Richardson (Pitch) Allen

Research Professor


Phone: (801) 581-7574
Fax: (801) 585-3540




Regional & Basin Experience

  • South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia)

  • Red Sea

  • Studies on Unconventional oil and gas (North America, Europe, North


  • Bacterial Gas (Global)

1983 Ph.D. in Geology, Columbia University, New York

1978 M.A. M.Phil. in Geology, Columbia University, New York

1975 B.A. in Geology, Columbia College, New York


  • Geological Society of America

  • American Geophysical Union

1975-1981 Faculty Fellowship, Columbia University

1986 Co-Recipient of the Jules Braunstein Memorial Award for the best AAPG poster presentation at the 1985 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, New Orleans

1974 Awarded USGS summer field assistant position through National Association of Geology Teachers/USGS Cooperative Summer Field Program

Nemcok, M., Stuart, C., Rosendahl, B. R., Welker, C., Smith, S., Sheya, C.,

Sinha, S. T., Choudhuri, M., Allen, R., Reeves, C., Sharma, S. P.,

Venkatraman, S. and Sinha, N., 2013 in press, Continental break-up mechanism;

lessons from intermediate- and fast-extension settings, in Mohriak, W. U.,

Danforth, A., Post, P. J., Brown, D. E., Tari, G. C., Nemcok, M., and Sinha,

S. T., eds., Conjugate Divergent Margins: Geological Society, London, Special

Publication, v. 369

Segall, M. P., Murphy, R. K., McPherson, S., Neese, D. G., Nemcok, M., Allen, R. and Chidsey, T. C., Jr., 2003, Modern and antecedent topography; focussing agents for reservoir sands; central and western Scotian Basin: Annual Meeting Expanded Abstracts – American Association of Petroleum Geologists, v. 12, p. 154.

Nemcok, M., Shafer, C., Allen, R.B., Segall, M.P., Hermeston, S., Sawyer, R.K., Christensen, C., 2003. Morocco-Nova Scotia-Georges Bank Margins Basins Project. Energy & Geoscience Institute Technical Report

Allen, R. B., 2004, Atlantic margins basins project – Phase I: Equatorial margins. Conversion of GIS – ArcView 3 to ArcGIS 8. EGI Technical Report

Segall, M.P., Platon, E., Allen, R., Francu, J., Nemcok, M., Shafer, C., Jarvie, C., Ekart, D., Erickson, J., Abrams, M., 2004. North Bahamas Continental Margin Evolution. Energy & Geoscience Institute Technical Report

Murphy, R. K., McPherson, S., Segall, M. P., Nemcok, M., Abrams, M. A., Allen, R. B., 2003, Clastic sediment distribution and dispersal in the deepwater Scotian margin: Abstracts with Programs – Geological Society of America, v. 35, no. 3, p. 24.

Abrams, M. A. and Allen, R. B., 2005, Source rock catalog for US onshore basins: Phase I and Phase II, EGI Technical Report

Allen, R. B., 2005, The hydrocarbon potential of Central Northern Montana, the foreland north of Augusta.EGI Technical Report

Nemcok, M., Segall, M. P., et al., 2004, Atlantic margins basins project – Phase I: Equatorial margins. EGI Technical Report

Segall, M.P., Allen, R.B., Abrams, M.A., and O. Abou-Ismail, 2001. Seafloor stability of the Argentine continental margin – considerations for offshore hydrocarbon exploration and production. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Program with Abstracts, p. A182.

Abrams, M. A., Nemcok, M., Allen, R., Shaw, K. and Potter, R. W., II, 2005, Identification of key petroleum system risks in Grandview Hills NWT exploration play: Annual Meeting Abstracts – American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Research Interests

  • Tectonics
  • Stratigraphy
  • Structure
  • South American Basins
  • Unconventional Reservoirs

In 1981 Richardson “Pitch” Allen began as a Research Associate and Research Assistant Professor at the Earth Sciences & Resources Institute in South Carolina, moving with ESRI to Utah to join the University of Utah Research Institute (UURI) and form what is now EGI. Pitch received a B.A. (1975), M.A., and M.Phil. (1978) from Columbia University, and in 1983 received his Ph.D. in Geology from Columbia as well. From 1992–1996 he served as Executive Editor for the Journal of South American Earth Sciences.

Pitch has specialized on South America since graduate school starting 40 years ago. He did field work in the Antarctica Peninsula, the Rocas Verdes Basin of southern Chile, the Neuquén Basin and the Cuyo and related Triassic basins of Argentina, the Cordillera Oriental and the Middle and northern Upper Magdalena basins of Colombia, and the Sub-Andean Ranges of Bolivia in the first two decades of his career. Studies on all of the continents except Antarctica, and continuous, extended research in South America have been his primary focus in the last two decades.

In the last few years Pitch has worked mainly on unconventional shale reservoirs in North America, Europe, North Africa, central Eurasia, and especially selected basins of South America.

Since 2006 he has led structural, stratigraphic, petrologic, subsurface geologic, and regional tectonic studies on Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Middle East including field, laboratory, and literature-based studies, and reviews of unconventional oil and gas for North America, Europe and North Africa. Pitch’s expertise and areas of interest have lent significant contributions to EGI CA Members and project sponsors.

Pitch is also a member of American Geophysical Union, European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers, and the Utah Geological Association.