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Explore with DRB Geological Consulting

DRB Geological Consulting offers a number of field courses in the Appalachian Basin designed to understand subsurface unconventional reservoirs through an interactive discourse at the outcrop.

Participants will gain hands-on understanding of the stratigraphy, sedimentology, depositional environment, and structural history of organic-rich mudstones. These properties are discussed to better understand subsurface exploration and production, reservoir architecture, production mechanisms, distribution of hydrocarbons, and rock interactions with the drilling, completion, and production process.

Field course attendees can include operations, development, and exploration geologists, petrophysicists, reservoir, and completion engineers. Field courses are fully customizable to fit the needs of the clients, including the combination of field courses, course length, and subject matter focus.


Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale & Associated Strata of Western & Central New York State

Field Course 1

This two-day field trip takes attendees across New York State from Buffalo to Syracuse by way of the Finger Lakes. To get through the Marcellus we must drill through higher Hamilton Group strata. Therefore, we begin the field trip just east of Buffalo, NY looking at these deposits, discussing their sedimentology, cryptic depositional and erosional features, and mechanical integrity.

From here we proceed east across New York, with stops at the Oatka Creek (upper Marcellus) type section, and the Union Springs (lower Marcellus) type section. Day two takes us to the Marcellus type section, then south of Syracuse to look at very different proximal facies of the Marcellus.

Attendees will learn about sedimentological processes, basin hydrography, redox conditions, and how these aspects relate to the preservation of organic material and the construction of a world class unconventional hydrocarbon reservoir.

Finally, we look at a phenomenally preserved gas chimney in the Upper Devonian, discuss implications for hydrocarbon expulsion, migration and connectivity of reservoirs and how this relates to well spacing, hydrocarbon recovery, and field development.

The trip ends with a group discussion at the base of the 214’ tall Taughannock Falls in Trumansburg, New York.


Upper Devonian Black Shales of Western New York State

Field Course 2

This one-day field trip focuses on the interbedded grey and black Upper Devonian shale succession exposed along the Lake Erie shoreline and nearby tributaries between Hamburg and Dunkirk, New York.

In addition to understanding stratigraphy, sedimentology and the role of catagenesis in reservoir development and fracturing, attendees will learn about the various data sets and analytical techniques used to evaluate shale successions and how these concepts are applied to unconventional hydrocarbon exploration and production.

We will discuss micro and macro-scale sedimentary features including biogenic silica and concretions and how they affect the drilling and completion process. Intervals of interest include the Middlesex, Rhinestreet, and Dunkirk shales.

This field course is easily combined with FC 1.


The Upper Devonian Cleveland Black Shale: A Surface Laboratory for Understanding the Subsurface

Field Course 3

This one-day field course takes attendees to spectacular outcrops of the Upper Devonian Cleveland Shale and associated strata in the greater Cleveland Metro Area of Ohio.

The field course is designed to bring both geologists and engineers together.

We will discuss various subsurface concepts that are often difficult to observe in subsurface data and cryptic in pristine, unweathered cores. Such topics include wellbore stability, natural and induced fracturing, and vertical and spatial changes in stratigraphy and attendant reservoir quality over short distances. 

Field Trips: Projects
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