Short Courses


Andy Finley
Goolsby, Finley & Associates
Joseph Large
Mojo Geological Consulting, LLC
Jim Suydam
Sunburst Consulting

FACILITATOR: Ron Auflick of Wold Energy Partners

Sunday, September 15, 2019

8:00am – 12:00pm

Cheyenne Room, Little America Conference Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming

FEE: Professionals $175.00, Students $40.00

INCLUDES: refreshments


This course will present several case studies of actual horizontal wells from the Rocky Mountain Region that presented unique challenges in planning and execution. Case studies from the Williston, Powder River, and DJ basins will be presented and discussed. Representatives from the teams that planned and drilled these wells will take participants through each step of the process, and discuss how problems and unforeseen circumstances were recognized and overcome, and how lessons learned from the case study wells were applied to future drilling in the respective areas. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about how critical decisions were made along the way, and share similar experiences with wells they were involved with. It is hoped that these opportunities to interact will be mutually beneficial to everyone who is involved in the planning and drilling of horizontal wells in the Rockies.

Williston Basin, Bakken/Three Forks lateral with anti-collision measures

Dr. Jim Suydam (Sunburst Consulting)

Continued development of the Bakken/Three Forks resource in the Williston basin has resulted in tighter well density and infill drilling of older spacing units, many of which contain wells drilled askew to current preferred lateral orientations. Complete development of new spacing units in these cases often requires anti-collision well planning and active geosteering to avoid older wells. We will provide a couple examples of wells with anti-collision challenges, discussing how well planning and geosteering were used successfully to avoid existing wells and geohazards.

Powder River Basin: geosteering hurdles within various Cretaceous pay horizons

Joseph Large (Mojo Geological Consulting, LLC)

The Powder River Basin has many multi-layered oil and gas horizons/zones within its boundaries. Over the last decade, most of the horizontal drilling activity has been centered around reservoirs of Upper Cretaceous age, including the Teapot and Parkman members of the Mesaverde Formation , the Sussex and Shannon Sandstone members of the Steele Shale, the Turner Sandy member of the Carlile Shale, and the Frontier Formation; along with the shale plays of the Niobrara Formation and Mowry Shale. Some of the geosteering difficulties of drilling extended reach horizontal wells within these horizons include:

  • Heavily faulted and fractured reservoirs with:
    • resulting stratigraphic displacement
    • high-pressured fracture swarms
  • Resolving bed geometries when wellbore trajectories have varying orientations to true strike and dip
  • Discontinuous and compartmentalized reservoirs
  • Questionable or unreliable data from legacy offset wells
    • poor quality E-logs, missing logs, split logs
    • erroneous well locations and/or elevations
  • Target selection and navigation in unconventional formations

We will present example wells with these issues and discuss the technical challenges of overcoming and planning for these situations to ensure the successful navigation of extended reach horizontals resulting in economic oil and gas wells.

Case Study of Geo-steering in the DJ Basin

Andy Finley (Goolsby, Finley & Associates)

The application of technology combined with tight margins have always driven success in oil and gas projects. This is especially true in today’s environment which relies on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Even though these technologies have turned previously uneconomic plays into major targets across the US, each play and each operator values and applies different aspects of these technologies to differing degrees. However, numerous studies have illustrated that ultimate performance of the well is tied closely to the proper and efficient placement of the wellbore within the target zone.

Proper wellbore placement is dependent on many factors including but not limited to the following:

  • The identification of a charged target suitable for development.
  • Preliminary identification of the well target,
  • Building of the drilling team including a drilling contractor, drilling engineering, directional, geology, mud logging, etc.
  • Real-time interpretation of position in zone versus desired position in zone while drilling several thousand feet of horizontal footage per day.
  • Real time adjustment of proper target within the formation, etc.

This presentation will review the evolution of the steering paradigm from pre-drilling evaluation to the successful drilling of multiple wells. Individual aspects to be reviewed include difficulties in sparse offset control, limited seismic data, target determination, target changes, potential faulting, changes in lithology, rapid penetration rate, etc.

Who should attend:

Geologists, Drilling/Production Engineers, Service Company Representatives who are or may be involved in planning/drilling horizontal wells in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Sequence Stratigraphy of Resource Plays

Dr. Ali Jaffri
Applied Stratigraphix, LLC

Saturday, September 14 – Sunday, September 15

8:00am – 5:00pm

Grand Ballroom A (Saturday), Wyoming Ballroom A (Sunday), Little America Conference Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming

FEE: Professionals $500.00, Students $125.00

INCLUDES: lunch, refreshments


This course introduces participants to the sedimentology of unconventional reservoirs and then covers sequence stratigraphic applications.

Due to the homogeneous nature and limited thickness of most unconventional resource plays, seismic has very limited applicability. Therefore this is not a Seismic Stratigraphy course and the bulk of our time will be investigating these reservoirs using well logs (including borehole image logs), core and thin- sections. Each day of the course will be devoted to one play type with case studies from popular oil and gas fields within North America.

The instructor will provide a small collection of well logs and core photos, but we strongly urge participants to bring paper copies of their own data to work on. These data will not be shared with anyone and the instructor will only review the work done by participants.



1.1. Will it add value to your business?
1.2. Difference between sequence stratigraphy in conventional vs unconventional reservoirs
1.3. Why it matters – geosteering applications


2.1. Are these even true sandstones?
2.2. Concept of the “halo play” – why it works.
2.3. Sequence stratigraphy examples from the Gallup-Mancos of the San Juan Basin and the Frontier- Turner-Parkman of the Powder River Basin.


3.1 Classification of fine-grained rocks
3.2 Myths, half-truths and truths about shale: deposited in low-energy, shales are anoxic, shales are pelagic, shales are deposited in deepwater, shale are homogeneous, most shales have carbonate components, shales get deposited during transgression, shale fractures depend on grain richness, the higher the natural fracture density the better, all hydraulic fracs will cutacross bedding boundaries


4.1 The diversity of platform interior mudrocks and controls on microporosity
4.2 Sequence Stratigraphy examples from the Bakken and Three Forks in the Williston Basin


5.1 Platform margin classification
5.2 Mass Transport and sediment Gravity Flows
5.3 High magnitude low frequency events vs Low frequency high magnitude events
5.4 Examples from the basinal carbonate mudrocks of the Permian Basin

Learner Outcomes

      1. Identify reservoir vs non-reservoir facies.
      2. Create actualistic well log correlations.
      3. Explain production differences in your oil or gas field.
      4. Map the fine-line that separates what will produce and what won’t.
      5. Predict sweet spots

Who should attend:

The audience for the course includes geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers who are involved in horizontal well planning and geosteering in unconventional reservoirs.

Prerequisites (Knowledge/Experience/Education required): 

A general background in clastic and carbonate depositional environments and sequence stratigraphy.


Patrick Rutty
Drilling Info

Thursday, September 19, 2019

9:00am – 4:00pm

Sheridan Room, Little America Conference Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming

FEE: Professionals $215.00, Students $75.00

INCLUDES: lunch, refreshments


This course will provide a non-mathematical overview of common multivariate statistical and machine learning techniques. It is meant to be a primer to these subjects with the intent to foster subsequent interest to learn more. The course will include a review of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate descriptive statistics and multivariate statistics versus machine learning. The course will also review multivariate statistical modeling including classification and regression (linear and non-linear) as well as unsupervised hierarchical and supervised classification. You will also learn common machine learning techniques such as decision trees, neural networks, and support vector machines.
Who should attend:
Anyone who has ever been interested in applying geostatistics to the oil and gas industry.


Jennifer Miskimins
Dr. Miskimins is an Associate Professor in the Petroleum Engineering Dept at Colorado School of Mines and holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in petroleum engineering. Prior to joining CSM, she worked for Marathon Oil Company in a variety of locations. Dr. Miskimins is the founder and past Director of the Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology (FAST) Consortium at CSM. She teaches a variety of short courses including completions and stimulation classes. She is a member of SPE, SPWLA, and AAPG and was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer for 2010-2011 and 2013-2014.

Saturday, September 14 – Sunday, September 15, 2019

9:00am – 5:00pm

Grand Ballroom D (Saturday), Wyoming Ballroom B (Sunday), Little America Conference Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming

FEE: Professionals $400.00, Students $125.00

INCLUDES: lunch, refreshments


This two-day short course focuses on the challenges and issues that arise when hydraulic fracturing operations are conducted in horizontal wells, as compared to vertical systems. The mechanics of completion and diversion techniques and tools, such as plug-n-perf and sliding sleeves, will be discussed, along with the pros and cons of these various horizontal well completion systems. In-situ stress profiles and their effects on transverse and longitudinal fracture growth, both near wellbore and far-field, will be addressed. Stress shadowing and the resulting impacts on cluster and stage spacing will be reviewed. Proppant and fluid selection, proppant transport, and the conductivity requirements will be discussed. The application of diagnostics, such as DFIT’s and geometric measurements (tracers, microseismic, fiberoptics, etc.) will be reviewed, along with how the results can be integrated for enhancing future treatments. Other topics include: perforating, fracture clean-up, flowback, brittleness, enhanced permeability volumes, treatment optimization, and post-treatment analysis.
Who should attend:
All disciplines are welcome to attend the course; however, a basic understanding of hydraulic fracturing should already be in place prior to enrollment.


Andy Finley
Goolsby, Finley & Associates
Leo Giangiacomo
Extreme Petroleum Technology, Inc.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Teton Room, Little America Conference Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming

FEE: Professionals $200.00, Students $75.00

INCLUDES: lunch, refreshments


This class will present a broad overview of unconventional technology, helping the student to better understand what unconventional reservoirs are, what the issues with drilling and completing the wells are, and what are the current highlights in local activity.


  • Conventional vs Unconventional
  • Exploration and Development Technology
  • Geophysics
  • Land Considerations
  • Geomechanics Considerations
  • Drilling Technology
  • Petrophysics
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Completion Technology
  • Regulatory Considerations

Core Workshop: Comparison of the Mid-Carboniferous Heath and Tyler Intervals, Central Montana to the Williston Basin, North Dakota

Rich Bottjer
Coal Creek Resources
Stephan Nordeng
University of North Dakota
Timothy Nesheim
North Dakota Geological Survey
John Curtis
GeoMark Research

Sunday, September 15, 2019

8:00am – 4:00pm

Teton Room, Little America Conference Center, Cheyenne, Wyoming

FEE: Professionals $ TBD, Students $ TBD

INCLUDES: course notes, lunch, refreshments

LIMIT: 40 participants


The late Mississippian to early Pennsylvanian Heath and Tyler Formations in central Montana and the Williston Basin, North Dakota contain well documented conventional reservoirs and have produced more than 95 MMBO in central Montana and 87 MMBO in North Dakota.  Both producing areas have associated organic-rich source rocks that have been the subject of oil resource play assessments starting in the late 2000s.  Multiple pilot holes with cores and modern logs have been drilled in both Montana and North Dakota, yielding new data that are helping geologists better understand the lithofacies, depositional environments, and ages of these strata.  Workers in the past have been challenged to correlate these units from the type area outcrops in central Montana, to the central Montana subsurface, and into the Williston Basin in North Dakota, and these new data are facilitating a new discussion on how these units are areas relate to one another.


Key elements of the Tyler and Heath that will be observed in this workshop include:

  • Cores from central Montana that illustrate typical lithologies of the Upper Tyler, the Bear Gulch Limestone, the Lower Tyler, and the Heath;
  • Cores from North Dakota that illustrate lithologies found in the Central Basin area (high gamma ray shales within the siliciclastic dominated lower Tyler) and in the southwestern Tyler producing area (mixed carbonate-siliciclastic upper Tyler);
  • Lithologic distinctions between variously defined units in the Tyler of central Montana, including upper Tyler, Bear Gulch Limestone, lower Tyler, Cameron Creek “Member”, and Stonehouse Canyon “Member”; and a discussion of what terminology is most useful;
  • Cyclicity in the late Mississippian and early Pennsylvanian strata related to glacio-eustatic sea level fluctuations;
  • A discussion of oil types present in central Montana and the Williston Basin associated with Heath-Tyler reservoirs and source rocks.
Who should attend:

This course will be of interest to anyone working on the oil resource potential or conventional oil potential of the Tyler and/or Heath Formations in Montana and North Dakota, those working on self-sourcing tight oil carbonate systems, workers assessing resource plays that involve thinly interbedded lithologies, geoscientists interested in mid-Carboniferous cyclical sedimentation, , and those interested in better understanding the stratigraphic and geological history of Montana and North Dakota.