Alan Chamberlain

Alan Chamberlain

Chief Geologist

Dr. Alan Chamberlain attended five western North American Universities and earned five degrees including a BS, MS, and PhD in geology.  By expanding his Brigham Young University Master’s thesis research on the Biostratigraphy of the Mississippian Great Blue Formation of western Utah he earned his first Levorson Award at the 1987 Rocky Mountain Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. There he presented his paper titled: Depositional Environments and Hydrocarbon Occurrence of Mississippian Antler Basin, Nevada and Utah. His Colorado School of Mines PhD dissertation research on Devonian stratigraphy and structural geology of the Timpahute, Nevada 30 X 60o Quadrangle helped him earn his second Levorson Award 2003 at the Mid Continent Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists where he presented a paper entitled Tectonic Controls on the Remigration of Hydrocarbons:  Looking Beyond Nevada’s Commercial Oil Seep Play.

Dr. Chamberlain worked for worked for Exxon Minerals USA where he learned how to use scintillation equipment looking for uranium, Gulf (now Chevron) Oil Company where he first conceived of creating gamma ray logs of outcrops and where he learned the importance of long-range hydrocarbon migration while exploring for oil in the Cretaceous Muddy Sandstone in the Big Horn Basin Wyoming, Marathon Oil Company where he worked on the Utah Hingeline and puzzled over oil occurrences where there were no oil source rocks, and Placid Oil Company where he was put in charge of exploring for hydrocarbons in the Great Basin of western Utah and eastern Nevada.  While working for Placid in the early 1980’s he had the opportunity to be trained by some of Shell Oil Company’s elite team of Great Basin stratigraphers who had spent about twenty years and about $200,000,000 developing a stratigraphic framework of the region in the 1950’s and 1960’s because the State of Nevada has never authorized a state geological survey and much of the geological survey of western Utah is nothing more than a compilation of student summer field camp maps.

Placid gave Dr. Chamberlain the freedom and financial support to remeasure many of the Shell measured sections that he acquired and obtained permission to use from Shell to use as he pioneered his new field technique for creating surface gamma ray logs.  His new field technique led him to earn the 1983 American Association of Petroleum Geologists best poster of the National Convention in Dallas, TX entitled Surface Gamma Logs:  A Helpful Correlation Tool.  That award got the attention of many major oil companies who were also frustrated with the lack of a publicly available professional Great Basin geological survey and who gave Dr. Chamberlain the financial incentive to initiate the first professional Great Basin geological survey in 1984.  Dr. Chamberlain has been directing the survey ever since as president and chief geologist of Cedar Strat Corp.

Cedar Strat is the only entity that has a digital Great Basin stratigraphic database, sixteen tons of samples from staked measured sections in its sample library, nearly 70,000 precisely located (sub-meter) structural attitudes with lithologic descriptions, a regional gravity merge using the most extensive proprietary Great Basin survey as a standard, and many other datasets as part of its Great Basin geological survey.  Combining many of these datasets together Cedar Strat has created a structural contour map on the top of the Mississippian Joana Limestone that lies between thick beds of oil source rocks with enough organic material to generate trillions of barrels of oil and are likely the source for billions of barrels of oil being trapped in structures in Utah were there is a lack of oil source rocks.  The structural contour map or treasure map reveals about 165 untested structures covering about 20,000,000 acres of Federal lands in western Utah and eastern Nevada that could easily be made available for leasing.  Each of the structures could contain billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.


November 9, 2017
Lunch Plenary Keynotes
Liberty 4-6
12:50 p.m.  -  2:10 p.m.