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Fossil Energy

Several faculty and graduate students in our department carry out research on unconventional naturally fractured reservoirs including the Marcellus Gas Shale of the Appalachian basin, the Bakken, Wyoming tight sands and more. Ongoing research studies conducted in our Fossil Energy Focus area provide improved understanding of reservoir sedimentology, resource potential and petrophysics , unconventional oil and gas, geochemistry, 3D seismic and microseismic, seismic attributes, structure and geochronology.

Our students have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of petroleum exploration and to acquire practical experience in the context of their research. Many of our students also gain valuable on-the-job experience with energy companies through summer internship opportunities.


We use both traditional field and subsurface research methods, as well as state-of-the-art software tools and technology. Several of our faculty have experience working for major oil and gas companies and maintain on-going research collaborations. We also have research projects supported by the DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory located here in Morgantown.

The masters degree is the professional degree in demand by the energy industry. Every year we admit about a dozen graduate students. 100% of our M. S. and Ph. D. graduates have found lucrative employment as professional geologists across the energy industry.

In 2008, a team of our students reached the top five in the world in the AAPG Imperial Barrel competition.

Click here for details on WVU’s Advanced Energy Initiative