Foundation Update

A new grant-in-aid has been established in memory of Jay McMurray, a uranium consulting geologist who worked on dozens of international projects.

The Jay M. McMurray Memorial Grants-in-Aid was established by his widow, Katherine, and several colleagues.

The $500 grant will be restricted to uranium/nuclear fuel energy, and will be first awarded next spring by the Grants-in-Aid Committee.

McMurray, who died May 1, had 46 years of experience in natural resource exploration and development, including 37 years in the uranium industry. He worked with several uranium-mining companies on exploration and development projects throughout the western United States, including Exxon Minerals and Rocky Mountain Energy/Union Pacific Minerals.

As an international consultant his clients included NAC International, Energy Metals Corp., Cameco Corp., Newmont Mining Corp., Taiwan Power Co., the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.

Over the past 17 years he worked on uranium exploration programs in the United States (Arizona Strip breccia pipes and Wyoming basin sandstone deposits), Kazakhstan (sandstone deposits), Kyrgyzstan (sandstone environments and vein-intrusive deposits) and Gobi Desert, Mongolia (sandstone deposits). He was involved in managing drilling programs (Arizona Strip and Wyoming basins), exploration program planning (Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) and mentoring young geologists (Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan).

For the past 10 years McMurray was a consultant to the IAEA on a broad range of assignments including uranium supply and demand, uranium geology and worldwide resource evaluation. He was the lead author for the IAEA publication "Analysis of Uranium Supply to 2050," and served as the IAEA Secretariat for preparing the 2001 and 2005 Red Books.


The Foundation’s Grants-in-Aid Program was established in 1956 to support graduate and post-graduate students in the studies related to earth science aspects of the petroleum geology industry, including exploration and development of hydrocarbons and economic sedimentary minerals and relevant applications of environmental geology.

Last year the GIA Committee, led by chair Kevin Meyer, awarded over $208,000 to 115 domestic and international students.

The program allows contributors an opportunity to make a long-term investment in the future of well-qualified graduate students, and can be restricted to alma maters or specific areas of study. Grants are awarded annually in varying amounts up to a maximum of $3,000.

James M. Hill Sr. has joined the Trustee Associates, bringing the total number of members to 265.

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Foundation Update

Rebecca Griffin worked as the AAPG Foundation manager until October 2010.

Foundation Update

Foundation Update is a regular column in the EXPLORER offering news about the AAPG Foundation’s latest activities. For more information about the AAPG Foundation, visit the Foundation website, email, or call (918) 560-2644.

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See Also: Bulletin Article

In prospective basins affected by exhumation, uncertainty commonly exists regarding the maximum burial depths of source, reservoir, and seal horizons. One such basin is the Otway Basin, an important gas province in southeastern Australia, which has witnessed several exhumation events. Here, we present estimates of net exhumation magnitudes for 110 onshore and offshore petroleum wells based on the sonic transit time analyses of Lower Cretaceous fluvial shales. Our results show significant post-Albian net exhumation in the eastern onshore Otway Basin (gt1500 m [sim4920 ft]) and a generally minor net exhumation (lt200 m [sim655 ft]) elsewhere in the Otway Basin, consistent with estimates based on thermal history data. The distribution of net exhumation magnitudes in relation to mid-Cretaceous and Neogene compressional structures indicates that exhumation was dominantly controlled by short-wavelength basin inversion driven by plate-boundary forces.

Deeper burial coupled with high geothermal gradients in the onshore eastern Otway Basin and along the northern basin margin during the early Cretaceous have rendered Lower Cretaceous source rocks mostly overmature, with any remaining hydrocarbons from the initial charge likely to be trapped in tightly compacted reservoirs and/or secondary (fracture-related) porosity. However, the embrittlement of these reservoirs during their deeper burial may present opportunities for the development of low-permeability plays through hydraulic fracturing where smectite clay minerals are illitized. Source rocks at near-maximum burial at present day are at temperatures suitable for gas generation, with key controls on prospectivity in these areas including the sealing potential of faulted traps and the relationship between charge and trap development.

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