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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Dec. 6, 1996

Geologists Receive Dept. of Energy Grant

LAWRENCE--Petroleum geologists and engineers from the Kansas Geological Survey and the University of Kansas Energy Research Center have received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help improve computer software that will aid in oil and gas exploration.

The $87,000 grant will be matched by contributions from private sponsors from the oil and gas industry, including Amoco Production Company (Denver), McCoy Petroleum Corporation (Wichita), Phillips Petroleum Company (Bartlesville, Oklahoma), and VASTAR (Houston).

According to Lynn Watney, Survey geologist and executive director of KU's Energy Research Center, the funding will be used to continue development of a computer software program that analyzes well logs, the records of holes drilled in search of oil and natural gas.

The PC-based program, called PfEFFER (for Petrofacies Evaluation of Formations for Engineering Reservoirs), utilizes information from logs to create maps, charts, and three-dimensional images of oil and gas reservoirs. This new information will help guide companies as they drill additional wells and devise new strategies to locate and produce oil that might otherwise not be recovered.

The computer package was developed by Survey geologists and is currently being used by oil and gas companies. The grant from DOE will be used to enhance the program, including creating links to DOE computer programs.

"The result will be a computer program that combines concepts from both geology and engineering," said Watney.

The new version of the program will eventually be used in oil fields operated by the cooperating companies in western Kansas, Texas, and Louisiana.

"By using PfEFFER to develop new images of these fields, we should be able to extend their lives and produce additional oil," said Watney.

For more information on the PfEFFER software, please see the PfEFFER web pages.

story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965
Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs