Gulf Coast Paleo

Paleo is a difficult profession with a limited future for advancement in the corporate world. Most corporate paleo people are technicians looking only at samples and recording data. There are a few with broader experience gained by working with geologists, geophysicists, exploraton and production geologists, production and drilling engineers through all levels of management.

50 years ago approximately 40 index foraminifera were in common use in the Tertiary of the Gulf Coast of Texas. Some groups had more and some less, but all thought they were on the cutting edge and perhaps they were. Today Paleo Control uses over 200 index species in the same area. Paleo grows and expands along with the other sciences. The cutting edge is always being worked on.

For example: The pre 1980s common Biostrat charts carried approximately 13 index forams for the Yegua through Weches formations. Five markers were restricted to shallow neritic environments while 8 were present in the deeper downdip environments. Today we have 26 markers of which 21 are useful in downdip areas.

Prior to the late 1960s only two paleo consultants were working in Houston covering the onshore Tertiary of Texas. Paleoenvironmental determinations were not routinely used by consultants until the 1970s. Today we know a whole lot more about paleo environments.

Most available paleo reports from the 1930s to the 1970s were the product of trades between major company scouts or corporate individuals making their own deals. These reports were almost always generalized and or highly generalized or completely altered; either that or the samples were bad or the paleontologist producing the data was not experienced.

Evaluation and correlation of paleo data

The origin of the paleo data available to most geologists outside of the major companies is often unknown or of second, third or fourth hand or even worse, taken from well logs. Well log notes or annotations may be correlated data. Never trust paleo available from well logs. There is no "trust but verify" wisdom in paleo of unknown origin, there is only verify.

PCI can qualify your available data from older wells and compare the data to modern paleo to establish its reliability and limitations and apply it to well logs within your area of interest. Such efforts require only a few days under most circumstances.