Expert Details

Expert in Petroleum Reservoirs, Coalbed Methane, CBM, Shale Gas, Unconventional Gas, Sorption, Sorbed Gas

Expert ID: 730706 Texas, USA

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The emergence of "unconventional reservoirs" as the principal focus of present-day fossil fuels exploration has blurred the boundaries between what were at one time distinct resource categories, based upon specific production technologies. The unifying theme of this group of topics is that they apply broadly to the occurrence of fossil energy resources in any form, focusing particularly on their underlying geology.

The term "fossil fuel", appearing in this group, refers to any naturally occurring, carbon-based organic substances representing the altered remains of once-living organisms, whatever their physical state or mode of occurrence might be at present present . This category is intended to encompass resources that may not fall neatly into any single category. For example, "carbonaceous material energy production" is intended to include the recovery of bitumen from tar sands, which as been accomplished both by mining/retorting methods as well as in situ technologies such as SAGD (steam assisted gravity drainage).

Expert's approach to fossil energy resources has been to consider these materials in a comprehensive, integrated fashion, without imposing terminology and classifications that may not be pertinent to present day circumstances. The goal is to understand their origin, mode of occurrence, physical characteristics, and properties.

This set of topics focuses specifically on coal as a category of fossil hydrocarbon resource(s). Expert's experience and expertise in coal geology, and coal composition is very broad, dating back to his very first job as a professional geologist at the Unites States Bureau of Mines, in Pittsburgh. Expert's graduate studies at Penn State focused to a large degree on coal geology, as well as many other related aspects of geology. This is an unqualified area of expertise where he has earned world-wide respect.

Historically, the term "coal" has been applied to describing fossil carbon resources occurring in stratigraphic layers that are amenable to extraction by various methods of "digging". From a geological perspective, however, the term "coal" does not imply a particular extraction technology, but describes a rock comprised primarily (meaning more than 50%) of carbonacous materials representing the remains of once-living organisms. The term "coal" has been defined as including mineral matter and moisture as constituents, and makes no restrictions regarding the chemical composition of the carbonaceous fraction. There is nothing in widely used definitions of coal that would exclude petroleum-like substances as legitimate constituents, assuming they occur within the stratigraphic boundaries of the coal seam.

Based on modern analytical methods, we now know that although coal has been "loosely" described as a "solid", we cannot take the term "solid" in a technically rigorous sense. Coal may actually include a substantial fraction of constituents that would occur in liquid or gaseous state, were they not an integral part of the coal microfabric.

The composition of coal changes during and after the mining process, particularly through the loss of volatile components. At all points, however--before, during, and after the mining process--the resource is referred to simply as "coal", with no restrictions placed on the composition or physical state of its constituents.

The terms "gas" or "natural gas", refer to fossil energy resources that occur in the gaseous state at surface conditions of temperature and pressure, irrespective of their actual physical state in the reservoir. A substantial, and increasing proportion of natural gas resources occur in non-gaseous state underground, being physically bonded, or "sorbed", in association with condensed (i.e. liquid or solid) forms of organic matter (e.g. coal, solid bitumen, kerogen, or oil). The term "sorbed gas reservoir" is intended to describe this category of gas resources, which includes coalbed methane (CBM) as well as a significant proportion of shale gas resources. Significantly, sorbed gas may provide the driving mechanism for production of liquid hydrocarbons and condensates from shales as well.

This set of topics pertains specifically to hydrocarbon resources produced and handled as a gas at the surface, but which occur in condensed state in the reservoir. An understanding of these resources requires an understanding of the physical chemical processes associated with their production. Notably, there is a phase change associated with the transformation from sorbed state to gaseous state. This set of topics is particularly oriented toward the understanding of the underlying reservoir mechanisms and physical chemistry of sorbed gas reservoir systems.

Expert's expertise in sorbed gas reservoirs dates back to 1974 at the United States Bureau of Mines, and has been the major focus of his professional career since then.

The common theme for this group of topics is "conventional petroleum resources".

Expert's professional career has focused principally on so-called "unconventional resources", especially unconventional gas. Working in the petroleum industry, however, has provided a broad exposure to conventional petroleum resources, particularly in regards to the manner in which they contrast with unconventional resources. This has yielded a general familiarity and broad expertise in the topics listed, but primarily in the context specified.


The theme of this group of topics pertains to how energy resources are classified in terms of their various economic categories, and legal categories. Included here is direct experience conducting resources estimates done in accordance with the Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS) classification system. This includes a familiarity with statistical methods (stochastic modeling) as well as deterministic methods, applied both to coalbed methane and shale gas. Expert has also conducted resource assessments relating specifically to minable coal resources.

While having had less experience in conventional hydrocarbon resource and reserves estimates, Expert is meticulous and thorough enough to critically review, and discover errors and inconsistencies in accredited reserve and resource reports prepared by respected 3rd party experts, including Netherland and Sewell and DeGolyer and MacNaughton.

For further discussion of these topics, particularly expert witness testimony relating to CBM ownership, please see heading #11 (Consulting Examples).

Directional drilling, together with hydraulic stimulation, have unlocked the productive potential of shale reservoirs that were, up until very recently, deemed to be non-economic in regards to their production potential.

While not a specialist in directional drilling or fracking, Expert has worked in and around these technologies for much of his professional career. He sat on his first "frac job" in around 1976, as part of an R&D well drilled to test the productive potential of anthracite coals in east-central Pennsylvania.

At CDX Gas, he participated in the implementation of an innovative new directional drilling design involving the drilling of a vertical cavitation well intersected by a horizontal well, which branched off into multi-laterals past the point of intersection. This techology placed CDX on a rapid growth curve in forming joint venture partnerships in North America and around the world.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Dallas, Texas - Fort Worth, Texas - Arlington, Texas - Plano, Texas - Garland, Texas - Irving, Texas - Grand Prairie, Texas - Mesquite, Texas - Waco, Texas - Carrollton, Texas

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Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1983 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Geology Institution: The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Year: 1981 Degree: M.S. Subject: Geology Institution: The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Year: 1974 Degree: B.S. Subject: Geology Institution: University of Michigan

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2011 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Principal Department: Responsibilities:  Multidisciplinary assessment of unconventional reservoirs, especially coal and shale gas
• Integrated reservoir data analysis and database management
• Organic petrology of coal, shale, & petroleum source rocks, including interpretation of vitrinite reflectance, organic petrography, Rock-Eval, organic geochemistry, and other methods
• Design and implementation of coring, sampling, and laboratory analysis programs
• Gas desorption testing: design & construction of equipment, field and lab procedures, data analysis & interpretation
• Integration of laboratory analysis data and petrophysical data
• Raman spectral logging
• Tectonics, structural geology & rock mechanics
 Project planning & development
• Working with drilling, completion, & production engineers in planning, implementation, and optimization of reservoir development
• Production analysis and optimization
• Estimation and classification of gas reserves and resources, according to SEC and PRMS criteria, including Monte Carlo modeling of gas resources
 General skills
• Strong technical communication skills, both written and oral
• Strong computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, & Access
• Digital mapping & GIS,. preparation of cross sections, isopleth maps, and other graphical presentation in various software platforms
 Other areas of expertise:
• Legal theories of mineral ownership relating to natural gas, coal, & CBM
• Scientific evidence relating to global climate change
• Carbon sequestration, especially related to the use of organic matter-rich sedimentary strata for geologic sequestration of anthropogenic CO2.
Years: 2010 to 2011 Employer: DeGolyer and MacNaughton Title: Senior Geologist Department: Responsibilities: Conducted resource assessments of coalbed methane projects in Australia and Italy. Contributed to improvement of methodology for determination of Gas-Initially-In-Place. Interpretation of gas production trends in Haynesville Shale.
Years: 2007 to 2007 Employer: WellDog, Inc. Title: Chief Technology Officer Department: Responsibilities: (Company failed financially)
• Worked with in-house staff to guarantee scientific quality of commercial products
• Co-supervised development of new products & services
• Promoted & publicized WellDog technology
• Provided technical support to sales staff
• Intellectual property issues
Years: 2000 to 2002 Employer: CDX Gas Title: Chief Scientist & Manager of Resource Evaluation Department: Responsibilities: • Supervised exploration & prospect evaluation related to CBM & shale gas
• Coordinated assessments & production analysis of all active & prospective CBM projects
• Designed & assembled field & laboratory equipment for core testing & resource evaluation. Held overall responsibility for equipment, lab procedures, & associated personnel
• Established standardized methodology for estimation of gas resources
• Participated in business development activities,
• Co-promoted successful joint-venture CBM project with Talisman Energy
Years: 1996 to 2000 Employer: GeoMet, Inc. Title: Vice President for Geologic Investigations Department: Responsibilities: • Designed and maintained databases for geology and production data for all GeoMet’s CBM projects (Alabama (BWB, Coosa, Cahaba), Appalachian Basin, Raton, Colombia, & China)
• Conducted geological evaluation on all of GeoMet’s existing and prospective CBM projects—domestic & international. Conducted resource evaluation and reserves estimation.
• Prepared summary reports on GeoMet’s CBM projects
• Designed, equipped, and maintained lab and field equipment for gas desorption testing.
• Performed on-site core logging, sampling, and gas desorption testing.
• Designed and prepared technical presentations; and promotional literature.
• Evaluated, maintained, and operated geological mapping and database software.
• Maintained GIS database and applications using ArcView & AutoCAD Map.
Years: 1985 to 1992 Employer: University of Alabama Title: Research Scientist Department: School of Mines and Energy Devleopment Responsibilities: • Lab study for the U.S. DOE on the influence of matrix shrinkage on CBM reservoir behavior.
- Developed methodology and constructed equipment to measure sorption-related strain using mechanical strain gages
- Developed procedure and assembled equipment to measure CH4 and CO2 sorption isotherms in coal & shale via high-pressure microbalance.
• Studied methane sorption behavior of Antrim Shale for Shell
• Conducted special core analysis of oil-bearing coals in the San Juan Basin
• Participated in CBM coring/resource evaluation in Cahaba & Black Warrior basins
• Conducted laboratory studies of coal, incl. fracture studies, vitrinite reflectance, petrology
• Taught senior/graduate level course in Coal Geology
Years: 1983 to 1985 Employer: McGill University Title: Research Associate in Sedimentology Department: Responsibilities: • Regional analysis and interpretation of petroleum generation & maturation of L. Paleozoic strata near Québec City, using bitumen reflectance & petroleum fluid inclusions
• Laser Raman micro-spectroscopy of petroleum
• Co-instructor in sedimentary diagenesis
Years: 1974 to 1977 Employer: U.S. Bureau of Mines Title: Reserach Geologist Department: Pittsburgh Mining & Safety Research Center Responsibilities: • Participated in the development of USBM "Direct Method" for estimating the gas contents of coal & shale, now widely used worldwide. Designed and implemented “ball mill” method for estimation of “residual gas”;
• Co-supervised drilling of frontier CBM exploration well in Pennsylvania Anthracite region.
• Participated in regional studies of coal cleat
• Conducted assessments of the CBM resource potential of the San Juan & Raton basins

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Summary List:

#1: Context: Southern Ute Indian Tribe v. Amoco et al.
Client: Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Time Frame: ca. 1989-1999;
Venue: United States District Court, Colorado; United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals; United States Supreme Court

#2: Context: Geiger v. United States of America et al.
Client: Greenebaum Doll & McDonald PLLC
Time frame: 2005
Venue: United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky

#3: Context: Alberta Energy & Utilities Board hearings on licencing of CBM wells
Client: EnCana
Time Frame: 2006-2007
Venue: Alberta Energy & Utilities Board

#4: Context: AGL Sales (Queensland) Pty Ltd v Dawson Sales Pty Ltd AGL v. Dawson Energy
Client: AGL (Energy provider, Australia)
Time Frame: 2008-2009
Venue: Supreme Court of Queensland (Brisbane)

#5: Due Diligence Investigation into Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing of Shales
Client: Ashcraft & Gerel
Time Frame: 2011

--------------------------------------------
Services for the Southern Ute Tribe included:
• Meeting periodically with legal counsel, tribal leadership, and other technical experts to discuss technical details relating to the case.
• Preparation of technical reports, memos, and other documents relating to various technical topics pertinent to the case, including comments and criticisms of reports and testimony provided by technical experts representing Amoco.
• Conducting original scientific research on the coal and associated CBM resources occurring on tribal lands, with the goal of better elucidating its composition and characteristics. Results of this research was presented at international scientific and technical conferences and meetings.
• Preparation of a report addressing the geology, composition, origin, and other characteristics of coal and CBM, submitted to the courts in support of the Tribe's complaint.
• Testimony through deposition conducted at the offices of legal counsel representing Amoco.
• Attendance at the deposition of one of the principal technical experts representing Amoco (a full professor specializing in organic geochemistry from the University of Oklahoma, holding a PhD from Oxford University), providing technical questions to the Tribe's counsel that exposed weaknesses in the expert's arguments, eventually resulting in his disqualifying himself as an expert.

Services to Encana included:
• Meeting periodically with legal counsel to discuss technical details relating to the case.
• Preparation of technical reports, memos, and other documents relating to various technical topics pertinent to the case, including comments and criticisms of reports submitted by experts for the plaintiffs, .
• Preparation of a detailed report addressing a range of issues bearing on the composition, description, and classification of coal and CBM
• Testimony provided under oath at public hearings.
• Preparation of a detailed report addressing the geology, composition, origin, and other characteristics of coal and CBM, covering the following specific topics:

Serviced to AGL included:
working as part of a team of four experts of the plaintiff. As a geologist, responsible for the geological aspects of the case. The other experts were a geophysicist, an engineer, and a drilling engineer.

Expert was told that his support was deemed the most valuable to the legal team. The judge made 25 references to Expert's report and courtroom testimony in rendering his decision on behalf of the plaintiff.

Services included:
• Review of “mountains” of technical documents submitted by the defendant to justify their claim of force majeur, and to demonstrate what they believed was prudent careful development of the resource.
• Meeting with legal counsel to discuss technical details relating to the case.
• Submission of technical reports, memos, and other documents relating to various technical topics pertinent to the case, including comments and criticisms of rep
Training / Seminars
• Short Courses and Workshops on CBM including: Alberta Research Council (Canada), AAPG Energy Minerals Division, ARCO Exploration & Production Technology, Conoco, Inc., Institut Français du Pétrole (Paris), Meridian Oil Inc., MIM Holdings Ltd. (Brisbane, Australia), Penn State University, Petroleum Inc., United Nations Development Program, University of Alabama, University of Wales-Cardiff, Talisman Energy
• Numerous technical talks on CBM at meetings including: Eastern CBM Forum, Western CBM Forum, North American CBM Forum, AAPG, GSA
• Chairman of CBM technical session at 1996 AAPG Meeting, Salt Lake City
• Invited speaker on coal composition & CBM reservoirs, Teichmuller Symposium, 2001 meeting Intl. Comm. Coal & Organic Petrology (Copenhagen)
Marketing Experience
Experience in the following specific basins:

USA:
• Northern Appalachian Basin
• Pennsylvania Anthracite fields
• Black Warrior Basin
• Michigan Basin
• Gulf Coast Lignite Belt
• Raton Basin
• Western Washington Coal Fields
• San Juan Basin
• Piceance Basin
• Uinta Basin
• Powder River Basin
• Arkoma Basin
• Cherokee/ Forest City Basin
• Illinois Basin
• Fort Worth Basin
• Haynesville Shale
Canada:
• Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
• Elk Valley (BC)
• Peace River Fields
• Cumberland/Stellarton (Nova Scotia)
International
• Upper Silesian Coal Basin (Poland)
• Bowen Basin (Australia)
• Cooper Basin (Australia)
• Tiefa Basin (China)
• Hancheng Mining Area (China)
• Staffordshire Basin & nearby
Carboniferous coal fields (UK)
• Cesar-Rancheria (Colombia)
• Barmer Basin (India)
• Western Siberia (Russia)
• Miocene coal fields (Italy)


Other Relevant Experience
AREAS OF TECHNICAL EXPERTISE

 Multidisciplinary assessment of unconventional reservoirs, especially coal and shale gas
• Integrated reservoir data analysis and database management
• Organic petrology of coal, shale, & petroleum source rocks, including interpretation of vitrinite reflectance, organic petrography, Rock-Eval, organic geochemistry, and other methods
• Design and implementation of coring, sampling, and laboratory analysis programs
• Gas desorption testing: design & construction of equipment, field and lab procedures, data analysis & interpretation
• Integration of laboratory analysis data and petrophysical data
• Raman spectral logging
• Tectonics, structural geology & rock mechanics
 Project planning & development
• Working with drilling, completion, & production engineers in planning, implementation, and optimization of reservoir development
• Production analysis and optimization
• Estimation and classification of gas reserves and resources, according to SEC and PRMS criteria, including Monte Carlo modeling of gas resources
 General skills
• Strong technical communication skills, both written and oral
• Strong computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, & Access
• Digital mapping & GIS,. preparation of cross sections, isopleth maps, and other graphical presentation in various software platforms
 Other areas of expertise:
• Legal theories of mineral ownership relating to natural gas, coal, & CBM
• Scientific evidence relating to global climate change
• Carbon sequestration, especially related to the use of organic matter-rich sedimentary strata for geologic sequestration of anthropogenic CO2.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
French Moderate abilities
Spanish Moderate abilities

Fields of Expertise

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