Meet Marcia Simpson: In Conversation with CGC’s Newest Advisory Board Member

Interview with Marcia Simpson, CGC Advisory Board Member

In February, Carbon GeoCapture (CGC) welcomed Marcia Simpson as the newest member of its Advisory Board. Marcia has spent 44 years becoming an expert in subsurface rocks and how they behave, starting as a field engineer in Texas and rising to managing Mobil’s research-oriented reservoir characterization. Marcia’s growing involvement in carbon capture and storage (CCS) is based around a recognition that CCS completes the carbon cycle involved in most traditional energy production.

Marcia has been a pioneer throughout her career. After being one of the first five women to graduate with a BS in Petroleum Engineering from Penn State University, Marcia mastered reservoir engineering, operations, asset acquisitions and sales, planning, budgeting, and performance management processes, eventually serving in senior executive roles at Mobil, Chevron/Gulf Oil, EXCO, and J-W Operating Company. Most recently, Marcia served as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Operations of Chief Oil and Gas, LLC, one of the largest privately-owned gas producers in the United States and recently sold to Chesapeake Energy Corporation for $2.6 billion.

Before Marcia begins her role on CGC’s Advisory Board, we sat down with her to discuss what led her to join the Board, as well as learn more about her extensive background in the industry, the benefits of hiring people who have worked in the fossil fuel industry, and what she sees as CGC’s unique approach in the market.

The below answers have been edited for clarity and length.

Q: Why were you interested in joining CGC’s Advisory Board, and what led you to join when you did?

A: I have spent over 40 years in the energy industry, and more than half of those years were spent defending the energy industry. Hydrocarbons are part of the solution in the transition to green energy so I am interested in being part of solution to lower emissions while leveraging hydrocarbon sources. I became much more informed on sustainability initiatives when Chief Oil and Gas, LLC conducted an assessment of ESG initiatives and metrics being tracked for government reporting. Last year, I met John Pope through mutual connections, and discussed his technical solution for carbon sequestration and my background working with CO2 injection in the early 1980s. All of this came full circle when I joined Carbon GeoCapture’s Advisory Board to help reduce emissions in the energy industry.

Q: With your background, what lessons and insights can you bring to CGC to help it better manage its carbon emissions efforts with customers?  

A: With my engineering and geology background in energy, I can help translate the benefits of this technology and the efficacy of returning emissions to the earth to any industry. Although this is complicated, I understand the process very well, and can simplify concepts and make it easier to understand for all different audiences.

Q: CGC has a commitment to employ workers in the oil, gas, and coal industries. In your experience, what are the advantages for doing so?

A: The oil and gas industry has been injecting CO2 into conventional reservoirs for over 60 years – handling carbon dioxide is not a new process for these industry workers. When it comes to the oil and gas industry, carbon capture and storage is just a reversal of the process. For workers in these industries, it doesn’t matter if you’re pushing or pulling; they understand the pumping process, they understand subsurface and surface challenges, and how to deal with pressure, corrosion, and well testing, including permeability and integrity testing. That’s the business, and these workers know what they’re doing. These workers know how to stay safe, and they know the importance of environmental health and safety and adhering to regulatory oversight and reporting.

Q: In your opinion, what are the unique aspects of CGC to industry sectors that are hard to decarbonize?

A: Conventional CO2 sequestration has suffered with swelling in the wells and injection rate reductions. CGC’s unconventional approach to sequestering CO2 – mimicking Mother Nature’s process and injecting carbon dioxide into shallower depths in coal beds – has broad applicability; coalbed methane reservoirs occur worldwide and are more common than conventional reservoirs, which have thus far been the primary reservoirs used for CO2 injection. The availability of coal beds presents a huge opportunity around the world for numerous industries. Any industry that’s burning any type of fossil fuel needs this method. The road to reducing carbon emissions is long and will take a lot of time and resources, and I believe CGC’s method is poised to make significant change in hard-to-abate industry sectors.