UTD PBRL Welcomes Dr. Majie Fan, UT Arlington, as Affiliated Faculty

We are pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Majie Fan, Assistant Professor of Geosciences, University of Texas at Arlington, as an Affiliated Faculty to the UTD Permian Basin Research Lab.  Majie has extensive experience studying orogen formation and paleoclimate change and is currently assisting us to better understanding tectonic and magmatic events and Permian sediment provenance of the Permian Basin.  She was a key contributor and co-author of our 2020 Spraberry detrital zircon paper and she and her current Ph.D. student (Hepeng Tian) have been studying Permian ash beds in the Midland Basin, with two manuscripts currently in press.

Welcome, Majie!  We are very pleased to add your expertise to the UTD-PBRL, and look forward to continued collaboration.

UTD PBRL Occasional Publication #1 now posted

We are happy to announce the launching of the UTD Permian Basin Research Lab Occasional Publication Series.  This Series will make available results of select Graduate studies supported by the PBRL.

The premier issue (Occasion Publication #1) highlights the study of recent UTD Graduate Rebecca Kleinman.  Her study concerns the geology of a recently proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility for high-level nuclear waste in Andrews, County, Texas, located on the northern portion of the Central Basin Platform, approximately 50 miles NW of the Midland-Odessa petroplex.

The paper may be viewed and downloaded on the Publications page.

Core Workshop at Scout Energy Partners

On July 6-7, 2021, Lowell Waite was invited to participate in a core workshop at the offices of Scout Energy Partners.  Scout is a private energy producer located in north Dallas, focusing on the acquisition, operation, and growth of upstream and midstream energy assets.  The core workshop was organized and lead by Scout geologist Travis Moreland, with assistance from Scout geologist Alex Gonzalez (who is currently a UTD Geoscience graduate student).

The workshop included the viewing of a carbonate core from the Eastern Shelf, a shale core from the Ft. Worth Basin, and a terrigenous clastic core from the Texas panhandle.  The event was attended by several members from Scout management, engineers, geologists, land personnel, accountants, staff, as well as several summer interns.  Emphasis was placed on the importance of obtaining core for petroleum system analysis and the interpretation of depositional environments to construct predictive geologic models.

We thank Scout Energy Partners for the opportunity to participate in this event!

Presentation to Endeavor Energy Resources: Horseshoe Atoll of the Midland Basin

On June 7, 2021, Lowell Waite delivered a web presentation entitled “Reefs of the Permo-Penn Caribbean: The Horseshoe Atoll of the Midland Basin” to the staff of Endeavor Energy Resources, LP, Midland, Texas.  The presentation was at the request of Dr. Andrew Quarles, V.P Northern Basin Asset Development.  The presentation was well received and future presentations on the tectonic history and stratigraphy of the Permian Basin are planned.

Endeavor currently owns the second largest land position in the Midland Basin, holding over 350,000 Net Acres.  We are honored and pleased to welcome Endeavor as the newest “friend of the UTD Permian Basin Research Lab”

The Horseshoe Atoll presentation may be accessed under the Presentations and Data tab of the PBRL website.

Presentation to Abilene Geologic Society

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, Lowell Waite was invited to present his talk entitled “Stratigraphic Framework of the Wolfcamp – Spraberry of the Midland Basin” to the Abilene Geologic Society.  The talk was given at the Abilene Country Club to approximately 35 members and guests of the Society.

The presentation slides for the presentation may be viewed on the “Presentations and Data” page of the UTD PBRL website



June 23, 2020: Book review published

Lowell Waite recently published a book review in the journal International Geology Review, entitled “Anatomy of a Paleozoic basin: the Permian Basin, USA, Volumes 1 and 2.  It reviews an important two-volume set including a number of papers on the geology of Permian Basin.  The volumes were co-published by the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology (Report of Investigations 285) and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (Memoir 118).  Volume 1 was released in 2019, and Volume 2 in 2020.

These volumes cover a wide range of topics, providing updated information on the tectonics, stratigraphic units, and paleontology/biostratigraphy of the region.  The two-volume set is now part of the PBRL library.

The full review can be accessed in the Presentations and Data portion of the PBRL website.

June 1, 2020: Spraberry detrital zircon paper published

After a long (> 2 yr) and somewhat arduous process, the PBRL is proud to announce publication of a new paper entitled “Detrital zircon provenance evidence for an early Permian longitudinal river flowing into the Midland Basin of west Texas,” published in the peer-reviewed journal International Geology Review.

The paper provides evidence of a large, axial, early Permian river system draining the Appalachian foreland basin and northern Gondwanan provinces, delivering detrital clastic sediments directly into the Permian Basin from the east and south. as part of the giant Spraberry submarine fan complex.  Previous models have emphasized a northern source for Spraberry sand- and siltstones.  A large axial river system from the south would have delivered copious amounts of nutrients into the Permian Basin sea, fostering organic productivity.  This may have been an important factor in the enrichment of Permian organic material within the basin and ultimately, in the production of world-class hydrocarbon source rocks.

A copy of the paper is posted in “Presentations and Data” section of the PBRL website

May 12, 2020 San Andres presentation now available

“Facies and Stratigraphy of the San Andres Formation (Mid Permian) Petroleum Province, Northwest Shelf of the Permian Basin, West Texas: A Resurgent Play,” by Kevin Hiss and David Williamson, is now available on the Presentations and Data Tab.

This is from an oral presentation given by UTD M.S. candidate Kevin Hiss at the 2020 GSA South-Central Meeting held this past March in Ft. Worth, TX.  Kevin’s co-author is UTD Alumni and PBRL Industrial Associate David  Williamson.  It discusses the geology and petroleum reservoir character of the San Andres Formation on the Northwest Shelf of Texas (Yoakum and Cochran counties), comparing the historical main pay zone of the giant San Andres fields with the current resurgent effort to extract residual oil using horizontal drilling and completion technology.

A copy of the presentation may be accessed here:

March 2020: PBRL has a large presence at the recent GSA South Central Meeting in Ft. Worth

The UTD Permian Basin Research Lab had a large and successful presence at the recent GSA South Central Meeting held in Ft. Worth, Texas, on March 9 – 11, 2020.

Bob Stern and Lowell Waite, along with Lily Pfeifer-Johnson and Alicia Bonar of the University of Oklahoma, co-chaired Technical Session T8, entitled “Permian of the South-Central U.S.: Land and Sea.”  This session included 10 presentations on various aspects of the Permian geology of the greater south-central US region, focusing on the relationship between Permian continental and marine environments, climate, tectonics, and magmatism.

Lowell Waite, along with co-authors Bob Stern (UTD) and Chris Scotese (Northwestern University) opened the session with a presentation entitled “One if by Land, Two if by Sea: Permian of the U.S. South Central region.  This talk provided a broad overview of Permian chronology and secular trends (global geologic themes).

Kevin Hiss, UTD graduate student at the PBRL, along with co-author and UTD alumnus David Williamson (Monadnock Resources), presented a talk entitled “Facies and Stratigraphy of the San Andres Formation (Middle Permian) Petroleum Province, Northwest Shelf of the Permian Basin, West Texas: A Resurgent Play.”  Kevin’s presentation highlighted the geologic setting and development of the San Andres carbonate reservoir, discussing the application of recent horizontal drilling and completion technology along the margins of established giant San Andres oil fields in Yoakum and Cochran counties, Texas.

A copy of the Waite et al. presentation will be posted on the PBRL website.  The Hiss and Williamson presentation is currently subject to a non-disclosure agreement, but a version of this will be posted if available.