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Energy Geociences News Archive


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

Although it may not be noticeable to the naked eye, the sea is rising along the Texas Gulf Coast. This rise poses a significant risk to a Texas coast that is otherwise extremely flat. Moreover, this rise, in combination with the surge that accompanies hurricanes and tropical storms, will make more and more areas vulnerable to…

Video: From Austin to the Arctic

This summer 60 graduate students and 15 professors from the University of Texas at Austin participated in Statoil’s Svalex Arctic field trip, focused on petroleum geology, petroleum engineering and geophysics.

So much oil and water is being removed from South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale that the activity has probably led to a recent wave of small earthquakes, according to a study that appears in the online edition of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. The peer-reviewed study’s authors suggest that taking oil and water out…

Most of the small earthquakes in the Eagle Ford region of South Texas are probably the result of extraction of large volumes of oil and associated water, according to new research by Cliff Frohlich, associate director at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics. No injuries or severe damage were reported from any…

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…

Forbes, July 16, 2013 Featuring: Scott Tinker Last night, I watched the documentary “Switch,” narrated by Scott Tinker, a University of Texas professor and head of the Bureau of Economic Geology. Unlike “Gasland Part II,” the sensationalist all-fossil-fuels-are-bad screed that you’re likely to hear more about this summer, “Switch” offers a scientific look at how…

USA 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…

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