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Bureau of Economic Geology News Archive


Producing oil through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses similar amounts of water on average as producing oil by conventional means, according to a new study by The University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology. Bridget Scanlon, a senior research scientist at the bureau and lead researcher on the study, said the findings are…

A new study from the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at The University of Texas at Austin forecasts that one of the nation’s most productive shale gas basins, the Fayetteville Shale, will continue to be a major contributor to U.S. natural gas supplies for years to come, with economically recoverable reserves of 18 trillion cubic…

“Earlier this year, the government shutdown stalled two crucial policy decisions in the United States involving the movement of energy: the Keystone pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. Rather than allow extreme arguments to dominate, Americans should demand lawmakers move toward the radical middle on both of these vital issues.” Austin American-Statesman, Jan….

While criticized as a water-intensive technique for producing oil and natural gas, hydraulic fracturing  ultimately cuts overall water use  in Texas and makes the state less vulnerable to drought, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. “The bottom line is that hydraulic fracturing, by boosting natural gas production and moving the…

A new study finds that in Texas, the U.S. state that annually generates the most electricity, using natural gas for electricity generation is saving water and making the state less vulnerable to drought. Even though exploration for natural gas requires significant water consumption in Texas, the new consumption is easily offset by the overall water…

In October 2013, the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Tip Meckel led a crew of 27 on a 10-day 3D seismic data collection cruise off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico. This activity was part of a multi-year geologic characterization effort to identify potential carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites beneath the Texas portion of…

Sediment behind milldams in Pennsylvania preserved leaves deposited just before European contact that provide a glimpse of the ancient forests, according to a team of geoscientists, who note that neither the forests nor the streams were what they are today. “Milldams were built from the late 1600s to the late 1800s in Pennsylvania and other…

When he came to the Bureau of Economic Geology in 1980, Martin Jackson was a hard-rock kind of guy. He was grew up in what was then Rhodesia (today, Zimbabwe), prospected for minerals there and in South Africa and Namibia, studied the metamorphic history of Precambrian gneisses in the Forbidden Area of the Namib Desert…

A Classroom at the Edge of the World

Take the trip of a lifetime in this interactive online feature from the Alcalde magazine. The feature follows dozens of UT Austin geology and petroleum engineering students to Svalbard, Norway for a field trip hosted by Statoil. Alcalde Magazine, November/December 2013 Featuring: Scott Tinker, Ron Steel, Daniel Stockli, Rong Fu, Isaac Smith

Dallas Morning News, July 25, 2013 Featuring: Scott Hamlin Pioneer Natural Resources, one of the country’s largest independent oil and gas firms, is estimating the recoverable oil in a single field in West Texas’ Permian Basin at 50 billion barrels of oil and gas. At almost twice the estimated reserves in the Eagle Ford, that would…

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