William A. Ambrose, P.G. is currently Chair of the EMD Coal Committee, Co-Vice Chair of the AAPG Astrogeology Committee, and is an EMD Past President (2007-2008). He is a Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology of the University of Texas at Austin, Texas.
His interests include clastic sedimentology, stratigraphy, unconventional energy resources, and planetary geology. Ambrose’s earliest projects (1984 through 1986) were with the Research Planning Institute, involving subsurface mapping of Tertiary formations in the Texas Gulf Coast, where he constructed regional depositional models for exploration.
Ambrose joined the Bureau of Economic Geology in 1987 and was involved in a variety of Texas oil and gas reservoir characterization projects, as well as evaluating brine-disposal zones from co-production of methane and brine from geothermal and geopressured reservoirs in Frio Formation in the Texas Gulf Coast.
In 1988, his research interests took a new direction when he began evaluating the coalbed methane potential of major Rocky Mountain basins, with emphasis on the San Juan Basin. After 1991, he was involved in several international oil and gas studies, beginning with the LL-652 Area in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Since then Ambrose has been involved in six other oil and gas projects in Venezuela, as well as a study of Permian gas reservoirs in the Cooper Basin, Australia
From 2000 to 2005, Ambrose was involved in several regional analyses on the geological framework and potential development of Tertiary basins in the Gulf Coast of Mexico, and more recently in the BEG STARR (State of Texas Oil and Gas Resource Recovery) reservoir characterization project in East Texas field.
More recently, he has been conducting subsurface analyses of depositional systems, sedimentary modeling, and production trend analysis of major Texas oil and gas plays. Ambrose also has been evaluating the geologic factors controlling the occurrence and producibility of coalbed methane in the Western United States, as well as evaluations of the geologic controls on saline aquifers for CO2 sequestration in the Gulf Coast.
Over the years, Ambrose has received numerous honors and awards, among them are:
- First Place, Thomas A. Philpott Excellence of Presentation Award, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS), 59th Annual Convention, Shreveport, Louisiana, 2009.
- EMD Distinguished Service Award, EMD American Association of Petroleum Geologists, awarded June 10, 2009.
- Past President's Award, Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 2008.
- President's Certificate for Excellence in Presentation (Second-Best Oral Presentation), Energy Minerals Division, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, for "Near to Mid-Term Energy Mineral Sources: Bridging the Future to Alternative Energy", 2007.
- First Place Best Paper and A. I. Levorsen Memorial Awards, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, "Miocene valley-fill, slope, and submarine-canyon systems in the Laguna Madre-Tuxpan area, Mexico", 2004.
- Best Presentation, Houston Geological Society International Series, "Upper Miocene and Pliocene Gas and Oil Plays in the Macuspana Basin, Southeastern Mexico", 2004.
- First Author of second-best paper for in Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions. Title of Paper: “Secondary natural gas recovery in mature fluvial sandstone reservoirs, Frio Formation, Agua Dulce field, South Texas, 1993.
- Co-author of best paper in Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Title of Paper: “Face-cleat patterns in Rocky Mountain foreland basins; permeability indicators for coalbed methane, 1992.
- Co-author of best paper in Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, “Geologic and hydrologic characterization of coalbed methane reservoirs, Fruitland Formation, San Juan Basin, Colorado and New Mexico”, 1991.
His most recent and relevant publications include:
- Ambrose, W. A., Breton, C., Holtz, M. H., Nuñez López, V., Hovorka, S. D., and Duncan, I., 2009, CO2 source-sink matching in the lower 48 United States, with examples from the Texas Gulf Coast and Permian Basin: Environmental Geology, v. 57, p. 1537-1551.
- Ambrose, W. A., Potter, E. C., and Briceno, R., 2008, An “unconventional” future for natural gas in the United States: Geotimes, v. 53, no. 2, p. 37-41.
- Ambrose, W. A., and Ayers, W. B., Jr., 2007, Geologic controls on transgressive-regressive cycles in the upper Pictured Cliffs Sandstone and coal geometry in the lower Fruitland Formation in the lower Fruitland Formation, Northern San Juan Basin, New Mexico and Colorado: AAPG Bulletin, v. 91, no. 8, p. 1099-1122.
- Ambrose, W. A., 2006, ‘FutureGen’ holds promise for coal: AAPG Explorer, v. 27, no. 8, p. 48, 50.
Ambrose has co-chaired numerous EMD-sponsored technical sessions at meetings of professional societies and has given presentations on topics related to coal and unconventional energy sources at AAPG and PTTC workshops. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in geology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1979 and 1983, respectively. In addition to the AAPG, he is a member of the Houston Geological Society and SEPM.