Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Mineralogy; Organic geochemistry; Production; Tuscaloosa Marine Shale; Unconventional resource


"The Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) is an unconventional shale reservoir located in southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi. Limited mineralogical and geochemical data for the TMS have been published. The data that do exist indicate that the formation is heterogeneous. Consequently, previous investigators and oil and gas companies have not managed to effectively link mineralogical and chemical changes to oil and gas production in the TMS. These linkages are critical to establish for future exploration efforts. In this study, we attempt to establish these relationships by gathering all existing mineralogical and chemical data in the TMS, including newly acquired data from drill cuttings and comparing it to the volumes of oil, gas, and water production.

The TMS is dominated by clay minerals with various amounts of quartz and calcite and smaller amounts of other minerals. Organic geochemical results suggest the presence of mixed type II and III kerogen. The variability of depositional environments influenced by proximity to depocenters, clastic influx, and sea level fluctuations, has led to a great deal of physical and chemical heterogeneity within the TMS. In most cases, comparisons of the mineral and geochemical data to production/drilling information show no obvious correlations. However, weak relationships are found between oil production and regions with lower amounts of total clay and higher amounts of quartz, and areas of higher TOC. The results of this study, and continued evaluation of these trends with new data, including the consideration of mechanical features such as natural fracturing, will be needed to further the understanding of what factors control production success in this unit"--Abstract, page iii.


Borrok, David M.

Committee Member(s)

Yang, Wan
Obrist-Farner, Jonathan


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Geology and Geophysics


This study was supported by the Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory under Award Number DE-FE0031575 (TUSCALOOSA MARINE SHALE LABORATORY).


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2021


x, 95 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 91-94).


© 2021 Hayley Roxana Beitel, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11827

Electronic OCLC #