News & Events
June 20, 2019

In this issue
  • Upton nominated for REC 
  • Dismukes, team complete NETL Carbon Capture & Storage study
  • Mineral revenues status report available
  • Future of solar report released
  • John retires
  • Wang named to American Board of Health Physics
  • Scholarship recipients announced
  • and more.
Board of Regents Nominates Upton for Revenue Estimating Conference Position

In March, LSU Center for Energy Studies Assistant Professor Gregory B. Upton, Jr., became one of three candidates nominated by the Louisiana Board of Regents, or BOR, for the Louisiana Revenue Estimating Conference, or REC.  Later this summer, members of the REC will choose one person from the three BOR nominees to replace LSU Professor Jim Richardson, the current economist, who will step down after 30 years of REC service.

"This is a great honor to be considered for such an important role. I look forward to the opportunity to serve my state in this capacity if chosen among the three highly qualified candidates," Upton said.

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Dismukes, Co-authors Complete NETL CarbonSAFE Report

In 2017, LSU researchers received a $1.4 million grant from the National Energy Technology Laboratory, or NETL, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, to study the feasibility of industrial carbon capture and storage, or CCS, along the Louisiana Chemical Corridor. The award is part of NETL's Carbon Storage Assurance Enterprise, or CarbonSAFE, program, which seeks to develop an integrated CCS storage complex constructed and permitted for operation in the 2025 timeframe in several phases.

Led by CES Executive Director and Professor David Dismukes, the research team includes Brian Snyder, assistant professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, LSU College of the Coast & Environment; Richard Hughes, professional-in-residence, LSU Department of Petroleum Engineering; Mehdi Zeidouni, assistant professor, LSU Department of Petroleum Engineering; Muhammad Zulqarnain, postdoctoral researcher, Louisiana State University, Keith Hall, director, Mineral Law Institute, LSU Law; Chacko John, (retired) associate director & professor, Louisiana Geological Survey; Brian Harder, research analyst, Louisiana Geological Survey; Michael Layne, graduate assistant, Louisiana State University; and Juan Lorenzo, associate professor, LSU Department of Geology & Geophysics.
CES, TAMU Launch Resiliency Initiative
On May 29, the Center for Energy Studies and representatives from the Energy Institute at Texas A&M hosted a meeting with several industry and government agency representatives regarding a new joint research endeavor on Gulf Coast manufacturing resiliency. The joint effort, if successful, would lead to the creation of a National Science Foundation-funded Engineering Research Center that would focus on a number of research, education, and outreach activities to evaluate manufacturing resiliency and best practices. The meeting was held to gather input on the topics and activities toward which the project team should focus its collective attention.
As planned, CES would serve as the central Gulf Coast regional hub for the project, which is titled "Resiliency Enhancement and Disaster-Impact Interception," or READII. CES's specific area of focus would be continued research on examining resiliency issues for critical energy infrastructure and energy manufacturing, such as Louisiana's petrochemical and refining industries.
Kaiser book cover
Kaiser Publishes Decommissioning Text
CES Professor Mark Kaiser recently published Decommissioning Forecasting and Operating Cost Estimation: Gulf of Mexico Well Trends, Structure Inventory and Forecast Models.The textbook, the first of its kind to develop models to forecast platform decommissioning in the Gulf of Mexico and to better understand the dynamics of offshore production cost, serves as a guide for operator budgeting and regulatory oversight.  
Providing an overview of inventories, types of structures, critical infrastructure issues, operating cost estimation, and future decommissioning trends, the text is designed as a resource for oil and gas professionals, researchers, government regulators, energy and environmental engineers.
Future of Solar in La. Report Released

In February, CES Assistant Professor Greg Upton and coauthors released "The Future of Solar in Louisiana: An Analysis of the Technical and Economic Implications of Solar P.V. Growth on Louisiana's Economy and Electric Grid."  Part of the Louisiana Board of Regents Industrial Ties Research Subprogram (ITRS) from June 2016, the study analyzes how solar could be incorporated into the electric grid and whether the incorporation of battery storage could enhance the scalability of the resource in an economical way. Industry partner Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) also provided data and support, including technical engineering data on its distribution grid.

This collaborative effort between the Center for Energy Studies, the Louisiana Board of Regents, and SWEPCO resulted in a report that assesses both the technical and economic implications of the solar industry in Louisiana.

Dismukes Facilitates MISO Regulators Meeting in NOLA

In April, CES Executive Director David Dismukes facilitated a second meeting of public service commissioners from several states within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) footprint. The senior level, policymaker-only meeting included a robust discussion about the long-term vision for the transmission grid serving the central portion of North America. Some of the detailed topics discussed in the meeting included accommodating future load growth, how to address expansive renewable energy development, and maximizing transmission grid benefits.

The goals of the meeting were to build upon the initial success of the Winter 2018 MISO Grid Vision 2033, or MGV33, meeting and to take a "deeper dive" into a number of subjects and their impacts on MISO, the transmission planning and investment process, and individual MISO state members.

The April meeting promoted the ongoing MGV33 goals of prioritizing regulatory and policy maker concerns about future grid challenges, provided a venue for regulator-to-regulator discussion of actions that need to be taken to respond to those concerns, and helped identify additional priorities that require further detail in future MGV33 meetings.
Upton, Richardson Release La. Mineral Revenues Status Report

In the 2018 second extraordinary session of the Louisiana Legislature, Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 4 was passed asking Dr. Jim Richardson and Dr. Greg Upton to make specific recommendations to the legislature regarding mineral taxes in Louisiana. The motivation for this request was based on work conducted by the Task Force on Structural Change in Budget & Tax Policy and a recently published book chapter on the topic.
  • The economists were asked to explore possible changes to the Louisiana mineral tax structure and consider the following goals:
  • Preserve or improve the competitiveness of the oil and gas extraction sector in Louisiana.
  • Decrease or remove the difference in tax rates for oil and gas.
  • Create an equitable system of severance tax exemptions on all wells, not just horizontal wells.
  • Hold constant or increase mineral revenues for the state.
  • Explore other reasons why oil and gas production is fluctuating in the state of Louisiana and any changes that need to be made to increase production.
This document, released in February, serves as the preliminary status report highlighting the work conducted in the first year of a three-year study process. View or download the Status Report.
National Petroleum Council CCUS Study Underway

In November, CES Executive Director David Dismukes was named to the National Petroleum Council's, or NPC's, Committee on Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage, or CCUS. The committee was formed in response to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry's request for guidance on the development and deployment of commercial CCUS technologies. Former BP America Inc. Chairman and President John C. Mingé chairs the committee, with Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette serving as government co-chair.

The committee's goal is to oversee CCUS's integration into the energy marketplace, specifically the petroleum industry, in an effort to meet the goal of reducing worldwide carbon emissions. Dismukes attended his first meeting of the CCUS Committee during a meeting of the NPC in Washington in early December. At that meeting, a coordinating subcommittee, the study's core working group, was formed, led by Cindy Yeilding of BP and Steve Winberg of the Department of Energy. In total, more than 200 individuals are participating in the study, representing more than 110 organizations from various industries, levels of government, academia and non-profits.

The study is currently underway, with a proposed final report expected in September. Chairman MingĂ© predicts the report will be one of the most comprehensive CCUS reports ever prepared and will serve as a resource for industries, governments, and the public well into the future. 
CES Names Scholarship Recipients for 2019-20 Academic Year 

The Center for Energy Studies recently awarded scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year to four LSU students pursuing energy-related fields of study and careers. The Center congratulates our scholarship recipients and wishes them well as they continue their studies.
LMOGA/Brooksher Scholarship

Shelby Wainwright, sophomore majoring in finance, from Hammond, La.

"I am so excited to receive this award. The scholarship will allow me to have so many opportunities this semester."
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F. Malcolm Hood Scholarship

Kelly Robertson, junior majoring in chemical engineering, from Alexandria, La.

"I am so thankful for this scholarship as it will aid in helping me continue in my academic endeavors as I move toward my goal of obtaining a degree in chemical engineering and working in the energy sector one day."


David Olver Memorial Scholarship

Felix Rodrigue, junior majoring in electrical engineering, from Slidell, La.

"It is an honor to be named a recipient of the GCPA David Olver Memorial Scholarship. I would like to thank the Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWERing Foundation for their generosity. This award is very beneficial in the continuation of my degree and a career in the energy field."

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GCPA emPOWERing Women Scholarship

Claire Kelley Pearson, sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, from Mandeville, La.

"I want to personally thank [the Center] and the Gulf Coast Power Association for making GCPA emPOWERing scholarship available. I feel so honored to have been selected, and I deeply appreciate your generosity....With this financial support, I will be able to reduce my work schedule so that I can focus more on my studies and work on research.... The [award] has inspired me to give back to others. One day, I hope to help students with support similar to what I have received from you."

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The Satsuma 7.5-minute geologic quadrangle is one of the four quadrangles mapped in fiscal year 2018. The surface of the quadrangle is transected by a single fault in its southern portion. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is identified north of the fault in the quadrangle's southeastern quarter by the straight linear features, trending east-northeast and north-northwest, joined at a right angle.

La. Geological Survey Conducts Surface-Geologic Mapping for Upper Amite River, Breaux Bridge

Surface-geologic mapping conducted by the Louisiana Geological Survey during fiscal year 2018 covered four 7.5-minute quadrangles, three in the upper Amite River valley and one in the Breaux Bridge area near Lafayette.

The Amite River valley quadrangles comprise one at the state line with Mississippi and two lying farther south and extending directly north from Walker.

These areas were mapped at 1:24,000 scale in cooperative agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey under the STATEMAP component of the National Cooperative Geological Mapping Program.
Oil & Gas Symposium Examines State of La. Industry 
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(l-r) Keith Hall, LSU Law, Thomas Douthat, LSU Dept. of Environmental Sciences, and Chris McLindon, Upstream Exploration LLC, participate in a panel discussion on coastal erosion lawsuits at the 2019 Oil & Gas Symposium.

The 2019 Oil & Gas Symposium, hosted by the Louisiana Geological Survey and LSU Center for Energy Studies on Wednesday, April 17, brought together experts from a range of disciplines to assess the state of the energy sector in Louisiana. Topics included updates on offshore activity, shale and chalk plays, the latest from Haynesville, and an overview of the oilfield services sector. The event attracted more than 90 participants representing industry, academia, state agencies, and media.

LGS Co-Hosts 13th Annual Water Conference  
Louisiana Geological Survey, the LSU Agricultural Center, and Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute co-hosted the 13th Annual Louisiana Water Conference, April 15-16, 2019, in the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium. The annual conference brings together hydrologists, engineers, and other scientists to disseminate the latest water-related research and activities within and around Louisiana. The goal is to promote education and public awareness of Louisiana's valuable freshwater resources, and promote engagement of water-use sectors.

The two-day event included presentations on topics ranging from the history of water quality in Denham Springs, La., to safe water for disinfection, to the impacts of fracking on water resources. The conference also featured poster sessions on levees and rivers and on water modeling, supply and use.

Presentations and posters are available to view or download here.   
Groat speaking
LGS Acting Director Chip Groat provides introductory remarks at the 13th Annual Water Conference

Abigail Eckland, research associate at the Water Institute of the Gulf, discusses her poster on analyzing organic and mineral content of Mississippi River suspended sediment at the 13th Annual Water Conference. 

audience in auditorium
Energy Summit   
23 October 2019
Details coming soon on our conference page.  
LAGCOE 2019 in New Orleans Oct. 9-11
LAGCOE, a nonprofit organization focused on energy and dedicated to helping the energy industry grow, presents biennial technical  
expositions and conferences. LAGCOE 2019 marks a major milestone for the organization as it celebrates its 64th anniversary and a move to New Orleans. The LSU Center for Energy Studies, the LSU Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, and the LSU Society of Petroleum Engineers will participate.  
The event features 
  • hundreds of exhibiting companies;
  • more than 10,000 attendees from 40 countries;
  • cutting-edge onshore and offshore equipment, services, and state-of the art technologies;
  • networking opportunities to meet with leaders in the energy industry and international guests.

LAGCOE 2019 will be held October 9-11, 2019, at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
For volunteer opportunities, such as leading student tours, please contact
CES Faculty Take Energy Education on the Road
Dismukes is Senior Fellow for the IPU's Regulatory Studies Program.
The year is only half over, and CES Executive Director and Professor David Dismukes and Assistant Professor Greg Upton have given 10 presentations to industry and civic organizations. Up next, in August, Dismukes will serve as a faculty member for Michigan State University's Institute of Public Utilities', or IPU's, 61st Annual Regulatory Studies Program: Fundamentals and Intermediate, where he will teach the sessions "Regulatory Modifications and Incentives," "Gas Market Trends," and "Gas Supply and Procurement."  
In October, Upton will teach at the IPU's 14th Annual Advanced Regulatory Studies Program: Ratemaking, Accounting, Finance, and Evaluation. Upton will teach three sessions: "Econometric Forecasting and Energy Regulation;" "Cost Benefit Evaluation for Regulators and Utilities;" and "Economics of Renewable Energy Resources."
Upton Discusses CES, La. Energy Outlook on Radio Program

On the May 25 broadcast of the Louisiana Business & Industry Show, Tim Johnson interviewed CES Assistant Professor Greg Upton on the role and origins of the LSU Center for Energy Studies, what we can expect from the third annual Gulf Coast Energy Outlook, due out this fall, liquefied natural gas investment in the state, and more.

CES Meets World: International Guests Learn about La. Energy
In May, Professor David Dismukes met with representatives from Australia's Northern Territory, which has an abundance of natural gas, to discuss Louisiana's energy industry. The meeting was organized by Greater New Orleans, Inc. Later in the month, both Dismukes and Assistant Professor Greg Upton met with six online and print journalists from Germany to discuss Louisiana's liquefied natural gas developments, carbon capture and storage, and solar. The Germans' visit, organized by the U.S. Department of State, included a presentation by Dismukes titled, "Overview of Louisiana LNG issues and trends," as well as a tour of a liquefied natural gas facility in Lake Charles with Upton, who answered questions throughout the day. Both Dismukes and Upton were also interviewed for a German radio program.
CES faculty have been quoted in media outlets 16 times this year. And it's only June.
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Wang (left) and Hastings at the Health Physics Society midyear meeting.
Study Presented at Health Physics Society Midyear Meeting
In February, Andrew D. Hastings, a graduate student in health physics in the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy, presented a paper titled, "Evaluation of skyshine contributions during electron injection at a synchrotron facility using CERN's FLUKA code" at the 52nd midyear meeting of the Health Physics Society in San Diego.  
The study was co-investigated by Charles A. Wilson IV, radiation safety officer at the LSU Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, Amin M. Hamideh, Radiation Safety Office radiation specialist, and Wei-Hsung Wang, Radiation Safety Office director.
Reiley with water model
LGS Research Associate Riley Milner demonstrates an educational water model at a YMCA camp in Zachary, La.
Milner Demonstrates Water Model to Campers

La. Geological Survey Research Associate Riley Milner was invited to present LGS's educational water model at the Americana YMCA Summer Camp in Zachary on May 30. The model demonstrates how ground water moves through the subsurface by pumping water injected with different colored dyes through a sand system. Several scenarios are demonstrated, including a confined aquifer, unconfined aquifer, septic tank, underground storage tank, artesian well, river, and lake set ups.  
Riley presents the water model, as well as a rock and mineral display, to several camps and Baton Rouge Parks & Recreation events throughout the year.
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Chacko J. John (center, in gray vest) with past and present La. Geological Survey staff.
Chacko J. John Retires

Dr. Chacko J. John, former director of the Louisiana Geological Survey, or LGS, retired January 31, 2019. Current and past LGS staff, colleagues, and friends gathered to celebrate and honor John for his 32 years of service.

John joined the LGS in 1987 as a research associate and subsequently held the positions of assistant professor-research, associate professor-research, chief, Energy and Mineral Resources Section, and director of research before being appointed director in 1997.

He also served as director of the Basin Research Institute of LSU, now the Basin Research Energy Section of the LGS. His research interests included petroleum geology, sedimentology, geopressured-geothermal energy resources, and coastal geomorphology.

Before coming to LSU, John served as advanced geologist with Marathon Oil Company, senior exploration geologist with Geo Consultants International, and as geologist-in-charge of the Akula Clay mine with English India Clays Ltd.

In 2004, John was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Over the course of his career, he received a number of professional society awards, and was the author and/or co-author of numerous technical reports, book chapters, professional presentations and journal publications.
Wang Named to American Board of Health Physics
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Health Physics is the application of diverse scientific principles to the protection of people and environment from the hazards of radiation.

Wei-Hsung Wang, director of the Radiation Safety Office and professor in the Center for Energy Studies, was appointed as a board member of the American Board of Health Physics, or ABHP, in January 2019.   
The ABHP, established in 1959, works to elevate the standards and advance the profession of health physics by encouraging its study and improving its practice, including assuring the highest standards of professional ethics and integrity in the practice of health physics. The board determines the competence of professional health physicists and arranges, controls, and conducts investigations and examinations to evaluate the qualifications of voluntary candidates for certification. 
Along with seven other board members from the Mayo Clinic, Philips Healthcare, Sandia National Laboratories, Tidewater, Inc., the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Y-12 National Security Complex, Wang is the only board member from academia. His term ends in 2023.
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Pike's Book on Optimization for Chemical Engineering Available on Kindle Direct Publishing

Essentials of Optimization for Chemical Engineering, by Professor Ralph W. Pike, director, Minerals Processing Research Division, is available on Kindle Direct Publishing. Described as being "at the interface of mathematics and industrial applications of optimization," the book's topics were selected for their "breadth of application to the optimization of engineering systems, especially continuous ones."

The multiple levels of optimization considered in the text include
  • the optimal scheduling problem of corporate headquarters to distribute raw materials among the company's plants to maximize profits in producing, transporting, and marketing products to consumers worldwide;
  • the optimal scheduling problem of the individual plant to set operating conditions to produce required products from allocated raw materials for a maximum net profit or minimum cost of operations; and
  • the on-line optimization of process operations to determine the set-points for the distributed control system of the individual process units in the plant that give the best operating conditions, while producing the specified quality and quantity of products.
Pike notes that the mathematics of optimization is presented to provide the foundation for these methods that have proven successful in industrial applications. 
Taipei medical staff
(l-r) Dr. Li-Fan Lin, chief of the positron emission tomography center, Dr. Cheng-Chi Cheng, vice superintendent, Wang, major general Dr. Chien-Sung Tsai, superintendent, and Dr. Chuang-Shin Chiu, director of nuclear medicine, at the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei.
Wang Collaborates with Taipei Hospital

To promote and develop exchanges about the status and knowledge of radiation protection in Taiwan and in the U.S. as well as to enhance the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. in education and training for radiation applications in medicine, Wei-Hsung Wang visited the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.  
Wang met with the superintendent and deputy superintendent of the hospital, the director of nuclear medicine, and chief of the positron emission tomography center. Future research collaboration on the decommissioning of medical nuclear facilities and emergency planning and preparedness in response to nuclear incidents was discussed.
Business report logo Business Report Publishes Upton Op-Ed
The May 7 edition of the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report featured an op-ed by Assistant Professor Greg Upton titled, "Is Louisiana Still an Oil and Gas State?" in which Upton addresses the changing nature of the state's energy industry. He notes the decline in employment, severance taxes, and royalties generated by the upstream industry and the growth in refining and chemical manufacturing, noting that, currently, more workers are employed by the downstream part of the business than the upstream.
(l-r) Amin M. Hamideh, Wei-Hsung Wang, graduate adviser, and Charles A. Wilson IV on commencement day, May 10, 2019.
Wilson, Hamideh Earn Graduate Degrees

In May, Charles A. Wilson IV, radiation safety officer for the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, or CAMD, received his doctor of philosophy degree from the LSU Department of Environmental Sciences. His research focused on developing effective analytical methodology for naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) and evaluating NORM in seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.

Also in May, Amin M. Hamideh, radiation specialist and laser safety officer with the LSU Radiation Safety Office, received his master of science degree from the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy. His dissertation is titled, Determination of conversion factors for various calibration geometries using barium-133 in a silver zeolite cartridge.
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