Stephen E. Laubach is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau Economic Geology where he leads the fracture and structural diagenesis programs. The focus of the structural diagenesis effort is a new research and training paradigm in sedimentary geochemistry and structural geology (see Journal of Structural Geology, 2010, v. 32, p. 1866-1872). Dr. Laubach's research interests include unconventional and fractured reservoirs, and microstructural, fluid inclusion and cathodoluminescence applications to structural geology and sedimentary petrology. Dr. Laubach also supervises graduate student research in structural geology and diagenesis in the Jackson School of Geosciences. Dr. Laubach was AAPG Elected Editor and member of the AAPG Executive Committee (2010-2013). He is past chair of the Jackson School's Energy Geoscience Education and Research Group and served as a Co-opted Member of the Petroleum Group Committee of the Geological Society of London (from 2008 to 2012). He was a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2011-2012 and Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers in 2003-2004. He was a member of the Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, National Research Council, 2010-2011 and the Committee on Advanced Drilling Technologies, National Research Council, 1992-1994. He served as co-Chairman of the First North American Rock Mechanics Symposium in 1994. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1986 and a B.S. from Tufts University in 1978.

Areas of Expertise

Structural diagenesis, structural geology, fracture analysis, fluid inclusion and cathodoluminescence studies, rock mechanics, mechanical and fracture stratigraphy, hydrocarbon exploration and development in deep and/or structurally complex areas, tight gas sandstone, coalbed methane, shale gas; geologic aspects of hydraulic fracturing, application of borehole-imaging geophysical logs to stress and fracture evaluation, structural evolution of North American Cordillera, fracture history of NW Scotland, regional fracture studies Argentina.


Research Locations



Current Research Programs & Projects

Fracture Research and Application Consortium ( view )Structural Diagenesis Initiative ( view )

AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, 2011-2012 - AAPG (2011)

Certificate of Recognition, excellence in technical presentation (co-author), 2011 - SEPM (2011)

Publication Award, Bureau of Economic Geology (Co-author) - Bureau of Economic Geology (2011)

Journal of Structural Geology Top Reviewers, 2008 - Journal of Structural Geology (2008)

Jackson Research Excellence Fellow - JSG (2007 - 2009)

Award of Appreciation, Outstanding Technical Editor - Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering (2007)

Award of Excellence "Top 10" Oral Presentations - AAPG Convention, Long Beach (2007)

Best Poster Award (with Kira Diaz-Tushman and Randy Marrett) - Energy Minerals Division, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2006)

Distinguished Lecturer - Society of Petroleum Engineers (2004)

Best university research presentation (co-author) - US Dept. of Energy Symposium: " Flow and Transport: from Pore to Reservoir Scales" (2004)

Jackson Research Fellow - JSG (2003 - 2006)

Honorable Mention, Poster Presentation - Society for Sedimentary Geologists (SEPM) (2001)

Honorable Mention, Oral Presentation (co-author) - Society for Sedimentary Geologists (SEPM) (2001)

Best Luncheon Paper-Third Place - Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists (2001)

Outstanding Technical Editor - Society of Petroleum Engineers (1999)

Jules Braunstein Memorial Award - American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1999)

Citation of Excellence of Review - AAPG Bulletin (1999)

Best Presentation Award - Clastic Diagenesis Research Group, SEPM (1997)

Best Paper Award - Energy Minerals Division, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1992)

Best Paper Award - Energy Minerals Division, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1991)

President's Certificate for Excellence in Presentation - American Association of Petroleum Geologists, annual meeting (1991)

Honorable mention, Best Paper - Coal Division, Geological Society of America (1990)

Best of SPE, paper presented at annual meeting - American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1988)

Associate Editor, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, Society of Petroleum Engineers (2012)

Elected Editor, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, AAPG (2010 - 2013)

Member, AAPG Trustee Associates, AAPG Foundation (2010)

Member, AAPG Executive Committee, AAPG (2010 - 2013)

Member, Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, National Research Council, NRC (2010 - 2011)

Guest editor, theme issue, Structural diagenesis theme issue 2010, Journal of Structural Geology (2009 - 2010)

Convener, The geology of unconventional gas plays, The Geological Society (London), The Geological Society (London) Petroleum Group (2009 - 2010)

Convener, Advances in carbonate exploration and reservoir analysis, The Geological Society (London), The Geological Society (London) Petroleum Group (2009 - 2010)

Co-opted Member, Petroleum Group Committee, Geological Society of London, Geological Society of London (2008 - 2011)

Chair, Energy Geoscience Education and Research Group, Jackson School, JSG (2008 - 2009)

Member, Panel on energy and mineral resources policy, Geological Society of America, GSA (2007 - 2008)

Member, Strategic Planning Council, Jackson School, JSG (2007 - 2011)

Member, Academic & Applied Geosciences Relations Committee, Geological Society of America, GSA (2006 - 2009)

Member, Appointments Committee, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2005 - 2006)

Chair, Promotion Advisory Committee, Bureau of Economic Geology (2005 - 2006)

Co-Convener, Hedberg Research Conference, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2004 - 2005)

Chair, Academic Liaison Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2004 - 2007)

Member, SPE Forum Series Steering Committee, Future Challenges in Carbonate Resource Development, Society of Petroleum Engineers (2004 - 2005)

Member, Equipment Committee, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2004 - 2006)

Chair, Equipment Committee, John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2004 - 2005)

Member, JSG Fellowship Committee, (2004 - 2005)

Member, Promotion Advisory Committee, Bureau of Economic Geology (2003 - 2005)

Webmaster, Research Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2002 - 2004)

Member, Distinguished Lecture Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2001 - 2004)

Member, Academic Liaison Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2000 - 2009)

Session Developer, U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, ARMA (2000 - 2001)

Chair, Research Group--Reservoir Deformation Subcommittee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1999 - 2002)

Session Chair, Micromechanics and Fracturing Micromechanics and Flow Symposium, Santa Fe, New Mexico, U. S. Department of Energy (1999)

Member, Editorial Board, SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, Society of Petroleum Engineers (1999 - 2006)

Lecturer and Member, Visiting Geologists Program, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1999 - 2004)

Associate Editor, AAPG Bulletin, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1999 - 2002)

Instructor, AAPG Fractured Reservoir School, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1999 - 2004)

Technical Editor, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, Society of Petroleum Engineers (1998 - 2012)

Chair, AAPG Reservoir Deformation Research Group, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1997)

Invited Session Co-Chair and Session Developer, and Chair of Poster Session, New Technology in the Exploration and Exploitation of Fractured Reservoirs, AAPG National Convention, Dallas, Texas, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1997)

Session Co-Chair and Session Developer, and Chair of Poster Session, New Developments in Formation Evaluation Techniques and Technology, AAPG National Convention, Dallas, Texas, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1997)

Vice-Chair, Research Committee, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1997 - 2004)

Symposium Organizer and Chair, Fractured Aquifers and Petroleum Reservoirs, South-Central Meeting, Austin, Texas, Geological Society of America (1996)

Member, Editorial Board, SPE Formation Evaluation, Society of Petroleum Engineers (1996 - 1998)

Theme Session Organizer, Scale Effects of Fluid Flow and Fractures, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, Geological Society of America (1995 - 1996)

Session Chair and Session Developer, North American Rock Mechanics Symposium planning committee, NARMS (1995 - 1996)

Member, Editorial Review Committee, Society of Petroleum Engineers (1995 - 2011)

Theme Session Advocate and Technical Session Chair, Geology of Natural Gas: Challenges and Opportunities, Annual Meeting, Boston Massachusetts, Geological Society of America (1993)

Member, Committee on Advanced Drilling Technologies, National Research Council (1992 - 1994)

Co-Chairman, North American Rock Mechanics Symposium planning committee, NARMS (1992 - 1994)

Member, Technical Program Committee, Rocky Mountain Regional and Low-Permeability Reservoir Symposium, Denver, Colorado, Joint Society of Petroleum Engineers (1992 - 1993)

Convener and Co-Chair, Bureau of Economic Geology Natural Fracture Workshop, Austin, Texas, Gas Research Institute (1992)

Discussion Facilitator, Research Needs of Green River Basin Gas Production: GRI/DOE Greater Green River Basin Natural Gas Technology Workshop, Denver, Colorado, Gas Research Institute (1992)

Organizer and Chair (Invited Symposium), Coalbed Methane in the San Juan Basin, Rocky Mountain / South-Central Combined Meeting, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Geological Society of America (1991)

Session Chairman, Structural Geology / Tectonics, South-Central Meeting, Arlington, Texas, Geological Society of America (1989)

Discussion Leader, Geology of the Travis Peak Formation, Gas Research Institute Forum / Workshop in Association with The Society of Petroleum Engineers Gas Technology Symposium, Dallas, Texas, Gas Research Institute (1989)

Session Chairman, Structural Geology, American Geophysical Union Meeting, San Francisco, California, American Geophysical Union (1988)

Conference Organizer, Fracture Workshop, Gas Research Institute (1987)

Information about current and past student research can be found on the FRAC and Structural Diagenesis Initiative websites.


Graduate Students

Yaser A Alzayer, M.S., expected 2014
I am studying the opening mechanism of opening-mode fractures in tight sandstone reservoirs. My research examines synkinematic cements within macro-fractures and micro-fractures in cores and outcrops from multiple formations. I use the synkinematic cement textures and cross-cutting relationships as a proxy for fracture opening history and behavior. In that effort, I employ both standard petrography and scanning electron microscope with cathodoluminescence detector to discern the aforementioned relationships and characterize the fractures under high resolution. The ultimate goal of my research is to contribute to predicting and characterizing fractures that are essential for fluid flow in tight hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Lauren K Copley, M.S., expected 2015

John Hooker, Ph.D., 2012
Fracture scaling and diagenesis


Predicting fracture size and why it matters: A structural diagenesis approach to fracture prediction, RMS-SEPM, Denver, CO (2013)

The geology of natural fractures, SEG Workshop, Houston, TX (2013)

Diagenesis mediated growth processes in natural fracture systems, Total, Pau, France (2013)

Effets des précipitations du ciment simultané sur la croissance de la fractures: Prédire taille, Total and Aix-Marseille Université, Pau, & Marseille, France, Pau, & Marseille, France (2013)

AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, AAPG, Various cities (2012)

Degradation and stimulation for unconventionals, Reservoir Deformation Research Group, Structural Geology and its Role in Describing and Optimizing Production from Unconventional Petroleum Systems, Houston (2010)

Structural diagenesis, Department of Geology colloquium, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois (2010)

The geology of unconventional gas plays, Illinois Oil and Gas Association, Mt. Vernon, Illinois (2010)

Diagenesis, structure and producibility in unconventional gas plays, Illinois Geological Survey, Champaign, Illinois (2010)

Formation and accumulation of unconventional petroleum accumulations in the context of fluid history and fracture analysis: invited keynote address, Fifth International symposium on Formation and Accumulation Mechanisms of Petroleum and Evaluation of Petroleum Resources, China State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resource and Prospecting, Beijing, China (2009)

How fractures in sedimentary rocks open and seal: insights from structural diagenesis, ConocoPhilips colloquium, Houston (2009)

Fractures in the New Albany Shale: implications for development of effective drilling and completion technologies, RPSEA Unconventional Gas Review Meeting, Denver, Colorado (2009)

How fractures open and stay that way: Lessons from structural diagenesis, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences colloquium, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico (2009)

Structural diagenesis: fracture opening and sealing processes, International Geological Congress, Oslo, Norway (2008)

Open fractures, diagenesis and in situ stress, AAPG Hedberg Research Conference, Casper, Wyoming (2008)

Challenges and solutions in fractured rock analysis, Fort Smith Geological Society, Ft. Smith, Arkansas (2007)

Diagenetic controls on fracture size scaling and fracture porosity evolution, Cambrian Eriboll Group Sandstone, NW Scotland: Implications for distributed brittle deformation and fluid flow in the continental lithosphere, Geological Society of London Arthur Holmes Meeting, Ullapool, Scotland (2007)

What are the most important types of geological data that need to be quantified to best constrain the fabrics of reservoir rocks and fracture systems for 4D reservoir modeling and production?, invited talk presented to AAPG Reservoir Deformation Group (also served as panelist), Houston, Texas (2006)

Verifiable predictions of fractured reservoir attributes, presented at American Association of Petroleum Geologists International Conference and Exhibition, Perth, Australia (2006)

Regional subthrust fracture arrays in outcrop: guide to attributes of tight gas sandstones, presented at American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Rocky Mountain Section, Jackson, Wyoming (2005)

Fractured sandstone outcrops in northeast Mexico: guides to the attributes of fractures in tight gas sandstones, presented at American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Rocky Mountain Section, Jackson, Wyoming (2005)

Linked diagenesis and fracture patterns and their effect on fluid flow in fractured carbonate rocks, presented at American Association of Petroleum Geologists Convention, Paris, France (2005)

Structural diagenesis--linked chemical and mechanical processes in sedimentary basins, invited lecture presented at American Association of Petroleum Geologists Convention, Paris, France (2005)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and inccorporation in fluid-flow simulation: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Austin, Texas (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs (various presentations), presented at AAPG Fractured Reservoir School, Austin, Texas (2004)

Interdisciplinary studies in sedimentary basins, presented at AAPG Hedberg Research Conference (invited keynote address), Austin, Texas (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Bartlesville, Oklahoma (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Duncan, Oklahoma (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Farmington, New Mexico (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2004)

Structure and diagenesis of reservoirs in NE Venezuela, presented to Repsol YPF, Houston, Texas (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Villahermosa, Mexico (2004)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dongying, China (2003)

Recent trends in fractured reservoir analysis, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dongying, China (2003)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Lecture Committee, Houston, Texas (2003)

Surrogate analysis and microstructure imaging, presented at Fracture Research and Application Consortium Workshop, Jackson, Wyoming (2003)

Fracture opening history reconstructions, presented at Fracture Research and Application Consortium Annual Research Meeting, Jackson, Wyoming (2003)

Fracture characterization (invited keynote lecture), presented at Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium (2003)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Manila, The Philippines (2003)

Linked mechanical and chemical processes in the development of fracture patterns, presented at Departmental Speaker Series, Department of Geology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho (2003)

Future research opportunities for structural geologists in the petroleum industry, presented at Student Seminar, Department of Geology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho (2003)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Seoul, Republic of South Korea (2003)

Fractures in reservoirs: prediction, characterization, and incorporation in fluid-flow simulations: SPE Distinguished Lecture, presented to Society of Petroleum Engineers, Tokyo, Japan (2003)

Advanced technology for predicting the fluid flow attributes of naturally fractured reservoirs from quantitative geologic data and modeling, presented to Department of Energy, Tulsa, Oklahoma (2003)

Fracture porosity evolution, presented to structural geology class, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (2002)

Calibrating seismic using new fracture characterization methods, presented to Williams E & P, Denver, Colorado (2002)

UT fracture research in the Rockies, presented to EOG Resources, Denver, Colorado (2002)

New fracture characterization methods, presented to Shell E & P, Houston, Texas (2002)

Fundamentals and application of fracture quality methods, presented at Fracture Research and Application Consortium Applications Meeting, Jackson, Wyoming (2002)

Fractures in Frontier Formation, presented at Fracture Research and Application Consortium, Applications Meeting, Jackson, Wyoming (2002)

Research progress on fracture porosity prediction, presented at Fracture Research and Application Consortium Research Meeting, Monterrey, Mexico (2002)

Fracture quality map of East Texas, Workshop: Fracture Research and Application Consortium Meeting, Austin, Texas (2001)

Structural diagenesis: implications for tectonic interpretation of distal structures, presented to Institute of Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (2001)

Fractured reservoir characterization and modeling, Professional school sponsored by American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Austin, Texas (2001)

Summary of fracture attributes in dolomite, presented to geological staff, Pemex, Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico (2001)

Recent developments in the domestic U.S petroleum industry: a research organization perspective, presented to Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois (2001)

Insights from structural diagenesis for structural analysis, presented to Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois (2001)

Identifying open fractures in Rocky Mountain reservoirs, presented at Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Symposium, Denver, Colorado (2001)

Drilling and stimulation strategy: are open fractures aligned with maximum horizontal stress?, presented at Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Symposium, Denver, Colorado (2001)

Using surrogates for fracture analysis, presented to Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, luncheon talk, Denver, Colorado (2001)

Review of natural Fracture Research, Workshop: Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, Jackson, Mississippi (2001)

Innovations in fracture characterization and modeling of clastic and carbonate reservoirs, presented to Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, Midland, Texas (2001)

Approaches to fracture characterization, Workshop: Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, San Antonio, Texas (2001)

Producibility in tight gas reservoirs: why should you care about fracture quality scaling, major controls on fracture quality, Workshop: Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, San Antonio, Texas (2001)

Specifying lengths of horizontal wells , Bureau of Economic Geology research seminar, The University of Texas at Austin (with J. Stowell and R. Marrett), Austin, Texas (2000)

Deformation of the Earth, Bureau of Economic Geology research seminar, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (2000)

Fractured reservoir characterization and modeling, Professional school sponsored by American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Austin, Texas (2000)

Innovations in fracture characterization and modeling of clastic and carbonate reservoirs, presented at PTTC's Reservoir Characterization Technologies for the Next Millennium: Virtual Reality, Multicomponent Seismic, Fracture Modeling, and Borehole Imaging, Midland, Texas (2000)

Focus on fault seal, presented to American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Reservoir Deformation Research Group, New Orleans, Louisiana (2000)

Fracture analysis with applications to Oklahoma reservoir, presented to Tulsa Geological Society, Tulsa, Oklahoma (2000)

Integrated study of Mara Este field (with Edgar Guevara, Steve Ruppel), presented at Bureau Seminar Series, Austin, (1999)

Horizontal cores, presented to Fracture Research and Application Consortium, Austin, (1999)

Degradation and the emergent threshold: a review of new fracture characterization methods for mature fields, presented to SIPES monthly luncheon meeting, Austin, (1999)

Identification of controls on fracture permeability in carbonate reservoirs, presented to Pemex, 2nd Cantarell Conference, Mexico City, (1999)

Fracture characterization, presented to International Conference, AAPG and AMGP, Vera Cruz, (1999)

Case study of fracture scaling, presented to International Conference, AAPG and AMGP, Vera Cruz, (1999)

Integrated case studies and progress on fundamental understanding of fracture closure, presented at Fracture Research and Application Consortium Annual Meeting, Austin, (1999)

Degradation beyond the emergent threshold, presented at Bureau Seminar Series, Austin, (1999)

Defining new plays in western Venezuela, presented to PDVSA, Austin, (1999)

Review of fracture characterization and modeling methods, presented to Enron, Austin, (1999)

Fractured reservoirs, presented to Marathon, Littleton, Colorado, (1999)

Fractured reservoir characterization and modeling, Professional school sponsored by American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Austin, Texas (1999)

Strategies for reservoir structural analysis, lecture presented to PDVSA (Maraven), Caracas, Venezuela, (1998)

Research on structural geology and reservoir engineering, briefing presented to the Chairman, The University of Texas Board of Regents, Austin, Texas, (1998)

The new paradigm in core analysis, presented to Department of Geology, New Mexico Tech University, Socorro, New Mexico, (1998)

Rapid prediction of fracture fluid flow, presented to U.S. Department of Energy workshop, Geologic studies of fractures in reservoirs, Austin, (1998)

Identifying productive fairways in structured reservoirs, presented to Conoco, Inc., Midland, (1998)

Reservoir evaluation, presented to Sanchez Oil & Gas, Austin, (1998)

Analytical laboratory instruments in modern petroleum industry research, presented to Edge Scientific Instruments, Santa Monica, California, (1998)

Web-based professional group information exchange, presented to AAPG Research Committee and AAPG Reservoir Deformation Research Group meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, (1998)

The challenges of reservoir structural analysis in the 21st Century, presented to AAPG Reservoir Deformation Research Group annual meeting, Salt Lake City, (1998)

Origin of subsurface fractures, Invited keynote speaker, The Woodworth Conference of the Geological Society of London, marking 100 years in the evolution of fracture analysis, Coleraine, Northern Ireland, (1998)

Strategies for reservoir simulation, presented to YPF/Maxus Energy Corporation, Dallas, Texas, (1998)

Revolution in fractured core analysis: implications for the petroleum engineer, presented to Departmental Seminar, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, (1998)

Revolution in fractured core analysis: implications for the petroleum engineer, presented to Departmental Seminar, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, (1998)

Current research on reservoir fractures, presented to Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, (1998)

Fracture orientation and fracture quality prediction case studies, lessons for practical application: presented to New Methods of Fracture Characterization and Simulation workshop, Austin, Texas, (1997)

Diagenesis from a different perspective, Presented to SEPM Clastic Diagenesis Group discussion meeting, Dallas, Texas, (1997)

Uncovering fractures, keynote address presented to Imaging Systems dinner, AAPG convention, Dallas, Texas, (1997)

Recent breakthroughs in analysis of natural fractures, presented to Department of Geology, Tulsa University, Tulsa, Oklahoma, (1997)

Fracture analysis methods and applications and Application of new structural petrology methods to Chevron's Wolfcamp sandstone core, Pakenham field, presented to Chevron, Midland, Texas, (1997)

Quantification and prediction of reservoir fracture attributes, presented to PEMEX, Tampico, Mexico, (1997)

Métodos revolucionarios de análisis de muestras de testigos para yacimientos fracturados, keynote address presentado para la celebración del 32dcmo aniversario de la fundación del Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo, Mexico City, Mexico, October, (1997)

Diagenetic controls on fracture permeability, presented to 36th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium, Columbia University, New York, (1997)

Fracture properties from rock microstructure, presented to AAPG Hedberg Research Conference, Bryce, Utah, (1997)

Structure of the new AAPG Reservoir Deformation Research Group, presented to AAPG Hedberg Research Conference, Bryce, Utah, (1997)

Using core analysis to characterize fractures and calibrate seismic data, presented to GRI technical advisory group, Denver, Colorado, (1997)

Current progress in fracture evaluation, presented to New Methods of Fracture Characterization and Simulation workshop, Austin, Texas, (1997)

Using petrology to unlock gas resources in West Texas, presented to Chevron, Houston, Texas, (1996)

Future of outcrop-based studies of natural fractures and Advanced subsurface fracture and stress characterization methods, presented to Mobil Corp. strategy meeting for fracture and stress research, Dallas, Texas, (1996)

Overview of reservoir simulation project, Summary of fractured reservoir analyses completed to date, New fracture characterization methods, Inferring fracture conductivity from sidewall core samples, presented to industry workshop, Austin, Texas, (1996)

Field and core seminar on fracture systems in carbonate rocks, presented to Amoco Production Research, Austin, Texas, (1996)

New fracture characterization methods for siliciclastic rocks, presented to North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, Montreal, Canada, (1996)

Geochemical controls on the evolution of porosity and implications of new microstructural observations for the kinetics of crack growth at subcritical tensile stresses, presented to Exxon Production Research, Houston, Texas, (1996)

Synthesis of petrologic and structural approaches for solving reservoir characterization challenges, presented to Union Pacific Resources, Fort Worth, Texas, (1996)

New fracture characterization methods and Practical application of new methods, presented to fracture workshop sponsored by Bureau of Economic Geology, Gas Research Institute and Geological Society of America, Austin, Texas, (1996)

Investigations of fractured reservoirs, presented to Enron Oil & Gas, Austin, Texas, (1996)

Bureau of Economic Geology research in low-permeability gas reservoirs, presented to research evaluation visiting committee, Austin, Texas, (1995)

Differential compaction of interbedded sandstone and coal, presented at international symposium on Forced (Drape) Folds and Associated Fractures, London, England, (1995)

Using diagenesis information to improve interpretation of natural fractures, The University of Texas at Austin Department of Geological Sciences seminar, Austin, Texas, (1995)

Natural fracture detection using cathodoluminescence, Gas Research Institute Geology Technical Advisory Group meeting, Austin, Texas, (1995)

Gas research program overview, lecture to Siberian oil and gas managers' training program, Austin, Texas, (1995)

Improved resource characterization technology, presented at Gas Research Institute Project Advisors Group meeting, Grand Junction, Colorado, (1995)

Fracture and diagenesis analyses applicable to Canyon Sandstone, presented at Canyon working group meeting, Midland, Texas, (1995)

Introduction to new research project in Wilcox Lobo play, presented at Wilcox Lobo working group meeting, Houston, Texas, (1995)

Introduction and concept for new fracture analysis approach; Using a new classification of diagenesis to predict fracture conductivity, presented at Fracture Quantification working group meeting, Fort Worth, Texas, (1995)

Fault and joint swarms in a normal fault zone, presented at Second International Conference on Mechanics of Jointed and Faulted Rock, Vienna, Austria, (1995)

Analyses of slopes in jointed weak rock masses using distinct element method, talk given at Second International Conference on Mechanics of Jointed and Faulted Rock, Vienna, Austria, (1995)

Fracture, fault, and stress research, Wilcox Lobo natural gas trend, South Texas, presented to Industry Operator Workshop, Houston, Texas, (1994)

Introduction to geology and production characteristics of Canyon Sandstone, presented at Seminar on Geology of a Stratigraphically Complex Natural Gas Play, Canyon Sandstone, Val Verde Basin, Texas, Midland, Texas, (1994)

Ozona Canyon sandstone natural fractures and rock properties, presented at Seminar on Geology of a Stratigraphically Complex Natural Gas Play, Canyon Sandstone, Val Verde Basin, Texas, Midland, Texas, (1994)

Regional tectonic, stratigraphic, and hydrodynamic framework of the Val Verde Basin, presented at Seminar on Geology of a Stratigraphically Complex Natural Gas Play, Canyon Sandstone, Val Verde Basin, Texas, Midland, Texas, (1994)

Review and analysis of operator survey results and future challenges to development, presented at Seminar on Geology of a Stratigraphically Complex Natural Gas Play, Canyon Sandstone, Val Verde Basin, Texas, Midland, Texas, (1994)

Sonora Canyon natural fractures and fracture toughness studies, presented at Seminar on Geology of a Stratigraphically Complex Natural Gas Play, Canyon Sandstone, Val Verde Basin, Texas, Midland, Texas, (1994)

Complex natural gas reservoirs, presented to Gas Research Institute Project Advisors Group meeting, Golden, Colorado, (1994)

Microfractures, macrofractures, and diagenesis, presented to Workshop 2, North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, Austin, Texas (1994)

Natural fractures in Cretaceous sandstones of the western United States: profiting from a widespread reservoir element, presented to GRI/DOE Greater Green River Basin Natural Gas Technology Workshop, Denver, Colorado, (1993)

Natural fractures in Sonora Canyon sandstones, Sonora and Sawyer fields, Sutton County, Texas, presented to 1993 Society of Petroleum Engineers Rocky Mountain Regional and Low-Permeability Reservoir Symposium, Denver, Colorado, (1993)

Summary of issues pertaining to detection and characterization of fractures in the subsurface, presented to GRI/BEG Natural Fracture Workshop, Austin, Texas, (1993)

Is cleat-domain overlap real?, presented to Geology of Open-Hole Cavity Completions Workshop, Austin, Texas, (1993)

Introduction to the North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, presented to 34th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Madison, Wisconsin, (1993)

Lessons and implications of a new report on tight gas sandstones, presented to GRI Project Advisors Group meeting, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, (1993)

Current issues in structural research in the petroleum industry, presented to ARCO Exploration & Production Technology, Plano, Texas, (1993)

Fracture patterns in Cretaceous sandstones of the western United States--are they representative of those in reservoirs?, presented to ARCO Exploration & Production Technology, Plano, Texas, (1993)

Unraveling the relationship between fracturing and diagenesis, presented to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Berkeley, California, (1992)

Fracture patterns in reservoir rocks, presented to Fort Worth Geological Society, Fort Worth, Texas, (1992)

Frontier Formation stratigraphy, diagenesis and natural fractures, presented to Gas Research Institute/Society of Petroleum Engineers workshop Conclusions of Research in the Frontier Formation: Casper, Wyoming, (1992)

Advancements in Sandstone Analysis through Axial Point-Load Testing (with S. J. Clift), presented to Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, BEG (1992)

Regional state of stress and hydraulic fracture azimuth in the western Green River Basin, presented to Gas Research Institute/Society of Petroleum Engineers workshop Conclusions of Research in the Frontier Formation: Casper, Wyoming, (1992)

Summary of BEG geologic studies of Canyon Sandstone, Texas, and Frontier Formation, Wyoming, presented to Gas Research Institute Project Advisors Group meeting, Albuquerque, New Mexico, (1992)

Problems associated with interpretation of fracture patterns in coal and Future research directions in structural analysis of fractures, presented to GRI Fracture Research workshop, Austin, Texas, (1992)

Natural fractures: profiting from a widespread reservoir element, presented to GRI/DOE Greater Green River Basin Natural Gas Technology workshop, Denver, Colorado, (1992)

Current Views of Fracture Development in Rock, presented to Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, BEG (1991)

Geological Aspects of Fractured Reservoir Characterization, presented to Forum on Improved Oil and Gas Recovery (speaker and work session technical coordinator), San Antonio and Longview, Texas, (1991)

Observations of Subsurface Fractures and Implications for Interpreting Seismic and Borehole Acoustic Data, presented to Society of Exploration Geophysics Workshop, Houston, Texas, (1991)

Approaches to Predicting Regional Fractures, presented to Houston Geological Society, Short Course--Identifying and Interpreting Fractures, Houston, Texas, (1991)

Regional Coal Fracture Patterns, 32nd U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Rock Mechanics as a Multidisciplinary Science, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma (1991)

Pitfalls of Fracture Identification and Characterization with Borehole Imaging Logging Systems, presented to Houston Westwide Society of Professional Well Log Analysts luncheon meeting, Houston, Texas, (1991)

Tectonics, Fractures, and Implications for Horizontal Drilling in the Western United States, presented to Department of Geology, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas, (1990)

Natural Fractures in Gas Reservoirs, briefing presented to Gas Research Institute, Austin, Texas, (1990)

Geometry of Normal Faults and the Structure of Fault Zones, Field Seminar presented to Exxon Production Research, Salome, Arizona, (1990)

Stratigraphy, Diagenesis, and Structure of the Travis Peak Formation and Their Effects on Reservoir Quality, presented at Techniques of Comprehensive Evaluation and Completion of Tight Gas Sand Reservoirs: presented to Gas Research Institute Forum/Workshop in association with the Society of Petroleum Engineers Gas Technology Symposium, Dallas, Texas, (1989)

Insights Into Fault Geometry: Field and Laboratory Studies, presented at Applied Geodynamics Laboratory Board of Advisors Meeting, Austin, Texas, (1989)

Aspects of Geological and Geophysical Evaluation of Subsurface Fractures, presented at Norsk Hydro a.s., Bergen, Norway, (1989)

Patterns in the Development of Extensional Fault Block Shape from Comparison of Outcrop-Scale Faults and Physical Models, presented at Norsk Hydro a.s., Bergen, Norway, (1989)

Application of Borehole-Imaging Logs to Fracture Evaluation in Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs, invited presentation at SPE Fractured Reservoir Forum, Crested Butte, Colorado, (1989)

Origin, Distribution, and Effect on Production of Natural Fractures in a Low-Permeability Gas Reservoir with Extensive Quartz Cement, presented at SPE Fractured Reservoir Forum, Crested Butte, Colorado, (1989)

Current Research on Prediction of Fractures, presented at Exxon Production Research, Houston, Texas, (1989)

Geometry of Normal Faults in Layered Rocks, Examples from the Basin and Range Province: presented at Exxon Production Research, Houston, Texas, (1989)

Cretaceous and Tertiary Compressional Tectonics as the Cause of the Sabine Arch, East Texas and Northwest Louisiana, presented at the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies 1988 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, (1988)

Significance of Natural and Coring-Induced Fractures in the Travis Peak Formation for Reservoir Stimulation, presented at the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies 1988 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, (1988)

Coring-Induced Fractures: Indicators of Hydraulic Fracture Propagation Direction in a Naturally Fractured Reservoir, presented at 1988 Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference, Houston, Texas, (1988)

Stress Measurement and Fracture Detection in the Travis Peak Formation, presented at Schlumberger-Doll Research Center, Ridgefield, Connecticut, (1988)

Geological Overview of Staged Field Experiment No. 2, presented at Forum on the Relationship Between Rock Mechanical Properties and Acoustic Well Log Data, Lakeway, Texas, (1988)

Kinematics and Structural Style of Thrust Faults in Western Arizona, presented at the Workshop on the California-Arizona Crustal Transect, sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, Arizona, (1988)

Natural Fracture History of the Travis Peak Formation, presented to the Center for Tectonophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, (1988)

The Uses and Limitations of Borehole-Imaging Logs (with E. H. Guevara), presented to Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, BEG (1988)

Structural Geology of the Travis Peak Formation, presented at the Gas Research Institute Forum on the 1986 Staged Field Experiment No. 1, Lake Conroe, Texas, (1987)

Stress Measurement and Fracture Analysis in East Texas, presented at GRI Project Advisors Group meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, (1987)

Wellbore Ellipticity in East Texas (with R. W. Baumgardner, Jr.), presented to Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, BEG (1987)

Subsurface Fracture Analysis, presented to Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, BEG (1987)

Polyphase Deformation and Thrust-Induced Strain, Maria Foldbelt, Western Arizona, presented to University of Illinois, Geology Department colloquium, Urbana, Illinois, (1986)

Shear Heating and Fault Dynamics, presented to Lehigh University, Geology Department colloquium, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, (1986)

Research in structural diagenesis (Graduate or Undergraduate)
Fundamental and applied research on fractures, particularly as these studies apply to petroleum reservoirs, is conducted under the auspices of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium at The University of Texas at Austin. The academic program of research, mentoring and teaching is led by staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and the Department of Geological Sciences. Students in the Energy & Earth Resources Graduate Program also participate in FRAC sponsored research projects.

For further information on opportunities for fracture studies within the program see the FRAC pages on opportunities in Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, and Energy Economics.

FRAC welcomes Visiting Scientists from industry and from other academic institutions. Contact Steve Laubach for more information about these opportunities.

A key part of the FRAC academic program is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative, a new teaching and mentoring perspective on interacting mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. For more information on the initiative see the Structural Diagenesis Initiative web site.

If you are a prospective student, please see the admissions information on the Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering or Jackson School of Geosciences web sites.

 
Field work in NW Argentina.

Images from various recent FRAC field expeditions

Field work in NW Argentina.FRAC field trip, California coast.FRAC field trip, NE Mexico.FRAC field trip in Nevada.Coffee on the 2007 Scotland expedition.Lidar on Kira's pavement, Scotland.Field work, Scotland.Wyoming; travel to the field area.FRAC field trip, Utah.Field work, western Wyoming.FRAC field trip, Tetons.

 

AAPG Bulletin (Laubach)

Journal covers featuring FRAC research.

AAPG Bulletin (Laubach)Journal of Petroleum GeologyThe Leading EdgeAAPG Bulletin (Lander)

 

2011 AAPG executive committee

2011

2011 AAPG executive committee

 

The Quartz Crystal from Old West Austin

Thinking of moving to Texas?

The Quartz Crystal from Old West AustinLake Travis at the site of the annual FRAC picnic.Central Austin at sunset.Texas Hill CountryTexas Hill Country.

 

Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory;  National Research Council; Board on Physics and Astronomy; Engineering and Physical Sciences, 2011

Cover art for books

Committee to Assess the Science Proposed for a Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory;  National Research Council; Board on Physics and Astronomy; Engineering and Physical Sciences, 2011Earth's Art-available from BEG. Laubach, S. E., and Tinker, S. W., eds., 2009, Earth’s art: celebrating the Centennial of the Bureau of Economic Geology, 1909–2009: The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, 142 p.Committee on Advanced Drilling Technologies; Geotechnical Board/Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems; Board on Earth Sciences and Resources/Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources; and National Research Council, 1994Nelson, P., and Laubach, S. E., 1994, Rock mechanics models and measurements, challenges from industry: Rotterdam, Proceedings of the First North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, 1155 p.Garland, J., J.E. Neilson, S.E. Laubach, and K. J. Whidden, eds., 2012, Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis, Geological Society of London Special Publications 370. Garland, J., J.E. Neilson, S.E. Laubach, and K. J. Whidden, eds., 2012, Advances in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Analysis, Geological Society of London Special Publications 370.