Shreveport geologist gives research talks at national meeting

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Mary Barrett, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Centenary College of Louisiana, recently presented two research talks at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) annual meeting in Salt Lake City. 

The first talk, “U.S. Natural Gas Wastage, Late 1870s to Early 1950s: a Compilation of Numerical Estimates,” discussed the historic gas venting and flaring losses compared to natural gas production. The second presentation, “Documenting Past Oilfield Arsenic Corrosion Inhibitor Usage: a Pit Groundwater Example from Lake St. John Field, LA,” described the widespread 1950s arsenic inhibitor usage in the field and the geographically-limited modern study of arsenic remnants in shallow groundwater and soil.

“The modern petroleum industry benefits in knowing its waste history, both as a testament to its ability to continually decrease its environmental footprints and as a planning tool to better evaluate modern remediation needs concerning past impacts,” explains Barrett.

Barrett recently began her term as the 2018-2019 president of the Division of Environmental Sciences for AAPG. She and the Division are playing an active part in this year’s AAPG theme concerning the petroleum industry and sustainable energy development.

Barrett was a Centenary geology professor from 1992 to 2009 following employment with Mobil Oil in improved oil recovery of aging fields. Her research centers on sedimentary, petroleum, and environmental geology and on the history and impact of oilfield wastes. She has served as an expert for both defendants and plaintiffs in Louisiana oilfield pollution litigation. Barrett holds geology degrees from Stephen F. Austin St. University and the Johns Hopkins University.