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9:00 am - Career Center Open House

Career Center Open House

  Start: February 2, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm
 Location:JGB 2.112 Martineau Career Services Suite
 Contact:Chelsea Ochoa, chelsea.ochoa@jsg.utexas.edu, 5122320893
JSG students, faculty and staff are invited to come by the Career Center for coffee and bagels.

12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar - Anthony McGlown

Soft Rock Seminar - Anthony McGlown

  Start: February 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: February 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222

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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions Speaker Series: PhD Talk

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: PhD Talk

  Start: February 3, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: February 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm

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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Catherine McCammon

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Catherine McCammon

  Start: February 5, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: February 5, 2015 at 5:00 pm

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9:00 am - BEG Friday Seminar Series

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: February 6, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: February 6, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Robert G. Loucks
Senior Research Scientist
Bureau of Economic Geology

Abstract:
Organic-matter (OM) pores are an important constituent of mudrocks and comprise the dominant or subsidiary pore network of many shale-gas and shale-oil systems. New research suggests that OM pores form not only in kerogen, as originally proposed, but also in solid bitumen and pyrobitumen. Identifying the type of nanometer- to micrometer-sized organic matter that is present in mudrocks is extremely difficult, if not impossible, using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). However, distinguishing whether the OM-pore hosted organic material exists in place or has migrated would allow the determination to be made whether the original organic material was kerogen or migrated bitumen. There are several SEM-based petrographic criteria that can be used to separate depositional versus migrated organic matter. These criteria include: (1) organic matter occurring after cementation in mineral pores, (2) fossil body-cavity voids filled with organic matter, (3) dense, spongy pore texture of the organic matter, (4) abundant contiguous pores filled with organic matter having a spongy pore network, (5) no alignment of pores in organic matter (aligned OM pores are present in kerogen), (6) cracks in organic matter related to devolatilization, and (7) anomalously larger bubbles associated with development of two hydrocarbon phases. It is important to recognize the difference between deposition organic matter versus migrated organic matter associated nanopores because their distribution is different and this has a profound effect on reservoir quality. Original depositional organic material is composed of kerogen, which can be transformed to bitumen and then oil, gas, solid bitumen, and pyrobitumen (char) during thermal maturation. When bitumen is produced from the kerogen, it can migrate into the mineral pore network and later transform to solid bitumen or pyrobitumen. The final pore network and associated reservoir quality within the mudrock is dependent on the proportions of the distribution of these two organic matter states. OM pores in isolated depositional organic matter may not be well connected and not form a continuous permeability pathway for the hydrocarbons. Migrated organic-matter-hosted pores mimic the three-dimensional distribution of the original mudrock mineral pore network and provide more extensive contiguous permeability pathways than isolated organic matter, thus providing a higher reservoir-quality mudstone system.

Acknowledgment for contribution: Robert M. Reed, Structural Geologist


10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: Catherine McMammon, University of Bayreuth

UTIG Seminar Series: Catherine McMammon, University of Bayreuth

  Start: February 6, 2015 at 10:30 am     End: February 6, 2015 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Afu Lin, afu@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-471-8054
 URL:Event Link
"Geophysical Constraints on the Early Earth"
The Earth’s formation is one of the most profound events in our history. Evidence from meteorites provides constraints on the refractory material from which the Earth formed, but the origin of volatile elements, including those that gave us oceans of water and the building blocks needed for life, are not well known. Surface reservoirs are generally well documented, but the deep Earth’s interior may contain large hidden inventories. The presentation will illustrate how synchrotron experiments allow us to investigate this otherwise inaccessible part of the Earth in the laboratory and provide constraints that can be directly compared to geophysical data, allowing us to look back in time to the beginning of Earth's history.


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12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar - Joel Lunsford

Soft Rock Seminar - Joel Lunsford

  Start: February 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: February 9, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222

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Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Whitney Behr

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Whitney Behr

  Start: February 10, 2015     End: February 10, 2015

11:45 am - Shell Lunch & Learn

Shell Lunch & Learn

  Start: February 10, 2015 at 11:45 am     End: February 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 6.218 Dean's Conference Room
 Contact:Chelsea Ochoa, chelsea.ochoa@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-232-0893
Have lunch with Shell! Learn about the company, opportunities for summer internships and recent projects. RSVP link can be found on GeoSource. Space limited to 20 JSG graduate students.

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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Sean Solomon

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Sean Solomon

  Start: February 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: February 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

5:00 pm - Alumni Reception during Winter NAPE

Alumni Reception during Winter NAPE

  Start: February 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm     End: February 12, 2015 at 7:00 pm
 Location:Hilton of the Americas, Ballroom of the Americas section B
 Contact:Kristen Tucek, ktucek@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-775-6745

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10:30 am - UTIG Seminar Series: John Snedden, UTIG

UTIG Seminar Series: John Snedden, UTIG

  Start: February 13, 2015 at 10:30 am     End: February 13, 2015 at 11:30 am
 Location:PRC, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 196, Rm 1.603, Austin, TX 78758
 Contact:Nick Hayman, hayman@ig.utexas.edu, 512-471-7721
 URL:Event Link
"Interaction of Deep-water Deposition and a Mid-Ocean Spreading Center, Eastern Gulf of Mexico Basin, USA"

Abstract:

The general position of a Jurassic-Early Cretaceous spreading center in the eastern Gulf of Mexico has been suggested for many years, yet the precise location has not been defined. New seismic reflection and refraction data and plate reconstructions allows for delineation of this Tithonian to Valanginian age ocean ridge system and illuminate its prolonged influence on deep-water Cretaceous sedimentation. The extinct spreading center displays morphological characteristics associated with slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges: 1) large and wide axial valleys, ranging from 5 to 20 km wide; 2) deep axial valleys, often over 2 km deep; 3) normal faults that dip toward axial valleys; and 4) discontinuous, isolated basement highs, with elevations over 1km above regional oceanic basement depth that reflect local variations in magma supply.

Correlation from Florida Platform wells to this extinct spreading center confirms the precise time of oceanic crustal emplacement and thus estimation of spreading rate, consistent with plate reconstructions and morphotectonic observations. Reflections tied to the Top Haynesville-Buckner, Cotton Valley-Bossier, and Cotton Valley-Knowles downlap onto contemporaneous oceanic crust, confirming the depositional history of the area. These correlations imply that source rock intervals such as the Tithonian and Oxfordian are absent in a large portion of the abyssal plain south of the Florida escarpment.

The extinct spreading center remained a major element of the deep-water seascape, diverting sediment gravity flows during the Mesozoic. Pronounced depositional thicks occur north of the ridge line confirming that it acted as a partial barrier to seismogenic debris flows initiated by the Chicxulub impact but derived from the Florida Platform area.

The extinct spreading center and its associated seamounts are prominent structural highs that are draped by prospective Paleogene and younger reservoir intervals. Several of these features have been leased by oil companies for possible future drilling. Exploration here would test the outer limits of several Cenozoic play fairways, both from a reservoir and source rock standpoint.


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12:00 pm - Soft Rock Seminar - Travis Swanson

Soft Rock Seminar - Travis Swanson

  Start: February 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm     End: February 16, 2015 at 1:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222

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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions Speaker Series: PhD Talk

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: PhD Talk

  Start: February 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: February 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Alex Hall

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Alex Hall

  Start: February 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: February 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm

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9:00 am - BEG Friday Seminar Series

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: February 20, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: February 20, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Bridget R. Scanlon
Senior Research Scientist
Bureau of Economic Geology

Abstract:
There is increasing concern about water constraints limiting oil and gas production using hydraulic fracturing (HF) in shale plays, particularly in semiarid regions and during droughts. Here we evaluate HF vulnerability by comparing HF water demand with supply in the semiarid Texas Eagle Ford play, the largest shale oil producer globally. Current HF water demand (18 billion gallons, bgal in 2013) equates to ~16% of total water consumption in the play area. Projected HF water demand of ~330 bgal with ~62,000 additional wells over the next 20 years equates to ~10% of historic groundwater depletion from regional irrigation. Estimated potential freshwater supplies include ~1,000 bgal over 20 yr from recharge and ~10,000 bgal from aquifer storage, with land-owner lease agreements often stipulating purchase of freshwater. However, pumpage has resulted in excessive drawdown locally with estimated declines of ~100–200 ft in ~6% of the western play area since HF began in 2009–2013. Non-freshwater sources include initial flowback water, which is ?5% of HF water demand, limiting reuse/recycling. Operators report shifting to brackish groundwater with estimated groundwater storage of 80,000 bgal. Comparison with other semiarid plays indicates increasing brackish groundwater and produced water use in the Permian Basin and large surface water inputs from the Missouri River in the Bakken play. The variety of water sources in semiarid regions, with projected HF water demand representing ~3% of fresh and ~1% of brackish water storage in the Eagle Ford footprint indicates that with appropriate management, water availability should not physically limit future shale energy production.

Acknowledgments for contribution:
Robert M. Reed, Structural Geologist
J.P. Nicot, Geological Engineer

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3:00 pm - Climate Forum speaker series: Prof. Yutian Wu

Climate Forum speaker series: Prof. Yutian Wu

  Start: February 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm     End: February 23, 2015 at 4:00 pm
 Location:JGB 3.222
 Contact:Kai Zhang, kzkaizhang@gmail.com
Yutian Wu (Assistant Prof. from Purdue Univ.)

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4:00 pm - Tech Sessions Speaker Series: PhD Talk

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: PhD Talk

  Start: February 24, 2015 at 4:00 pm     End: February 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

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Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Pieter Vermeesch

Tech Sessions Speaker Series: Pieter Vermeesch

  Start: February 26, 2015     End: February 26, 2015

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9:00 am - BEG Friday Seminar Series

BEG Friday Seminar Series

  Start: February 27, 2015 at 9:00 am     End: February 27, 2015 at 10:00 am
 Location:BEG Main Conference Room; Building 130; PRC Campus
 Contact:Sophia Ortiz, sophia.ortiz@beg.utexas.edu, 512.475.9588
 URL:Event Link
Matthew W. Becker, Ph.D
Professor of Geology and Conrey Chair in Hydrogeology
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University Long Beach

Abstract:
The heterogeneous flow of fluids in fractures is a common challenge for enhanced oil recovery, geothermal circulation, and groundwater remediation systems. The cubic relationship between fracture aperture and flow rate, compounded by complex fracture network connectivity, leads to flow channeling, diversion, or short circuiting. We have been experimenting with periodic hydraulic tests as an economical and effective method for predicting flow heterogeneity and inter-well hydraulic connectivity. The propagation of a periodic signal through the formation follows preferential hydraulic pathways. Monitoring the amplitude and phase shift of the periodic signal at multiple wells can indicate the presence of high permeability flow paths (fairways) or hydraulically isolated zones. Following a brief summary of fluid flow in fractured rock systems, results from numerical simulations and field experiments will be presented. The field experimental site is unique in that flow paths can be imaged using surface ground penetrating radar. Channeling evident in the radar images confirmed the hydraulic connections measured by periodic hydraulic tests and tracer experiments. Potentially, periodic hydraulic methods could be used to test alternative structural mechanical models given sufficient pressure data.


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