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Petroleum Geology

Course Details

Course Number
GEOS 4034
Fall 2014
Bolin Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Lecture MWF 12-12:50 PM - Bolin 309

Lab W 1-2:50 PM - Bolin 105

William Scott Meddaugh (view Profile)


Petroleum Geoscience
Course Objectives


An introduction to the geology of petroleum and natural gas.  Topics include the origin, occurrence, movement, and accumulation of oil and natural gas and the exploration for and development of hydrocarbon reservoirs.  Additional topics include geophysical and geochemical exploration techniques, basin analysis, well site operations, representative exploration and reservoir development case histories, and as time permits, subsurface geology of CO2 sequestration.  Fundamental skills routinely used by petroleum geologists, such as basic well log analysis, well correlation, cross section construction, mapping, and volumetric calculations are the major lab session topics. 

Course Expectations


Course Expectations/Requirements                                                                                      


Attend lectures.  Come prepared for lectures by reading the textbook and assigned readings in advance.  Note that specific assigned readings do not appear in the course schedule; these will be announced as appropriate. Lectures highlight essential topics and vocabulary; textbook and other resources (online or library) provide additional details as well as additional topics as well as review and self test opportunities.  It is in your best interest to use these resources.  Lecture and final exams will cover lectures and textbook-only topics (plus related vocabulary.  All exams are cumulative; all prior material, topics, and text and assigned readings will be included on exams.  If you will miss a lecture, please let Dr. Meddaugh know in advance. More than three unexcused absences from lecture may result in your being dropped from the course.         Plan to spend at least three hours per week on assigned readings.                                                          


Active participation in all lab sessions is required.  Completion of all lab assignments on time is expected. Lab attendance is mandatory.  If you are going to miss a lab you must let Dr. Meddaugh know in advance.  You must make up any missed lab by making suitable arrangement with Dr. Meddaugh. The exact procedure will be discussed during the first lab meeting.  Labs must be made up within one week or a grade/completion penalty will be imposed.  After two weeks, a missed lab may not be made up.  Any missed lab will receive a completion grade of zero.  Missing more than two labs may result in your being dropped from the course.  Labs will require additional time beyond the weekly two hour lab session.  Bolin 105 is generally open much of the week and evenings.  Two workstations in Bolin 308 may also be available, if needed.

Grading Standards



Lecture = 60% of final grade.   Exam 1 = 20% of final grade; Lecture Exam 2 = 20% of final grade; Final Exam = 20% of final grade.

Lab grade = 30% of final grade.   Each of the 10 graded Lab Exercises are worth 3% of your final grade

Research/Case History grade = 10% of final grade.   The research paper grade will be derived as follows - 60% derived based on the submitted text and 40% derived from the public (in class or lab) presentation.  Presentations are limited to 12 minutes and will be followed by 3-4 minutes for questions from peers, instructor, and/or guests.  Presentations may be PowerPoint or poster-based.     Presentation and Q&A time limits will be strictly enforced!  More information of the research paper will be available during the first lab meeting.

Research/Case History papers must be between 2750 and 3750 words (about 5-7 pages of text based on 11-pt or 12-pt font; word count per MSWord’s word count tool) and be no longer than thirteen total pages including illustrations, abstract, reference list, and title page.  Papers must contain an abstract or summary of no more than 250 words (included in word count), at least four primary references from peer reviewed publications (e.g. AAPG Bulletin, GSA Bulletin, GSA Geology, SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering Journal, SEG Leading Edge, EAGE First Break, and be structured as follows: (1) Title page with title and author; (2) Summary or Abstract; (3) Introduction (background and rationale for your paper topic choice); (4) Discussion (basically what you learned and want to share with your colleagues as a result of your research); (5) Conclusion (highlight or restatement of most important learning’s from your perspective); and (6) references (minimum of three primary references).  Figures and/or tables (with captions) may be included within text or at end of paper.  Format – MS Word; paper copy and electronic copy must be submitted. 

Papers are due as per the syllabus schedule.  Papers submitted one week late will be docked one letter grade (e.g. 10 points; thus a paper that would have received a 85% grade if submitted on time will receive a final grade of 75% if submitted one week late).  Research papers may not be submitted more than two weeks late.  Presentations will be scheduled the last week of the term in both lecture and lab meetings                   

Final Letter Grade Definitions

A = >90%, B = 80-89%, C = 70-79%, D = 60-69% F = <60%

Final letter grades will be based on rounding composite course grade to the nearest integer.  If your attendance has been exemplary in both lab and lecture the course final grade may be rounded up by one point (e.g. a 79% to 80%).

Final Exam 12/10/2014 3:30-5:30 PM
Submission Format Policy

See Grading Standards tab for additional information.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.
Late Paper Policy

See Grading Standards tab for additional information.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

If you will miss a lecture, please let Dr. Meddaugh know in advance. More than three unexcused absences from lecture may result in your being dropped from the course.  Missing more than two labs may result in your being dropped from the course.  See grading Standards tab for more information.

Other Policies

Lectures and lab assignments will generally be posted in D2L in advance.  Assigned readings will either be available via the library or D2L.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at