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When:  Feb 15, 2023 from 11:30 AM to 01:00 PM (CT)
Where:   Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute (BCGI), Building H - Room H125, 3939 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, TX, 75244, US
Community:   Dallas Section

When & Where

Brookhaven College Geotechnology Institute (BCGI), Building H - Room H125
3939 Valley View Lane
Farmers Branch, TX 75244

Feb 15, 11:30 AM - 01:00 PM (CT)



The Beetaloo sub-basin is a Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic sedimentary basin that overlies the western extension of the McArthur Basin. The target source rock intervals of the Beetaloo sub-basin are found within the Mesoproterozoic Roper Group, a thick sedimentary package consisting of quartz sandstones, siltstones, and organic-rich siliceous mudstones.

The Velkerri Formation (~1.4 billion years old) of the Roper Group has been identified as an unconventional exploration target.  To date, only a handful of horizontal wells have been drilled in the basin.  Most have targeted the Middle Velkerri B shale, which is considered the most prospective of the stacked, organic-rich shales of the Roper Group, and is estimated to contain >200 TCF of recoverable gas resources.  There is an estimated additional 100-200 TCF of recoverable gas resources within the other 3 shale targets. 

The remote setting of the Beetaloo Sub-basin and lack of infrastructure are the main hurdles to overcome on the pathway to development and commercialization.  The recent influx of U.S. shale drilling expertise has already demonstrated marked improvements in drilling times, and recent U.S. investment capital has been secured, demonstrating increasing confidence in the viability of the play.


Donny received his BS in Biology/Secondary Education from Asbury University in Wilmore, KY in 1998 and his MA in Secondary Education from Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY in 2006.  After ten years of teaching middle and high school science in Lexington, KY, he left the teaching profession to pursue his MS in Geology, which he received from the University of Kentucky in 2010.  He joined Pioneer in 2010, where his initial role was focused on operations and development geology for the company’s assets in the liquids-rich Barnett Combo Play of the Ft. Worth Basin.  After that, he worked as a regional geologist on the Southern Wolfcamp and Permian Asset Teams, focusing on geologic, petrophysical, and geomechanical mapping and analysis for appraisal, drilling optimization, and development of Pioneer’s Midland Basin Wolfcamp and Spraberry assets in west Texas.  He also worked in Pioneer’s Water Management group where he managed a technical team aimed at characterizing saltwater disposal zones in the Midland Basin.  Under his leadership, the team completed a full geologic and reservoir characterization of the basin’s shallow San Andres and deep Ellenburger disposal zones, developing depositional, diagenetic, and porosity evolution models for both intervals as well as a static 3D geocellular facies model used for numerical modeling, disposal capacity estimation, and pressure prediction.  He recently joined Tamboran Resources LTD, based in Sydney, Australia as the company’s Geoscience Technical Advisor, where he is focused on exploring for hydrocarbons in the gas-rich Beetaloo Sub-basin in Australia’s Northern Territory.  Donny’s interests include hiking, backpacking, playing the drums, riding motorcycles/ATVs, playing softball and beach volleyball, binge-watching ‘90s sitcoms on Netflix and, most of all, spending time with his wife and two children at their home in Carrollton, TX.


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Anjali Jha