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Abstract: Petrography, Petrophysics, and Stratigraphy in the Basin Analysis Laboratory at Ball State University: Application to the Oil and Gas Industry


Three projects are currently underway in the Basin Analysis Laboratory in the Department of Geology at Ball State University involving cooperative efforts between the oil and gas industry and academia. These cooperative efforts have involved the funding of student research, access to logs, cores, and porosity/permeability data, as well as other information necessary for completion of a study. This interaction between industry and academia stems from the recent downsizing of industry supported laboratories and offers a wonderful opportunity for academic research to make a positive contribution to oil and gas exploration and production.

The three projects currently active in the Basin Analysis Laboratory involve the study of Eocene to Oligocene sediments of the Gulf Coastal Plain extending from Florida to East Texas. These studies are possible through the cooperation of Shell Western E&P, Mobil E&P, U.S., Inc., and Bass Enterprises Production Company.

In East Texas, detailed petrographic and petrophysical analyses (high-resolution density and gamma ray logs, and ELAN logs) are being combined to better describe porosity and permeability distribution in Frio, Vicksburg and Wilcox sediments. In the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plain chemical fingerprinting of bentonite beds, which define chronostratigraphic markers that can be correlated from one location to another, are being used to increase our understanding of Eocene to Oligocene stratigraphy. These types of cooperative studies are important to our understanding of offshore Gulf of Mexico sediments, an area of strong interest to the oil and gas industry, but an area where the porosity/permeability distribution and stratigraphy are not well known.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90939©1997 AAPG Eastern Section and TSOP, Lexington, Kentucky