On May 11, 2016, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business and the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin organized a briefing on shale development in Texas for a delegation from Argentina. Argentina has a very substantial shale resource that it plans to develop in the near future, and its leaders are looking for ways to share experiences on shale development. The delegation consisted of 38 high-level government officials and private sector energy executives from Argentina, who were visiting Texas on a visit sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce. The delegates had requested a briefing from university faculty and Texas experts on oil and gas regulation and technical aspects of hydraulic fracturing. Speakers included faculty and staff from the Jackson School, the KBH Energy Center, and the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering as well as experts from Thompson and Knight LLP and the Texas Railroad Commission. View speaker bios.
The morning session was organized around a series of presentations on oil and gas regulation and technical aspects of hydraulic fracturing. First, Jorge Piñon, the director of the Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program, and Dr. John Butler, the associate director of academics of the KBH Energy Center, discussed knowledge transfer and discovery through an interdisciplinary university partnership in energy, environment, and sustainability. Then, Jim Morriss, a partner at Thompson and Knight LLP and an adjunct professor in the KBH Energy Center, gave an overview of the environmental regulations that apply to fracking, with an emphasis on the trends in the United States. Next Dr. Carlos Torres-Verdin, a professor in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, discussed the technical aspects of hydraulic fracturing. Last, Kim Corley, the executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission, gave the delegation an overview of the commission and spoke on the agency’s approach to regulation. Professor Owen Anderson, the KBH Energy Center’s distinguished oil and gas scholar, also discussed his research and teaching in the area of oil and gas law with the delegation.
For the afternoon session, the delegates traveled to the J. J. Pickle Research Campus, an off-campus research site, where they met with research scientists from the Bureau of Economic Geology. Dr. Peter Eichhubl, Dr. Julia Gale, and Dr. Michael Young spoke to the group about topics related to hydraulic fracturing, hydrology, and seismicity.
This was not the first time that a group of Argentine delegates visited Texas to meet with university faculty and Texas experts on on oil and gas regulation and technical aspects of hydraulic fracturing. First, in June 2015, the KBH Energy Center hosted an Argentine delegation to discuss energy, environment, and sustainbility. Then, in August 2015, another Argentine delegation and the university shared lessons on shale oil and gas.