Abstract Archive Luncheon Schedule Reserve Online Reservation Policy Suggest a Talk


Our Next Luncheon Talk

(11:30 Reception; 11:45 Lunch; 12:15 Talk)


The first talk of the 2019 RMS-SEPM Luncheon Lecture Series will be held on Tuesday, January 29, 2018.

Regional Mapping of Organic Porosity: Pros and Cons of an Exploration Tool, Permian Basin

Bill Drake

QEP Resources


11:30 Reception, 11:45 Lunch, 12:15 Talk
at the
Wynkoop Brewing Company
1634 18th St., Denver, CO

The cost is $25.00 for current members and $35.00 for non-members ($10 of which pays for an annual RMS-SEPM membership). Unemployed individuals may sign up for lunch for just $10.00. Persons who do not wish to have lunch are welcome for a $10.00 fee. Walk-ins may purchase a lunch for the standard fees ($25.00 or $35.00) although quantities are limited. Walk-ins without a lunch are charged a $10.00 fee.

Please submit reservations by 10:00 a.m., the Friday before the talk.

After the reservation deadline, you may attend the talk for a $10.00 "walk-in" fee. Reservations may be secured online, by e-mail at
or by calling Robin Swank at 720-272-6697


Organic matter (OM)-hosted porosity can be the dominant contributor to total hydrocarbon storage in unconventional source-rock reservoirs. These secondary organic pores form as a function of thermal maturation, and accurate characterization of their spatial variability is critical to petroleum exploration and play assessment. However, measuring OM porosity and mapping its areal distribution remain a challenge. For example, using direct visual evidence to measure OM porosity has been contentious, and source rock data needed for mapping are commonly sparse in frontier areas of basins. One approach to overcoming these issues is to resourcefully apply organic carbon mass-balance analysis as a tool to estimate and delineate OM porosity where well control is lacking. We introduce a methodology to calculate all mass-balance elements in map form rather than at well points in order to incorporate known geologic complexities and effectively highlight a source-rock reservoir fairway in map view. In our example from the Woodford Shale of the Permian Basin, we provide first-order quantification of OM porosity and reveal its geographic extent within a regional petroleum system. Our results suggest that mass-balance calculation of OM porosity in map form can be used as a regional exploration tool for assessing resource potential of source rocks in frontier areas.

There are several implications to mapping variations in OM porosity for exploration purposes. For example, assumptions of the wettability of the inorganic pore system may need to be revisited when OM porosity dominates the total porosity. In addition, the larger the difference between OM-porosity OOIP and total OOIP (from all porosity types), the less optimal a horizontal landing zone in a high TOC source-rock interval may be. The largest sensitivities to the regional analysis are the TOC and thermal maturity maps and the choice of a kinetics curve. These and other limitations should be considered when relating imaged OM-porosity characteristics to TOC richness, thermal maturity, kerogen types, associated mineralogy, and compaction.


Speaker Biography:

Bill holds a B.S. in Geological Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his M.S graduate research at Northern Arizona University focused on extensional tectonics, structural analysis, stratigraphy, and isotope geochronology in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Following stints in environmental consulting in California and Arizona, and as a geologist with the Arizona Geologic Survey, he spent seven years with Pioneer Natural Resources in Denver involved with exploration of Cretaceous and Paleozoic systems in the Rockies and western Midcontinent. Bill is currently a geologist with QEP Resources in Denver working on a variety of petroleum systems in the Permian Basin



Speaker List

Click on the talk title for a PDF version of the abstract.


Apr 24

John Curtis

Time-Lapse Geochemistry of Source-Rock Reservoirs: One Approach & Initial Observations

Jun 5


Aug 28

Justin Birdwell & Ron Johnson

Distribution of mineral phases in the Green River Formation, Piceance Basin, Colorado, Implications for the evolution of Eocene Lake Uinta

Sep 25

Zane Jobe

Applying scaling relationships to enable better reservoir prediction in submarine depositional systems: Bridging the gap between geomorphology and the stratigraphic record

Oct 30

Jeff May

The Sedimentology of Mudrocks: Organisms, Organics & Occasional Occurrences

Nov 27

Kira K. Timm

Geochemical and micropaleontological evidence of paleoenvironmental change in the Late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway from the Niobrara to the Pierre Shale Formation

Dec 25


Winter Break

Jan 29

William Drake

Regional Mapping of Organic Porosity: Pros and Cons of an Exploration Tool, Permian Basin

Feb 26

Marshall Deacon

New insights and discoveries of the Lyons sandstone, DJ Basin, Colorado

Mar 26

Charlie Harman

Quantified Facies Distribution and Sequence Geometry of the Yates Formation, Slaughter Canyon, New Mexico

Apr 23

Mark Longman and Barbara Luneau

Revisiting the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Petroleum System in the Rocky Mountain Region

Jun 4

Lisa Stright

Template-based Modeling: Bridging the gap between quantitative outcrop studies and subsurface reservoir characterization





In order to keep our Luncheon Program solvent and operating on schedule,
the RMS-SEPM Board has adopted the following guidelines for reservations and seating at the Wynkoop:

  • Reservations for this Luncheon Talk will be closed at 10:00am on Friday, before the talk. (No reservations are needed for walk-ins.)