News of Note

Uinta Basin Drill Rig & Facilities Tour with Newfield Exploration Co. & Chevron Corp.

Masters degree students, faculty from the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Geology & Geophysics, along with two USTAR and EGI representatives, participated in a Joint Energy Facilities Tour in the Unita Basin, November 1, 2014. The staff of two EGI Corporate Associate members, Newfield and Chevron, hosted the students and gave in-depth descriptions of the facilities, operations, and geologic production targets.

The integration of petroleum engineering and geology was a resounding success – from the distribution of expertise in the field vehicles to the facilities, data, and interpretations show-cased by Newfield and Chevron.

EGI is grateful for the expertise and outreach provided by our CA members, and the ongoing support offered to students and collaborative partners alike.

EGI Scientist Awarded Silver Medal

EGI senior scientist, Stuart Simmons, has been awarded the 2014 Silver Medal from the Society of Economic Geologists for excellence in original work in the geology of mineral deposits. This a major honor from a professional geoscientific society that represents >7000 geologists around the world.

Stuart is a geologist and geochemist who uses a broad range of tools to study hydrothermal fluid flow and heat transfer in hydrothermal systems. Most of his research is applied to understanding geothermal resources and ore-forming processes. Since joining EGI in 2011, he has worked on several DoE funded geothermal projects with Joseph Moore, involving resources in the western USA, including those in sedimentary basins.

Stuart is also applying his skill to study hydrocarbons resources in collaboration with David Thul, EGI’s Manager of Petroleum Systems & Geochemistry. Their project entitled Fluid, Mineral and Source Rock Geochemistry, aims to improve discovery and production of oil and gas from conventional and unconventional resources using cost-effective geochemical techniques. The new research areas include: 1) Trace metals in carbon-rich source rocks in terrestrial and marine sedimentary rock; 2) Formation water chemistry—fluid rock interactions and fluid flow histories related to basin evolution, reservoir filling, and oil-gas recovery; 3) Secondary minerals, diagenesis and fluid flow in oil and gas basin. They are currently undertaking a pilot study of trace metal geochemistry in organic-rich rocks from the Niobrara Formation.

nanoUtah Conference 2014

EGI Research Scientist Dr. Bryony Richards-McClung recently presented at the 2014 nanoUtah Conference featuring international and local leaders in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Her talk, titled, The Porosity Puzzle: Which Pores Really Contribute to Unconventional Petroleum Systems? was co-authored by Dr. Richards-McClung and Senior Research Scientist Dr. Ian Walton.

The 2014 Conference brought together Utah researchers, students, and members of the business sector for four days of presentations and exhibitions highlighting the challenges, capabilities, and collaborations researchers in the field of nanoscience bring to the commercialization of science and technology. Presenters and exhibitors shared overviews of their work with special focus on the potential for commercializing nanoscience and engineering solutions.

Bryony and Ians’ ongoing research in pore systems and unconventional reservoirs continues to identify, evaluate and correlate which geological parameters coexist to produce ‘flow-viable’ pore systems in varying unconventional reservoirs, with the goal of improving petroleum production models and ultimately the ability to accurately model storage and transport of hydrocarbons in a range of unconventional systems.

For more information about the conference please visit For more information about the research being conducted at EGI please contact either Bryony or Ian.

New Affiliate Scientists

Along with several new staff, in 2014 EGI welcomed Affiliate Scientists Reginal Spiller, Luis A. Sanchez Barreda, and Michael Bartl.

As Head of African Relations, Mr. Reginal Spiller is heading up coordination of EGI’s relationships in Africa, including a recent initiative with the International University of Grand Bassam in Côte d’Ivoire.

Head of Latin American Relations, Dr. Luis Sanchez Barreda is currently working with EGI Manager of Petroleum Systems & Geochemistry David Thul on the Petroleum Systems Atlas of Mexico project set to deliver prior to bid round 1 in mid-2015.

University of Utah Chemistry Professor, Dr. Michael Bartl is currently working with EGI contributing to revolutionary EGI research in the measurement of relative permeability of shales and new state-of-the-art equipment to advance academic understanding and functional application in regards to relative permeability characteristics of shales.

EGI is honored to benefit from their expertise and dedication to their respective fields of research and industry.

Student Education Program – Argentina

In October 2014 EGI Affiliate Scientist Bindra Thusu and his associates at the University of Jammu, India traveled to Mendoza, Argentina where they presented a hugely successful student education program. This program followed on the heels of a June 2014 program in India. The Student Education Program, founded in part by Dr. Thusu, is one of the outreach endeavors supported by EGI, aimed at helping to educate the next generation of students and leaders across the globe. The program brings together the technical and local/regional expertise of geoscientist from various regions to offer education opportunities to students in areas in which energy development is active. Students from Mendoza, Argentina learned about the science behind shale gas development that is an integral part of their communities. This extremely well received program has been successful in every location in which it has been previously offered, including India, West Africa, and Argentina. Likewise, its growth—more programs are in the works for 2015— brings with it the opportunity for expanded collaboration between academia, industry, and local or state governments.

EGI looks forward to continuing to be an advocate for this vital component supporting the future of the industry, students, and the society.

EGI Calendars Available for Download

For a second year, EGI Manager of Media and Graphics Natalia Wilkins-Tyler created a Calendar showing off EGI’s creative side. The full-color 12-month calendar features photography by EGI staff and scientists, celebrating the 50-year anniversary of wilderness in Utah. Calendars may be downloaded for free and printed as we hope you’ll celebrate the beauty and diversity of the state EGI calls home along with the creative talents of our staff.