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Tue, Oct 11


Fort Worth

FWGS October 2022 Luncheon

Brian Cardott Title: Introduction to vitrinite and bitumen reflectance as thermal maturity indicators

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FWGS October 2022 Luncheon
FWGS October 2022 Luncheon

Time & Location

Oct 11, 2022, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM CDT

Fort Worth, 777 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA


Event Details


Brian retired from the Oklahoma Geological Survey in June 2021 after 40 years of service.

Brian established the Organic Petrography Laboratory (OPL) at the Oklahoma Geological Survey in 1981. His primary research involved gas shales and tight oil (primarily the Late Devonian–Early Mississippian Woodford Shale), coalbed methane, and the petrologic characterization of coals, hydrocarbon source rocks, and solid hydrocarbons (e.g., asphaltites and asphaltic pyrobitumens) of Oklahoma.

Brian has written more than 70 articles and books on coal, coalbed methane, gas shales, unconventional energy resources, hydrocarbon source rocks, solid hydrocarbons, organic weathering, vitrinite reflectance, and graptolite reflectance. His seminal publication on the Woodford Shale was published in 2021 as OGS Bulletin 152 (Cardott and Comer, 2021).

Cardott, B.J., and J.B. Comer, 2021, Woodford Shale (Upper Devonian to Lower Mississippian): From hydrocarbon source rock to reservoir: Oklahoma Geological Survey, Bulletin 152, 108 p.

Brian is a member of The Society for Organic Petrology (serving as President, 1995-1996), International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (serving as President of the Energy Minerals Division, 2004-2005), Oklahoma City Geological Society, and Fort Worth Geological Society.

Brian’s vitae with a list of publications is at

Abstract: Thermal maturity is one of the most important parameters used in the evaluation of gas-shale and shale-oil plays. Vitrinite reflectance (VRo) is a commonly used thermal maturity indicator. Many operators use the vitrinite-reflectance value without knowing what it is or how it is derived. Conventional wisdom of the Barnett Shale gas play in the Fort Worth Basin indicates the highest gas rates occur at >1.4% VRo. Knowledge of the oil and condensate windows is essential for liquid hydrocarbon production. This presentation answers the questions: what is vitrinite; what is vitrinite reflectance; how is vitrinite reflectance measured; what are some sources of error; and how does one tell good data from bad data?


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