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Mon, Jan 11


Location is TBD

FWGS January 2021 Virtual Luncheon

Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg, Colorado School of Mines "Codell Carrier-Bed Play, Denver Basin"

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FWGS January 2021 Virtual Luncheon
FWGS January 2021 Virtual Luncheon

Time & Location

Jan 11, 2021, 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM CST

Location is TBD


Event Details

Time: 11:30 am Virtual Social Icebreaker, Noon Speaker Presentation

Speakers: Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg, Colorado School of Mines 

Title: Codell Carrier-Bed Play, Denver Basin

Abstract: Carrier bed plays are an emerging type of unconventional oil play  in which reservoirs are generally of low quality because they are characterized by : 1) thinly bedded  heterolithic strata; 2) significant compaction and/or diagenesis; and 3) burrowing that has mixed sandstones and mudstone lithologies. In this type of play, the carrier beds are pervasively hydrocarbon saturated and can be areally extensive (> 50 mi2 or 130 km2). These low-quality reservoirs generally do not meet traditional petrophysical cutoffs and because of their high clay contents can have low resistivity, low contrast pays.  The reservoirs may be composed of clastics or carbonates or both.

Carrier bed plays are being developed with horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing. Traditional vertical drilling yields marginal to uneconomic wells that can provide a clue to the existence of a carrier bed play.

The Codell Sandstone is a low-resistivity, low-contrast pay in parts of the northern Denver Basin. The area of oil and gas production is in the deeper part of the basin between and including Silo and Wattenberg fields of Wyoming and Colorado, respectively. The thickness of the Codell in this part of the Denver basin ranges from 15 to 20 ft (4.5 to 6.1 m). Keys to Codell production are source rock maturity, and oil entrapment in the carrier bed. Oil in the Codell carrier bed traps was generated in various intervals including the Niobrara (mainly the “B” marl), Sharon Springs Member of the Pierre Shale, Greenhorn/Carlile, and, rarely, the Mowry Shale. Probable source of oils produced from the Codell reservoirs in the northern Denver Basin are mainly from the Niobrara Formation and Sharon Springs Member of the Pierre Shale.

Bio: Dr. Stephen A. Sonnenberg is a Professor and holds the Charles Boettcher Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Geology at the Colorado School of Mines. He specializes in unconventional reservoirs, sequence stratigraphy, tectonic influence on sedimentation, and petroleum geology. A native of Billings, Montana, Sonnenberg received BS and MS degrees in geology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. degree in geology from the Colorado School of Mines. He has over twenty-five years industry work experience and 14 years teaching/research experience at CSM.

Steve has served as President of several organizations including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, and Colorado Scientific Society. He also served on the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 1997-2003 and was the Chair of the Commission from 1999-2003.

He is the recipient of the Young Alumnus Award, Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Mines Medal from the Colorado School of Mines, Distinguished Achievement Medal from Texas A&M University, distinguished service awards from AAPG and RMAG, and honorary membership awards from AAPG, RMAG and the Colorado Scientific Society. In 2013, he was awarded the Halbouty Medal from AAPG.


  • FWGS Paid Member

    Virtual meeting ticket for FWGS paid members. FWGS Annual Member dues of $40/year includes free digital access to our monthly luncheons.

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  • FWGS Student

    Virtual meeting tickets for FWGS Students will be free this year.

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  • Non-Member Ticket

    Virtual meeting ticket for non-members. Sign up for our annual membership for free digital access to our monthly luncheons!

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