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December Meeting: Unconventional petroleum systems in the Western US – Dr. Ron Hill (EOG Chief Geoscientist)

December 9, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Free – $20.00

Main talk – Ron Hill


The Unconventional Bakken Petroleum System: What Geochemistry Indicates about Petroleum System Processes
The Bakken Formation has been the target of intense petroleum exploration activity over the last
fifteen years, and is widely considered an unconventional resource or a ‘tight oil play’. The ‘tight oil
play’ designation has evolved in part because the Bakken Formation, a world class source rock, is the
drilling target. However, the primary reservoir objective within the Bakken formation is not an organic rich shale, but rather the middle Bakken siltstone and carbonate, deposited between two world class
source rocks, the upper and lower Bakken. In general, the middle Bakken has porosity values less than
15%, permeability values in the microdarcy range, and is unconventional in the sense that although
water saturations increase down dip, there is not a clearly defined down dip water leg, and updip water
is present. The Bakken is the source rock for oils reservoired within the middle Bakken. The oils in the
middle Bakke show evidence of migration. The middle Bakken thins toward the basin margins,
suggesting stratigraphic trapping is important for petroleum accumulation, and overpressure within
the overlying Lodgepole, Bakken and underlying Three Forks suggests a seal is present within the
Lodgepole. From a petroleum system perspective, evaluation of the source rock, reservoir, trap, seal,
and associated processes is critical for risking each element of the petroleum system and was key in
understanding the unconventional Bakken petroleum system.


Ron earned a BS in Geology from Michigan State University in 1986, a MS in Geochemistry from Colorado School of Mines in the Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry in 1989, and a PhD in
Geology in the Department of Earth and Space Science from UCLA in 1994. He was a post-doctoral researcher at Chevron before joining Exxon Production Research Company in 1996. He has spent 27+
years in industry related positions and is currently Chief Geochemist at EOG Resources in Denver, Colorado.

Fort Lewis Geology Senior Poster Session (from 5:00 to 6:30 pm)

During Happy Hour-and-a-half for this meeting, we will also get to see posters from FLC Geology majors who are finishing their theses as we speak:

Brooks Bartlett – Exploration of Fluorite Occurrence within the Allard stock in the La Plata Mining
District, Colorado, U.S.A.
Sam Brown – A review of the formation of the Mitchell Lakes, La Plata County, Colorado
Tom Calligas – Constraining the origin of a Climactichnites found in float at Electra Lake and possible
implications for the Ignacio Formation, SW Colorado, USA
Lyle Denny – Modelling the prehistoric Elk Creek Rock Avalanche
Andy Hoffstatter – Using repeat LiDAR scanning to map sources of debris flows following the 416 fire
near Durango, CO
Jack Tingwall – Channel Complexity on the Dolores River: Measuring side channel length for different
discharges to show available habitat for threatened fish species
Matt Wanda – Mineralization of the Two Kids Mine, Ouray, CO



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December 9, 2021
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Free – $20.00


Vallecito Room – Student Union – Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301 United States