Bakken Three Forks Field Trip



George W. Grader and P. Ted Doughty,  3 Days

PRISEM Geoscience Consulting,

Who Should Attend

Oil and gas professionals who wish to learn about the geology, reservoir engineering, and operational aspects of the Lodgepole-Bakken-Three Forks Petroleum System.


Begins and ends in Three Forks, MT. Plan to arrive/depart from Bozeman, MT.


The attendee will gain a working knowledge of the following in the Lodgepole-Bakken-Three Forks Petroleum System:

· Bakken and Three Forks reservoir sedimentology and facies

· Sequence stratigraphy and basin architecture of the Bakken-Sappington and Three Forks

· Characteristics of key sequence boundaries

· Geology and engineering aspects of Bakken-Three Forks reservoirs

· Geochemistry and depositional environments of Bakken source rocks and seals 

· Lateral facies changes and reservoir changes along horizontal transects

· Late Devonian-Mississippian tectonics and basin histories of western North America

· Regional geology of western Montana

· Stratigraphy and petroleum geology of the lower Lodgepole (incl. Scallion).


The course begins with a ½ day introduction to Late Devonian-Mississippian basins and strata (Bakken-Sappington-Exshaw) in the northwestern U.S. and southern Canada. The lecture concludes with a detailed discussion of Sappington Formation stratigraphy and sedimentology—demonstrating that it is equivalent to the Bakken in nearly all respects and a nearly perfect analog. Day one concludes with a visit to the Sappington-Three Forks Type section near Three Forks, MT.

Days two and three are spent entirely in the field examining sections of the Sappington and Three Forks Formations. Attendees may also examine the overlying Lower Mississippian Lodgepole Formation at most stops.

The field part of the course is organized so that each outcrop, is examined and discussed in terms of its correlation with the productive Bakken and Three Forks Formations in the subsurface. Local well logs, outcrop gamma ray logs, detailed measured sections, and geochemical data are used at each section to support the field lectures and regional correlations. 

Excellent outcrops illustrate how facies, reservoir properties and rock properties, can vary along a lateral well bore. Engineers, geologists, and operators will find this especially interesting.

The course is located just north of Yellowstone National Park in an area of world-famous geysers, wildlife, scenery, and fishing. The Three Forks-Bozeman area of Montana also is the classic type section for the Three Forks and Sappington Formations.

George W. Grader, has studied the Devonian and Mississippian stratigraphy of Montana and Idaho for nearly 25 years. Dr. Grader received his Ph.D. in stratigraphy from the University of Idaho in 1998. With PRISEM since 2008, he has consulted with numerous clients on Devonian-Mississippian stratigraphy of Montana and North Dakota

P. Ted Doughty, has worked in oil and gas exploration since 1990, for Amoco, Exxon, and Talisman Energy, and most recently as Exploration Manager for Amarok Energy. He taught at Eastern Washington University for 8 years, before starting PRISEM Geoscience in 2005. Dr. Doughty received his M.S. at the University of Montana and Ph.D. from Queens University in 1995. 

PRISEM has run a similar on-demand course for Industry since 2008 with excellent reviews.