Tight Oil Sandstones of the Powder River Basin

Course Details

Outcrops along the western margin of the Powder River Basin allow a glimpse into reservoir facies, fractures, geometries and trends – all of which are important when planning horizontal wells. This field trip is co-taught by Brandi Butler and Ali Jaffri and focuses on the structural and stratigraphic features that control production from the Frontier, Parkman, Shannon, Sussex, and Teapot intervals.

Whether you have worked these reservoirs extensively in the past or are planning on purchasing acreage in the Powder River Basin, this field trip will serve you well.


• Geologists

• Geophysicists

• Petrophysicists

• Engineers

This course is meant for all who are working or planning on entering the tight oil sandstone plays of the Powder River Basin

Course Outline

Day 1

Safety briefing, orientation and lectures on sedimentary structures and structural evolution

The Frontier Formation, Wall Creek and Frewens allomembers - contrasting production and log signatures from wave-dominated updrift and tide-influenced downdrift portions of the Frontier top-truncated deltas


Comparing the Frontier with the Parkman Sandstone - these are spectacular outcrops that will improve your ability to correlate this complex unit in the sub-surface.

Day 2

Lecture on Incised Valley Systems and Shelf Sand Ridges

A look at the Shannon and Sussex - why are there so many depositional models for these? which one is correct? and does any of that affect horizontal well planning?


The Teapot Sandstone, we will cover core photos with the outcrop to determine whether these outcrops are a good analog for producing facies in the subsurface

Brandi and I will be teaching this field trip for the AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting in September 2019