The Institute for Reservoir Characterization (IRC) is directed by Dr. Matt Pranter and conducts fundamental and applied research in sedimentary, structural, and petroleum geosciences as related to petroleum reservoirs.  

The IRC focuses on questions that address how the characteristics of siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks (and processes that form them) at different scales impact heterogeneity and recovery associated with conventional and unconventional (tight oil/gas formations: sandstones, limestones, chert, mudrocks, shales, chalks, marls) reservoirs.  This multidisciplinary research involves the field scale analyses of depositional systems, stratigraphic architecture, sedimentology, and structural geology as applied to petroleum reservoirs.  To explore these questions, students and researchers analyze and integrate various types of data (e.g., outcrops, 3-D seismic, seismic attributes, well and production data) and use a range of methods (e.g., XRF, XRD, 3-D reservoir modeling) to evaluate the stratigraphic, sedimentologic, and structural controls on reservoir quality.

The IRC was established in 1992 by Dr. Dan O’Meara (Director from 1992-2006) with the initial focus on DOE-funded research on the Gypsy Field Project in Reservoir Characterization in Pawnee County, northeastern Oklahoma.  This project investigated improved recovery from heterogeneous fluvial reservoirs (Pennsylvanian Vamoosa Formation, Gypsy sandstone) through outcrop, core, and 3-D seismic interpretation, depositional environment modeling, tracer testing, and sweep efficiency calculations.  Dr. Roger Slatt served as Director from 2006-2020 and especially focused on reservoir characterization of the Woodford Shale in Oklahoma through several industry sponsored consortia.

The IRC has various facilities and equipment for both laboratory- and field-based analyses: core layout and storage facilities, high-end workstations, software for geoscience analysis, mapping, and modeling (e.g., EasyCore, Petra, Petrel, GeoGraphix, HampsonRussell, Pix4Dmapper, etc.), aerial drone (UAV), hand-held spectrometers, portable XRF device, GPS units, and other equipment.