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Spicewood, TexasUSA Today, July 9, 2013
Featuring: J.P. Nicot

Texas’ current drought is caused by changes in ocean circulation patterns such as La Nina, anthropogenic climate change, and other factors. One thing intensifying the drought’s impact is hydraulic fracturing. Water consumption for fracking in the state jumped 125% in three years and will continue to increase before leveling off in the 2020s, according to a University of Texas at Austin study this year by research scientist Jean-Phillippe Nicot. The UT study says oil and gas drilling accounts for less than 1% of water use statewide, and one-fifth of water used in fracking is recycled or brackish. But a similar 2011 study, also by Nicot, found it accounts for at least 20% of water in some counties where fracking is big business.

Pete Rose, Jackson School alumnus, will receive the Petroleum Group Silver Medal from the Geological Society of London Thursday at the group’s annual dinner. He is the first American ever to receive the award, said Jonathan Craig, chairman of the society’s petroleum group.
Austin American-Statesman, June 12, 2013
Featuring: Pete Rose

The Aletsch glacier in SwitzerlandWall Street Journal, June 2, 2013
Featuring: Clark Wilson

Accelerated melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers was the driving factor behind a rise in the global sea level of 16.8 millimeters, or about two-thirds of an inch, between 2005 and 2011, according to a study published Sunday in Nature Geoscience. The study resolves long-standing discrepancies that arose from different methods of measuring sea levels. ”There was an increase in the melting rate in Greenland starting in 2005 and that is probably the underlying story why” a larger quantity of melt water has poured into the oceans in recent years, said Clark R. Wilson, geophysicist at the University of Texas at Austin and co-author of the study.

El Palito refinery, near Moron, VenezuelaAssociated Press, May 4, 2013
Featuring: Jorge Pinon

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but PDVSA’s production, earnings and income all appear to be on a downward slide and its debts to suppliers rose 35 percent. “The government of Venezuela today uses PDVSA as its petty cash box to lead populist social programs,” said Jorge R. Pinon, associate director of the Latin America and Caribbean Program at the University of Texas, Austin. “Whatever capital is left in PDVSA is being mismanaged, mismanaged because they’re just not focused on running the company. … They’re focused on building hospitals and schools.”

Robert DullAmerican paleoecologist Dr. Robert Dull believes he’s pretty much solved the mystery behind a catastrophic global climate change event from the sixth century. As the new History series “Perfect Storms” shows, Dull has found solid circumstantial evidence that an eruption at El Salvador’s Lake Ilopango volcano was the cause of the so-called Dust Veil of AD 536, when a thick dust and ash cloud over the Northern Hemisphere cooled parts of the Earth and led to millions of deaths.
The Canadian Press, April 5, 2013
Featuring: Robert Dull

Workers on a natural gas drilling rigBloomberg, April 3, 2013
Featuring: Michelle Foss

Canada is pulling ahead of the U.S. in a contest to be the first exporter of liquefied natural gas from the North American shale bonanza to Asia’s $150 billion LNG market. “The smart money is going to Canada” to export LNG, said Michelle Foss, chief energy economist at the Center for Energy Economics at the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology. “They don’t have any objections to exporting gas and it’s closer to Asia, which cuts down on shipping costs.”

Hugo ChavezChristian Science Monitor, March 27, 2013
Featuring: Jorge Pinon

Some 17 countries receive shipments of crude or refined oil products with preferential repayment terms under the Petrocaribe energy pact. But some nations fear oil shipments could stop post-Chávez. ”Any cut to Petrocaribe would be disastrous for countries” that receive Venezuelan oil under such deals, says Jorge Piñon, an energy analyst and Caribbean specialist at The University of Texas at Austin. “It’s become an integral part of their economies.”

New plate discovered under Southern CaliforniaA tectonic plate that disappeared millions of years ago has turned up in Central California and Mexico. New research from Brown University found that part of the Baja region of Mexico and part of central California near the Sierra Nevada mountains sit upon slabs of this long-lost plate. It’s a big breakthrough in how we think about California’s 100-million-year-old geology. Sean Gulick, a geophysicist from the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, gives Take Two a little lesson in plate tectonics to understand the discovery.

Take Two, Southern California Public Radio, March 20, 2013.
Featuring: Sean Gulick

Researchers at the Advanced Energy Consortium inspect nanoparticles in solutionCan magnetic nanoparticles injected deep underground with hydraulic fracturing liquids reveal detailed dimensions of shale rock fractures and track movements of gas molecules? Can other particles — that change form when they encounter oil — be “interrogated” for clues about the amounts of oil in dense shale formations? These are among the goals of the Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC), headquartered at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas, Austin.

EnergyWire, March 15, 2013
Featuring: Mohsen Ahmadian, Scott Tinker

The front page of The Wall Street Journal and scores of media outlets across the country reported that U.S. natural-gas production will accelerate over the next three decades, providing the strongest evidence yet that the energy boom remaking America will last for a generation. The conclusion is based on new research from a team led by Scott Tinker and Svetlana Ikonnikova of the Bureau of Economic Geology, which is conducting the most comprehensive survey to-date of the major unconventional shale gas basins in North America. The first results forecast gradually declining but steady production from the Barnett Shale, based on the first-ever survey of actual well data from the formation.
Wall Street Journal, NPR, Reuters, CNBCBloomberg BusinessweekRigZoneAustin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle (Fuel Fix Blog)Ft. Worth Star TelegramStateImpact (NPR/KUT), Feb. 28-Mar. 5, 2013
Featuring: Scott Tinker

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