Reservoir Characterization of the Karoo Basin

Bryony Richards, Ph.D. | Senior Petrologist

Status: In Development | Report Number I 01242

Cost for sponsors: US $80,000

Project deliverables are proposed to focus on the critical assessment of potential shales in key areas of the basin, using available literature, geological modeling and new analyses of samples, including:

Comprehensive petrological analyses using the Core through Pore™ integrated analytical approach using optical microscopy, XRD, XRF, QEMSCAN®, SEM, FIB-SEM and TEM/STEM.

Geochemical and petrological databases and charts (Excel).

Integrated assessment of analysis with available well log and magnetic data.

Delivered on ArcGIS platform with GIS catalog delivered in Excel format.

Analog table containing key shale parameters and potential analogous North American reservoirs (Excel).

Documentation from interim and final project presentations

The integration of three key technical areas to establish an unparalleled understanding of shale resources in South Africa’s Karoo Basin.

Core through Pore™ Integrated Petrological Workfl w for cutting-edge interpretation of composition, texture, fabric, porosity, permeability, micro-tectonics, micro-facies/depositional evolution and diagenetic history.

Geophysical & Petrophysical Data: integrated within the gross tectonic structural framework, taking into account the correlation of available gravity and magnetic data within the fundamental sequence stratigraphic framework of the basin.

Organic Petrology: Evaluation of key samples using rock-Eval, TOC, and biomarkers with the integration of inorganic (petrological) analyses and regional (geophysical/petrophysical) data.


Recent estimates of unconventional resources in the Karoo Basin, suggest widely variable recoverable shale gas in-place from ~30 Tcf to ~500 Tcf (i.e. Decker and Marot, 2012). Potentially large gas reserves; coupled with the present energy shortfall in South Africa, has led to shale gas becoming an attractive new energy prospect, with much of the renewed exploration focus falling on the Karoo Basin shales.

Figure 1 Position of the Karoo Basin and target shales.

Figure 1 Position of the Karoo Basin and target shales.


Principal Investigators/Authors:

Bryony Richards, Ph.D. |  Senior Petrologist |

Phone: 801-585-0599

EGI Phone: 801-581-5126

Stay in Contact with EGI

Hours of operation

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Monday through Friday

Contact us


Energy & Geoscience Institute
423 Wakara Way, Suite 300
Salt Lake City, UT 84108