Richard J. Erdlac, Jr., Ph.D., P.G. is currently serving as Acting Chair and Vice-Chair, Industry for EMD’s Geothermal Energy Committee. He is the Director of Energy Exploration for Calnetix, Inc., Midland, Texas, and has been an active geologist with 30 years of professional experience in the energy industry and academia. Erdlac has been employed in the oil and gas industry as a geologist involving the Gulf of Mexico, the Permian Basin, minus the Eastern Shelf, and the Tatum and Tucumcari Basins of New Mexico. He conducted economic risk analysis of prospects when employed by the Midland District Gulf E&P office.
He has also become known for advocating and working to expand the future of geothermal energy production by promoting its development within sedimentary basins, using bypassed hot water from deep oil/gas wells as an energy resource either for on-sight use by the oil and gas industry or for electrical power production and dissemination into the electrical grid as a renewable energy resource. He has proposed and presented a new geothermal power classification system that is linked to the geological environment and has the potential to be better related to economics of geothermal recovery than current methods.
Erdlac has conducted exploration and regional energy investigations for a large number of majors and independents, as either an employee or as a consultant. He has generated prospects and conducted regional tectonic analyses, generating both subsurface and surface geologic maps using available geologic and geophysical data. He has mentored and taught students when serving as Chair of the non-profit West Texas Earth Resources Institute and when employed through The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
He has written a number of grants for companies and received financial, data, and software support from federal and state agencies, private industry, and from foundations that total over $13,000,000. He has managed federal and state grants for projects and supervised technical personnel on energy projects.
Erdlac is an accomplished author and technical presenter to various sized groups and audiences including state and federal agency bodies, with over 100 publications and presentations.
From 2007 to 2008 he served as Director, Energy Research & Commercialization, Energy America & Energy America Geothermal, Midland, Texas. From 2002-2007, he served as Lecturer & Research Scientist for the Center for Energy & Economic Diversification, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas. From 1996-2002, he served as Chairman & Director of Integrated Research, West Texas Earth Resources Institute, Midland, TX and from 1995-1996, he served as Coordinator & Research Associate Professor, Petroleum Engineering Department & Center for Applied Petrophysical Studies, Texas Tech University, Midland & Lubbock, TX.
Erdlac served from 1993 to 1994 as a Research Associate at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas, during 1992 he was an Instructor for the Petroleum Technology Department, Odessa College, in Odessa. From1985 to 1992 he conducted research at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, and at The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, TX.
From 1980 to 1985 he was employed as a Geophysicist for Gulf Oil Exploration & Production Co., Midland, and at the Houston Technical Service Center in Houston and earlier New Orleans.
He has received multiple service and technical presentation awards, including:
- Geothermal Resources Council Best Paper Award, “A Proposed New Geothermal Power Classification System”, Reno, NV (2008).
- Geothermal Resources Council Best Paper Award, “Constraints That Affect Geothermal Electrical Power Development”, Reno, NV (2005).
- Co-winner A.L. “Al” Cox Award for Best Poster Presentation, SWS-AAPG, Ruidoso, New Mexico (1994).
He has provided testimony to the Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee and to the Texas Railroad Commission on industry-related research and trained personnel, on behalf of the Texas oil and gas industry (2000).
Erdlac has provided background information and questions for Congressman Lamar Smith to ask at a Congressional hearing on “The Nation’s Energy Future: Role of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” (1990’s).
He has also led a number of field trips, including:
- Field Trip Leader / Convener, Permian Basin Section SEPM, “Big Bend Field Trip Structural Types and Hydrocarbons: Folds, Faults, and Fractures” (1998).
- Field Trip Leader / Convener, Mobil Oil Corporation, Big Bend Field Trip (1994).
He is a member of a number of professional societies, including:
AAPG, EMD, AGU, ASA, Geothermal Resources Council, GSA, Member, and was appointed to a SEPM-sponsored Research Group, (computer technology) in 1990. He also has chaired numerous GSA Section and Annual Meetings and was a member of the Guest Speaker Committee for the PBS-SEPM during 1998 and 1999. He is also a member of the West Texas Geological Society, and has been a member for many years of the International Association for Mathematical Geology and the Society of Exploration Geophysics (through 1985). He currently serves in Geothermal Subcommittee of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association
Erdlac currently serves as the Editor for the Geothermal Collection of Scrivener Publishing. He is licensed in the States of Texas and Pennsylvania as a Professional Geologist (P.G.). He received a Bachelor’s degree in physics and in geology from the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in structural geology from the University of Texas at Austin.