PHYSICS PROFESSOR AT UH CALLED TO TESTIFY
ON ULTRADEEP WATER EXPLORATION
Arthur B. Weglein Offers Expert Testimony Before Congress
HOUSTON, May 04, 2004 – Arthur B. Weglein, UH professor
in the physics and geosciences departments, testified to legislators
last week about the challenges in exploration and production of
energy sources in ultradeep water.
As director of the University of Houston’s Mission-Oriented
Seismic Research Program (M-OSRP), a research program and petroleum
industry consortium started in January 2001, Weglein was chosen
to testify as an expert witness before the Commerce and Energy Committee
of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“This is the second time Weglein has been called as a witness
in Washington and is good recognition for UH and our college,”
said Laura Vailas, assistant dean for the College of Natural Sciences
and Mathematics. “He was called to testify to the U.S. Congress
Science Committee in 2003.”
A Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Physics
at UH, Weglein addressed the new proposed ultradeep energy bill
(H.R. 6: Energy Policy Act of 2003), a comprehensive bill that contains
provisions addressing ultradeep water research and development.
The hearing was titled “Ultradeep Water Research and Development:
What Are the Benefits?”
This bill contains incentives for domestic oil and gas production,
including R&D provisions for ultradeep drilling that provide
the U.S. with viable solutions to move America toward energy independence.
It is predicted that H.R. 6 will create nearly one million jobs,
promote conservation and reduce America’s dependence on foreign
oil, as well as increase oil and natural gas exploration and development,
encourage more alternative and renewable power usage and promote
energy efficiency and conservation.
“I was asked to address the topic generally, reflecting on
specific R&D issues in going to deeper water and cooperation
between industry and academia in addressing those challenges,”
Topics covered included assessing the chances of increased energy
for the U.S. from going to deeper water and determining the challenges
and value of going to deeper water for increasing reserves. A novel
and distinct aspect of this proposed legislation is the recognition
that the expertise needed to define and address the technical challenges
in ultradeep water resides within the petroleum industry, and, therefore,
requires partnership, leadership and management of the R&D program
with Department of Energy administration and petroleum industry
guidance and management.
“The M-OSRP success and experience of working in cooperation
between UH students and faculty and petroleum industry experts to
define, address and solve problems that would have the biggest positive
impact on our ability to locate and produce hydrocarbons, aligns
with the petroleum industry’s central interest for improved,
reliable prediction and reduced risk,” Weglein said. “It
also services the interests of education for our students and seismic
advancement and research.
“That experience is considered relevant to an effective cooperative
R&D program between the government and the petroleum industry,”
he said. “The higher costs of drilling in deep and ultradeep
water and concomitant reduced tolerance for dry holes provides a
tremendous economic impetus to provide solutions to the outstanding
technical challenges, allowing currently inaccessible resources
to become accessible in the ultradeep offshore U.S. and around the
SOURCE: Weglein 713-743-3848; firstname.lastname@example.org
Web page: http://www.phys.uh.edu/fac_pages/weglein/index.htm
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about M-OSRP, visit http://mosrp.uh.edu/
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