Charles Sternbach - University of Houston
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Charles Sternbach

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Charles Sternbach

Curriculum Vitae pdf

Research Scientist

Ph.D Geology, 1984 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, New York. (GPA 4.0)
MS Geology, 1981 RPI (MS and PhD advisor, Gerald M. Friedman, AAPG Sidney Powers Medalist)
B.A. Geology, 1980 Columbia University, New York City, NY.

casternbach@uh.edu

Background: Charles was Staff Geologist for Shell Oil Company, Exploration Manager for Tom Jordan (Jordan Oil and Gas), President of First Place Energy (International frontier exploration). He is currently President of Star Creek Energy (since 2004). Charles has a PhD (and MS) in Geology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA in geology from Columbia University. Charles was appointed Adjunct Professor, and then Research Professor, University of Houston, 2018/2019 and a U of H Energy Fellow.

Charles is a proud member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and he was the 2017/2018 President of this 30,000 member organization. Charles has also served as past president Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, past president Houston Geological Society, and past president of AAPG’s Division of Professional Affairs. He has been recognized with Honorary Membership by each of these organizations.  His wife Linda is a distinguished geophysical advisor and leads professional societies like HGS, GCAGS, AAPG, and SEG.

Research Interests: Petroleum geoscience, carbonate and clastic sedimentology, trap analysis, basin analysis, exploration creativity, giant fields, global “super basins” 

Charles has focused his efforts on exploration creativity, studying how explorers and their teams have found giant fields. He is interested in geoscience and technology that provide affordable and abundant energy, global prosperity, and energy sustainability. He has focused on discoveries, plays, and the world’s largest basins. His research focuses on analogs at all scales. His credo is: “I suggest that the best geologist is he/she who has seen the most rocks.” — Herbert Harold Read (Imperial College)

Charles has created and leads the popular AAPG Discovery Thinking Forums that have been standing room only events at annual AAPG conventions in North America (ACE) and around the world (ICE). These impactful programs integrate geology, geophysics and engineering into case studies of technical and business success. Charles founded Legends programs for the Houston Geological Society in 2000. These popular programs continue to evolve (over 19 years) and have included George Mitchell, Michel T. Halbouty, William (Bill) Barrett and dozens of other exploration notables.  Discovery Thinking Forums, Playmaker Forums and the latest series on Super Basins for AAPG have engaged more than 10,000 attendees, with tens of thousands of views of web presentations. He is a co-editor with Dr. Robert Merrill on the fifth installment of the AAPG memoir series Giant Fields of the Decade 2000-2010 (Memoir 113). Currently he is working on the future AAPG Memoir: Giant Fields of the Decade 2010-2020 (in preparation with R.K. Merrill and J. C. Dolson) which has 20 committed chapters.

Charles is particularly interested in “Super Basins”, the top petroleum basins on the planet. Defined by Fryklund and Stark, 2016, these basins contain 5 BBOE produced, 5 5BBOE remaining reserves, one (or more) major petroleum system(s), multiple pays and plays (conventional and unconventional), significant infrastructure, access to exploration, and supportive service sector ecosystem. Most companies work one or perhaps a few super basins. Future research involves learning from the top 25-30 Global Super Basins to provide actionable insights that can enhance productivity in all petroleum basins.

Key research questions

  • What makes a top super basin special and unique and what can we learn from them?
  • What are the critical geoscience architectural elements that contribute to success?
  • What is the exploration/production history, and what are the major plays with remaining potential— conventional, unconventional, and field growth.
  • What are key innovations in each super basin like: adoption of horizontal drilling, hydraulic stimulation, completion and drilling techniques, seismic imaging that helped unlock the potential and what is needed to grow it further?
  • How do “above ground” issues like politics, access, mineral ownership, and geography accelerate or hinder realizing the full resource potential of each super basin?
  • Will are regional or global disrupters including enhanced oil recovery and Liquefied natural gas?

In addition to their geologic energy endowment, super basins have large scale and infrastructure to incubate new technology. Technology nurtured and proven in super basins has great relevance and application to basins of all sizes.

 basins_top25

Media and web links:

https://youtu.be/2sCgqw_fiUo

Books by C.A. Sternbach include:

2020 IN PREPARATION, Sternbach, C.A., Merrill, R.K., and Dolson, J.C., Giant Fields of the Decade 2010-2020, AAPG Memoir.

2017, Merrill, R.K., and Sternbach, C.A., Giant Fields of the Decade 2000-2010, AAPG Memoir 113, 322 pp.

2017, Merrill, R.K and Sternbach, C.A., Concepts, Technology, Price and Access drive Giant Field Discoveries, p.1-7, in 2017, Merrill, R.K., and Sternbach, C.A., Giant Fields of the Decade 2000-2010, AAPG Memoir 113, 322 pp.

2017, Sternbach, C.A., Shoup R.C., Wilhelm, C.T., Reynolds, A, Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist vol 2, AAPG Special Publication, 125 pp.

2012, Sternbach, C. A., Petroleum Resources of the Great American Carbonate Bank, p. 127-161, in: 2012, Derby, J.R., Fritz, R.D., Longacre, S.A., Morgan, W.C., and Sternbach, C.A.,

The Great American Carbonate Bank: The Geology and Economic Resources of the Cambrian-Ordovician Sauk Megasequence of Laurentia, AAPG Memoir 98, 504 pp.

2012, Derby, J.R., Fritz, R.D., Longacre, S.A., Morgan, W.C., and Sternbach, C.A.,

The Great American Carbonate Bank: The Geology and Economic Resources of the Cambrian-Ordovician Sauk Megasequence of Laurentia, AAPG Memoir 98, 504 pp.

2005, Sternbach, C.A., Downey, M.W., and Friedman, G.M., Discoverers of the 20th Century—Perfecting the Search, A collection of stories about significant discoveries by those who know them best, AAPG Special Publication, 208 pp.

2003, Shoup, R.C., Sacrey, D.K., Sternbach, CA, and Nagy, R., Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist, AAPG Special Publication, 66 pp.

Papers, selected presentations, and abstracts

Abstract: Lessons in Exploration Creativity from a Decade of Discovery Thinking Forums and AAPG's Global Super Basin Leadership Initiatives

Charles A. Sternbach

Houston Geological Society Bulletin

2018

The Erie Canals 200th Anniversary and the Map that changed the New World - Pioneering Geology Mapmakers across the Atlantic; #70322 (2018)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2018

Chapter 1: Concepts, Technology, Price, and Access Drive Giant Field Discoveries

Robert K. Merrill, Charles A. Sternbach

AAPG Special Volumes

2017

Front Matter: Memoir 113: Giant Fields of the Decade 2000–2010

Robert K. Merrill, Charles A. Sternbach

AAPG Special Volumes

2017

Abstract: Permian Basin Energy Capital of Innovation: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow!; #90293 (2017)

Charles Sternbach, William DeMis

Search and Discovery.com

2017

Abstract: The Map that Changed the NEW World: the Erie Canal (200th Anniversary) and Amos Eaton; #90308 (2017)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2017

Abstract: Light Oil Exploration Potential for Devonian-Silurian (Fortin and Chaleurs Groups) Carbonates/Mudstones, Central Gaspe, Quebec, Canada, Near the Grande Riviere Transform Fault; #90310 (2017)

Linda Sternbach, Charles Sternbach, Stephane Sejourne, Jerry McCullough

Search and Discovery.com

2017

The AAPG Century … Giant Fields through the Decades, #70267 (2017).

Robert K. Merrill, Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2017

Petroleum Resources of the Great American Carbonate Bank: Exercising Unconformity Thinking, #70276 (2017).

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2017

Lessons from a Decade of Discovery Thinking; #70294 (2017)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2017

Extended Abstract: Quebec’s New Play for Light Oil in the Gaspe Peninsula: Appalachian-style Thrusted Valley and Ridge Structures—Devonian, Silurian and Ordovician Reservoirs

Linda R. Sternbach, Charles A. Sternbach, Stephane Sejourne, Jerry McCullough

Houston Geological Society Bulletin

2016

Abstract: Legacy of Discovery, Resources for Explorers; #90261 (2016)

Charles Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2016

Abstract: Quebec's New Horizontal Play for Light Oil in the Gaspe Peninsula; #90262 (2016)

Linda Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2016

Abstract: Heritage of Discovery: Resources for Explorers; #90262 (2016)

Charles Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2016

Abstract: Heritage of Discovery: Resources for Explorers; #90263 (2016)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2016

Quebec's Horizontal New Play for Light Oil in the Gaspe Peninsula: Reprocessed 2-D Seismic Reveals Complex Structures that could be Significant Fields; #20364 (2016)

Linda R. Sternbach; C.A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2016

Abstract: Legacy of Discovery: Resources for Explorers; #90231 (2015)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2015

Abstract: Heritage of Discovery: Resources for Explorers; #90233 (2015)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2015

Light Oil Exploration Potential for Devonian-Silurian (Fortin and Chaleurs Groups) Carbonates/Mudstones, Central Gaspe, Quebec, Canada, near the Grande Riviere Transform Fault, #10708 (2015).

Linda R. Sternbach, Charles A. Sternbach, Stephane Sejourne, Jerry McCullough

Search and Discovery.com

2015

Playmaker Forum Introduction 2013, #110177 (2015)

Charles Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2015

AVA Legacy of Discovery: AAPG and DPA Resources for Explorers, #110189 (2015).

Charles Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2015

Legacy of Discovery: Resources for Explorers, #110205 (2015).

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2015

Heritage of Discovery: Resources for Explorers, #110215 (2015).

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2015

Introduction: Discovery Thinking Forum, 2014, #110172 (2014)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2014

Introduction: 11th Discovery Thinking Forum, ICE 2014, #110201 (2014).

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2014

Petroleum Resources of the Great American Carbonate Bank (Lower Ordovician - Upper Cambrian): Lessons from Heterogeneous Reservoirs, Diverse Traps, and Unconformity Thinking; #50823 (2013)

Charles Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2013

Introduction to 2013 Forum: Discovery Thinking, AAPG/DPA AAPG International Conference and Exhibition Cartagena, Colombia, September 8-11, 2013; #70155 (2013)

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2013

ABSTRACT: DISCOVERY THINKING AND GEO LEGENDS IN THE VIDEO/DIGITAL AGE ---IF A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, A VIDEO IS WORTH A MILLION

Charles A. Sternbach

Petroleum History Institute

2012

Memorial: Gerald M. "Gerry" Friedman (1921-2011)

Charles A. Sternbach

AAPG Non-Technical and Memorials

2012

Petroleum Resources of the Great American Carbonate Bank

Charles A. Sternbach

AAPG Special Volumes

2012

Introduction

Richard D. Fritz, William A. Morgan, Susan Longacre, James R. Derby, Charles A. Sternbach

AAPG Special Volumes

2012

Introduction to 2012 Forum: Discovery Thinking

Charles A. Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2012

Extended Abstract: Petroleum Resources of the Great American Carbonate Bank: Lessons from Heterogeneous Reservoirs, Diverse Traps, and Unconformity Thinking

Charles A. Sternbach

Houston Geological Society Bulletin

2011

Discovery Thinking Forum Introduction

Charles A. Sternbach and Ed Dolly

Search and Discovery.com

2011

ABSTRACT: Recent Exploration Activity, Kerr Basin (Central Texas); Bandera Ellengurger Field Gas Discovery; #90107 (2010)

Charles Sternbach

Search and Discovery.com

2010

Abstract: Trap Analysis at Wilburton Field (Oklahoma) Better Defines Exploration Risks in the Arkoma Basin

Charles A. Sternbach

Houston Geological Society Bulletin

1993

Abstract: Deep Gas Exploration in Middle Ordovician Prairie Du Chien and St. Peter Formations in the Michigan Basin with Rose City Field as a Case Study

Lydia Denton Chambers, John W. Harris, Catherine D. McRae, and Charles A. Sternbach

Houston Geological Society Bulletin

1992

Dolomites Formed Under Deep Burial Conditions: Hunton Group Carbonate Rocks (Upper Ordovician to Lower Devonian) in Deep Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and Texas: ABSTRACT

  1. M. Friedman, C. A. Sternbach

AAPG Bulletin

1985

Ferroan Carbonates Formed at Depth Require Porosity Well-Log Corrections: Hunton Group (Upper Ordovician to Lower Devonian), Deep Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma and Texas: ABSTRACT

Charles A. Sternbach, Gerald M. Friedman

AAPG Bulletin

1984