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Energy Geociences 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….

Shale has the spotlight for now. But there’s another, lesser-known substance with the potential to yield even greater quantities of natural gas: methane hydrate. “A lot of geoscientists are fascinated by hydrates because of how odd it is that you can take methane gas and add water and have it result in something with such…

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…

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 cluster of 18 small earthquakes in western Texas was likely triggered by the injection of carbon dioxide into oil wells, according to a study published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study is the first to link carbon dioxide injections to actual earthquakes, and may help scientists evaluate the…

A new study correlates a series of small earthquakes near Snyder, Texas between 2006 and 2011 with the underground injection of large volumes of gas, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) — a finding that is relevant to the process of capturing and storing CO2 underground. Although the study suggests that underground injection of gas triggered the…

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

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