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Texas Governor Appoints Seismicity Committee Members

Members of a seismicity technical advisory committee to the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) have been appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The committee was created by Texas House Bill 2 with an appropriation of $4.47 million to UT for the purchase and deployment of seismic equipment, maintenance of seismic networks, and modeling of reservoir behavior for systems of wells in the vicinity of faults. It is intended to address complaints of increased seismicity in the area of oil/natural gas operations, particularly drilling waste injection wells (see Shale DailySept. 11, 2015Jan. 21, 2014).

The nine-member committee will advise the Bureau of Economic Geology on the use of the funding, including the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program and collaborative research relationships with other universities in Texas, and on the preparation of a status report to the governor and legislature.

Committee members are:

  • Dan Hill, a professor and the Stephen A. Holditch department head chair of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University.
  • Chris Hillman, city manager for the City of Irving, TX, and a member of the International City/County Management Association and the Texas City Management Association.
  • Dana Jurick, manager of seismic analysis for the Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering Organization at ConocoPhillips Co. and also a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
  • Hal Macartney, geoscience manager of sustainable development for Pioneer Natural Resources and a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
  • Kris Nygaard, senior stimulation consultant for ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co. and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Society of Mechanical Engineers, Seismological Society of America and the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society.
  • Craig Pearson, state seismologist for the Railroad Commission of Texas and a member of the American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the International Society Explosives Engineers.
  • Brian Stump, a professor and the Albritton chair of geological sciences at Southern Methodist University and a member of the Seismological Society of America, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, International Society Explosives Engineers and the American Geophysical Union.
  • Scott Tinker, state geologist of Texas, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, acting associate dean of research and Edwin Allday endowed chair of subsurface geology and professor at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences. Additionally, he is director of the Advanced Energy Consortium, a past president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Association of American State Geologists, Austin Geological Society, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, and current president of the American Geosciences Institute.
  • Robie Vaughn, owner of Vaughn Capital Partners LLC and a co-founder and member of the Dallas Producers Club and member of the Dallas Petroleum Club and of the Society of International Business Fellows. He is a member of The University of Texas System Chancellor's Council Executive Committee, Harry Ransom Center Advisory Board and the McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy Board of Visitors and a life member of The University of Texas at Austin Development Board, President’s Associates, Texas Exes and Texas Cowboys Alumni Association.

Separately on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released its first-ever maps and an associated report on human-induced seismicity hazards. Previously, USGS had only identified natural earthquake hazards (see related story). Oklahoma is another state that is working to address increased seismicity thought to be due to oil/natural gas activity (see Shale DailyMarch 7).

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