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  1. Reservoir Assessment

    Multidisciplinary assessment of unconventional reservoirs, especially coal and shale gas
    • Integrated reservoir data analysis and database management
    • Organic petrology of coal, shale, & petroleum source rocks, including interpretation of vitrinite reflectance, organic petrography, Rock-Eval, organic geochemistry, and other methods
    • Design and implementation of coring, sampling, and laboratory analysis programs
    • Gas desorption testing: design & construction of equipment, field and lab procedures, data analysis & interpretation
    • Integration of laboratory analysis data and petrophysical data
    • Raman spectral logging
    • Tectonics, structural geology & rock mechanics
    • SEM Analysis
  2. Project Planning

    Project planning & development
    • Working with drilling, completion, & production engineers in planning, implementation, and optimization of reservoir development
    • Production analysis and optimization
    • Estimation and classification of gas reserves and resources, according to SEC and PRMS criteria, including Monte Carlo modeling of gas resources

  3. General Skills

    General skills
    • Strong technical communication skills, both written and oral
    • Strong computer skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, & Access
    • Digital mapping & GIS,. preparation of cross sections, isopleth maps, and other graphical presentation in various software platforms
  4. Other Areas

    Other areas of expertise
    • Legal theories of mineral ownership relating to natural gas, coal, & CBM
    • Scientific evidence relating to global climate change
    • Carbon sequestration, especially related to the use of organic matter-rich sedimentary strata for geologic sequestration of anthropogenic CO2

Reservoir characterization

Data Interpretation

Resource Estimation

Gas Content Testing

Education & Training

Project and Prospect Evaluation

Mapping & Database


Past clients include:

Alberta Geological Survey
Andina Energy (Colombia)
Cairn India
Connaught Energy
Constellation Energy
DeGolyer & MacNaughton
Devon Energy
Drummond Company Ltd
Sandefer/Duncan Oil
El Paso Production
EnCana Corp.
EOG Canada
Great Lakes Energy
Institut Français du Pétrole
J-W Operating Company
McCormick Energy
Mosbacher Energy
Resource Enterprises, Inc.
Rockport Energy
Shell Canada
Shell International
Southern Ute Indian Tribe
StrataGas (UK)
Taurus Explor
Tri-Star Petroleum
XTO Energy

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.

Albert Szent-Györgyi

This quotation has guided my approach to science and technology long before I heard the words. Throughout my career I have tried to look at things in new and different ways, an endeavor that has yielded many rewards.

The following significant innovations in the understanding of sorbed gas reservoir systems are all original to me, to the best of my knowledge, except where I indicate the work was done in collaboration with colleagues:

ca. 1975

with staff of U.S. Bureau of Mines, conceived, designed, and built a hermetically sealed ball mill for comminution of coal samples to quickly release residual gas.

ca. 1989

discovered that some of the Cretaceous Fruitland coal in the San Juan Basin was oil-prone, and generated substantial proportion of oil during coalification, which substantially influenced its reservoir characteristics, including suppression of methane sorption capacity due to “plugging” of microporosity.

ca. 1990

designed and contructed laboratory equipment for measuring microstrain in an unconfined sample at high pressure, in response to sorption of methane and carbon dioxide, to assess the quantitative effect of matrix shrinkage on coal seam permeability

ca. 1990

with Tang Yalan, discovered and documented via optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy the existence of secondary porosity in coal, which formed in response to coalification; developed methodology for comparison of images in optical microscope and SEM (Secondary porosity has recently been identified as a critical variable in the transmission of gas through shales at high rank.)

ca. 1991

designed and constructed laboratory equipment for successfully measuring sorption of methane and carbon dioxide using an electromicrobalance.

ca. 1991

under contract to Shell, discovered that unusual linear isotherm shape of sample of Antrim shale was likely due to solvation rather than adsorption, suggesting that there are two mechanisms of sorption in coal and shale, which act in combination to produce a net total sorption capacity

ca. 1991

recognized that carbonaceous shales will contribute substantially to in place gas resources in CBM reservoir systems, and developed a methodology for its estimation

ca. 1994

for PetroCanada, discovered that elevated gas yields from samples of Cretaceous Mannville coals was likely due to the presence of a free gas phase.

ca. 1995

with Whitney Telle, under contract to River Gas, through log and sample analysis, discovered that unexpectedly high productivity of CBM wells in the Black Warrior Basin was likely due to contributions from carbonaceous shales and thin coals associated with the main coal seam, resulting in a 30{5f5f0a671acf0b508101152deea4afb81c8dccec707e26097793c0a640d6907c} increase in predicted gas-in-place, and producible reserves.

ca. 1998

with Philip Malone, developed a mathematical extrapolation to predict the quantity of “residual gas” remaining at the termination of gas desorption test.

ca. 2002

designed a modification to canister design and test procedure for Gas Content Test, that enabled quick, efficient purge of canister head space with helium, allowing estimation of sample bulk density prior to termination of measurements.

ca. 2002

designed a method for collecting a small, uncontaminated sample of gas from canister head space for chromatographic analysis, without requiring positive canister pressure, and without substantially influencing gas volume measurements.

ca. 2003

developed a procedure based on geophysical log analysis for classification of petrofacies into categories based on organic matter content, and calculating an integrated total gas resource that includes all organic matter-bearing lithologies.

ca. 2006

developed novel methodology for calculation of gas resources over large areas at a range of depths, based upon empirical relationships among variables, and using grid multiplication.

ca. 2008

with technical staff at WellDog, recognized that the initiation desorption, and therefore the initiation of “lost gas” in core recovery occurs at the “critical desorption pressure” (a.k.a. “bubble point pressure”) at a particular depth below the surface.

ca. 2008

with technical staff at WellDog, recognized that transition from sorbed phase to gas phase causes expulsion of liquid from reservoir matrix, thus explaining excessive water production of CBM wells in the Powder River Basin. The same mechanism probably causes expulsion of liquid petroleum from oil shales.

ca. 2010

substantially improved the methodology for estimation of parameters used in stochastic modeling of gas resources for stratigraphic sequences containing multiple coalseams over a substantial stratigraphic interval, including developing predictive empirical relationships among parameters.

ca. 2011

developed a substantially improved methodology for calculation of gas resources to be used in heterogeneous reservoirs comprising both coal and carbonaceous shale, including both free gas and sorbed gas in a single resource equation.

Jeffrey R. Levine

Jeffrey R. Levine

Jeff Levine is a consultant geologist, specializing in assessment of coal gas (CBM) and shale gas reservoirs. Jeff holds degrees in geology from the University of Michigan (B.S., 1974) and Penn State (M.S., 1981 and Ph.D. 1983).

Jeff began his professional career in 1974 at the U.S. Bureau of Mines, which was conducting pioneering R&D work on CBM as a mining hazard and as a potential energy resource. While at the Bureau, he participated in development of the “Direct Method” procedure for estimating the in situ gas content of coal, as well as CBM resource assessments in the Pennsylvania Anthracite region, San Juan, and Raton basins. Jeff pursued graduate studies in geology at Penn State, with a major emphasis in coal, structural geology, and tectonics. After completing a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at McGill University (Montréal), he returned to R&D work on CBM at the University of Alabama from 1985-1992. In the ensuing years, Dr. Levine has worked in the natural gas industry, both as an employee and consultant, working for GeoMet Operating Company and CDX Gas.

Since 2002 he has been an independent consultant, based in Richardson, TX. Over the course of his career, he has worked in most of the major coal and shale basins in the United States and Canada, as well as projects overseas, in the UK, Poland, China, Australia, and Colombia. Dr. Levine has taught industry short courses on sorbed gas reservoirs at many venues around the world, and has authored numerous technical papers and talks. He has served as President and Editor of The Society for Organic Petrology, and is active in the Energy Minerals Division of AAPG.

Past Project Areas


Solubility and Sorption of Oil & Coal

Solubility of Methane in Various Solvents

Nature Abhors a Vacuum

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Mapping & Database

Project and Prospect Evaluation

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Reservoir Characterization

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