The OilTracers Team of Experts

Dr. Mark A. McCaffrey

Geoscience Manager - Interpretive Services (Weatherford Laboratories)

Dr. McCaffrey received his B.A. (1985) from Harvard University, magna cum laude with highest honors in geological sciences, and his Ph.D. (1990) in chemical oceanography (in the area of organic geochemistry) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Mark spent 10 years at Chevron and Arco as a petroleum geochemist, then founded OilTracers LLC, a firm specializing in applications of petroleum geochemistry. After 10 years, OilTracers was acquired by Weatherford. Mark is a California Registered Geologist (License #5903), a Texas Professional Geoscientist (Geology, License #350), and an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist (Certificate #5339).

He is author of numerous articles on the application of geochemistry to petroleum exploration, reservoir management, oil biodegradation, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction. As an Expert Witness in gas fingerprinting, he has testified (i) in Mississippi State Court, (ii) in Ohio Federal Court, (iii) before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and (iv) before the Railroad Commission of Texas. Mark is a PetroSkills Instructor in the area of Oil and Gas Geochemistry, and has taught classes in: Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, England, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Mozambique, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and the USA.

Mark was the 1995 recipient of the Pieter Schenck Award from the European Association of Organic Geochemists for "outstanding work on biomarkers in relation to paleoenvironmental studies and petroleum exploration." In 1998, with project team members, Mark received the Arco Award of Excellence "for developing a new charge and migration model for the Brookian petroleum system, allowing improved charge risk assessment for prospects on the Central North Slope of Alaska".

Mark lectured in 17 countries as the 2001-2002 Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers; he was Chairman of the 2002 Organic Geochemistry Gordon Conference, and 2006-2007 Chairman of the Organic Geochemistry Division of the Geochemical Society.

Contact Mark at  

Dave K. Baskin

Senior Project Geochemist

David Baskin has more than 30 years experience in the petroleum industry and has made numerous internationally recognized contributions to exploration and production geochemistry.

He received a B. S. degree in Geology from San Jose State University and continued graduate studies at both California State University at Fullerton and California State University at Long Beach. In addition to working for several years as a well-site geologist for Exploration Logging Inc., he completed nearly 30 years of service at Chevron's research facility in La Habra, California.

Dave spent many years as an organic petrologist and source-rock geochemist. He helped develop an analytical program that integrated kerogen microscopy, pyrolysis, and elemental analysis data to evaluate the generative potential and generative history of source-rocks. David also has extensive experience in reservoir geochemistry where he developed techniques to predict type (gas vs. oil) and quality (API gravity) of oil accumulations, prior to testing. 

These techniques are discussed in some of his numerous publications. David has also made significant contributions in correlating oils from continuous reservoirs using gas chromatography. He received a Special Recognition Award from Chevron (1996) for fingerprinting and correlating oils in the Deep Water, Gulf of Mexico. Dave is also recognized for his expertise in interpreting Light Hydrocarbon data (C7 Analysis), and for his special interest in correlating biodegraded oils and oils contaminated with synthetic drilling mud additives. He is currently a member of AAPG, SEPM, GSA, and TSOP.

David was the 2014 recipient of the AAPG Energy Minerals Division President’s Certificate for Excellence in Oral Presentation 2013 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition for the talk “Allocating the Contribution of Oil from the Eagle Ford Formation, the Buda Formation, and the Austin Chalk to Commingled Production from Horizontal Wells in South Texas Using Geochemical Fingerprinting Technology”. AAPG Search & Discovery #41268.

David's detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact David at  

Brooks A. Patterson

Senior Project Geochemist

Brooks Patterson received his B.A. degree (Earth Science, 1977) from California State University Fullerton and M.S. degree (Geology, 1984) from University California at Riverside. He has more than 29 years of petroleum industry experience with ChevronTexaco, which included operation of state-of-the-art geochemistry instrumentation, development of hardware and technical methodologies, and interpretation of source rock, oil, gas, and water data.

While working for Chevron's oil field research company, Brooks participated in the field trial of the Rock-Eval pyrolysis instrument and consulted with the developers of the US-designed-and-built Rock-Eval II instrument. He also participated in the development Chevron's oil fingerprinting techniques and software, which put Chevron in the lead in reservoir geochemistry. 

As a geochemist he has completed numerous source rock and reservoir geochemistry studies of Congo, Angola, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and US oil fields. He carried out numerous allocation studies in San Joaquin Valley, California, providing accurate data in steam flood monitoring of commingled Antelope and Belridge diatomite reservoirs. Between 1998 and 2002 Brooks supervised geochemists, palynologist, and technicians in a state-of-the-art laboratory located in a remote area outside Lagos, Nigeria. The laboratory successfully resolved exploration, reservoir geochemistry, and environmental problems with high-quality analysis of rocks, oils, and waters and interpretation of data.

Brooks' detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact Brooks at  

Kate S. Weissenburger

Senior Petroleum Systems Analyst

Kate Weissenburger received her B.S degree (Geology, 1979) from the University of Michigan and her M.S. degree (Geology, 1982) from the University of Wyoming. Prior to joining OilTracers LLC, Kate worked 22 years at ConocoPhillips and 3 years as an independent consultant.    

For nearly 20 years, she has specialized in the development and application of methods for the identification and reduction of exploration and development risk factors on projects in diverse worldwide locations.

Her analytical focus is organic geochemistry, multi-dimensional geochemical basin modeling and surface geochemistry.  Her expertise includes integration of organic geochemistry with PVT, flow assurance and petrophysical data in reservoir characterization studies, database design/organization, oil, gas and source rock characterization and correlation using bulk property and molecular attributes and 2D and 3D forward modeling of hydrocarbon generation, expulsion and migration using state-of-the-art PetroMod and MPath modeling software.  Her other specialty areas include play- and prospect-specific hydrocarbon fluid inversion studies, hydrocarbon source rock evaluation and prediction and risk analysis of petroleum systems elements.  In addition to numerous company reports, she is a senior or co-author of 17 articles on petroleum geochemistry, basin modeling, and hydrocarbon surface geochemistry surveys.  Kate was the 1991 recipient of the A.A.P.G. Jules Braunstein Best Poster Award for her paper "Caveats and pitfalls in surface light hydrocarbon surveying. Amer. Assoc. Petrol.  Geol. Bull., 73, 692."

Kate's detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact Kate at  

Dr. Jeremy E. P. Dahl

Senior Project Geochemist

Dr. Dahl received his B. A. (Geology) from the College of Wooster , his M.A. from Rice University (Geology), and his Ph.D. (Geology) from UCLA. A Fulbright Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Jeremy's Masters work was on the Greenhouse Effect, and his Ph.D. work was on the effects of natural irradiation on the organic matter of the Alum Shale, Sweden.  

Prior to co-founding OilTracers, Dr. Dahl developed a variety of geochemical techniques both during his 8 years with Chevron Research and in his present position at Stanford University.  These techniques include the indirect determination of source-rock quality from generated oils and the estimation of oil-to-gas conversion factors from diamondoid concentrations in oils and gas condensates. A senior or co-author of more than 50 publications and 27 Granted US Patents, he has also written proprietary geochemical studies on most of the major petroleum basins of the world during his tenure at Chevron and subsequently as a consultant. His current research interests at Stanford include reservoir geochemistry, biodegradation and diamondoids.

Jeremy's detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact Jeremy at  

Dr. Alan S. Kornacki

Senior Petroleum Systems Analyst

Dr. Kornacki received his B. S. degree (1974) in geology from the University of Missouri at Rolla, and his Ph.D. (1984) in geology from Harvard University after serving on active duty for three years as a U.S. Army officer. Prior to joining the OilTracers consulting group in 2010, Alan worked at Royal Dutch Shell for 26 years.  At Shell,  Alan specialized in developing, implementing, and integrating geochemistry and fluid property technology for a wide range of E&P applications.

His initial assignment involved determining the geological processes that control the quality of crude oil generated by the Monterey Formation in the California coastal basins, and using Monterey oil and source rock samples to calibrate C7 technology developed by Frank Mango.  Alan was reassigned to Shell Offshore Inc. in New Orleans in 1990, where he worked for eight years as the geochemist in the deepwater E&P organization during the period when Shell opened up that important frontier petroleum basin.  Alan identified the presence of a major petroleum system consisting of waxy, undersaturated sour oil mixed with dry microbial gas, and he collaborated with Shell research staff to develop novel reservoir geochemistry techniques to support costly deepwater business decisions.

Alan was named the manager of the multi-disciplinary Rock and Fluid Services organization in Shell International E&P Inc. when he returned to Houston in 1998.  His major accomplishments during the next five years were globalizing separate special core analysis and geochemistry analytical laboratories based in Houston and Rijswijk, managing the experimental CAPEX budget to significantly improve SCAL and geochemistry analytical capabilities, and leading the significant growth of both teams while supporting exploration and development projects in the global E&P portfolio.  Following an assignment as the manager of a multi-disciplinary group that performed field studies for Shell's New Business Development organization, Alan was named the lead geochemist on the HC Charge and Asset Geochemistry Team in a technology Center of Expertise, and the Discipline Leader for the global geochemistry skill pool in Royal Dutch Shell. 

Alan developed new workflows to integrate and interpret data obtained on rock and fluid samples from unconventional HC resources, including the Colorado Oil Shale, Canadian tar sands,  and numerous gas-shale plays in the USA, Canada, and China:  e.g., Haynesville and Bossier Formations; Eagleford Formation; Marcellus Shale; Montney and Doig Formations; Hilliard and Baxter Formations.  Alan also championed the integration of reactive transport modeling technology (TOUGHREACT) with dynamic reservoir modeling technology and core-flood experimental results to support CO2 sequestration projects. 

He also played an active role recruiting, coaching, reassigning, and assessing Shell geochemists in his role as the geochemistry discipline leader.

Alan was the 2015 recipient of the Bernold M. “Bruno” Hanson DEG Excellence of Presentation (best paper) award, AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences at the 2014 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition for the talk “Monitoring the active migration and biodegradation of natural gas in the Trinity Group aquifer at the Silverado Development in southern Parker County, Texas”.  AAPG Search & Discovery #80395.

Alan's detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact Alan at  

Christopher Laughrey

Senior Petroleum Systems Analyst

Christopher D. Laughrey is a Senior Petroleum Analyst with Weatherford Laboratories' OilTracers Interpretive Services Group. His thirty-nine years of professional experience is international in scope with specializations in isotope and petroleum goehcmiestry, clastic and carbonate reservoir petrology, basin analysis, and geophysical log analysis.


He consults for both private industry and government, working on integrated interpretive projects involving exploration, development, and operational problems in both unconventional and conventional plays, including stray gas and oil contamination issues. Recent work includes regional geochemistry of sweet and sour gases in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, the origin of nonhydrocarbon gases (CO2, N2, and H2S) in the Denver-Julesburg , Greater Green River, Appalachian, and South Texas subsurface basins, gas studies associated with North American gas storage projects, rock and fluid geochemistry of Paleozoic reservoirs in the Volga-Ural basin province, integrated petrologic and geochemical efforts in the Woodford Shale of the Anadarko and Arkoma basins, and both gas and rock geochemistry/petrology investigations of Marcellus and Utica formation reservoirs in the Appalachian basin. Much of this recent work has included applying noble gas geochemistry to solving problems concerning natural gas migration and accumulation in the DJ and Appalachian basins. In addition to technical consulting duties, Christopher teaches workshops on both unconventional and conventional reservoir geology and geochemistry, and collaborates with other Weatherford scientists on research and business development efforts within the company.

Prior to joining the Oil Tracers Group, Christopher consulted with the Dolan Integration Group in Boulder, Colorado, worked five years as a Senior Geosciences Advisor for Weatherford Laboratories in Golden, Colorado, conducted Carbonate Petroleum Reservoir workshops and field seminars for Petro China through Geologic Mapping and Resource Evaluation (GMRE) Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania, and worked as a Senior Geological Scientist for the Pennsylvania Geological Survey.

During his thirty year tenure with the Survey, he also taught graduate courses in sandstone and carbonate petrology, and undergraduate geochemistry, at the University of Pittsburgh, and conducted short courses and workshops on carbonate reservoirs, applied sequence stratigraphy, and petroleum geochemistry for AAPG, SPE, and PTTC. Christopher began his career in 1977 as a geologist and geophysical analyst for the Marine Seismic Exploration Department at the Western Geophysical Company in Houston, Texas.

Chris's detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact Chris at

Dr. Jennifer J. Adams

Senior Petroleum Systems Analyst

Dr. Jennifer Adams, a Senior Petroleum Systems Analyst in the OilTracers® Team, received a B.Sc. (Honors Geology, 1998) from the University of Waterloo, a M.Sc. (Hydrogeology) from the University of Alberta (2001), and a Ph.D. in Petroleum Geochemistry from the University of Calgary (2008).


Jennifer worked at the Geological Survey of Alberta for two years focusing on deep basin CO2 & H2S sequestration and basin fluid property prediction. Jennifer co-founded an oil and gas geochemical service company, Gushor, in Calgary in 2006 and acted as CEO of the start-up company. Gushor was a model for energy industry innovation and academic technology transfer to industry until it was purchased by Schlumberger in 2013. During this time, she was actively involved in oil sands geochemistry research including oil source and alteration studies, accurate heavy oil and bitumen fluid property measurement, production allocation and surface leakage forensic work. Gushor specialized in integrated geochemical and engineering projects focusing on fluid mobility mapping to optimize thermal recovery.

Jennifer joined ConocoPhillips in 2009 where she supported domestic and international production and exploration activities for 5 years as a geochemist and basin modeler. She continued her work on microbially-enhanced oil and gas recovery from coal, heavy oil fields and light oil plays, including compositional reservoir simulation of microbial metabolism of petroleum. She was the lead on all resource geochemical and fluid property studies in the Alberta oil sands for ConocoPhillips. She worked on projects focusing on aquathermolysis kinetics, OTSG fouling, high-resolution compositional analysis of bitumen to understand SAGD sweep, evolution of produced bitumen and bitumen compositional gradients for optimized recovery. Her work on the origin of H2S in surface casing vent flows has been used as a template by oil sands operators. She provided geochemical support and basin modeling for the continued drilling in COP blocks of Bohai Bay heavy oil fields.

Her exploration projects included oil quality and basin modeling studies for exploration in the Maranon basin, and offshore Gulf of Mexico seep studies for regional fluid property prediction and source rock mapping as well as prospect evaluation. In the Browse basin, she completed geochemical interpretation of gas prospects and source rock quality as well as built 2D and 3D Petromod basin models to support exploration. She was involved with early evaluation of shale gas and tight oil plays in Western Canada in the Duvernay Fm., Gordondale Member, and Horn River basin. She led a multidisciplinary team focusing on fluid mobility in tight resource plays in Alaska, Rockies basins, Western Canada and the Permian basin. She led technical exploration teams in evaluating unconventional resource plays in the Midland, Delaware and Powder River basins and the central basin platform. Jennifer has taught several internal courses on heavy oil and bitumen, biodegradation, unconventional resource fluid evaluation, and basin modeling.

Jennifer's detailed CV can be viewed by clicking here. Contact Jennifer at