Monday April 4th (from 6-8 pm)

Beverages will be provided and gift cards will be up for grabs!





Please come and join the PPS next Wednesday, February 3rd at 5:30 pm (in BGS 1053) to enjoy a presentation by Michael Webb, courtesy of the CSPG ‘University Outreach’ Lecture Tour. He will be delighting us with thoughts about reservoir heterogeneity in the Athabasca Oil Sands. Please see the attached poster for additional details! CSPG Michael Webb Promo Poster.jpg

Dear Fellow Earth Scientists … Please consider joining us for a pre-exam study break!

Monday November 30th, 6:00 pm in BGS 1053

 Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 2.29.05 PM copy.jpg

AAPG Student Chapter Day

Saturday April 4th, 10:oo – 4:00 @ McMaster University

You MUST RSVP for this event! Please sign-up to become an AAPG member if you haven’t already (remember its FREE!). Plus, meet Western alum Kevin Jackson and our chapter founder Meriem Grifi!

Canada AAPG Student Chapter Day_Ontario_4Apr2015_flyer_final

PPS Movie Night: There Will Be Blood

Thursday February 5th – BGS 1053

7:00 Doors Open, 7:15 Movie Starts

Join us for a pre-midterms movie night accompanied by popcorn and warm drinks! Bring a can or non-perishable food item for an entry to win a prize (all collected items will be donated to the London Food Bank). All are welcome.

 Lee Fortner – UWO Department Colloquium/PPS Speaker

January 30, 2015 – BGS 0153 @ 3:30

“Wellsite Operations and Geology”

Join Lee, a geologist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, as he speaks about wellsite geology this Friday at our department’s weekly colloquium. As always, coffee and donuts will be provided by the outcrop club for colloquium.


Wellsite Geology, or being a Wellsite Geological Consultant, is a challenging step in one’s career path. It has been used by many geologists to gain early experience in the oil and gas industry, although a few maintain this position for an extended time. Wellsite geology is not done in isolation of the rig environment. It requires an understanding of drilling procedures and their resulting mechanical and physical processes. Besides the somewhat scientific task of describing rock cuttings samples, the geologist on site is responsible for making some critical decisions and managing tight timelines involving expensive operations, all while under significant mental and physical stress.

December Event – Take a break from exams for a movie and popcorn with the PPS

Our December event is a holiday movie showing accompanied by popcorn and warm drinks. Bring a can or non-perishable food item for an entry to win a prize (all collected items will be donated to the London Food Bank). Come and take a much needed break from studying and get into the holiday spirit. Festive attire is encouraged!


December 9, 2014

Physics and Astronomy Bldg rm. 026

7:00 pm Doors Open, 7:15 Movie starts


… And for all you knitters out there, Matea will be hosting a pre-movie knitting session in B&G 1077 at 6:00 pm. Please bring your own yarn and needles.

 CSPG Distinguished Lecturer – Astrid Arts

November 6, 2014 — BGS 0153 @ 5:30

“Girl’s Guide to the Oil Patch and Life as a Petroleum Geologist”

Come and listen as Astrid shares her experiences with us. She presented a talk at GeoConvention this past spring, and trust us, this is a talk you don’t want to miss!

Here is a bit about Astrid:

Astrid Arts is a Senior Carbonate Geologist at Cenovus Energy and Finance Director for the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists.  She is a native Albertan who moved to Calgary to pursue a career as a Petroleum Geologist.  Astrid studied at the University of Alberta earning a BSc (Hons) in Geology and an MSc in Carbonate Sedimentology.   After 8 years in industry, she took a 5 year leave to stay at home with her 2 boys.  Astrid made the transition back to work 4 years ago. She truly understands the unique challenges women face in the Petroleum Industry as well as those of working mothers in balancing life and a rewarding career.

 Petrolia Pioneers Society – General Meeting

October 24, 2014 – BGS 1065 at 1:30

Our first meeting of the 2014-2015 school year. Come learn more about the club, our ideas for events, and share what you want from the PPS this year. Looking forward to seeing all of you.

PPS General Meeting Presentation (click here to access the slides from the meeting)

Previous Events



Tuesday 12:30-1:30 PM, February 26th, 2013

Biology and Geology Building 1053

Everybody is welcome!

huskyenergyDiscussion of the Requirements for an Alkali/Surfactant/Polymer Tertiary Flood, Gull Lake, Southwest Saskatchewan

By Sid Leggett, Husky Energy

Getting oil out of a reservoir is a challenge.  The recovery from most reservoirs is low and it takes a lot of ingenuity and technical expertise to get a significant amount of the oil out. Primary recovery, which involves the production of oil from a reservoir by natural mechanisms, usually recovers less than 10% of the oil present.  Secondary flooding of a reservoir begins with the injection of fluids, almost always water, to maintain the reservoir pressure and displace the hydrocarbons to the producing wells.  This may get up to between 35 and 45% of the oil.  Tertiary recovery involves adding chemicals to recover even more oil, potentially between 5 to 15% more.

This discussion is about requirements to do an Alkali/Surfactant/Polymer tertiary flood and how a particular pool in southwest Saskatchewan, the Gull Lake North Upper Shaunavon pool, met these requirements.  It illustrates some of the complexities of oil pools and some of the details on how a tertiary flood functions.

The tertiary flood of the Gull Lake pool began with the injection of softened water on June 1st, 2009 followed by alkali/polymer on October 1st and full alkali/surfactant/polymer on December 1st, 2009.  With oil in place reserves of 76MM bbls. (12.1MM m3), the Gull Lake ASP flood is one of the largest such floods in the world.

The middle Jurassic Upper Shaunavon Formation in the Gull Lake area is made up of shallow marine clastic and carbonate sediments deposited on a shallow marine platform at the northwest side of the Williston Basin in southwest Saskatchewan, Canada.  There are two reservoirs in the Gull Lake North Upper Shaunavon oil pool – a large incised tidal channel near the top of the Upper Shaunavon Formation and several small tidal bars stratigraphically above the channel.  The channel is the main reservoir for the pool and is the target for the tertiary flood.

Oil migration into the area was driven by a north-south trending hydrodynamic low.  Gas associated with the oil moved structurally updip to the northwest leaving the reservoir with low GOR oil in the updip part of the channel and a water leg in the down dip part.

The Gull Lake pool met most of the requirements for an alkali/surfactant/polymer (ASP) tertiary flood – large size, lack of a gas cap, very little clay, low temperature, an intermediate API crude and a thick, high quality reservoir with no apparent permeability barriers.  The only negative feature of the Gull Lake pool affecting the ASP flood is the potential for injected ASP fluid dilution from contact with the water leg for the pool.

Sid Leggett is a development geologist who specializes in the optimization of existing fields including secondary and tertiary recovery processes associated with oil fields.  Most of his 30 years of industry experience in Western Canada has been acquired working for several midsized and large exploration companies.  Currently he is a manager working for Husky Energy leading up an exploration team working in the Western Canada Basin.  Sid has a MSc. in Geology from the University of Manitoba and a B.Sc. (Honours) degree from Brock University. 

The Petrolia Pioneers Society is VERY excited to invite you all to this event as Dr. Burns Cheadle and the PPS have been working very hard to bring the CSPG Lecture here to Western.


Meriem Grifi – M.Sc. Defense Lecture

M.Sc. Geology Public Lecture
Candidate: Meriem Grifi
Supervisor: Guy Plint

“Stratigraphy and Sedimentology of the Late Cretaceous (Coniacian) Muskiki and Marshybank Members, Southern Alberta and Northwestern Montana”
Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 2:30 PM
B&G Building, Room 1053

Abstract: A high-resolution allostratigraphic study of the Coniacian Muskiki and Marshybank members of the Wapiabi Formation in southern Alberta revealed a southwest
thickening wedge of mudstone-dominated strata that was deposited on a shallow stormdominated shelf. Well-log correlations and biostratigraphy show that the Muskiki Member forms the bulk of the succession; the Marshybank Member is thin or absent in the subsurface.
The lower and middle units of the Muskiki Member display regional subsidence patterns consistent with thrust sheet loading in the Cordillera. The upper unit comprises a linear trough filled by southeastward-accreting clinothems. The northeast boundary of the clinoform package corresponds with an Archean thrust fault that may have undergone extensional reactivation during the Coniacian, forming a local trough. An isopach map of the basal Santonian strata shows thinning coincident with the Vulcan magnetic anomaly, suggesting differential subsidence across the structure.


Muskiki and Marshybank Members  in Sheep River canyon, Southern Alberta
(Photo by Piotr Angiel)



Lecture by Dr. Guy Plint, April 11 at 1:30 PM

PPS Bowling and Elections! Thurs. March 29, 7 PM

You may be thinking about the end of this year (exams? what are those?) but the PPS is already looking ahead to next year! We are looking for keen students interested in joining the executive committee for the 2012-2013 year. Positions include:

Department Liason

Come on out for an evening of bowling at the Palasaide (Oxford and Adelaide), compliments of the Petrolia Pioneers Soceity. Chat with the current exec to find out the exciting opportunities available to you! Tell everyone why YOU should be a PPS Exec for the 2012-2013 year, and sign up to make your contribution to Western’s best (only) organization for petroleum geologists!

Hope to see you there,

Your PPS Exec

“Ramblings of a Petroleum Geologist” Jan.30

 AAPG Student Chapter Symposium

The Petrolia Pioneers Society will be hosting the Canada Region Local Student Chapter Leadership Symposium (L-SCLS) November 25-27. Representitives from universities across Ontario will be attending this event, which includes seminars, workshops, and a trip to the MNR core research centre in London. Students will learn about the benefits of CSPG and AAPG student chapters, while learning how to start a great student chapter at their home university!

A huge thank you to Petrolia Pioneer’s Society founder and former president, Meriem Grifi, for organizing this event. Thank you also to the organizations who have provided support for the symposium: AAPG, CSPG, CSEG, and OPI.

Petrolia field trip

Thanks to everyone who joined the PPS on our field trip on Saturday October 15 to Petrolia and Oil Springs, Ontario– the site of North America’s first oil discovery. The group learned about early drilling equipment (some of which is still used today in Oil Springs!), and about the significance of southern Ontario in the early days of the oil industry.

Thanks also to those who participated in our BBQ. The proceeds from this fundraiser went towards the Petrolia trip.



January Meeting – Joel Shank talk

First event of 2011 was a great success!

December, 2010– Petrolia Pioneers Society worked together with the Earth Sciences Department and the undergraduate student club, Outcrop, to raise food donations for a family in need as well as general food bank items. Each Christmas the department helps a family in need by providing food items to go towards their Christmas meal.

In November 2010, faculty and students went to Petrolia and Oil Springs, Ontario to visit the site of the oldest oil company in the world. A chilly day that included cold winds and even snow at times saw ten students and two faculty members spent the day at the Oil Museum of Canada in Oil Springs. We were then met by Mr. Charles Fairbank, current owner of Fairbank Oil Ltd., the oldest company in the world. Mr. Fairbank gave us a private tour of his property showing us the various parts to the jerker line system, as well as a tour of Van Tuyl and Fairbank Hardware store. It was a very successful trip as everyone learned something new. Petrolia and Oil Springs in Ontario are important to Canada’s petroleum heritage and the cold day certainly didn’t put anyone off!

The Petrolia Pioneers Society held two fundraiser barbecues in September and October to help raise money for the chapter. These were both very successful and saw people from within earth sciences at Western as well as rest of campus join us for hot dogs and burgers!

Chapter Start-up – Early 2010


March 10, 2010 – Distinguished Lecture Series – Dr. Guy Plint – The evolution of a Cenomanian delta complex in the Western Canada Foreland Basin: Paleogeographic and stratigraphic responses to tectonic and eustatic forcing

February 10, 2010 – Department Lecture – Terry Carter – Combating Climate Change by Geological Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide

January 27, 2010 – Department Lecture – Dr. Burns A. Cheadle – Shale Gas: Progress, Panacea, or Pandemic?


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