Hyatt Regency – Mexico City
If you are interested in attending the 2015 X Latin American Forum, please register at our event website.
Mexico: Knowledge and Discovery through the Geosciences.
The University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment is a unique by-invitation-only free to attend program that addresses a critical need to bring together public and private sector decision makers, scholars and scientists, to foster dialogue around the sustainable development of energy resources and environmental issues.
Its focus is to advance collaborative cross-disciplinary academic, research and networking opportunities between Mexican and United States geoscientists from academia and the private and public sector.
The Forum’s technical panels are being developed with the support and cooperation of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico’s (UNAM) geoscience research centers, as well as with Mexico’s geoscience professional societies.
The 2015 X Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment also underscores the objectives of the United States – Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research, the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholarship Program, 100,000 Strong in the Americas and Proyecto 100 MIL initiatives which bring together academia, the public and private sectors so as to promote student exchanges, quality post-secondary education and scientific research cooperation between Mexico and the United States especially in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
2015 Technical Panel Briefs **
The Chicxulub Impact and Gulf of Mexico Reservoirs
One the most significant global events in Earth’s history was an impact by a 10 km-wide asteroid into what is today the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico ~65.5 million years ago. This impact locally formed a ~200 km wide impact structure that still dominates the localization of Yucatan’s water resources, generated massive breccia deposits that today likely form hydrocarbon reservoirs beneath the southern Gulf of Mexico, and set the stage for later deep-water sand deposits which may also be reservoirs in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The Chicxulub impact structure is the only large impact that can be examined through drilling to test models of how such impact craters form and resurface planets. An expedition to drill into the Chicxulub impact is planned for spring 2016 by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and the International Continental Drilling Project (ICDP).
The Role of Research and Regional Studies in New Exploration of Mexico Offshore Areas
Regional to basin-scale studies of the Gulf of Mexico have underpinned successful exploration in the USA sector for decades and are one reason why the USA Gulf keeps reinventing itself with new exploration plays even after it appeared that it has become the “dead sea”. Part of this continuing success is the role of scientific studies in pushing new concepts, new models, and new ideas of the basin origin and fill. This requires university-based scientific researchers have access to well and other critical data from offshore areas of Mexico. The benefits of open access to older well data is clear from the large number of publications in universities (US and international) on the Gulf of Mexico US sector. The other benefit is the experience, skills, and training that students receive working with this released data. These are the next generation of explorers that will drive the upward trajectory of Mexican discoveries and production.
Geologic Storage of Captured CO2 in Deep, Non-Productive Formations and Through CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery
One of the attractive mechanisms for mitigating the atmospheric build-up of CO2 is to capture it from point sources, compress it and transfer it to selected permitted locations where the carbon (as CO2) is returned to the deep subsurface for long-term storage. This process is known as carbon capture and storage (CCS). One near-term and economical way to store CO2 is to use it for enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a process by which additional oil is extracted from depleted reservoirs by injection of CO2. We will discuss examples of strategies for matching sources to sinks, defining favorable EOR targets, and assuring that storage is permanent.
Unconventional Oil & Gas Resources in Mexico
Mexico has substantial unconventional oil and gas resources. Commercially-viable production will require hydraulic fracturing or other permeability-modification methods. The panel will discuss the resource potential (shales, tight sands, etc.), the extent to which the US experience might be applicable, and the likely upstream business models for bringing these resources to market. The panel will also discuss the “Above Ground” issues associated with oil and natural gas exploration and development, and how to work together in achieving our common goals of no accidents, no harm to people and no damage to the environment. It is an issue that should be handled proactively (how to prevent the problem) versus reactively (dealing with a problem).
Water Use in the Energy Sector: Improving Understanding and Reducing Conflicts
To face the growing demand from different uses and users for water resources in sufficient quality and quantity, as well as the effects of the growing population, urbanization and climate change, Mexico has developed or taken part in a number of initiatives aiming to improve the management of water resources, both in terms of infrastructure and social measures. Expansion of on-shore oil and natural gas exploration and production activities introduces a new stakeholder into the current diversity of water users in Mexico. Experiences in Texas can be applied in Mexico, leading to improved understanding of water resource quantity and quality, and reducing potential future conflicts.
The Future of Methane Hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico
Estimates vary on the amount of energy that could be produced from methane hydrate worldwide, but the potential is huge. In the Gulf of Mexico there is estimated to be about 7,000 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of methane in sand-dominated reservoirs near the seafloor. That is more than 250 times the amount of natural gas used in the United States in 2013. Hydrates have the potential to contribute to long-term energy security within the United States and abroad. Many large global economies that lack clean and secure energy supplies have potentially enormous hydrate resources. In addition to its enormous potential as an energy resource, methane hydrates may play a role in past and future climate change, and better understanding the marine deposits will further scientific understanding of these processes.
Capacity Building: The Need for Future Geoscientists and Engineers
There is an emerging need for geoscientists and petroleum engineers and other skilled sector professionals as a result of the future development of oil and natural gas resources in Mexico. Public-Private sector capacity initiatives are needed in order to support this urgent need when at least 40 percent of petroleum related professionals are also expected to retire in the coming decade, according to some industry recruiters. Expected demand will also be coming from National Content Rules requirements. According to Spencer Stuart “…Mexico will need geoscientists who can read and interpret seismic data and engineers with deep technical knowledge…operational leaders who can effect change…and financial professionals who can value assets, budget costs and raise capital”.
** Agenda Subject to Change