An Interview with Julie Lemaster, C3 Companies - A Carbon Consortium

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
What is your name, affiliation, and current role?

Julia Lemaster, regulatory and geologic consultant. Currently Director of Operations for Geology at C3 Companies - A Carbon Consortium.

What is your background?

My undergraduate education was in Environmental Studies focusing on technical skills and socio-environmental issues. I started working in the energy sector at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and was involved in the regulatory transition from traditional and coal bed methane wells to horizontal drilling. During this time I started taking additional undergraduate and graduate coursework to eventually become a licensed geologist. I next worked at a geologic consulting firm for a decade providing policy, regulatory and technical guidance and deliverables for clients with energy production needs. My specialty is regulatory permitting with a focus on disposal and injection wells, which put me on the path to working in carbon sequestration.

How did you become interested in innovation and new directions in the industry?

Carbon sequestration provides a unique space to integrate my educational background with my professional skills. I'm interested in anything that focuses on maximizing our natural resources while still being sensitive to both economics and the environment.

Please describe a new technology or process that you are involved with.

Carbon sequestration is a new repurposing of preexisting skills, processes, and technologies, many of which have been around for decades. Same base ingredients, only mixed and baked in a new way. C3 Companies is a consortium of small businesses and experts that have been working on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects together since 2018 and have recently formalized our affiliations to provide a la carte to turnkey solutions for CCS from inception through funding, permitting, drilling, and injection. Our backgrounds are in finance, energy industries, legal, land, engineering, geology, and academia.

Who will benefit from it?

The goal is to help minimize society's impact on climate and the environment. As geologists, we are aware of the effects of natural geologic processes. There are things we can do to minimize our impact though, including CCS. Is one CCS project going to make a difference? Probably not. But could several? It's like picking up a piece of litter. One piece won't make a substantial difference, but collective efforts could. Why not try to do something.

Where will the technology or process be in a year?  three years?  five years?

We are in the first wave of CCS projects being executed on the commercial side. Tax credits have allowed carbon capture to build upon and start evolving from the academic/research phase. I see several commercial projects reaching first injection within the next three years. And within five years, there should be better and more economic technologies for capturing CO2 and more understanding of what efficiences can be implemented across permitting, drilling, and monitoring.

What makes you optimistic about the future?

Society is starting to realize more that 'things' come with a cost beyond money. And the geologists and engineers I work with are intelligent, innovative, caring people.

Please recommend a book or two that you found insightful.

My main extracurricular book reads these days are children's books. But I do try to stay tapped into current events in the world by reading news articles, skimming through LinkedIn, or reading magazines such as the one from Rotary.

What Can I Do?

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