October 22, 2019: Presentation to Halff Energy

Bob Stern and Lowell Waite visited the offices of Halff Energy in Dallas on the morning of October 22 and presented “The Wolfcamp Shale Play of the Midland Basin: A Magnificent Beast.”  The presentation was geared for non-geologists and reviewed some basics of petroleum geoscience, focusing on the importance and magnitude of the Permian Basin petroleum system and Wolfcamp Shale in particular.  In attendance were all four members of the Halff Energy staff as well as three Halff family members/owners and one invited guest.

Halff Energy, founded in 1985, is a growth-oriented general partnership owned by eight descendants of Henry M. Halff (1874-1934), a prominent west Texas rancher.  Their current interests comprise approximately 16,000 acres in Crockett, Midland, Reagan, and Upton counties.  More information on Halff Energy may be found here:

We thank owner Bro Halff for the invitation to speak to the Halff Energy team, and to Phillip Shawn, Land Manager, and Linda Waite, Accounting Manager, for the accommodations and providing lunch.  We are happy to tailor presentations to a wide variety of audiences, both technical and non- technical, in order to provide information on the “magnificent beast” that is the Permian Basin.

Oct. 15, 2019: Presentation to SIPES Dallas

Lowell Waite presented “Stratigraphic framework of the Wolfcamp – Spraberry of the Midland Basin” at the October luncheon meeting of the Society of Independent Earth Scientists (SIPES) Dallas Chapter at the Prestonwood Country Club in Dallas.  The presentation was attended by approximately 50 members and guests, including UT Dallas geology graduate student Kevin Hiss.  The talk was well received, and several attendees afterwards expressed interest in learning more about our lab.  Representatives from two companies discussed potential projects and access to data sets.  Very exciting possibilities for future students!

Oct 8, 2019: Presentation to Roswell Geologic Society

On the evening of October 8, Lowell Waite presented an invited talk entitled “Stratigraphic framework of the Wolfcamp – Spraberry of the Midland Basin” to 25 members and guests of the Roswell Geologic Society in Roswell, New Mexico.  The presentation discussed the tectono-stratigraphic development of the Late Pennsylvanian through early Permian deep-water sediments of the Midland Basin, including the Wolfcamp shale (A – D units) and the overlying Dean and Spraberry formations.  Of particular emphasis is the differences between facies and mineralogy of the various units, a function of the dynamic evolution of the western margin of Pangea (e.g., eustasy, tectonics, climate, biota) during Late Pennsylvanian – early Permian time.

A copy of the presentation can be found here:

Oct. 2, 2019: EIA predicts that renewables will provide nearly half of world electricity by 2050

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released its International Energy Outlook 2019 report.  In it, they predict that global electricity generation from renewable energy sources (hydropower, wind, and solar) will grow from 28% in 2018 to 49% in 2050.  They predict that coal will remain the most-used industrial fuel, but that renewables will have the fastest rate of growth.  The report also concludes that petroleum and other liquid fuels consumption will increase by more than 20%, the majority of consumption growth occurring in non-OECD (Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the EIA website, here:



August 8, 2019: Here’s what is really happening in the Permian Basin

A recently published opinion article by energy analyst David Blackmon in Forbes paints a slightly rosier picture for the immediate future of Permian Basin shale plays, in contrast to many recent “doom and gloom” articles heralding their imminent decline.  While acknowledging that some operators have been overly-aggressive with well spacing, he reports that average per-well recoveries continue to grow.  According to Allen Gilmer, Founder and COB of DrillingInfo, one reason why so many analysts acquire false beliefs about the health of the Permian play is due to a tendency to apply poor results of one operator to the entire basin.  Inherent heterogeneities in unconventional rocks makes such widespread assumptions misleading.

The full article may be viewed here:

July 16, 2019: Historic horizontal well completed in Permian Basin

Ft. Worth, Texas-based Basic Energy Services announced they completed a record 17, 935 ft lateral well in the Wolfcamp shale in the Delaware Basin.  The well is operated by Houston-based Surge Energy.  The completion consisted of 52 frac stages placing 2,200 lbs. of proppant/ft.

The story appeared in the Odessa American online edition:

Surge Energy news release:

July, 2019: New publication on the diagenesis of the Wolfcamp D

A new article concerning diagenesis of the Wolfcamp D (Cline shale) of the Midland Basin has been published in the journal Chemical Geology.

In the paper, the main author, Alex Reis, of the University of Kentucky, along with co-workers Andrea Erhardt and Michael McGlue, University of Kentucky, and Lowell Waite, Pioneer Natural Resources, evaluated carbon and oxygen isotope trends within marine carbonates from select basinal cyclothem intervals of the Wolfcamp D.  A main conclusion from this work is that diagenesis of the carbonates in this mud-rich interval was controlled primarily by fluctuations in bottom-water redox chemistry, which influenced the extent of deep-burial carbonate cementation.



June 13, 2019: Fender Natural Resources visits the PBRL

The UTD PBRL was recently honored by a visit from Maryanne Fender of Fender Natural Resources.  Fender Natural Resources collects and sells rare and precious minerals to the public (see link below).   The Fenders have recently made a generous donation to the UTD Department of Geosciences, and were visiting to receive an update on departmental growth.  We were able to meet with Mrs. Fender to showcase the lab, discussing the importance of having a facility like the PBRL to educate students on the oil and gas industry.  Also present at the meeting were Anna LeBlanc, Director of Gift Planning, Dane Richardson, Director and Development of Alumni Relations, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Dr. John Ferguson, Department of Geosciences and who hosted the visit, and Mr. David Williamson, UTD Geoscience Alum and Vice President of Geosciences, Monadnock Resources.


(l to r, Dave Williamson, Lowell Waite, Maryanne Fender, Dane Richardson, Anna LeBlanc)



Fender Minerals: