Dr. Burns Cheadle
Director, Science Professionalism and Entrepreneurship, Faculty of Science
Ph.D. Western University, 1986
Office: BGS 1078
Lab: BGS 1058
Phone: 519-661-2111 x.89009
Blood from a stone?
Producing crude oil is, in some respects, very much like squeezing blood from a stone. The fuel that powers most of today’s transportation systems is manufactured from a product that began as life in the sea — microscopic organisms that captured sunlight and converted it into chemical energy. That fossil sunlight is now the lifeblood of our modern economy.
How did this organic energy source become part of the geological rock record? What can it tell us about the climate, the ecology, and the tectonic upheavals of ancient Earth? How can we manage this precious resource while avoiding a precarious future? These are some of the big questions driving the study of petroleum geology.
Dr. Cheadle's primary research interest involves several interconnected themes in petroleum geology, with a particular focus on the petroleum resource potential of carbonaceous mudstone deposits — “shale gas” and “tight oil” plays. The characterization of such deposits requires integration of high-resolution sequence stratigraphy with sedimentology, organic geochemistry, submicron FIB-SEM microscopy and petrophysical reservoir characterization techniques. Addressing such questions as the relative contribution of tectonic, glacioeustatic, and palaeoclimatic driving forces on organic productivity and preservation, the research seeks to define carbonaceous mudstones in the context of petroleum systems.
Safe and sound?
Our appetite for oil and gas seems to be insatiable, but society’s expectations for environmental protection are constantly on the rise. The challenge of meeting both of these requirements drives the science behind responsible development of energy resources. At times it seems that the science is just catching up to new development technologies, leaving the public to wonder if the risk is worth the prize. The recent rush to develop shale gas and tight oil has polarized public opinion on the safety of hydraulic fracture treatments, but there is surprisingly little solid science to either support or refute these concerns.
One aspect of hydraulic fracturing that has captured the public’s attention is the phenomenon of induced or triggered seismicity (man-made earthquakes). Small earthquakes are now being felt in areas of oil and gas operations where few had been felt before. What is causing these earthquakes? What is the probability of hazard associated with them? Can they be controlled or eliminated by changing the nature of the operation?
Dr. Cheadle is part of a national multidisciplinary collaboration currently studying induced seismicity processes, with a particular focus on understanding the basic relationships between injected fluids, varying geology, and ground motion. The results of this research will lead to better tools to predict the frequency and intensity of these unexpected events, and provide the knowledge to modify operations in order to safeguard people, the environment and property.
- Kassab, M. A., Teama, M. A., Cheadle, B. A., El-Din, E. S., Mohamed, I. F., & Mesbah, M. A. (2015). Reservoir characterization of the Lower Abu Madi Formation using core analysis data: El-Wastani gas field, Egypt. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 110, 116-130. doi: 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2015.06.008
- Atkinson, G., Assatourians, K., Cheadle, B., & Greig, W. (2015). Ground Motions from Three Recent Earthquakes in Western Alberta and Northeastern British Columbia and Their Implications for Induced‐Seismicity Hazard in Eastern Regions. Seismological Research Letters, 86(3), 1022-1031.
- Plint, A.G. and Cheadle, B.A. (2015). Reply to the Discussion by Schieber on “Mud dispersal across a Cretaceous prodelta: Storm-generated, wave-enhanced sediment gravity flows inferred from mudstone microtexture and microfacies” by Plint (2014), Sedimentology 61, 609–647. Sedimentology, 62(1), 394-400. doi: 10.1111/sed.12151
- Nakevska, N., Schincariol, R., Dehkordi, S.E. and Cheadle, B. (2015). Geothermal waste heat utilization from in-situ thermal bitumen recovery operations. Groundwater, 53(2), 251-260. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12196.
- Flynn, J.A. and Cheadle, B. A. (2013). Development of an allostratigraphic framework for the Cretaceous Colorado Group: implications for discrete petroleum system development in mudstones; in Summary of Investigations 2013, Volume 1, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Sask. Ministry of the Economy, Misc. Rep. 2013-4.1, Paper A-4, 19p.
- El-Din, E., Mesbah, M., Kassab, M., Mohamed, I., Cheadle, B., and Teama, M. (2013). Assessment of petrophysical parameters of clastics using well logs: the Upper Miocene in El-Wastani gas field, onshore Nile Delta, Egypt. Petroleum Exploration and Development, 40(4), 488-494.
- Marion, K. and Cheadle, B.A. (2015). Petrophysical characterization of the Upper Cretaceous Second White Specks alloformation, Willesden Green – Gilby area, Alberta (poster presentation). GeoConvention 2015: May 4 - 8 2015, Calgary, AB.
- Grey, K. and Cheadle, B.A. (2015). Stratigraphic controls on the distribution of poroelastic properties in the Late Cretaceous Cardium Formation, Alberta (poster presentation). GeoConvention 2015: May 4 - 8 2015, Calgary, AB.
- Aviles, M. and Cheadle, B.A. (2015). Regional study of the thickness of exhumed sediments in the foredeep section of the Western Canada Foreland Basin using the sonic compaction based technique (poster presentation). GeoConvention 2015: May 4 - 8 2015, Calgary, AB.
- Al-Mufti, O. Plint, A.G. and Cheadle, B.A. (2015). Mud sedimentation in a distal offshore setting: Upper Cretaceous (Santonian) Puskwaskau Formation, North-Central Alberta (poster presentation). GeoConvention 2015: May 4 - 8 2015, Calgary, AB.
- Verma, A., Kumar, P., Mohanty, W., Routray, A., and Cheadle, B. (2014). Modeling of reservoir property using fractal interpolation and geostatistics (oral presentation), In SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts 2014 (pp. 2460-2464). Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Annual Meeting, October 26-31,2014, Denver, CO.
- Al-Mufti, O. Plint, A.G. and Cheadle, B.A. (2014). Micro-textural analysis of a mudstone-dominated succession: insights from the Upper Cretaceous Puskwaskau Formation of north-central Alberta (oral presentation). AAPG Eastern Section Meeting: Sept 27 – Oct 1 2014, London, ON.
- Flynn, J. and Cheadle, B.A. (2014). Regional allostratigraphic correlations across a foreland basin: evidence for a tectonically- or eustatically-dominated system (oral presentation). GeoConvention 2014: May 12 – 16 2014, Calgary, AB.
- Cheadle, B.A. (2014). Redistribution of organomineralic aggregate grains in the Upper Cretaceous Second White Specks Formation, Western Canada Foreland Basin (oral presentation). GeoConvention 2014: May 12 – 16 2014, Calgary, AB.
- Cheadle, B.A. (2014). Compaction State of Aggregate Grains in Carbonaceous Mudstones: Evidence from Microfabric Studies of the Upper Cretaceous Colorado Group, Western Canada Foreland Basin (oral presentation). AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition: April 6 – 9 2014, Houston, TX.
- Novakovic, M., Atkinson, G. and Cheadle, B. (2014). Investigation of seismicity in the Crooked Lake region of Alberta (oral presentation). CGU Annual Meeting: May 5 – 7 2014, Banff, AB.
- Sweeney, S. and Cheadle, B. A. (2013). High Frequency Allostratigraphy of the Upper Ordovician Blue Mountain Formation in Southwestern Ontario Canada (oral presentation). Ontario Petroleum Institute 52nd Annual Conference & Northeast Venture Exchange: October 23 – 25 2013, Windsor, ON.
- Jiang, P. and Cheadle, B. A. (2013). Depositional and Burial Domain Influences on Microporosity Modalities in Carbonaceous Mudstones of the Upper Cretaceous Colorado Group, Western Canada Foreland Basin (poster presentation). AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition: May 19 – 22 2013, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Sweeney, S. and Cheadle, B. A. (2013). Upper Ordovician Georgian Bay and Blue Mountain Formations in Southwestern Ontario, Canada: progress toward high frequency allostratigraphic correlation to the Utica Shale in Ohio and Pennsylvania (poster presentation). AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition: May 19 – 22 2013, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Cheadle, B. A. and Jiang, P. (2013). Born This Way — Inherited Heterogeneity and Microporosity Modalities in "Hybrid" Reservoirs of the Upper Cretaceous Colorado Group, Western Canada Foreland Basin (oral presentation). GeoConvention 2013: Integration, May 6 – 10 2013, Calgary, AB.
- Flynn, J. and Cheadle, B. A. (2013). Going the distance: A basinwide, high-frequency allostratigraphic framework for the Upper Cretaceous Colorado Group, Western Canada Foreland Basin (poster presentation). GeoConvention 2013: Integration, May 6 – 10 2013, Calgary, AB.
- ES 3372A/B Introduction to Petroleum Systems
- ES 4472A/B Applied Petroleum Assessment
- GL 9566A/B: Applied Concepts in Petroleum Geology
- GL 9567B: Regional Petroleum Systems Seminar
- Mailyng Aviles Ladera, PhD Geology Candidate
- Jessica Flynn, PhD Geology Candidate
- Karen Grey, PhD Geology Candidate
- Negar Nazari, PhD Geology Candidate (Co-Supervisor)
- Katharin Pavan, MSc Geology Candidate (Co-Supervisor)