Mines News

Release Date Monday, October 22, 2018

New Horizons Energy Conference Explores Oil, Gas and Geothermal Potential

The Energy Resources Initiative at the  South Dakota School of Mines & Technology hosts the New Horizons Energy Conference, Oct. 25-26, 2018.  The conference includes oral and poster presentations on Thursday, Oct. 25, and field trip options to the Black Hills and the Sanford Underground Research Facility, along with a short course on Friday Oct. 26.

The conference focuses on geological energy-related research, including oil, gas and geothermal resources, and topics related to energy and the environment.  Those presenting research include SD Mines students, professors, regional energy producers and nationally recognized experts in their fields from the United States and Canada.  Research topics range from methods to enhance oil and gas production, to protecting the environment, to boosting geothermal energy production.

“SD Mines is in a unique location within a few hours drive of three large oil and gas production areas: the Bakken in North Dakota, the Powder River in Wyoming just on the other side of the Black Hills, and the Niobrara play in northeastern Colorado,” said Dan Soeder, Director of the Energy Resources Initiative at SD Mines.  “We have access to outcrops of important source rocks like the Pierre Shale and Niobrara within a few miles of campus.  In addition, we have been able to partner with DOE and the national labs to use the unique facilities at the Sanford Lab to perform geothermal energy research that is deep underground, yet still easily accessible.”

The conference will include opening statements from City Council Member Lisa Modrick of Ward 1 on October 25 and a wide range of research topics (the preliminary agenda is here). The day will conclude with a Public Energy Policy Panel discussion from 5-6 p.m. in the SD Mines Surbeck Center. This panel is moderated by recent SD Mines graduate and current State Representative Scyller Borglum, Ph.D. The evening also includes poster presentations and a reception from 6-7 p.m. in the Paleontology Research Laboratory on the campus of SD Mines (campus map here).  Information and a link to the conference registration website can be found on the Energy Resources Initiative webpage here.  Registration is available by credit card on-line until the day of the conference, or at the door with cash or a personal check.  The Energy Policy panel at 5 PM is open to the public free of charge.

On October 26 the conference includes two options for geologic field trips: 1) the geology of the northern Black Hills and 2) an underground visit to the 4850 ft level of the Sanford Underground Research Facility. (This trip is currently full and only accepting standby participants.)  A continuing education course by the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council is also offered on October 26 for professionals in the oil and gas industry.

The New Horizons Energy Conference falls on the heels of the Black Hills Digital Mapping Association Conference Oct. 23-24, 2018.   More on this conference here.

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About SD Mines  

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,654 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate for graduates is 97 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $61,300. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat

Contact: Charles Michael Ray, 605-394-6082, Charles.Ray@sdsmt.edu