Henry (Bud) Johnston joined NREL in late 2015. Previously, Bud worked with Shell for 31 years, most recently as the reservoir engineering discipline lead within international unconventionals at Shell headquarters in the Netherlands. In that role, he was responsible for reservoir engineering technical assurance for international unconventional resource projects. Bud was selected as Geothermal Rising’s 2021 Ramey Subsurface Excellence Award Winner, which recognizes outstanding achievement in subsurface geoscience and engineering and impacts on geothermal development.

Research Interests

Numerical simulation of fluid flow and heat transport in geothermal wells and reservoirs


Certificate in Energy Innovation and Emerging Technologies, Stanford Center for Professional Development

Executive MBA, Tulane University

M.S., Mineral Engineering, University of Alabama

B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Alabama

Professional Experience

Chief Subsurface Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2018–Present

Geothermal Laboratory Program Manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2016–2017

Principal Reservoir Engineer, Shell International Unconventional Technical Excellence Team in The Hague, 2013–2015

Regional Reservoir Engineering Discipline Advisor, Shell Oil Company, 2008–2012

Reservoir Engineer, Shell Oil Company, 1985–2007

Featured Work

Evaluation of Energy Storage Potential of Unconventional Shale Reservoirs Using Numerical Simulation of Cyclic Gas Injection, ASME (2021)

Subsurface Characterization and Machine Learning Predictions at Brady Hot Springs, Stanford (2021)

Sedimentary Geothermal Resources in Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and Texas, NREL (2020)

An embedded 3D fracture modeling approach for simulating fracture-dominated fluid flow and heat transfer in geothermal reservoirs, Geothermics (2020)

Slip Tendency Analysis of Fracture Networks to Determine Suitability of Candidate Testbeds for the EGS Collab Hydroshear Experiment, The Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting and Expo (2019)

Code Modifications for Modeling Chemical Tracers and Embedded Natural Fractures at EGS Collab, 44th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2019)

EGS Collab Project: Status and Progress, 44th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2019)

The Necessity for Iteration in the Application of Numerical Simulation to EGS: Examples from the EGS Collab Test Bed 1, 44th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2019)

Collab Fracture Characterization: Preliminary Results from the Modeling and Flow Testing of Experiment 1, Geothermal Resources Council Annual Meeting (2018)

The EGS Data Collaboration Platform: Enabling Scientific Discovery, 43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2018)

An Embedded 3D Fracture Modeling Approach for Simulating Fracture-Dominated Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer in Geothermal Reservoirs, 43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2018)

Numerical Simulation Applications in the Design of EGS Collab Experiment 1, 43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2018)

Potential Experimental Topics for EGS Collab Experiment 3, 43rd Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering (2018)

Analysis of Geothermal Reservoir and Well Operational Conditions using Monthly Production Reports from Nevada and California, Geothermal Resources Council (2017)

Understanding Volumes, Economics and Risk Mitigation in Unconventional Gas Projects, SPE/EAGE European Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition (2012)

4D Pressure Pilot To Steer Well Spacing in Tight Gas, SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (2006)

From liability to cost effective data gathering opportunity, SPWLA 46th Annual Logging Symposium (2005)

View all NREL publications for Bud Johnston.


Compressed Gas Energy Storage, U.S. Patent No. 2020/0039749 A1 (2019) Pending