPE, AAPG, and SEG’ Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage meeting in Houston, TX. Our group was heavily committed, and engaged, via chairing sessions and having a range of presentations at this conference. We were delighted by GCCC’s participation. Go team! Hook’em!
April 21, 2023: Announcing Dr. Tip Meckel and former student, Emily (Beckham) Wood’s, research entitled "High-resolution geologic modeling and CO2 flow simulation of a realistic clastic deltaic 3D model derived from a laboratory flume tank experiment" was officially published. This new article, in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, will be available online for free (for 50 days, if you click here). If you are interested to read about CO2 moving through a classic set of modeled clinoforms (XES-02 model from St. Anthony Falls), please be sure to take a look at this paper.
April 12, 2023: Dr. Sue Hovorka was quoted in an Upstream Energy Explored news article entitled, “Supermajors frustrated by regulation barriers amid high CCS appetite”
April 12, 2023: Congratulations to Dr. Sahar Bakhshian. Sahar was selected by UT’s Energy Institute, 2023 Strategic Energy Seed Grant Program, to receive funding for her project entitled, “Long-term surveillance of plugged and abandoned wells for immediate detection of CO2 leakage in geological carbon storge sites.”
April 5, 6th, and 7th, 2023: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center hosted the 2023 Joint Annual GoMCarb - SECARB Offshore Partnerships Meeting. Presentations covered topics about CCS Outreach; Energy, Equity, and Environmental Justice (EEEJ); Regulatory and Legislative Updates, Infrastructure, Monitoring, as well as Characterization and Assessment of Storage Opportunities. To read a summary about the GoMCarb Project and this event, read Tim Dixon’s IEAGHG blog here.
March 30th, 2023: The Bureau of Economic Geology’s Outreach Team and the GCCC’s postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Zhicheng (William) Wang, participated in Geology Day at Thornton Elementary School in Temple, TX. William taught students about carbon dioxide with various science activities and experiments. The group interacted with approximately 250 students and 10 teachers throughout the day. Students were excited to see several scientific demonstrations, and described the event as “bring[ing] the museum to the school.” Due to the pandemic, many children have not had the opportunity to travel to regional museums or parks, so we must act now to engage this group now. Special thanks to Linda McCall, and her team, for promoting STEM to future generations!
March 28 – 31, 2023: Dr. Sahar Bakshian and Dr. Hailun Ni from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center attended UT Energy Week 2023. Special thanks to Sai Karri for allowing us to post photographs on our webpage. Several of our M.S. students had exciting presentations at this event including:
- Richard Colt Larson who presented “Self-Sealing Capacity of Wellbore Cement Under Geologic CO2 Storage”
- Jose Ubillus Alcivar who presented “Laboratory experiments and modeling to accurately evaluate critical CO2 saturation for geologic carbon storage”
- Blazej Ksiazek who presented “Combining Quantitative Leakage Risk Assessment with Financial Liability for CO2 Geologic Storage”
- Maria Paula Madariaga who presented “Leveraging Permian Basin Assets for the Emerging Clean Hydrogen Energy Economy in Texas”
March 28th, 2023: As a CO2 Injection and Storage in Geological Formations course field trip, students took a trip to the Austin Core Research Center at the Bureau of Economic Geology with Dr. Sue Hovorka and Dr. Dana Thomas. This group of undergraduates and graduate students were able to view core while discussing CO2 plumes and pressure, as well as CO2 trapping mechanisms. Hook’em!
March 25th, 2023: The Gulf Coast Carbon Center congratulates our high school intern and high school senior, Shaunak Pandey, for winning first place for his science project after competing in a competition across the State of Texas!
For a high school internship, Shaunak has been working on a research project at the Bureau of Economic Geology with Dr. Sahar Bakhshian at the Gulf Coast Carbon Center. We wish Shaunak great success as he moves forward to compete in an upcoming competition with other state winners as well as those coming to the U.S. to compete internationally.
Congratulations to Shaunak, and special thanks to Sahar for being such a great role model and adviser to our future leaders in STEM.
March 25th, 2023: Dr. Katherine Romanak presented and lead a discussion entitled, Explore the Pros & Cons of CCS, during Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Third Coast) Cocktails & Conversations Series between 4 and 5 pm CDT.
March 24, 2023: Congratulations to Dr. Tip Meckel, Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center, for being selected as a member of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Carbon Dioxide Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) Federal Lands and Outer Continental Shelf Permitting Task Force.
On March 24, 2023, The White House's Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) announced members of two new task forces, required by the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act. The goals for these task forces are to “provide recommendations to the Federal government on how to ensure that CCUS projects, including carbon dioxide pipelines, are permitted in an efficient manner, that will reflect the input and needs of a wide range of stakeholders, and deliver benefits rather than harm to local communities.” Read the official announcement here.
March 22, 2023: Dr. Sue Hovorka hosted several of our graduate students, researchers, and the BEG’s outreach team at the GCCC. The group had lively discussions on how to educate kids of all ages about carbon dioxide and performed various scientific demonstrations.
March 15, 2023: Powerhouse Texas released a highlight reel from the Energy Innovation Forum that Dr. Katherine Romanak participated in on February 6th, 2023. Click here to watch the entire forum from that day.
March 8, 2023: Happy Women’s International Day from the Gulf Coast Carbon Center.
Thanks to Dr. Sue Hovorka for leading the Gulf Coast Carbon Center as the Principal Investigator of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center. We are proud of the women in our group, and all women engaged with carbon capture and storage. We celebrate ALL women today, and thank all of you for supporting women every day.
We have an international group of women scientists and engineers at the GCCC, which currently includes: Sue Hovorka, Sahar Bakhshian, Hailun Ni, Angela Luciano, Maria Paula Madariaga Cubides, Yushan Li, Katherine Romanak, Edna Rodriguez Calzado, GIT, Shadya Taleb, and Dolores van der Kolk.
March 8, 2023: The Alaska Senate Resources Committee invited Dr. Tip Meckel to speak on the topic of CCS. Alaska has two bills under consideration in the current state legislative session: Senate Bills 48 and 49.
SB-49 relates to the geologic storage of carbon dioxide, and primacy of Class VI wells, and establishes a Closure Trust Fund and other financial aspects of closure and long-term ownership. A $2.50 per ton minimum injection charge is established. CO2 that is stored and remains in storage under a permit is not a pollutant and does not constitute a nuisance. Once a certificate of completion is issued, title to the storage facility and to the stored carbon dioxide transfers, without payment of any compensation, to the state under the management of the Department of Natural Resources. Storage operators shall pay the commission a surcharge on each ton of carbon dioxide injected for storage. The surcharge must be in the amount set by the commission. The amount must be based on anticipated expenses that the state will incur in regulating storage facilities during post-closure phases.
SB-48 authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to lease land for carbon management purposes; establishes a carbon offset program for state land; and authorizes the sale of carbon offset credits. It mostly contemplates non-geologic carbon management activities. Among other definitions, "carbon offset credit" is defined to mean a transferrable instrument issued by a registry for a validated and verified project that represents an emission reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.
March 7th, 2023: The GCCC is teaming up with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Perth, Australia with an internal webinar series to share current interests in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and to explore collaboration by having thematic discussions about CCS. CSIRO is an Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research. The first webinar was a tag team event, with Dr. Tess Dance and Dr. Alex Bump giving us their thoughts about finding storage, and then Dr. Andy Ross and Dr. Tip Meckel talking about offshore storage and especially “hubs.”
We previously had Dr. Charles Jenkins (Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO), working with us as a BEG GCCC Visiting Scholar for a few months last year. We are excited to continue our engagement with Dr. Charles Jenkins from CSIRO: He is notably one of our GCCC International Fellows.
March 6 to 10th, 2023: GCCC graduate students Maria Madriaga and Ismail Faruqi attended CERAWeek by S&P Global in Houston, TX. Our students were excited to come back from the conference to discuss a session about carbon hubs and the potential utilization and storage of CO2.
February 28th, 2023: The Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, hosted Dr. Alex Bump, for an in-person and live-streamed presentation entitled, CCS: The Swiss Army Knife of Climate Change Mitigation and a Key to the Energy Transition for their Symposium Series. Click here to watch the talk.
February 28, 2023: Dr. Tip Meckel was an invited speaker for the Golden Triangle Days session at the Capitol complex in Austin. Tip followed comments by Texas Speaker, Dade Phelan from the House of Representatives, and provided a vision of CCS development in the Gulf Coast, notably in the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange region. Tip’s presentation covered standard CCS aspects, with special consideration for how to address clustered emission hubs like the Golden Triangle and also leverage Federal funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) legislation.
February 27, 2023: Special thanks to Tim Dixon, the Director of IEAGHG, for being a keynote speaker at our first 2023 Gulf Coast Carbon Center's Sponsors' Meeting of the year. Tim summarized "Hot CCS Topics" at our February 2023 Sponsors’ Meeting and summarized details about our Sponsors' Meeting on IEAGHG's informative blog about CCS and CCS events here.
February 24, 2023: Dr. Sahar Bakhshian’s high school intern, Shaunak Pandey, advanced from the regional science fair to the state science fair that will be held March 24 and 25th at Texas A&M. Read more here.
February 22, 2023: Was a beautiful, bluebird day in Austin, TX, U.S.A. to kick off the semiannual Gulf Coast Carbon Center's Sponsors' Meeting. Drs. Sue Hovorka and Katherine Romanak each hosted CCS training events, Dr. Carlos A Uroza laid out core from the Wilcox Group that generated lively discussions, we had a beautiful mixer on our terrace, and we toured both the Carbon Capture Facility and the Bureau of Economic Geology's Core Research Center. We appreciate the support of all of our Sponsors, and a full day of presentations on February 23, 2023. Hook'em Horns!
February 21 – 23, 2023: Mr. Ramon Gil attended the Roadmap for CO2 Transport Fundamental Research Workshop in Columbus, Ohio, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management.
February 13, 2023: The GCCC welcomes Dr. Zhicheng (William) Wang as a new Postdoctoral Fellow who will be working with Dr. Seyyed Hosseini. Dr. Wang received his Ph.D. in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2022. Dr. Wang’s dissertation focused on pore-scale modeling of multiphase flow in porous media. While at Penn State, Dr. Wang managed several projects that incorporated natural gas reservoir modeling and simulations in several unconventional reservoirs. Dr. Wang also has previous experience as a Data Scientist. In 2017, William received a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from China University of Petroleum-Beijing. During his spare time, William enjoys watching and playing sports, including but not limited to soccer, tennis, and swimming. He also enjoys traveling and exploring different cultures. Welcome to the GCCC, William!
February 11, 2023: Drs. Hailun Ni, Sahar Bakhshian, and Tip Meckel published Effects of grain size and small-scale bedform architecture on CO2 saturation from buoyancy-driven flow in Nature’s Scientific Reports. To view this open-access journal article, please click here.
February 11, 2023: The GCCC congratulates high school student Shaunak Pandey and graduate student Richard Colt Larson for winning awards for presenting their research, advised by Dr. Sahar Bakhshian, at the Jackson School of Geosciences 12th Annual Student Research Symposium. Several GCCC students presented their research in a poster format to representatives from ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum.
Sahar’s high school student intern, Shaunak Pandey, won first place for a poster titled, “Pore-Scale Simulation of CO2 Migration in Rough-Walled Geologic Fractures through Volume of Fluid Method leveraging High-Performance Computing for Risk Assessment of Carbon Sequestration.”
Sahar’s M.S. student, Richard Colt Larson, won 2nd place in the early career graduate student division for his poster titled, “The Influence of Microscale Heterogeneity of Sedimentary Rocks on CO2 Migration and Capillary Trapping in Geologic Carbon Sequestration.”
The GCCC is proud of Sahar and her student who were given high honors at this event. The GCCC congratulates everyone who participated, as well as the declared winners, of the Jackson School of Geosciences 12th Annual Student Research Symposium.
February 6, 2023: Dr. Susan Hovorka hosted Dr. Wonsuck Kim, currently with Yonsei University in South Korea, and a delegation from the Korean CCS Association. The Korean delegation, headed by Dr. Yi Kyun Kwon, visited Austin’s Core Research Center to view and discuss core from the Cranfield Project.
February 6th, 2023: Dr. Katherine Romanak was invited to provide an overview about carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) by PowerHouse Texas at the Texas Capitol in Austin, TX. PowerHouse Texas and the UK Science and Innovation Network are currently co-hosting Energy Innovation Forums at the Legislative Conference Center. These “Energy Innovation Forums are created to bring industry leaders, academics, policymakers, and community advocates together to discuss innovative technologies that have the potential to increase grid reliability while decarbonizing and spurring the economy.” The goal of this meeting was to have honest conversations about CCUS including the social, racial, and environmental considerations and to discuss implications for CCUS infrastructure buildout. Click here to watch the forum.
Break out discussions featured a debate that included the VP from Carbon Clean, Glen Bailey, who described reducing the cost of carbon capture; the TX State Representative to the Texas Legislature, Drew Darby, who discussed his HB 1158 that was introduced in January of 2023; and the Founder and Executive Director of Commission Shift, Virginia Palacios, who voiced her concerns about the RRC being the sole oversight body of CCS projects once Texas gains primacy.
At this event, Dr. Romanak held a private question-and-answer session with energy policy fellows from PowerHouse Texas before giving the keynote presentation and overview about CCUS. Dr. Romanak’s keynote address introduced how CCUS works, outlined the difference between long-term storage and using carbon capture for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), explained what would be needed to buildout an entirely new carbon pipeline infrastructure, and also addressed concerns about health, drinking water, and leakage. As determined by the U.N. and U.S. carbon reduction standards, Dr. Romanak outlined how CCUS can help achieve decarbonization goals.
February 1, 2023: We are excited to announce that the GCCC’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Hailun Ni, has officially been promoted as a Research Associate and has the new title of Laboratory Experimentalist. In this position, Dr. Ni will continue to perform laboratory research activities, which will focus on applications of physical experiments for carbon capture and geologic storage. The GCCC is excited to congratulate all of your achievements, and this spectacular career milestone, Dr. Ni!
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!
January 23rd – 25th, 2023: Dr. Tip Meckel attended the recently created Port Opportunities with Energy, Resilience & Sustainability (POWERS) Summit & Exposition in Tampa, Florida. The POWERS Summit & Expo brought port executives, energy leaders, environmental experts, and other key stakeholders together to promote deep conversations on emerging sustainability solutions in the port industry. Dr. Meckel was a keynote speaker and discussed “CCUS for Ports.” His keynote was followed by a fireside chat guided by Kym Bolado, the publisher and president of SHALE Oil & Gas Magazine.
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!
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.
January 15th, 2023: The GCCC welcomes the Jackson School of Geoscience’s Energy and Earth Resources (JSG EER) M.S. student Maria Paula Madariaga who will be advised by Dr. Carlos Uroza. As part of Maria’s M.S. project, she will be working with Dr. Uroza who is conducting a regional evaluation of the Wilcox Group for CO2 storage potential in South Texas. Maria will assess a subset of this dataset to help evaluate the CO2 storage potential of the Wilcox Group. In 2018, Maria received her B.S. in Geoscience from the University of Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia where she originally is from. Maria Paula previously worked for Frontera Energy Corporation for 5 years while in Colombia. Welcome aboard, Maria!