Northwest Energy Association

Past Talks
NWEA Speaker Program

NWEA Speaker Program for 2019-2020

Thursday February 20 , 2020
An Integrated Feasibility Study of Reservoir Thermal Energy Storage in Portland, OR, USA

John Bershaw1, Erick R. Burns2, Trenton T. Cladouhos3, Alison E. Horst4, Boz Van Houten5, Peter Hulseman1, Alisa Kane6, Jenny H. Liu1, Robert B. Perkins1, Darby P. Scanlon7, Ashley R. Streig1, Ellen E. Svadlenak8, Matt W. Uddenberg9, Ray E. Wells10, Colin F. Williams10

1Portland State University, Portland, OR  97201, USA
2United States Geological Survey, Portland, OR  97201, USA
3Cyrq Energy, Salt Lake City, UT  84101, USA
4Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA  98504, USA
5University of Oregon, Eugene, OR  97403, USA
6City of Portland, Portland, OR  97204, USA
7Chevron Corporation, Bakersfield, CA  93311, USA
8GSI Water Solutions, Inc., Portland, OR  97204, USA
9AltaRock Energy Inc., Seattle, WA  98103, USA
10United States Geological Survey, Moffett Field, CA  94043, USA


In regions with long cold overcast winters and sunny summers, Deep Direct-Use (DDU) can be coupled with Reservoir Thermal Energy Storage (RTES) technology to take advantage of pre-existing subsurface permeability and storage capacity to save summer heat for later use during cold seasons. Many aquifers worldwide are underlain by permeable regions (reservoirs) containing brackish or saline groundwater that has limited beneficial use due to poor water quality. We investigate the utility of these relatively deep, slow flowing reservoirs for RTES by conducting an integrated feasibility study in the Portland Basin, Oregon, USA, developing methods and obtaining results that can be widely applied to groundwater systems elsewhere. As a case study, we have conducted an economic and social cost-benefit analysis for the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), a teaching hospital that is recognized as critical infrastructure in the Portland Metropolitan Area. Our investigation covers key factors that influence feasibility including 1) the geologic framework, 2) hydrogeologic and thermal conditions, 3) capital and maintenance costs, 4) the regulatory framework, and 5) operational risks. By pairing a model of building seasonal heat demand with an integrated model of RTES resource supply, we determine that the most important factors that influence RTES efficacy in the study area are operational schedule, well spacing, the amount of summer heat stored (in our model, a function of solar array size), and longevity of the system. Generally, heat recovery efficiency increases as the reservoir and surrounding rocks warm, making RTES more economical with time. Selecting a base-case scenario, we estimate a levelized cost of heat (LCOH) to compare with other sources of heating available to OHSU and find that it is comparable to unsubsidized solar and nuclear, but more expensive than natural gas. Additional benefits of RTES include energy resiliency in the event that conventional energy supplies are disrupted (e.g., natural disaster) and a reduction in fossil fuel consumption, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. Key risks include reservoir heterogeneity and a possible reduction in permeability through time due to scaling (mineral precipitation). Lastly, a map of thermal energy storage capacity for the Portland Basin yields a total of 87,000 GWh, suggesting tremendous potential for RTES in the Portland Metropolitan Area.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

NWEA members can obtain a pdf of this talk by sending a request to jackson.js at

TITLE: An Overview of the Carbon Storage Capacity in Saline Formations and Depleted Oil & Gas Fields in Washington, Oregon, and California

Paul R. La Pointe

Golder Associates Inc
Redmond, WA

One of the options for storage of carbon captured from industrial and power generation sources is to inject it into deep saline formations or depleted oil & gas fields where it can be safely isolated from the biosphere. Golder Associates carried out studies to identify candidate saline formations in Oregon and Washington, and to make estimates of the available carbon storage capacity of these formations and depleted oil & gas fields in California as part of the US DOE’s WESTCARB Regional Partnership. In addition to an overview of current worldwide activities relating to geological sequestration, this talk will present an overview of the sources of carbon emission in the Northwest in terms of types of industry and geographical location; the saline formations that have been identified as potential storage sites; and the methodologies and capacity estimates for these formations and depleted hydrocarbon fields.

Speaker Bio
Paul La Pointe holds a BA and MS in Geology, and a PhD in Rock Mechanics/Mining Engineering, and has held positions as both a geologist and engineer with several  mining and oil & gas companies, including, Anaconda, ARCO Coal, ARCO Oil & Gas Co and EXXON Minerals USA. For the past 27 years, Dr. La Pointe has consulted internationally with Golder in these fields, particularly to assist companies in estimating reserves and in field development planning in fractured and unconventional reservoirs. His consulting practice also includes assisting private and governmental organizations in the development and licensing of high-level hard rock subsurface nuclear waste isolation facilities, and statistical analysis of environmental data for litigation, remediation and sampling design. Dr. La Pointe retired from full-time consulting in 2018 as a Principal and Senior Practice Leader with Golder. He is the author or editor of four books and more than 100 papers having to do with the mathematical/statistical characterization of geological systems, an elected Fellow of the APG, recipient of the University of Wisconsin’s 2013 Distinguished Engineering Achievement award, and a licensed Geologist and Hydrogeologist in the State of Washington.

Thursday,  November 21, 2019

When did the Cascade Range in Washington rise?

Eric S. Cheney, ESS, University of Washington, WA 98195;

The consensus that the topography of the Cascade Range in Washington is 30 to 40 Ma is wrong.  Because flora in the 17 to 15 Ma Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) and overlying < 9 Ma Ringold Formation on the eastern side of the range do not record a rain shadow, no significant mountain range existed by then).   

The SSW striking Cascade Range anticlinorium (CRA) is clearly outlined on the east by easterly dipping CRBG.  On the mostly covered western limb, < 12 Ma formations define the SSW striking Puget synclinorium.  Thus, the CRA is < 12 Ma.

The 4 Ma Thorp Gravel and Simcoe Mountains basaltic rocks (SMB) on the eastern limb of the CRA dip 3⁰- 5⁰ E.  The SMB overlies a correlative of the < 9 Ma clastic Ringold Formation.  Because calcretes are ubiquitous atop the youngest member of the Ringold Formation in the Hanford area, the rain shadow and uplift of the range are < 4 Ma.  

 A trend surface on 205 peaks in the southern Cascades that are underlain by > 5 Ma rocks is antiformal, doubly plunging, SSW striking , and has a relief of 1.4 km.  The 1.3 Ma Tieton andesitic valley flows are incised into the eastern limb of the CRA. Thus, the CRA mostly formed between 4 and 1.3 Ma.  The more popular name of the CRA, the Cascade magmatic arc, obscures its identity and age.

Short Biography of Eric S. Cheney

Eric Cheney received his BS and PhD from Yale University.  He has been at the University of Washington since 1964 (the Middle Proterozoic); he semi-retired in 2005.  He was a visiting professor at Stanford University and two universities in South Africa. At UW his teaching and research included the geology and social relevance of mineral and fuel deposits and the geology of the Pacific Northwest.  
 In Washington, his geologic field mapping and that of his students has elucidated the geology ore deposits, the Skagit nuclear power plants in the 1970s, metamorphic core complexes, the stratigraphy and structure of pre-Jurassic North America, the Quesnel terrane, and inter-regional Cenozoic stratigraphy and structure.  The main tool in these and other contributions to the geology of southern Africa and Western Australia has been unconformity-bounded stratigraphic sequences. What has been lacking until now is any serious foray into Pleistocene geology.
 In 1987 he was cofounder and the first President of the Northwest Geological Society in its present reincarnation.  He has led many field trips and been a frequent speaker at NWGS. He is also a member of the Society of Economic Geologists, the Geological Society of America, the Society of Mining Engineers, and the American Exploration and Mining Association.

Thursday, October 17, 2019


The Mist Underground Gas Storage Field is located near the town of Mist, Oregon, approximately 60 miles northwest of Portland. In April 1979, the Mist Gas Field was the site of the first commercial natural gas discovery in the Pacific Northwest and has been actively explored since that date. Through the 1980s and into the 1990s, gas exploration and production in the Mist Field were carried out by Oregon Natural Gas Development (ONG), a subsidiary of NW Natural, in cooperation with a variety of industry participants. Numerous production wells were connected to Miller Station, the central gas processing facility operated by NW Natural, until December 1995 when all production-related operations were assigned to Enerfin Resources, a Houston-based exploration and production company. Miller Station is now utilized solely for the compression, dehydration, flow control and measurement of the gas flowing into or out of the storage reservoirs.

By the mid-1980s, ONG had produced most of the economically recoverable natural gas in the Bruer and Flora pools, two of the first production reservoirs discovered in the Mist Gas Field. In anticipation of that depletion, in 1981 ONG applied to the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) for the permits necessary to convert the Bruer and Flora pools into an underground natural gas storage facility. NW Natural also applied for well drilling permits from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) for all injection/withdrawal (I/W) and observation/monitoring wells (OM) to fully develop the two reservoirs. After receiving all necessary permits, I/W wells were drilled and completed into the Bruer and Flora Pools developing them for gas storage. Both reservoirs were placed into storage service in 1989. The storage field has been subsequently expanded multiple times to include similar reservoirs of varying size that include Al’s, Reichhold, Schlicker, Busch, Meyer, and, most recently, Adams Pools. The total working gas capacity of the eight current storage reservoirs is approximately 20 BCF.

In addition to a brief overview of the development of the underground gas storage at Mist, the talk will focus on the recent conversion of the Adams pool to storage as well as reservoir and well integrity monitoring in a changing regulatory environment.

Austin is employed as a reservoir engineer by NW Natural supporting the Mist Underground Gas Storage Field. He holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Wake Forest University and masters of science degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining NW Natural, Austin held reservoir engineering roles within bp supporting the Azeri, Prudhoe Bay, Holstein, Na Kika, and Mad Dog fields. He resides in Northeast Portland with his wife, Amanda, and two daughters, London and Hayden. Hiking and Trailblazers games top Austin’s list of favorite things to do in Portland.

September 19, 2019
 From Thought to Presentations, Field Trips & Outreach - Central Oregon Geoscience Society 
 Robert (Bob) Timmer, Central Oregon Geoscience Society
On the afternoon of October 19, 2017, three geoscientists gathered at the Immersion Brewery to discuss starting a geological society in Bend. With an enthusiastic “Lets Do It,” they decided to test the idea with a larger group at McMenamins on November 15th .  Reception was extremely favorable; leading to a follow-up meeting on December 11thand the establishment of a steering committee.  There was considerable discussion about whether to be an informal or structured organization, to be affiliated with another organization or be independent, and to be a meet-up, brown-bag, or “501(c)3”. By January 2018, the steering committee started to coalesce around a structure and mission statement. A name was selected: Central Oregon Geoscience Society – COGS. By mid-February the steering committee established start-up steps and a draft budget. Articles of Incorporation were filed on March 19th.  The first meeting was held on March 27that the Deschutes Brewery Public House with a presentation by Bart Wills, US Forest Service, on Geothermal Exploration at Newbery Volcano. The steering committee made a pitch for funds to cover start-up expenses; the response from the community was overwhelming. The organization was formalized with the establishment of a Board of Directors and Officers on April 3rdand certification as a 501(c)3 on April 26th, 2018.  Monthly presentations continued that spring with Adam Kent, Oregon State University, speaking on Mt Hood and Ray Wells, USGS – Emeritus, on Tectonics of the Pacific Northwest. The first field trip was led by Bob Jensen, US Forest Service – retired, on April 17thto Riley Ranch, a newly-developed preserve along the Deschutes River. Additional field trips were held over the summer along with a Visiting Scholar Lecture by Katharine Cashman, University of Bristol, on Global Advances in Volcanology. Monthly presentations resumed in the fall. Attendance for the presentations exceeded capacity requiring a move this spring to a larger venue. Again, summer was for field trips and lectures by Visiting Scholars. Membership is nearing 200; support from and interest by the community has been great. Presentations resume this month; information can be found at 
 Robert (Bob) Timmer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. His love of hiking and adventure drew him to the University of Alaska where he received a BS in Geology and then to the University of New Mexico where he completed his MS in Geology. Bob joined the Energy Minerals Division of Mobil in 1975 in Grants, New Mexico. Soon thereafter, he moved to Denver and transitioned to petroleum following the downturn of uranium. He continued in a variety of technical and management positions and locations with Mobil with a focus on exploitation and development. Since 2001 he has been an independent petroleum consulting geologist. In 2009, Bob moved to Bend, Oregon. There, he can be found hiking, coordinating seasonal maintenance of snowshoe trails, and leading geology-hikes.


Thursday, May 23, 2019 Portland State Student Presentations

Assessing the Feasibility of Deep Direct-Use Thermal Energy Storage (DDU-TES) in the Portland Basin

Darby Scanlon, Ellen Svadlenak, Alison Horst

Portland State University, Department of Geology

The Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG) in the Portland basin is being assessed for thermal energy storage as part of a US DOE-sponsored Deep Direct-Use feasibility study. As part of this assessment, a 3D digital geologic model was constructed to define the location of energy storage strata and its thermal relation to other major geologic units. We modeled deformation of the CRBG through space and time using well log, seismic, outcrop, and potential fields (aeromagnetic, gravity) data. A cross section through the proposed well locations in the South Waterfront area along the Willamette River show a progressive shallowing of CRBG to the south, where Eocene aged basalt of Waverly Heights is exposed.

Several, potentially hazardous, northwest striking faults in and around the Portland basin are classified as Quaternary active by the USGS, but little is known about their Holocene activity. We investigated the Gales Creek fault through paleoseismic trenching, and we our results indicate there have been two surface-rupturing earthquakes in the last 8,000 years, meaning this fault is Holocene active. As part of the seismic and structural hazard analysis of this study, we compiled information on Quaternary active faults in the study area to use as inputs in the seismo-tectonic model of the Portland basin. We used analog studies to address the risk of induced seismicity with DDU-TES wells and used hazard maps from DOGAMI to assess geologic hazard and risk to infrastructure. Although there are active faults in the study area, knowing the potential hazard, as well as the geometry and characteristics of these faults, has been important in determining where a suitable location would be for these wells. 

Though a promising technology, DDU-TES cycles may trigger or accelerate mineral dissolution and precipitation reactions, particularly at elevated temperatures. This may alter aquifer porosity and permeability and result in scale formation in heat exchange systems that reduces the thermal storage-and-release efficiency. The amount of mineral precipitation can vary depending on the source water composition. Geochemical reaction modeling of native waters at both ambient and elevated temperatures suggests mineral precipitation is greatest under open system conditions, and above 50C for all potential source waters. This is supported by thermal batch reaction experiments simulating TES on a smaller scale. Both thermal experiments and modeling indicate that calcite, amorphous silica, and smectite clay are the primary minerals of concern regarding scale formation and aquifer plugging. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

David M. Hite
Alaska’s first commercial oil and gas province, the Cook Inlet Basin, of South-Central Alaska, was identified by the presence of numerous oil and gas seeps in the southern part of the basin and the
Alaska Peninsula. The oil and gas seeps were first recognized by Russian explorers, in the 1850s.  Early exploration was centered in the vicinity of these seeps, which emanate from rocks of Jurassic and Cretaceous ages. The first exploration drilling began in 1902 and ultimately 18 wells were drilled in the southern portions of Cook Inlet and the Alaska Peninsula prior to 1950.  After 1950 exploration shifted northward, and the fourth well drilled in the northern portion of the basin was the discovery well for the Swanson River field in 1957.  This generated an exploration boom, and by 1970, seven of the inlet’s eleven oil fields and 17 of the 35+ gas fields had been discovered.  These early discoveries represent more than 98% of both the oil and gas produced to date.
 After the Prudhoe Bay discovery, in 1968, exploration activity in the Cook Inlet area declined sharply, and over the next 30 years, only four small oil fields and nine small gas were discovered.  As of year-end 2011 (the year Memoir 104 was submitted for publication), the cumulative production from these latter discoveries was less than 20 MMBO and 65 BCFG.
 A declining reserve base and concerns regarding the ability to meet local gas demand led to an increase in gas-directed exploration in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  From 2000 to year-end 2011, eight additional gas fields were discovered, with the most important discoveries occurring in 2011. Cumulative production from the five pre-2011 discoveries totaled approximately 25 BCFG at the time the original report was completed in 2011.  The three fields discovered in 2011 were not yet developed at the time of the report; however, the cumulative, preliminary reserve estimates for these three discoveries are thought to be approximately 1.0 TCFG.
The total cumulative production in the Cook Inlet Basin, from 1958 through 2011 is 1.3 BBO from eight oil fields and 7.5 TCFG from28 gas fields.  Since AAPG Memoir 104 was completed cumulative production has risen to more than 1.365 BBO and 8.505 TCFG.
Given the relatively short, punctuated exploration history of this hydrocarbon basin, renewed exploration activity, using up-to-date technology, will very likely yield significantly positive results.  Recent evaluations by both the USDOE and the USGS place the mean for conventional undiscovered technically recoverable resources in the range of 13 to 17 TCFG and 600 MMBO.
Hite, D. M., and Stone D. M., 2013, A History of Oil and Gas Exploration, Discovery, and Future Potential: Cook Inlet Basin, South-Central Alaska, in D. M. Stone, and D. M. Hite, ed., Oil and Gas Fields of the Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska: AAPG Memoir 104,     p. 1-35.
Stanley, R. G., R. R. Charpentier, T. A. Cook, D. W. Houseknecht, T. R. Klett, K. A. Lewis, P. G. Lillis, P. H. Nelson, J. D. Phillips, R. M. Pollastro, C. J. Potter, W. A. Rouse, R. W. Saltus, C. J. Schenk, A. K. Shah, and S. C. Valin, 2011, Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the Cook Inlet Region, South-central Alaska, 2011: U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS, Fact Sheet 2011-3068, 2 p.
Thomas, C. P., T. C. Doughty, D. D. Faulder, and D. M. Hite, 2004, South-Central Alaska Natural Gas Study: U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Arctic Energy Office, Contract DE-AM26-99FT40575, 207 p.

David M. Hite has more than 50 years of experience in oil and oil and gas research, exploration and development, resource evaluation, and management.  He earned a B.S. in geology from Oregon State University in 1962 and M. S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1964 and 1968 respectively.  David commenced his professional career in 1967 with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) in their applied research group.  He subsequently worked as exploration geologist (Alaska), senior staff geologist (responsible for all domestic geologic recruiting and training), district and regional exploration manager (Alaska and Southeastern United States), senior exploration advisor, and manager of geotechnical services for ARCO Alaska Inc.  He worked for ARCO for a total of 24 years, the majority of this time being focused on Alaska.
Since 1992 he has been an independent consulting petroleum geologist focused on Alaska and primarily located in Anchorage, Alaska. In this capacity, he has consulted for major and mid-sized companies such as Exxon, BP, Phillips (now ConocoPhillips), ARCO Alaska Inc. and Anadarko Petroleum, as well as numerous independents, native corporations, and utilities.  He has also consulted for a number of state and federal agencies, and served as an expert witness in major court cases involving with hundreds of millions to billions of dollars at stake.  
 He has also served as a member on the National Academy Sciences Polar Research Board and as a member on the National Research Council Committee report on Cumulative Environmental Effects of Oil and Gas Activities on Alaska’s North Slope.  In 2013, he was co-editor of AAPG Memoir 104—Oil and Gas Fields of the Cook Inlet Basin, Alaska.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 

‘Back to the Future’ of Energy:
Ken Hanson (Founder) & Steve Pappajohn (VP Exploration), C-fficiency Systems, Inc. (CSI)  

‘Back to the Future’ of Energy: By integrating 21stcentury energy production and storage technologies, conventional energy resources, and ‘home-grown’ energy solutions from the past, PNW farmers are improving agricultural economics and global food security.

 PNW farmers are leading the way to practical advances in global food security through better crop yields, greater farm viability, profitability and sustainability, and a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions from agriculture by integrating proven energy engineering techniques with emerging technologies. According to many published estimates the global population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 (a ~33% increase). A solution to the challenge this growth represents is being developed in the PNW. The result is agriculture that is more sustainable, economically viable, and more closely aligned with changing environmental conditions and regulations.
In the last 100 years (i.e., The Petroleum Age) the agriculture industry has dramatically increased food production worldwide. However, this “quantum leap” in food production has come with an enormous energy cost. For the most part, conventional natural resources – primarily oil and gas – have supplied agriculture with the bounty of fuel, power, products and technologies responsible for the stunning advances that customers have enjoyed in food availability, cost, and variety. Increasingly, however, farmers have become subject to a daunting matrix of unfavorable market pressures, economic realities, regulatory requirements, as well as political and other factors that render farming operations uneconomic in many cases. Still other factors, including soil degradation, water issues, limits on carbon emissions and other environmental considerations, further threaten the future viability of farming and the families, communities, and societies it supports.   
Recently, a combination of promising emerging energy technologies are being networked with sophisticated control systems to generate and store renewable energy at low cost. Two of the largest power (and cost) demands on an irrigated farm are fuel to operate: 1. farm machinery  and 2. pumping power required for irrigation. Emerging energy solutions can augment or replace the diesel and other fuels required to irrigate fields, operate farm machinery, and will also provide fertilizer from readily available renewable sources at reduced cost. This solution overcomes intermittency and storage issues associated with renewable power production. And, itdoes notsupplant crop production for fuel production. The solution uses only land unsuitable for agriculture and, in the process, opens new lands for food production. As a result, optimum energy utilization, combining established processes and new technologies for decentralized energy and fertilizer production, as well as for the facilities to store renewable energy from low/no cost resources, could become almost universally available. The results:
·      Highly efficient decentralized energy production, utilization, and storage systems
·      Cost reductions in energy generation by applying energy where and when it is needed most        
·      Energy costs that become a less significant factor in the economics of farm operations
·      Reduction of the carbon footprint associated with energy production in agriculture 
·      Enhancement of conventional energy generation through bioremediation of CO2 gases, land and energy conservation, and other technological advantages that promote farm viability.  

 Ken Hanson is founder and chairman of C-fficiency Systems, Inc., (CSI) and has over 35 years of experience in agriculture, farming and product innovation. Ken brings a deep understanding of the needs of farmers and a problem-solving mind to the challenges of agriculture – especially in regard to energy utilization and optimization. He and his family currently operate farms in eastern Washington State. 
From a generational farm family background, Ken has worked in agriculture since 1979 (Alberta) and, starting in 1982, moved to the US and started an irrigated farm in central Washington. He has founded and operated over 10 successful companies in Ag and Ag-service industry, as well as in the oil and gas service industry (frack water heating, storage, etc.). One of the world’s leading experts in the design, engineering, installation, and optimization of irrigation and water management systems, Ken has developed acreage from sagebrush to production for row crops, forage, orchards and vineyards. 
 As a result of a lifelong passion to improve agriculture Ken has consulted on farm operations, irrigation projects and water transfer projects for agriculture, municipalities, and oilfield operations in Canada, US, Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Botswana, and Cameroon. He has been responsible for many of the “firsts” in agriculture that have improved energy efficiency and resource conservation. Over his career Ken has served on many boards and committees sharing his knowledge on a wide variety of agricultural issues - all while operating active farm operations and various businesses.                   Ken holds a number of US patents, has 3 more patent applications currently registered, and several more in preparation. He founded a group in Alberta to protect surface ownership rights for farmers, has served as the land owner representative for the Palouse Wind (now E.On) Project, is active in the Farm Bureau (a lobbying group), and is a member of the National Irrigation Association. Ken and his wife Karen operate their farm near Oakesdale, Washington. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019 - Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest

Paul Loikith, Portland State University

This talk will provide an overview of the scientific basis for anthropogenic global warming. Topics covered will include the physics of the greenhouse effect, evidence of global, regional, and local climate change, and climate model projections of future change. We will focus on change and associated impacts across the Pacific Northwest using observational data and projections of future change using climate models. The effect of a warming climate on different types of severe weather will also be discussed. Items of scientific consensus will be presented as well as areas of ongoing active research in the climate science community. 

Dr. Paul Loikith is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Portland State University. Dr. Loikith received his B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He then received a master's and Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science also from Rutgers. Dr. Loikith spent three years as a Caltech postdoctoral scholar working at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory before joining PSU in fall 2015. Dr. Loikith is the director of the Portland State University Climate Science Lab which focuses on weather and climate research with expertise in understanding the effects of global warming on extreme weather and climate events.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 - Allison Pyrch

Hart Crowser

Earthquake Resilience

Allison will discuss the expected effects of a large earthquake on lifeline infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest, what Oregon and Washington are doing about it, and how we as engineers, scientists, citizens, and informed persons can encourage our public and private agencies to do more. She will discuss the goals of resilience planning and how they are being applied locally, the importance of prioritization and breaking down silos, and highlight common road blocks to getting the region ready for Cascadia.

Biography: A native Portlander, Allison has been a long-term local advocate for better resilience planning in the Pacific Northwest. Resilience means planning for any disaster, but first and foremost in people’s minds is the Cascadia subduction zone earthquake and tsunami, popularly referred to as the MegaQuake. Allison is part of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) Infrastructure Resilience Division  - Disaster Reconnaissance and Recovery Committee.  In order to learn more how other countries have weathered similar events, Allison travelled with ASCE to the 2010 Chile, 2011 Japan, and 2017 Mexico earthquake areas to study the aftermath and recovery efforts. She leads the Disaster Reconnaissance and Recovery Committee of the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division. Since then, Allison has given dozens of presentations to community partners and has worked with OPB and ASCE to promote seismic awareness here at home. She was featured prominently in the award-winning OPB documentary Unprepared, as well as the Al Jazeera program TechKnow. She was part of the team that developed the Oregon Resilience Plan and is a certified trainer for the California Emergency Management Safety Assessment Program for building evaluations after earthquakes and other disasters. The need for such planning led her to found Salus Resilience, a partnership of four local Oregon firms that offers comprehensive resilience planning which includes financial and planning services as well as her seismic expertise.

As a geotechnical engineer with more than 16 years of experience, her projects can be found all over the metro area as well as throughout Oregon and Washington, including the recent Elephant Lands exhibit at the Oregon Zoo, the Sauvie Island Bridge, several facilities at the Cascade Station development, and the Wilsonville/I-5 interchange. Allison was recognized as American Society of Civil Engineer’s 2018 Oregon/SW Washington Engineer of the Year and 2014 Young Engineer of the Year, as well as a Daily Journal of Commerce Woman of Vision. As a recognized community leader on resilience issues and frequent participant in town hall meetings and expert forums, Allison has testified to the legislature on seismic resilience, and volunteers with community groups to encourage community preparedness. On top of all this, she finds time to indulge in her hobbies, such as captaining a team to race in the Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race every year and enjoying the vast beauty of the Pacific Northwest landscape, including hiking with her dogs, skiing, and PNW wines.

November 29, 2018 Luncheon

How DO geologists get dates?

William Orr

       Despite the title, Bill Orr will summarize some of the means by 
which Paleontologists arrive at geologic ages for fossiliferous rocks. 
To make his point he will borrow from a chronology of American 
automobiles in the 1950s. Bill's experiences in the petroleum industry 
(Exxon/Shell) in the 1950s and 60s as well as his tours on the drillship 
GLOMAR CHALLENGER will support his presentation.

William Orr was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the University 
of California and Michigan State University. He is retired emeritus 
professor of geology from the University of Oregon and makes his home in 
Marion co. OR

October 25, 2018 Luncheon

The Marine Coaledo Formation: Progress report on an integrated study of an Eocene subtropical shelf-margin delta, Coos Bay, Oregon

John M. Armentrout, Laird B. Thompson, and David Blackwell

The Middle to Late Eocene Coaledo Formation and underlying Beds of Sacchi Beach record a marine history of forearc sedimentation aggrading from slope turbidites to shoreface deltaic sandstone encased in deepwater silty mudstone. This talk is a progress report on a multiyear, multidiscipline research program, testing the hypothesis that the Sacchi Beach-Coaledo succession represents a shelf-margin lowstand deltaic system.  

New insights include:

Confirmation of Dott’s (1966) depositional continuity of Beds of Sacchi Beach slope facies  grading upsection through increasingly sandy prodelta channel complexes into delta front and shoreface sandstones of the Lower Coaledo Formation.
Foraminifera and lithostratigraphic evidence supporting a shelf-margin setting with rapid subsidence accommodating a highy aggradational succession of shoreface sediments capped by a rapidly deepening mudstone ‘cap-rock’.
Radiometric dating of a Middle Coaledo tuff that challenges current regional and global correlations; and
Recognition of probable gravity-slide blocks of wave-worked facies into deeper water prodeltaic channel facies.

Additional contributions to this study include: detailed structural geology reported earlier at NWEA by Laird Thompson; stratigraphic correlations enhanced by a Drone-photo survey of coastal cliffs by Rocky Johnson; reassessment of benthic foraminiferal biofacies by Kristin McDougall; study of new molluscan fossils by Carole Hickman; analysis of shark and ray fossil biofacies by Bruce Welton; and a collaborative effort to reassess the paleomagnetic reversal and rotation history soon to be initiated by a team of Noel and Dave Blackwell with support from Ray Weldon and Scott Bogue.

John M. Armentrout is an Oregon native educated at the University of Oregon and University of Washington, focused on stratigraphy and paleontology. He worked for Mobil Oil Corporation 1973-2000 as an exploration geologist specializing in basin analysis and Petroleum Systems using sequence stratigraphic methods, especially for deepwater exploration plays. Upon ‘retirement’ from Mobil, John formed ‘Cascade Stratigraphic’, consulting 2000-2016 with significant efforts in California’s Great Valley, Suriname and offshore British Guyana and Columbia. He taught Petroleum Geology at the University of Oregon Winter Quarter 2014, 2016 and 2018. His current geologic interest is facilitating the integrated analysis of the Eocene Coaledo Formation near Coos Bay, Oregon.

September 20, 2018 Luncheon

The 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i: What Happened, and Why Is It Relevant to Volcanism in the Pacific Northwest Cascade Volcanoes?

Dr. Seth Moran, Scientist-in-Charge 

USGS Cascade Volcano Observatory

The 2018 eruption on the Lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano was a remarkable event in many regards. From early May through mid-August scientists and society alike bore witness to voluminous amounts of lava erupted out of a new fissure system that formed within the middle of the Leilani Estates subdivision, ultimately destroying over 700 homes and creating 875 acres of new land. This eruption was fed by the draining of a magma reservoir stored at the Kilauea summit; the draining of this magma caused significant collapse features in the Kilauea summit caldera, including the deepening of the Halemaumau caldera by ~1000m. This deepening occurred progressively over the space of 3.5 months and was accompanied by daily M > 5 earthquakes that caused significant damage to local buildings including the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory building. 

Fortunately, casualties from the eruption were few in number. This is attributable to a number of factors, including: 1) A good monitoring network that was in place prior to the eruption; 2) 24/7 monitoring and boots-on-the-ground presence by HVO staff, supported by USGS and academic scientists from other observatories and universities; 3) An engaged Hilo County Emergency Management Division that rapidly and effectively responded to events as they unfolded;  4) The establishment of good communication and trust between HVO staff and the Hilo EMD well before the eruption began; 5) An ability for the USGS to rapidly deploy personnel as the crisis rapidly expanded in scope; 6) An extraordinary effort on the part of USGS scientists to provide up-to-date information on social media platforms (e.g., the USGS Volcanoes Facebook page), which were used as primary information sources by local residents as well as the international scientific community. 

There are places in the Cascades where a similar eruption could unfold. These include Newberry Caldera near Bend, OR, and also in the greater Portland area which has had a series of cinder-cone-style eruptions occur over the last several million years that collectively form what is known as the Boring Lava Field.  It’s important to note that such eruptions are much less likely than in Hawaii; Newberry’s last eruption was 1300 years ago, and the last cinder-cone eruption in the Portland area was ~50,000 years ago.  In contrast, over the last 1000 years the entire surface of Kilauea volcano has been resurfaced by lava flows.  Other Cascades-relevant lessons from the Kilauea volcano include the importance of having monitoring equipment in place before unrest begins; the importance of continuously engaging stakeholders in the emergency response community, in land-management agencies, and in communities near volcanoes so that when a volcano wakes up there is broad familiarity with roles and responsibilities as well as the nature of volcanic hazards; and the importance of having good working models of volcanic systems to help interpret the significance of various unrest phenomena associated with the movement of magma. 


Seth Moran is a seismologist and Scientist-in-Charge (SIC) for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS-CVO) in Vancouver, Washington.  CVO, one of five U.S. volcano observatories, has responsibility for evaluating volcanic hazards, monitoring activity, and communicating hazards information for volcanoes in the States of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.  CVO houses ~75 full-time employees, roughly half of whom work full-time on Cascade volcanoes.

 Seth has been studying Cascade volcanoes since 1988, when he began his graduate studies in seismology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Seth joined the USGS in 1997 as a staff seismologist for the Alaska Volcano Observatory, where he studied volcanoes in Katmai National Park, assisted in establishing monitoring networks on several Aleutian volcanoes, and participated in the response to the 1999 eruption of Shishaldin volcano. In 2003 he moved to CVO, just in time to take part in the response to the 2004-2008 eruption at Mount St. Helens.  He also helped establish and/or expand monitoring networks at Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, Three Sisters, Newberry, and Crater Lake volcanoes, and, since 2015, has been serving as the SIC for CVO. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and playing music.

May 17, 2018 Luncheon

Energy-related thesis presentations by Portland State Graduate Students.

Is there Geothermal Potential in the Portland Metro Area?

by Ellen Svadlenak, Darby Scanlon, and Alison Horst (all Portland State University)

Deep direct-use thermal energy storage (DDU-TES) is a low carbon method of heat storage and supply that has potential within the Portland Basin. DDU-TES supplies buildings with hot water for heating during the winter or cooling during the summer via seasonal cycles of hot/cold water injection, storage, and subsequent extraction from evolved groundwater within the Columbia River Basalt Group. Though a promising technology, DDU-TES cycles may trigger or accelerate mineral dissolution and precipitation that can reduce operation efficiency. One aspect of this research addresses hydrogeochemical concerns by modeling the interactions between reservoir rock and heated water to determine the extent to which DDU-TES induced processes may impact reservoir properties and system components. Depth to the target reservoir and hazards posed by active faults within the basin also need to be evaluated before DDU-TES can be implemented. A second aspect utilizes existing well log, seismic, outcrop, and potential fields data to define the geometry of the Portland Basin, track basin depocenters, and construct isopach maps to better understand the depth to reservoir and basin history. A third aspect focuses on characterizing faults in the Portland and Tualatin Basins to refine basin geometry and assess seismic hazard in the region with a focus on estimating the most recent rupture along the Gales Creek fault through a paleoseismic trench and radiocarbon dating. This research is improving our understanding of the hydrogeology, stratigraphy, and structure of the Portland Basin, critical for both development of DDU-TES resources and an improved geologic understanding of the region.

April 19, 2018 Luncheon

Cenozoic deformation of the Cascadia convergent margin – implications for the history of the Coos Bay Basin

Ray E. Wells  U.S. Geological Survey, Emeritus

Laird Thompson  UF3 Managing Partner

Geoscience investigations of the Cascadia convergent margin, first for energy resource and later for earthquake hazard assessments, have revealed a 50 million-year history of terrane accretion, marginal rifting, clockwise rotation, northward migration, and breakup of the margin. New geologic mapping, paleomagnetism, calcareous nannoplanktonic biostratigraphy, and U/Pb and Ar/Ar dating document six main events along the margin:

56-49 Ma        Creation of the ocean island terrane of Siletzia in the NE Pacific

50 Ma             Accretion of Siletzia to the convergent margin, forming Coast Range basement

42 Ma             Post accretion, margin-parallel stretching, Tillamook magmatism, strike slip and basin formation

50-0 Ma          Clockwise rotation and northward migration of the forearc

30-0 Ma          Margin-parallel shortening of the forearc

~ 10 Ma          Breakup of the Juan de Fuca plate and uplift of the Coast Range

These events controlled the formation and modification of forearc basin subsidence and uplift. The Coos Bay Basin has a structural history that reflects the major tectonic episodes in the forearc.  We will look at the deformation pathway through time from specific outcrops that provide a detailed picture of episodic tectonic activity that has generated the spectacular coastal outcrops at and near Cape Arago.

Dr. Wells has been a research geologist with the USGS for 40 years, where he used field geology, paleomagnetism, and GPS to understand the tectonic evolution and seismic hazards of active continental margins. He has studied subduction zones around the world to better understand the controls on great megathrust earthquakes and has applied that understanding to the Cascadia convergent margin. Ray is particularly interested in how the oblique component of convergence is partitioned into permanent deformation of the forearc, producing faults, earthquakes, and tectonic rotation of the upper plate. Dr. Wells is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Department of the Interior and the 2017 recipient of the Geological Society of America’s Geologic Mapping Award in honor of Florence Bascom. Recently retired, Ray is a Research Geologist Emeritus stationed at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center and is a Research Associate with the Geology Department at Portland State University.

Dr. Thompson is an adjunct professor at Utah State University and the Managing Partner of UF3, fractured reservoir consulting LLC.  He is an industry recognized expert in borehole imaging interpretation and in the characterization of fractured reservoirs. He managed the R&D program for Mobil Oil Corp. in fractured reservoirs.  He is a respected teacher in Mobil’s training system and for AAPG. Since 2000 he has been a managing for UF3, Utah Faults, Fractures and Fluids, and has been teaching and consulting on fractured reservoirs, borehole imaging and microseismic analysis of permeability fields.  Laird is currently involved in microseismic R&D and application for fracing effectiveness and reservoir optimization.

Open access online reference: Wells et al 2016

March 15, 2018 Luncheon

High-enthalpy non-magmatic linear geothermal trends in the Basin and Range of Nevada, U.S.A.

Albert F. Waibel

Columbia Geoscience
6943 NE Quatama St.
Hillsboro, Oregon  97124 USA
Telephone: 1-503-260-7215

ABSTRACT: Two linear high-enthalpy non-magmatic geothermal resource trends are identified in the north-central Nevada portion of the Basin and Range province, the Humboldt trend and the Dixie Valley trend. Each of these trends are characterized by geothermal cells with measured or chemical geothermometry-estimated temperatures of >250°C. These temperatures reflect crustal temperatures at depths of 8 to 10 km, near the brittle-ductile boundary for this portion of the Basin and Range province. The source of fluids supporting sustained flow for all of the cells within the trends from depths indicated by the fluid temperatures is poorly understood. The regional strain and current relative crustal movement have been established. However, the specific local crustal tectonics controlling the location and geometry of these two trends are poorly defined.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY:  Albert F. Waibel, owner of Columbia Geoscience in Hillsboro, Oregon, provides consulting services specializing in the design and management of geothermal exploration programs ranging from regional reconnaissance to site-specific exploration and development. He has 45 years experience with geothermal exploration and development in North and Central America, Asia, Africa and Europe. He was the exploration manager for Davenport Power on Newberry Volcano, responsible for the exploration strategy and locating the two deep exploration well sites. He has developed and lectured graduate-level courses on the nature, occurrence, fluid sources and exploration strategies for geothermal systems in magmatic, extension and orogenic tectonic settings at Southern Methodist University and Portland State University (U.S.A.), Illia State University (Republic of Georgia) and Kasetsart University (Thailand). He has also developed and taught numerous courses on data collection, and on interpretation and real-time application of well-site data to private industry. He assisted with the design and implementation of testing hyper-spectral remote sensing techniques adapted for geothermal exploration with Dr. Wm. Pickles (then with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and Dr. E. Silver (University of California Santa Cruz) at test locations in Nevada.

NWEA Speaker Program for 2017-2018

February 15, 2018 Luncheon

Paul Oldaker

Twenty Three Years of CBM Production and Monitoring of the Pine River Subcrop and Gas Seeps. No Depletion.

 Starting in 1994 a ground water, surface water and gas seepage monitoring network was set up in response to observed gas seepage near the subcrop of a producing Coal Bed Methane (CBM) formation and the Pine River in the San Juan Basin, southwestern Colorado. The null hypothesis was that CBM production was releasing gas at the subcrop due to downbasin CBM water pumping. The null hypothesis was tested using down hole video, packer testing, reservoir/seepage production analysis, temperature tracing, cation water quality, water age and potentiometric head trends. Based on the 23 years of observations, measurements and analyses, the CBM null hypothesis was rejected. Since there was no hydraulic connection between the subcrop and CBM production, there was no depletion from the Pine River. A new null hypothesis that gas seepage was due to long term precipitation trends was formulated in 2000 by the author. It continues to be accepted 18 years later. 

This presentation was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the AAPG.

​Paul Older is a geologist/geohydrologist/hydrologist. He has provided forty years of service to the water supply, environmental and energy related industries for coal hydrogeology. This has included lectures, reservoir evaluations, coal bed methane desorption analysis, production and monitor well drilling, completion, and testing, dewatering, well and mine permit applications. This has included 140 projects for the oil and gas industry with 127 coal bed methane projects and 66 coal mine projects. I have performed projects for clients in most western states, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, and Peru. Paul is presently based in Federal Way, Washington.

January 18, 2018 Luncheon 

Detrital zircon assemblages in sandstones indicate revised late Early to Late Cretaceous age for the Dothan Formation in southwestern Oregon
Wiley, T.J. 1, McClaughry, J.D. 2 (speaker), Rivas, J.A.3, and Schwartz, J.J4.
1 Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Retired
2 Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, Baker City Field Office
1995 3rd Street, Suite 130, Baker City, OR 97814
3 Department of Geology and Geography, University of North Carolina Wilmington
601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403-5944
4 Department of Geological Sciences, University of California, Northridge
Northridge, CA 91330-8266

The Dothan Fm. is a deformed flysch sequence that is exposed as broken formation in southwestern Oregon. Max-depositional ages recently determined from 206Pb/U238 LA-ICPMS dating and statistical analysis of 537 detrital zircon grains from Dothan Fm. sandstone range from 102 to 74 Ma (Early-Late Cretaceous), significantly younger than sparse Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous fossils previously reported. Zircon separates from Dothan Fm. sandstone were prepared for five widely dispersed inland and coastal sites. Inland exposures within the Dothan "type" area along West Fork Cow Creek return max-depositional ages of 74 Ma and 78 Ma respectively (2 SCJ 13, UTM NAD83 443879E, 4739240N; 1 SCJ 13, 449210E, 4739076N). West of the “type” area, in the Oregon Coastal Range, Dothan Fm. sandstone returns a slightly older max-depositional age of 95 Ma (11 SCJ 13, 436831E, 4716884N). Coastal exposures of Dothan Fm. sandstone has similar max-depositional ages to those of inland exposures returning ages of 89 Ma at the Port Orford Marina (53 SCJ 13, 377221E, 4732986N) and 102 Ma near Brookings (215-11-1, 395965E, 4658639N). The contrast between previously reported Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous fossil and Early-Late Cretaceous zircon ages likely relates to 1) inclusion of older, adjacent sections of Buchia bearing flysch in the Dothan Fm., such as those in the Sixes River terrane and those collectively referred to as "Galice" Fm. in nearby Western Jurassic terranes; 2) inclusion of older blocks of chert and flysch in olistostromes; and 3) inclusion of older blocks in tectonic shear zones that cut the Dothan Fm. 

Widespread development of broken formation in the Dothan contrasts with broad folding developed in early Eocene sedimentary rocks that overlie it and in late Paleocene Siletz River Volcanics exposed north of the Canyonville Fault.  Intense deformation of the Dothan Fm. is likely pre-late Paleocene and post-Late Cretaceous.  This, and the absence of Paleocene rocks elsewhere in southern Oregon, suggests a Late Cretaceous minimum age for the Dothan Fm. Other late Early to Late Cretaceous submarine fan sequences in southern Oregon include the Hornbrook Formation that crops out inland in the Medford and Grave Creek areas and the upper part of the Days Creek Formation (Myrtle Group) that crops out north of the Canyonville Fault.

Jason McClaughry is the Eastern Oregon Regional Geologist, Earth Science Section Supervisor, and coordinates the statewide geologic mapping program for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). He has worked extensively across the state mapping and researching a number of volcanic provinces. Jason holds a M.S. degree in Geology from Washington State University and a B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Puget Sound.

November 16, 2017 Luncheon

​Energy Development Potential on Indian Lands in the Pacific Northwest Region
​Daniel Kaim

Indian Lands hold a tremendous amount of energy resources, both conventional and renewable.  A quick overview of the Northwest Region’s energy potential on Tribal land will be given.  DEMD assists Tribes in bolstering their local economies through the development of these energy resources.  This assistance involves pre-development feasibility resource analyses as well as providing the Tribes with a roadmap and process to develop the capacity to manage these energy projects.  Best practices for Tribes wishing to develop their energy resources and the steps necessary for creating a conducive business environment while maintaining Tribal sovereignty will be discussed.

Daniel Kaim is a Petroleum Engineer with the Division of Energy and Mineral Development (DEMD), under the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. He has worked on both petroleum and renewable projects on Tribal Trust Land since joining the Division a year and a half ago.  Prior to working with DEMD, Daniel was a sergeant in the Army, attended Colorado School of Mines, and worked for an oil company in the Eagle Ford Shale Play.

September 21, 2017 Luncheon

​Groundwater and Heat Flow in the Northwest Volcanic Province, U.S.A. Implications for Geothermal Energy Development

Erick R. Burns, US Geological Survery

Heat-flow mapping of the western USA has identified apparent low-geothermal-heat-flow anomalies within the ~500,000 km2 Northwest Volcanic Province (NVP).  The largest of the contiguous heat-flow anomalies are generally coincident with the Eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer and the Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System (CPRAS), and these apparent low- heat-flow anomalies have been shown to be the result of measurement bias due to advection of heat by groundwater.  The ESRP, the CPRAS, and the new USGS Northwest Volcanic Aquifer Study Area (NVASA) comprise most of the NVP, an area that contains over half of Meinzer’s high-volume springs of the U.S. (Meinzer, 1927) and much of the nation’s estimated but unproven geothermal electricity-production potential.  While the ESRP and the CPRAS have been the subject of prior systematic groundwater study, the NVASA is largely uncharacterized, though it is encircled by a range of volcanic terrains with existing USGS models.  The variation in volcanic hydrology across the NVP will be summarized, with an emphasis on physical mechanisms controlling groundwater and heat flow. Implications will be developed intuitively and quantitatively for water resources, habitat (especially, thermally sensitive groundwater-dependent ecosystems), and heat flow/geothermal energy development.

Erick Burns is a research hydrologist with the USGS Oregon Water Science Center.  His research experience is varied, including groundwater flow and transport, geothermal energy, geostatistical methods and stochastic analysis, process thermodynamics, agricultural water pollution, and seawater intrusion. Additionally, Erick has taught hydrology and geostatistics courses.

May 18, 2017 NWEA Lunch 11:45 am
Peter R. Rose, Ph. D
Objective Overview of Global Climate Change in 2016: A Geological Perspective

The relative contribution of Man's activities, as opposed to Nature's activities, to observed recent rises in global temperatures, is unresolved. In addition to the oft-noted (and increasing) inability of climate modeling to reproduce the documented recent past, two other major shortcomings of contemporary climate studies are that 1) they rest upon very short time spans, whereas climate change considered from a geological perspective encourages much less anxiety; and 2) they do not consider other pertinent disciplines, such as a) recorded history; b) geology, and c) astrophysics and cosmology. The latter three disciplines argue against Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW). Global sea-level rise relates to the current interglacial cycle, and is not accelerating. Reliable data on frequency and intensity of tornadoes, hurricanes and drought demonstrate no increase with rising temperatures, thus muting the reality of “extreme climate events” caused by rising atmospheric CO2.

Although it is true that increasing atmospheric CO2 does cause some atmospheric warming, growing evidence suggests that the effect is minor, and diminishes as CO2 concentration continues to rise. Indeed, rising atmospheric CO2 leads directly to increased agricultural productivity! It now seems probable that most observed 20th century global warming is the result of natural causes. If so, proposed voluntary economic initiatives by Western nations to limit CO2 emissions will constitute a serious and unnecessary economic wound, self-inflicted at the worst possible time. Still unexplained is the fact that no measurable atmospheric warming occurred for more than 18 years (1998-2015), while atmospheric CO2 concentration continued rising steadily. This casts doubt on the effectiveness of CO2 in causing significant atmospheric warming (“climate sensitivity”). Sunspot cycles suggest that we are about to enter an extended period of global cooling, and recent research results from CERN (Geneva) support the view that most warming relates to variations in solar irradiation, as well as the still poorly understood influence of clouds as amplifying or diminishing agents.

Recent and continuing unsavory revelations (“Climate Gates I and II”) have also cast doubt on the objectivity of the science underpinning CAGW, motivated by ideology and the search for research funding.  Indeed, the greatest threat posed by the whole controversial CAGW campaign of the past 25 years may be the loss of public confidence in the integrity of Western Science.

U. S. prosperity correlates closely with energy use. We must assure a reliable supply of affordable energy if the Nation is to maintain an acceptable standard of living and continue as a world power.  Our energy-supply concerns of 1990-2012 had four main components: 1] the false but widespread belief that the world was running out of oil, and that so-called “Peak Oil” was imminent; 2] the real global convergence of crude-oil demand (much by the “emerging economies”) upon crude-oil supply, now somewhat abated; 3] the perceived threat of CAGW; and 4] the mortgaging of U. S. assets for overseas crude oil, also now declining. We are now into a widespread “paradigm shift” that could – if we have the national will -- move us away from national “panic mode” to a focus on 1) adaptation to climate change; 2) deployment of new energy sources; and 3) increased energy efficiency. This should allow us to move into systematic long-term National energy planning, which will require bipartisan political support, stable economic policy and a sound factual basis.

Dr. Pete Rose (Ph. D., Geology, University of Texas, Austin) has been a professional geologist for 55 years, specializing in Petroleum Geology, E&P Risk Analysis, and Mineral Economics. Before going on his own in 1980 as an independent prospector and consultant, he worked for Shell Oil Company, the United States Geological Survey, and Energy Reserves Group, Inc, a small-cap Independent.

After 10 years as an internationally-recognized authority on economic risking of exploration drilling ventures, he founded Rose & Associates, LLP, in 1998.  Pete retired in 2005; the firm continues as the global standard among consulting companies in that field, providing instruction, software and consulting services on an international scale.

Pete wrote the definitive geological monograph on the Edwards Limestone of Texas (Rose, 1972), and has continued related investigations to the present time.  His 2001 book, Risk Analysis and Management of Petroleum Exploration Ventures, now in its 7th printing, is considered by many as the “Bible” on that topic, and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.  He has authored or co-authored more than 80 published articles on an extremely wide variety of geological topics (Micropaleontology to Petroleum Economics). He was a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Geological Society of London.

In 2005 he was the 89th President of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, an international organization that is the largest professional geological society in the world (>37,000 members).

In 2006-07 he was a member of the National Petroleum Council, involved with their summary of the global energy situation, Facing the Hard Truths about Energy, and was also deeply involved in successful efforts to encourage the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission to modernize its rules governing estimation and disclosure of oil and gas reserves, thus facilitating the investment component of the “shale revolution” in the U. S.

In 2013, the Geological Society of London awarded Peter R. Rose its prestigious Petroleum Group Medal for lifetime contributions to Petroleum Geology, the first American to be so recognized, and in 2014 the American Association of Petroleum Geologists honored him with its Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award.

Pete is a 5th-generation Texan.  He and his wife Alice have 5 children and 8 grandchildren, and divide their time between Austin and their El Segundo Ranch near Telegraph, Texas.  In retirement, he took up a new career as a historian: in September 2012, Texas Tech University Press published his book, The Reckoning: the Triumph of Order on the Texas Outlaw Frontier, about the coming of Order and Law to the western Hill Country and Edwards Plateau regions of Texas (1873-1883). He is also well known for field trips he leads with Dr. Charles Woodruff into the Texas Hill Country that combine the topics of Geology, Wineries, and Frontier History.

April 27 , 2017 Lunch
Timothy S Collett, US Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado 
Arctic and Marine Gas Hydrate Production Testing – Lessons Learned

It has been suggested that gas hydrates may represent an important future source of energy; however, much remains to be learned about their characteristics and occurrence in nature. This lecture reviews recent successes in exploration and production of natural gas from gas hydrate accumulations. Field studies have shown that gas hydrates in both Arctic permafrost regions and deep-marine settings can occur at high concentrations in conventional sand-dominated reservoirs. These settings have been the focus of recent gas hydrate exploration and production studies in northern Alaska and Canada, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the southeastern coast of Japan, in the Ulleung Basin off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, and along the eastern margin of India. Gas hydrate in onshore Arctic environments is typically closely associated with permafrost. Two of the most studied permafrost-associated gas hydrate accumulations are those at the Mallik site in the Mackenzie River Delta of Canada and the Eileen gas hydrate accumulation on the North Slope of Alaska. The Mallik gas hydrate production research site has been the focus of three geologic and engineering field programs (1999/2002/2007‐2008 Mallik Gas Hydrate Testing Projects) and yielded the first fully integrated production test of an onshore gas hydrate accumulation. The science program in support of the 2007 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and BP-sponsored Mount Elbert gas hydrate test well project in northern Alaska generated one of the most comprehensive data sets on an Arctic gas hydrate accumulation along with critical gas hydrate reservoir engineering data. In 2011/2012, DOE partnered with ConocoPhillips and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation to investigate a new production method during the Ignik Sikumi test in which carbon dioxide was injected into a gas hydrate-bearing rock unit to release methane while sequestering carbon dioxide in hydrate form. A major milestone in gas hydrate production technology evaluation was achieved in 2013 with the successful demonstration of gas production from deepwater gas hydrates in the Nankai Trough of Japan. Gas production was obtained readily upon depressurization using specially designed pumps that separated gas from water and flowed both to the surface through separate production strings.

The recent production tests in the Artic and offshore Japan have collectively shown that natural gas can be produced from gas hydrates with existing conventional oil and gas production technology. Additional gas hydrate production testing is underway in Japan and plans are being formulated for marine gas hydrate production testing in the offshore of India and China. There is also a proposal to establish a gas hydrate pilot test site in northern Alaska that will allow for extended gas hydrate production testing experiments.

Tim Collett, an internationally recognized, accomplished research geologist in gas hydrates, is chief for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Program gas hydrate research efforts and an adjunct professor for the Department of Geophysics at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.

Collett, an award-winning AAPG member, has been with the USGS since 1983 and has been the chief and co-chief scientist for numerous domestic and international gas hydrate scientific and industrial drilling expeditions and programs, including the India NGHP Expedition 01 and 02 gas hydrate drilling and testing projects.

He was co-chief scientist of the international cooperative gas hydrate research project, which was responsible for drilling dedicated gas hydrate production research wells in Canada’s Mackenzie Delta under the Mallik 1998 and 2002 efforts.

Collett also was the logging scientist on the Gulf of Mexico JIP Gas Hydrate Research Expedition in 2005 and the Gulf of Mexico JIP Leg II drilling project in 2009, and is the co-chief scientist of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 311. He sailed as a science advisor on the Korean UBGH2 Expedition in 2010.

He was the principal investigator responsible for organizing and conducting the 1995 and 2008 USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment of natural gas hydrates.

Collett’s current research efforts at the USGS deal mostly with domestic and international gas hydrate energy resource characterization studies. His ongoing gas hydrate assessment activities in Alaska are focused on assessing the energy resource potential of gas hydrates on the North Slope and supporting the domestic marine gas hydrate assessments being led by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Collett’s international gas hydrate activities include cooperative projects with research partners in India, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Canada.

He is a recipient of the U.S. Department of the Interior Meritorious Service Award, the Golomb-Chilinger Medal from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and the Natural Resources of Canada Public Service Award. An active member in the EMD Gas Hydrates Committee, Collett also is a recipient of the EMD Frank Kottlowski Memorial Award.

He has published more than 200 research papers along with 10 books and treatises on gas hydrates and other unconventional resources, including AAPG Memoir 89: Natural Gas Hydrates — Energy Resource Potential and Associated Geologic Hazards.

March 16, 2017 Lunch

David McClain of DW McClain & Associates. 
Pacific Northwest Power Grid and Future Wind Development 

The Pacific Northwest electrical power supply is shifting from hydro- coal based generation system to a hydro-gas-renewable energy system.   This shift is driven by a multitude of policy, market, and infrastructure issues.

Between 2017 and 2040 approximately 4,000 MW of coal power in the Pacific Northwest grid will be decommissioned.   Natural gas power plants and wind energy power plants will replace those coal MW.  The majority of the new wind projects will come from Montana which has one of the largest undeveloped wind resources in the United States. Transmission line constraints and natural gas pipeline constraint will play an important role in the development of the next era of energy supply in the Pacific Northwest. Decommissioning of the coal power plants and specifically the fate of the Coal Strip Power Plant in Montana will play  a critical role in this shifting of power supply from coal to wind.  This discussion highlights some of the market and infrastructure facets that will shape the energy supply over the next 20 years. The main takeaway will be an appreciation that transmission line constraints will govern the pace of development.

David McClain recently retired as Senior Director of Development for EverPower Wind Holdings.   Mr. McClain has over 40 years of experience in developing renewable energy project, including geothermal, biomass, wind, and landfill gas projects.   Prior to joining EverPower, Mr. McClain was Senior Development Manager for MidAmerican Energy’s subsidiary California Energy Company.   Mr. McClain received his B.S. in Geology from University of Oregon and a M.S from the University of Idaho, College of Mines in Natural Resource Management.   Mr. McClain is a founding Director of Renewable Northwest and was a Board Member of Northwest Intermountain Power Producers Coalition.

February 16, 2017 NWEA Lunch

Laird Thompson, President NWEA

Microseismic Technology - the Promise of Mapping Crustal Fluid Movement: How Reliable Is It?

Hydraulic fracing has been instrumental in establishing the commerciality of shale-based reserves.  Over the past 50 years more than a million wells have been fraced – with a huge increase in recent years as the Bakken, Eagleford and Marcellus Formations have been extensively drilled for “unconventional reservoirs”.  Despite all this activity, the understanding of the mechanics involved in hydraulic fracing (and subsequently delivery of fluids to the wellbore) are still poorly documented.  One recent technology – microseismic monitoring during fracing – held the promise of being able to image the size and extent of the hydraulic fractures created during the fracing process.  Industry experience over the past 5 years or so have shown that the simple hypothesis of a single, bi-wing extensional fracture being created has not been an appropriate model despite thousands of wells monitored for hypocenter activity during hydrofracing.  An alternative microseismic technology, termed Tomographic Fracture Imaging uses a radical method of full-trace processing instead of hypocenter mapping.  This fundamental difference has been shown to create images not only of hydraulic fracture mapping but also imaging the permeability structure in producing oil and gas fields – that is, not only the fractures created during a frac job, but the producing permeability structure as wells are brought on production.
Laird B. Thompson, PhD, is an industry recognized expert in borehole imaging interpretation and in the characterization of fractured reservoirs.  During an almost 30 year career with Mobil Oil Corp, Laird managed the R&D program in fractured reservoirs from 1995 until Mobil was sold in 2000.  A respected teacher in Mobil’s training system, Laird has continued teaching classes for AAPG since 2000.  In his post-Mobil career, he has been a managing partner for UF3, Utah Faults, Fractures and Fluids, and has been teaching and consulting on fractured reservoirs, borehole imaging and microseismic analysis of permeability fields.  Laird is currently involved in microseismic R&D and application for fracing effectiveness and reservoir optimization and serves as the president of the NWEA.

Portland State University Cramer Hall 53, 11:30 AM
Incorporating Numerical Simulation Into Your Reserves Estimation Process:  A Practical Perspective

Dean Rietz
Ryder Scott Company Petroleum Consultants

Reservoir simulation is a sophisticatedtechnique of forecasting future recoverable volumes and production rates that 
is becoming commonplace in the management and development of oil and gas reservoirs, small and large.  

Calculation and estimation of reserves continues to be a necessary process to properly assess the value and manage the development of an oil and gas producer’s assets.  These methods of analysis, while generally done for different purposes, require knowledge and expertise by the analyst (typically a reservoir engineer) to arrive at meaningful and reliable results.  Increasingly, the simulation tool is being incorporated into the reserves process.  However, as with any reservoir engineering technique, certain precautions must be taken when relying on reservoir simulation as the means for estimating reserves.  This discussion highlights some of the important facets one should consider when applying numerical simulation methods to use for, or augment, reserves estimates.  The main take away will be an appreciation for the areas to focus on to arrive at meaningful and defendable estimates of reserves that are based on reservoir models.

Dean C. Rietz, P.E., President and member of the board of directors at Ryder Scott Company, has over 30 years of diverse experience in evaluating oil and gas properties, including more than 25 years applying numerical modeling approaches to these evaluations.  Prior to his current position, he managed the Ryder Scott Reservoir Simulation Group for approximately 15 years.  Before joining Ryder Scott in 1995, Rietz worked at Chevron, Gruy, and Intera.  He received a B.S.P.E. degree from the University of Oklahoma and an M.S.P.E. degree from the University of Houston.  His past teaching experience includes in-house material balance schools at Chevron and Eclipse user courses at Intera.  Currently, Rietz teaches a two-day SPE simulation course and is an adjunct professor of reservoir simulation at the University of Houston.  Rietz has published various papers related to reservoir modeling, including its application to reserves reporting.  Rietz is a registered professional engineer in Texas and serves on the Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board for the University of Houston.

November 17, 2016 NWEA Luncheon

​​Solar Thermochemical Advanced Reaction System (STARS)

Richard Zheng
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Over the past several years, researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and their collaborators – which include researchers at Oregon State University – have been developing a new form of chemical process technology that, combined with parabolic dish concentrators, has been experimentally shown to convert solar energy into chemical energy at about 70%, a world record.  The STARS system converts natural gas (or other sources of methane, such as landfill gas) and water into synthesis gas, an intermediate chemical mix that can be further converted into a variety of different products, some of which can be used as fuels (e.g., hydrogen) and some which are valuable for their chemical properties (e.g., plastics).  By combining solar energy with methane, the carbon intensity (or carbon footprint) of products from the system are substantially reduced.

Renewable liquid fuels are one of the target products as well.  The best locations for commercial applications of STARS include regions with substantial solar energy (e.g., the American Southwest but also including eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington), available water, and inexpensive transportation to markets. This presentation will discuss current testing results, the history of the technology and the plan for commercialization of STARS.

Dr. Richard Zheng has been a staff member at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for 15 years and is currently a senior engineer in the Energy & Environment Directorate at PNNL.  He has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from University of Washington.  His research work in recent years includes CO2 capture materials and process, high pressure fluids processing, and high efficiency membrane development.  He has published over 30 journal articles, given presentations at international conferences on his research, and developed 5 patents and patent-pending applications.  He has received two R&D 100 Awards for his work in microchannel technologies for fuel processing and conversion.  He is also a contributor to another 2017 R&D 100 Award finalist technology in carbon capture simulation tool.  In the past 3 years, Dr. Zheng has been focused on developing solar thermochemical reactor systems for increasing the renewable energy content of methane-containing streams, such as natural gas and biogas.

​​October 20, 2016 NWEA Luncheon

High Impact Energy Technology Innovations: Progress and Prospects forCommercialization

B. Peter McGrail, Ph.D
Laboratory Fellow, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

​Dr. Peter McGrail has been a staff member at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for over 32 years and has attained the

position of Laboratory Fellow, the highest level of scientific achievement at the laboratory.

Dr. McGrail spent the first half of his career addressing nuclear waste science questions, work that often took him to Europe

and Japan.  Beginning in the late 1990s, he transitioned his research work into then-emerging fields associated with gas

hydrate production on the Alaska North Slope, advanced materials for renewable energy and efficiency, and the capture and

storage of CO2 for global climate change mitigation.  Those efforts have blossomed into multiple cutting-edge research

projects, covering subjects from basic chemistry of supercritical CO2–brine mixtures to novel applications of metal-organic nanomaterials in chemical separations, heat pumps, and nanofluids.  He is the PI for the Wallula Basalt Pilot project, the

world’s first and only supercritical CO2 storage pilot in a flood basalt formation, and just received the 2014 Laboratory

Director’s Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement for work conducted on CO2 storage in basalts.

Dr. McGrail has received four research grant awards from the DOE agency ARPA-E, more than any other researcher in the U.S.

He also recently completed the first technical and economic feasibility study of compressed air energy storage in the Pacific

Northwest to help mitigate over-generation events that are impacting electric grid stability.  He has written over 240 scientific publications, given presentations at international conferences on his research, and developed four patents and patent-pending applications.

September 15, 2016 NWEA Luncheon
​Not Just for Google: Big data tools and analyses for subsurface characterization, oil spill prevention & response, and 

assessment of energy infrastructure risks
Kelly Rose, Research Geologist, U.S. Department of Energy, National
Energy Technology Laboratory, 1450 Queen Avenue SW Albany, OR  97321

Demand for energy resources continues to rise globally as the portfolio of resource options continues to diversify. While

interest in alternative energy options grows, there remains a need for research driven solutions to address both safe and

reliable access to these resources while mitigating risks and impacts associated with them. Access to data associated with

energy, infrastructure, environmental and societal sources is increasing through open data systems. These data offer new

opportunities to inform and address science-driven questions. However, effective use of these data require new approaches

and solutions to bridge the gap between the availability of information and methods to effectively consume and analyze it.

While there are numerous big data driven solutions for marketing and business solutions, science and engineering based

systems face challenges including efficiently finding, integrating and utilizing relevant, authoritative datasets. It is also

important that as big-data science driven tools and models emerge that they become accessible for use by a wide range of


The U.S. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has been developing geo-data science methods and tools for

small and big data problems to facilitate science-based evaluations of engineered and natural systems. NETL’s Energy Data

eXchange serves as the hub for data discovery, integration, and big data analytics, incorporating tools and models (Info on

some ) to evaluate energy efficiency, resource assessments, subsurface storage potential,

geothermal resources, risks with energy infrastructure, water resource impacts, induced seismicity potential, and offshore

oil spill prevention & response. In this presentation we will explore some examples of these efforts and show how they have

been used in analyses to detect data trends, reduce uncertainty, identify knowledge gaps, and evaluate risks.

Kelly Rose is a geology-geospatial researcher with the National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Office of Research & Development.  She has seventeen years of experience with subsurface characterization, geospatial analysis, and geo-data

science in industry and as a federal researcher.  Her research at NETL is focused on using geologic and geospatial science to

reduce uncertainty about, characterize andunderstand spatial relationships between energy and natural systems at a range

of scales.  Her current research projects focus on reducing impacts and risks associated with geologic carbon storage,

onshore and offshore hydrocarbon systems, offshore oil spill prevention, geothermal resources, and underground fluid

storage and disposal (e.g.
induced seismicity risks, leakage potential etc).  She also is working on new methods using conventional geologic techniques

combined with geostatistical methods to improve prediction of subsurface properties.
She serves on advisory committees including the Department of Interior’s National Geologic and Geophysical Data


Program, and the University of Southern California’s Induced Seismicity and Reservoir Monitoring Consortiums.   She is

associate editor for the Journal of Sustainable Energy Engineering which publishes peer-reviewed research seeking sustainable

methods of worldwide energy production through engineering, scientific, and technological advances.  Rose is the coordinator

and systemsintegrator for the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Data eXchange (EDX), an open-data curation, knowledge

management, and online coordination/collaboration tool developed by Rose and the EDX team.
Rose holds geology degrees from Denison University, B.S., Virginia Tech, M.S., and Oregon State University, Ph.D.

May 19, 2016 NWEA Luncheon
Initiation and subsurface dynamics of the LUSI mud eruption, East Java Indonesia
Professor Max Rudolph, Department of Geology, Portland State University
In May of 2006, a large sub-aerial mud eruption began near the city of Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia. The peak discharge

from the mud eruption, called 'LUSI' was in excess of 160,000 m^3/day, and the mud has displaced tens of thousands of

people and cost several billion dollars in economic losses. The initiation of the eruption was controversial, with some

scientists suggesting that the eruption was triggered by the Mw 6.4 Yogyakarta Earthquake, while others suggested that the

eruption was a consequence of drilling operations at the nearby Banjar-Panji 1 gas exploration well. I will discuss earthquake

triggering of mud volcanoes worldwide, and whether the LUSI eruption was likely triggered by an earthquake or by drilling. Understanding the mechanics and longevity of the eruption remains important in order to manage the response to the

disaster. I'll discuss constraints on subsurface dynamics from ground deformation mapped using L-band InSAR and inverse

modeling, which reveals distinct subsurface mud and fluid sources, and predictions of the likely future behavior of the mud


Max Rudolph is an assistant professor of Geology at Portland State University. Rudolph studies geologic processes involving

fluids, including global-scale mantle convection, heat transport by groundwater flow, and eruptive processes in mud

volcanoes, geysers, and magmatic systems. Prior to arriving at Portland State in 2014, Rudolph was a postdoctoral researcher

in the physics department of University of Colorado, Boulder and graduated with a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2012. 

A complete list of publications can be found here:

April 21, 2016 NWEA Luncheon
Newberry Volcano Enhanced Geothermal System Update
Trenton Cladouhos, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at AltaRock Energy.

More than 50,000 MW of aging coal fired power generation capacity will need to be either repowered or retired between now

and 2030, much of it in the next 10 years.  Washington and Oregon are leading the nation away from coal – with firm plans to

shut down the two coal plants. While low fuel prices drive many of these plants to consider natural gas repowering as the

solution to their continued operation, renewable portfolio standards and the lack of sufficient gas supply pipeline capacity

limits this option.  Wind and solar can offset some of this power supply, but coal plants by their nature provide baseload

power. Geothermal energy is abundant in the Pacific Northwest but under-utilized. AltaRock, and Washington Division of

Geology and Earth Resources are working on a US DOE funded project to characterize three conventional geothermal sites for

potential development to replace base-load electricity formerly provided by coal plants.

It is also possible to replace coal with geothermal energy on land owned by the coal plant, leveraging the grid connection,

permitting and cooling system as well as the skilled workforce.  This solution requires development of an Enhanced

Geothermal System (EGS), which can extract heat from hot rock lacking a conventional geothermal resource.  Boardman,

Oregon is an ideal location to test the coal to geothermal energy vision. Costs remain the major issue for utility scale EGS

power generation. We are studying the impact of scaling, learning-by doing and technology improvement on the levelized

cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility scale EGS power production.  AltaRock has also been developing and testing EGS t

echnology at Newberry Volcano near Bend for 6 years and is currently competing against other teams to continue the research

for another 7 years.

Trenton Cladouhos is senior vice president of research and development at AltaRock Energy. Trenton is responsible for

developing, improving, and testing AltaRock’s technologies for improving production in EGS and conventional geothermal

reservoirs. He also manages the geologic and geophysical aspects of AltaRock EGS and stimulation projects — most recently

working as the lead geoscientist at the high-profile Newberry Volcano EGS Demonstration.

March 17, 2016 NWEA Luncheon
So You Want to be a Producing State:  Challenges of Establishing First Production
John Peiserich is Vice-President and General Counsel of Alta Mesa

Historically, exploration has occurred in Idaho in fits and starts.  The earliest drilling dates to 1903 and continued through

the late 1980s with approximately 145 wells being drilled throughout the state.  My favorite line about exploration has to

be credited to the Idaho Geological Survey’s John McLeod who quipped “The story of oil and gas exploration in Idaho is an

ongoing saga of near successes and shattered expectations.”  It rings of Dante’s Inferno - “Abandon all hope, ye who enter

here.”  Exxon, in 1982, drilled the Meyers Federal Unit No. 1 to 18,540 feet but it seems to be an exception as most wells

have been significantly shallower.  The recent drilling in Payette County, along the western border with Oregon, began in

2010 and has continued with the same fits and starts seen previously with 17 wells drilled to date.
On August 1, 2015, Idaho, for all practical purposes, became a producing state.  On January 3, 2013 a well was tested and

produced some condensate, but the production was temporary while we waited on pipe.  Idaho is the most recent addition

to the list of producing states in the U.S.  The “closest” state is Nevada where production was first established in 1954.  

Sixty years is a long time between discoveries.  During the sixty intervening years much has changed about the oil and

gas industry, even more changes have occurred in the political, regulatory and social realms. 
Politically, Idaho is considered a “Red” state.  Idaho is definitely more conservative, generally more business friendly, and

more traditional than many states including Oregon and Washington, its neighbors to the west.  As a general rule, the

Republican executive branch is pro-development and wants to be viewed as “moving at the speed of business”, however

the executive branch doesn’t exhibit strong top-down management in the majority of circumstances.  In contrast, the

Republican legislature is much more willing to be proactive to drive good policy and establish pro-development agendas.  

Because of the overwhelming Republican majority, pro-business initiatives typically find strong support.  At the local level,

good neighbor policies tend to outweigh R vs D, although Republicans dominate local politics as well.  By all outside

appearances, Idaho sets up well for oil and gas development.
As a late to the game state, Idaho’s regulatory program was essentially dormant when the industry came calling in 2010.  

Significant efforts have been undertaken, both by the state and the industry, to update the regulatory program.  Those

efforts are continuing.  Interestingly, the regulatory program and the lack of history administering the program are the

biggest single contributors to the fits and starts seen in development.  The Idaho Department of Lands ("IDL”) administers

the oil and gas permitting and regulatory scheme.  The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality oversees traditional

environmental permitting for air, water and waste discharges.  The Idaho Department of Water Resources (“IDWR”)

provides technical expertise in well casing and cementing in a collaborative roll with IDL.  IDWR will also administer

the Class II well program if Region 10 EPA ever finishes its review and approval.
The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the challenges presented in establishing production, constructing

infrastructure, and delivering product to market today in a state without any experience or understanding of the oil

and gas industry.

John Peiserich is Vice-President and General Counsel of Alta Mesa.  John has over 20 years experience in the oil and gas

industry ranging from the wellhead to the gas pump.  He is primarily responsible for Alta Mesa’s Idaho activities and

provides legal support across Alta Mesa’s project portfolio.  Prior to joining Alta Mesa full-time, John practiced law with

PPGMR Law based in Little Rock, Arkansas.  His legal practice focuses on environmental and oil and gas law managing a

legal team to provide transactional services, litigation and administrative law support.  John has been recognized in The

Best Lawyers in America since 2010 and Super Lawyers since 2008.  From time to time, he serves as an Adjunct Professor

for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Concordia University teaching Oil & Gas Law and as a guest lecturer at

the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville on environmental issues associated with the oil & gas industry.  John has been

married to Carolyn for almost 21 years and they have three daughters.

February  18, 2016 NWEA Luncheon

Earthquakes, Floods, and Volcanoes, Oh My!  How Risky Are Our Dams?
Douglas Boyer, PE, CEG
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

​​Dams are resilient structures.  They provide numerous critical benefits to society, including water, electricity, reduced

flooding, recreation, and many others.  However, these benefits don’t come without some costs and tradeoffs,

including environmental considerations, construction and maintenance costs, and others.  Dams also present risks to

those who live downstream of them and who rely on their benefits. Risks occur when an event happens that results in

adverse consequences.  Each day we are all confronted with risks.  And most of the time we’re not even aware of the

risks around us.  Often we are only reminded of risks when some event or catastrophe happens to us directly or we see

it in the news.  

People are fickle.  We’ve demonstrated that we don’t have a very good memory.  Every new generation seems to relearn

the same lessons from similar events that former generations had learned, and as history has shown, we are not very

good about learning from the past.  We continue to build houses and critical infrastructure in flood plains below dams

and we build or raise dams in areas of high hazards. 
So, how likely do you think a dam is to fail?  How safe do you want to be, realizing that to be ‘safer’ will cost more

money?  Should a dam be more or less ‘safe’ than:  An interstate bridge?  A nuclear power plant?  An airplane?  Does

your response change depending on if you do or do not live downstream of a dam?
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates approximately 2900 hydropower dams across the United

States.  FERC has recently embarked on a new risk-informed decision making (RIDM) initiative to understand and

manage the risks posed by dams, including how likely dams are to fail from various hazards, including earthquakes,

floods, and other events, and what those consequences of failure might result in, including the potential for loss of

human life, economic losses, environmental losses, and other none monetary losses.
This dam presentation will highlight some of the background into this risky endeavor with specific examples and

applications from projects and conditions in the Pacific Northwest.

Doug Boyer currently serves as the Chief, Risk-Informed Decision Making Branch for the Federal Energy Regulatory

Commission’s Division of Dam Safety and Inspections in Portland.  Doug has 30 years of experience as a civil engineer and

engineering geologist in consulting, state government, and federal government, including the Bureau of Reclamation and

Army Corps of Engineers.  His expertise includes all aspects of dam engineering and dam safety.  Since 2000 much of his

work efforts have focused on the development, implementation, and review of risk analyses for dam safety projects.   He has

conducted numerous training workshops and seminars in risk analyses, dam design and dam safety and has authored over 25

technical publications.  He is the senior editor of “Dams of the United States — A Pictorial Display of Landmark Dams” and

“Achievements and Advancements in U.S. Dam Engineering”, two publications prepared for the 2013 International

Commission on Large Dam’s meeting in Seattle.
Doug received his B.S. in Geological Sciences from Penn State (the other PSU) and M.S. in Civil Engineering from South Dakota

Schools of Mines & Technology.   He is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Engineering Geologist.  He is also a

former vice president of the United States Society on Dams.

January 21, 2016 NWEA Luncheon
Cascades Volcanic Eruptions and Energy Inftrastructure in the Pacific Northwest 
John Ewert, Cascade Volcano Observatory

​The Pacific Northwest has a dynamic landscape. The large picturesque volcanoes at the crest of the Cascade Range are an

obvious reminder to residents and visitors alike of the powerful forces that give the PNW much of its character. Over the past approximately 4000 years, Cascades volcanoes have erupted about twice per century and hazards from these volcanoes have

the potential to disrupt lives and economies in the region and far beyond the PNW.
Owing to their explosive nature, close proximity of large populations, substantial infrastructure, and heavy air traffic, the

Cascades are among the most threatening of the Nation’s approximately 170 volcanoes. Large areas of permanent snow and


provide a ready source of water that can be melted and mobilized to form lahars (volcanic debris flows) during eruptions. Past

lahars have traveled many tens of kilometers down valleys into what are now highly developed areas. Ash fall from explosive

eruptions can have disruptive and expensive impacts to communities and infrastructure hundreds of kilometers down wind.  

Numerous challenges to volcanic risk mitigation exist. These include availability of high-quality monitoring data, ensuring

good communications with stakeholders, and developing warning systems that serve communities at risk. In the long term,

reducing vulnerability and building resilience requires more than monitoring and warning systems, it requires communities

subject to

volcano hazards to recognize and maintain understanding of their exposure to the hazards over long periods between

John Ewert is a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, stationed at the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, WA

and specializing in volcano hazards mitigation in the United States and around the Pacific Rim. From 1980 to 1986 he worked


Mount St. Helens monitoring and researching eruptive activity there as well as working on projects at other Cascade Range

volcanoes.  He was one of the founding members in 1986 of the ongoing USAID-USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program

(VDAP) and worked in VDAP from 1986-2010 responding to volcanic eruption crises and developing volcano monitoring

infrastructure in Latin America, the southwest Pacific and Southeast Asia.  In addition to responsibilities with VDAP, in 2005

Mr. Ewert was part of the team that developed the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) initiative which is being

used to guide long-term improvements to the Nation’s volcano-monitoring infrastructure operated by the USGS and affiliated

partners. From 2010 to 2015 Mr. Ewert served as the Scientist-in-Charge of the Cascades Volcano Observatory and has just

recently returned to VDAP and NVEWS projects.

November 19, 2015 NWEA Luncheon

The history of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) production is long and colorful

Paul Odaker

The Hopi Indians mined coal near Awatovi, Arizona around 1000 to 1200 AD. In 1859 the Macomb expedition with geologist

Mr. John Strong Newberry reported on the bituminous nature of rocks in the area. Conventional oil exploration in the basin

started in the 1880’s with the arrival of railroads to the region with oil production found near Pagosa Springs (1901), Colorado

and Grants (1911), New Mexico. In 1889 Professor Arthur Lakes of the Colorado School of Mines identified the Carbon Junction

gas seep in the Animas River near Durango, Colorado.   In 1924 the Tendick Coal Mine blew out as an out of control gas well

for a week near Bayfield, Colorado. In 1932 and 1933 an outcrop coal fire intersected a gas seep causing explosions and

landslides for nine months initially and mass wasting continues to the present time on Moving Mountain near Durango,

A drilling boom for coal bed methane was started in 1976 with the Amoco Cahn #1 which at that time qualified for an

unconventional production tax credit. Interest in coal bed methane sparked drilling of coal seams worldwide. Over 20,000

CBM wells have been drilled and completed with very few failures. 
In addition to creating a production history of a “reverse decline curve” for gas, CBM production is accompanied by relatively

large production of formation water. Water disposal and possible impacts on domestic wells resulted in well monitoring

regulations.  Beginning in 2014 Bp has begun drilling and completing horizontal CBM wells near Tiffany. Results are still being

Paul Oldaker has provided thirty-seven years of service to the water supply, environmental, and energy related industries for

coal hydrogeology. This has included 139 projects for the oil and gas industry with 126 coal bed methane projects and 66

coal mine projects. I have performed projects for clients in most western states, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France,

Germany, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, and Peru. He has presented 19 times on coal bed methane hydrogeology and oil and gas


October 1-3, 2015

NWEA Fall Symposium: Energy Infrastructure Preparedness for a Cascadia Mega-Earthquake

Northwest Energy Association and Pacific Northwest Section SPE

October 2-3, 2015 Hood River Inn, Hood River, Oregon.
Purpose:  Learn about the history of mega-earthquakes and their geologic cause and the preparations underway or

needed related specifically to energy infrastructure, transport corridors, storage facilities, and distribution systems

for fuels and power.

Friday 8:55 AM Greetings from Northwest Energy Association

9:00 AM  Ray Wells, USGS: Tectonic framework of the Cascadia subduction margin and its earthquake hazards

9:40 AM  Chris Goldfinger, Oregon State University, and co-authors: Northern Cascadia   integrated paleoseismic

records from onshore and offshore

10:50 AM Ray Weldon, University of Oregon: Latitudinal variations in shaking intensity, tsunami height, and potential

warning time for the NEXT Cascadia megathrust earthquake

11:30 AM Bill Steele, University of Washington, NW Seismic Network: How will ground   shaking of deep sedimentary

basins effect Puget Lowland energy   infrastructure 

12:45 PM Yumei Wang, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries: Energy infrastructure and building

susceptibility to a Magnitude 9 Cascadia   Earthquake-- How prepared is the Pacific Northwest?

2:00 PM Alan Hull, Golder Associates, Application of Probabilistic Fault Displacement Analysis to Pipeline Mitigation

Analysis and Design

2:40 PM Tammy Moore, Williams Pipeline:  Seismicity and Pipelines in the Northwest:   Concerns and Pipeline Measures

3:20 PM Leon Kempner, Jr., Bonneville Power Administration: Electrical Transmission   Power Grid Seismic Vulnerability

and Mitigation Options 

4:20 PM Laurie Holien, Oregon Office of Emergency Management: Mega-Earthquake   Response Strategies – FEMA’s

planning scenarios 

5:30 PM Reception - {Scott Burn’s wine fest}          

6:00 PM Dinner

7:15 PM Scott Burns, Portland State University: Columbia River Gorge Natural Hazard   History and Energy

Infrastructure Vulnerability

Saturday 9-5 Field Trip:  Geologic Hazards Past and Present within the Columbia River Gorge Transportation Corridor, 

lead by Scott Burns

September 17, 2015
Response and Recovery Lessons from the Christchurch Earthquake
Carmen Merlo, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

New Zealand experienced a series of devastating earthquakes between September 2010 and December 2011. While traveling

on vacation, Carmen Merlo visited the city of Christchurch, NZ in October 2014 to learn more about their recovery efforts.

Carmen's presentation will focus on lessons for the Pacific Northwest from the Christchurch earthquake. Her presentation will

cover: unreinforced masonry and other building performance, performance of underground lifeline systems, impacts from

liquefiable soils, national and local process of master planning Christchurch's recovery from the earthquake and highlight

examples of economic recovery and social resilience.  

Carmen Merlo has served as the director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management since 2007. In her current position

she is responsible for coordinating emergency management plans, programs and systems in response to major emergencies

or disruptions to essential city services. Ms. Merlo previously worked for 10 years at the State Office of Homeland Security /

Oregon Emergency Management administering grant funds to improve local, regional and state capabilities to respond to and

recover from emergencies. She earned a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and

Policy, School of Criminal Justice in New York.  

May 21, 2015

Update of the Jordan Cove Project at Coos Bay –an overview of 
the LNG export project and gas supply strategies
Michael Hinrichs, Director of Public Affairs, Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P

Michael serves as the Director of Public Affairs for Jordan Cove LNG and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline.  He covers community

outreach, coalition building, media, and local government relations throughout southern California.

Michael Hinrichs specializes in developing and executing comprehensive community outreach programs for major

infrastructure projects. With more than a decade of experience in digital and traditional media relations, coalition building,

corporate social responsibility, and local lobbying, Michael brings a unique set of skills and fresh viewpoints for neutralizing

opposition and

mobilizing supporters. He has represented Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies on major energy development projects,

energy efficiency programs, remediation and superfund site mitigation, public policy advocacy, and corporate communications.

April 16, 2015

Compressed Air Energy Storage and Other Energy Efficiency Technologies
Dr. B. Peter McGrail

​Dr. McGrail has been a staff member at PNNL for over 32 years and has attained the position of Laboratory Fellow, the highest

level of scientific achievement at the laboratory.  He spent the first half of his career addressing nuclear waste science

questions, work that often took him to Europe and Japan and even prompted a three year marginally successful study of the

Japanese language.  Beginning in the late 1990’s, Dr. McGrail transitioned his research work into then emerging fields

associated with gas hydrate production on the Alaska North slope, advanced materials for renewable energy and efficiency, and

the capture and storage of CO2 for global climate change mitigation.  Those efforts have blossomed into multiple cutting-edge

research projects covering subjects from basic chemistry of supercritical CO2–brine mixtures to novel applications of metal-

organic nanomaterials in chemical separations, heat pumps, and nanofluids. He is the PI for the Wallula Basalt Pilot project, the

world’s first and only supercritical CO2 storage pilot in a flood basalt formation and just received the 2014 Laboratory Director’s

Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement for work conducted on CO2 storage in basalts. He has received four research

grant awards from the DOE agency ARPA-E, more than any other researcher in the U.S. He also recently completed the first

technical and economic feasibility study of compressed air energy storage in the Pacific Northwest to help mitigate over

generation events that are impacting electric grid stability.  Dr. McGrail has over 240 scientific publications and presentations at international conferences on his research as well as four patents and patent pending applications.

March 19, 2015 NWEA: 
Oregon's Preparation for a Cascadia Seismic Event
Yumei Wang, DOGAMI

February 19, 2015 NWEA

Gas Storage at Jackson Prairie, WA, the Significance for Today's Natural Gas Market
Clay Riding, Natural Gas Resource

January 15, 2015 NWEA 

A 30 Mega Watt Floating Wind Farm, offshore Coos Bay, The First Offshore Wind Project on the West Coast
​Kevin Bannister, Principal Power

Based inBased in Portland, Oregon, Kevin has 15 years experience in energy and development. He has held senior positions

with NW utilities and international renewable energy developers, and was an appointment in Oregon to develop the state’s

renewable portfolio standard. He also co-founded and was the first chair of The Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET). His

experience includes energy project development, contract negotiation, resource planning and policy at the state and national

levels. Kevin has an MSc in Economic Development from the London School of Economics, where his dissertation focused

on access to electricity and economic development in the developing world.

November 20, 2014 NWEA: Pipelines, Trains, and Automobiles: Gas

Facility Permitting in an Era of Carbon Constraints and Hysteria

Timothy L. McMahan, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP

Tim McMahan is a partner practicing in the areas of energy, land use, real estate development, and environmental and 
municipal law. He has offices in Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington. Tim has extensive experience in representing
energy facility developers, property owners, and municipal clients in Washington and Oregon. Tim focuses his practice on
leading interdisciplinary teams advocating for and defending energy facilities facing opposition.Prior to joining Stoel Rives in
1999, Tim served as the Port Townsend City Attorney for over five years, during which he guided Port Townsend through
downtown historic district preservation strategies, Growth Management Act implementation, successfully defended the city's Comprehensive Plan and Shoreline Master Program in agency and judicial litigation, and developed innovative strategies to
protect Port Townsend's municipal water supply from spiraling demands

October 16, 2014 NWEA: What The Frac is Going On?

Laird Thompson

 Stories about fracing are common in the news and popular media.  Fracing is not new – the original patent issued just after the Civil War.  Do we need to do this?  Are we doing it in the best way possible?  He will discuss the economics of fracing in shale gas reservoirs; the geological variabilities of shale gas reservoir geology; the geomechanics of the rock volumes that drive the frac results; and the expectations and realities of what’s going 
on 12,000’ down.  Does fracing create earthquakes?  How dangerous is the technology, and are we managing these issues
Dr. Thompson is a Stanford graduate with a PhD from the University of Texas system.  He worked for Mobil Oil for about 
30 years, beginning in 1975 as a biostratigrapher working offshore Gulf of Mexico.
His publications include a SPE Primer on fractured reservoirs. His currently works with Global Geophysical Services, where he 
is part of a group applying cutting edge microseismic technology for mapping permeability systems in the crust.

September 18, 2014

Alaska’s North Slope Dave Hite, Consulting Geologist The present and future potential of Alaska’s North Slope and its significance in the framework of the Cherry Point Refinery in 
providing fuel supplies to Oregon and Washington.
Dave started his career at OSU, then went on to the University of Wisconsin to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in geology and is a
Certified Professional Geologist.  He started his career as a research geologist working for ARCO in Texas (1967 – 1974) and
then in Alaska (1974 ‑ 1992), as a Senior Exploration Geologist, District Geologist, and finally as the Manager of the ANWR
Re-evaluation Group.  Dave worked as an Independent Consulting Geologist in Anchorage (1992 ‑ 2013) and is currently an
Independent Consulting Geologist in Bend, Oregon. ​His work focus has been Alaska, with special emphasis on the North Slope
and Cook Inlet.  He is the author/coauthor of publications for the USDOE, the National Academy of Sciences, and was co-editor o
​f AAPG Memoir 104 on the Cook Inlet.