Innovators in Geoscience Technology Series

Interview with Roger Slatt

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

What we know about unconventionals is constantly changing, thanks to a focus on the rocks themselves. University consortia are doing important work that focuses on rock properties and also the rocks as they occur in the rock properties.

Welcome to an interview with Roger Slatt, whose consortium at the University of Oklahoma has been contributing to our knowledge of unconventional reservoirs.

What is your name and a brief overview of your experience?

My name is Roger Slatt. I am currently the Gungoll Chair Professor of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics. I received my Ph.D. in 1970 from the University of Alaska. Academic positions I have held since then include Assoc. Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Visiting Professor at Arizona State University, and Professor and Head of Geol. Engineering Dept at Colorado School of Mines. I am currently at the University of Oklahoma where I was formerly Director of School of Geology and Geophysics. My petroleum industry career was with Cities Service Co. (Research Manager) and ARCO Oil and Gas/ARCO International Oil and Gas (Research Manager).

What has been your research focus over the last few years?

My main research, aided by numerous students, has been in:

  • The geology of unconventional resource shales
  • The petroleum geology of deep water depositional systems; more broadly
  • The field of Integrated Clastic Reservoir Characterization
I teach graduate level courses at OU on all three of these topics, and have published two books and about 100 papers on them.
What is the name of your consortium?

For the past six years I have run a consortium titled "Woodford Resource Shale"

What is its focus?

Its focus has been on understanding the Woodford Shale in Oklahoma in what is best known as STACK-MERGE-SCOOP play areas. Applications focus on:

  • defining the geographic distribution of sweet spots (areally)
  • identifying preferred horizontal landing zones (stratigraphically)
  • potential completion problems based upon geologic parameters.
What have been some of its main accomplishments?

Since I am within an academic environment, the main accomplishment is educating students, in this case for careers in the oil and gas industry. Toward this goal, thirty (30) M.S./Ph.D theses have been completed on the Woodford through consortium sponsorship. Students and I have made numerous oral and poster presentations at various conventions, as well as short courses, both in the U.S. and abroad (Colombia, China, Argentina, Canada, Indonesia, Bolivia). To date, 29 oil and gas companies have participated in the various phases of the consortium (though not all at once).

What are its current directions and plans for the future?

Currently we are in the process of shifting the research effort away from the Woodford and into the Meramec/Sycamore, presently in the MERGE area, which has not been as highly drilled as the SCOOP and STACK areas. As part of this effort, we are combining the vast amount of data, results, and concepts we have put together into a coherent Woodford publication which will serve to place the Woodford within the context of a broader Devonian-Mississippian petroleum system.

Please do not miss the AAPG Playmaker forum on the Haynesville and Re-Emerging Resource Plays of the Gulf Coast.

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