Clastic Reservoirs of the San Juan Basin

Course Details

This field trip introduces participants to the spectacular outcrops of sandstones that produce oil and gas in the San Juan Basin. We will visit world-class exposures of the Gallup, Tocito (Mancos Play), Pictured Cliffs, Point Lookout Sandstone, Menefee and others. At each locality we will discuss sub-surface log and core expression, reservoir geometry trend, and things to consider when planning a horizontal well.

Its shocking how many oil and gas professionals who work on the San Juan Basin have actually never visited these outcrops – so lets remedy that!


• Geologists
• Geophysicists
• Petrophysicists
• Engineers

This course is meant for all who are working or planning on entering the “Mancos Play” of the San Juan Basin.

Course Outline

Day 1

Arrival at Durango Airport and and hotel check-in, safety briefing and orientation to the field area

Lecture on Sedimentary Structures and Trace Fossils and their use in interpreting environments of deposition

Point Lookout Sandstone and Menefee Coals


Retrograding shoreline tongues of the Cliffhouse Sandstone in Mesa Verde National Park

Day 2

Lectures on Incised Valley Fill and Shelf Sand Ridges

Field Excursion to the Tocito "lenses" within the Mancos Shale


Workshop on core photos from the Mancos Play

Day 3

Lectures on deltaic systems and correlation challenges with an emphasis on the Gallup Delta

Outcrops of the Gallup Delta visiting both wave-dominated updrift and river dominated downdrift portions and comparing their log signatures and reservoir types


The pictures cliffs sandstone in Chaco Canyon National Park

We need at least 3 people to run this trip. This field trip is scheduled between April 16-18 2018. The field trip is $2500/person and this cost includes all hotels, meals, transportation, permits, field guide, exercise materials and tuition. E-mail us if you're interested.