We’re back again with another addition of our series on ‘Jobs You Didn’t Know Existed at DTE’ with Amanda Wahr, a Geologist working for DTE Gas Company. Her job is very important to our company, as she is responsible for understanding the geology at the company’s seven gas storage fields, where customer gas is stored in the summer and returned in the winter for consumption. Michigan geology is ideally suited for gas storage because the Silurian aged pinnacle reefs are compact, have excellent porosity and permeability and hold massive volumes of customer gas.
Currently, Amanda is analyzing historical data from the 1930s onward to compile reports on the geological characteristics of the fields to verify gas containment in response to recent regulatory standards. This data is comprised of Geophysical interpretations, Geologic Maps and well drilling information needed to develop geological models to understand the gas containment mechanisms of each of the seven DTE Gas Storage Fields.
“A lot has changed since the 1930s, especially with technology and the way information is collected and processed,” said Wahr. “The older data is more challenging to sift through and work with, but it’s exciting to see how the data has influenced our geological understanding of the storage fields over time. It’s like an underground puzzle and my job is to put the pieces together to understand what it looks like underground, which is something I love to do”.
Amanda’s job relies on a specific tool called Geographix, which is a software program specially designed for geological modeling work. It’s very powerful at processing large amounts of data and with the software, has the ability to create maps, cross sections and 3D models of the geology that contains our customers’ gas.
Amanda’s passion has always been environmental studies and for her college thesis, she studied depleted gas fields for carbon dioxide capture and sequestration. This led her to her position at DTE because similar geological features are used for carbon dioxide capture and natural gas storage. Though her expertise as a sub-surface geologist could’ve taken her in all different directions, she’s glad she landed at DTE and enjoys her job and the interpersonal relationships it provides.
“I enjoy knowing that my work has a direct impact on making sure people stay warm in the winter,” said Wahr. “It’s very rewarding to know you’re having an impact on people’s lives in a positive way.”
Click here to learn more about how DTE works to protect the environment through various initiatives.
The rocks pictured are Niagaran Reef core samples taken from the Washington 10 Gas Storage Reservoir. The diagram behind depicts the depth to the storage formation and the numerous rock layers above.