With this final issue of 2007, GeoArabia acknowledges and thanks all the referees of manuscripts submitted during the past year. Their detailed reports on submitted manuscripts have allowed the authors and editors to substantially improve every published paper in the past four issues. They have also provided important advice on how some unpublished manuscripts should be revised so as to be accepted by the journal. All these reports have been sent to the authors without revealing the identities of the referees.

Experts in various geoscience disciplines are encouraged to write to the Editor-in-Chief to volunteer as referees and/or editors. Qualified referees usually write reviews in a period of four weeks for one or two papers a year. Skilled writers can also volunteer to help edit accepted papers. They will receive the accepted manuscript and referee’s reports electronically. Their revisions will be guided by the authors and editors and focus on improving the structure of the paper, its English style and figure designs. Unlike referees, editors will be identified and acknowledged in the paper.

Osman Abdullatif is an Assistant Professor at the Earth Sciences Department of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining KFUPM in 2001, he was Associate Professor at the Department of Geology, University of Khartoum, Sudan. Osman has an MSc from the University of London (1981) and a PhD in Geology from the University of Khartoum. His research interests center around clastic facies modeling, basin analysis and sandstone reservoir characterization of the Cretaceous basins in Sudan. Recent research deals with both surface outcrop and subsurface alluvial/fluvial and lacustrine basins studies. Osman is a member of the Dhahran Geoscience Society and the Geological Society of Africa.


Abdel Ghayoum Ahmed is a Geological Consultant with Saudi Aramco. He holds BSc (Honors) and MSc degrees in Geology from the University of Khartoum, Sudan. Abdel Ghayoum joined the Saudi Aramco Area Exploration Department in 2001 after 22 years with Chevron Corporation including five years at the Chevron Oil Field Research Center at La Habra, CA, USA. He worked on international exploration, technical applications of exploration and development geochemistry including worldwide petroleum systems analysis with Chevron Overseas in San Ramon, CA and Chevron UK in London. His current professional interest is focused on regional hydrocarbon resources assessments, play fairway elements integration and prospects analysis and risking. He is a member of the AAPG, SPE and the Dhahran Geosciences Society.


Mohamed Al-Harthy is currently Exploration Gas Manager at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). Prior to his current job, he was Team Leader for Near Field and Shallow Oil Exploration, Head of Exploration Staff Development, and Training and Omanization Planner. From 1998 to 2001, Mohamed was posted to Cairo, Egypt, as a Senior Explorer with Shell Egypt New Venture. He worked in the New Opportunities Team as a Senior Interpreter tasked to develop new play concepts in the PDO concession area. Mohamed started his career as a Stratigrapher, Wellsite Geologist and Field Geologist after obtaining his degree in Geology in 1984. In the 1990s, Mohamed was the first to submit a written proposal to establish a geological society in Oman. In 2006, the Geological Society of Oman (GSO) recognized him with the Society’s highest award.


Sadad Al-Husseini retired from Saudi Aramco on March 1, 2004, as Executive Vice President and a Member of its Board of Directors. He joined Aramco in 1972, and his assignments have included various senior executive posts in its oil and gas exploration, production, and development operations. He was a special representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its natural gas negotiations from 2000 to 2002. Sadad was a member of the Saudi Aramco Management Committee from 1992 until his retirement and was elected a member of its board in 1996. He also was a member of the Consolidated Saudi Electric Co. Board between 2000 and 2003 as well as holding other board positions in joint ventures and subsidiaries of Saudi Aramco. Sadad graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BSc in Geology in 1968. He obtained his MSc in 1970 and PhD in Geological Sciences in 1973 from Brown University (Distinguished Graduate School graduate). He is an honorary member of the American Institute of Metallurgical, Mining and Petroleum Engineers and the Society of Petroleum Engineers.


Bernard Balusseau is currently Middle East Geoscience New Business Coordinator for Total. In 1980 he received a PhD in Geology from Poitiers University in France and joined Elf Aquitaine the same year. Bernard worked as Subsurface and then Regional Geologist in Tunisia and Italy. He returned to France in 1987, in charge of exploration in the Middle East, particularly in Qatar, where he was appointed Exploration Manager between 1989 and 1994. Back at Elf’s headquarters, he handled the Elf Group prospect portfolio for 4 years and was then appointed Exploration Advisor for the Middle and Far East, CIS and Latin America. After the merger with Total, Bernard was nominated Vice President Geoscience for the CIS and Continental Europe. In 2005 he took up the post of Geoscience New Business Coordinator in the Middle East.


Philip Bassant is a Geologist with Chevron Energy Technology Company in San Ramon, California. He is specialized in carbonate stratigraphy, and since 2001 has worked numerous projects, including the Tengiz and Karachaganak isolated Carboniferous carbonate platforms of Kazakhstan, Mesozoic and Paleozoic exploration and reservoir characterization from the Middle East, and Cretaceous mixed and lacustrine systems from West Africa. Between 1999 and 2001 Phil lived in Bahrain where he worked for Chevron on exploration projects in the Arabian Gulf. Prior to that he studied for his PhD at the IFP in Paris, examining the stratigraphic architecture of Miocene outcrops from the Mut Basin in Southern Turkey.


Manuel Berberian is a Senior Research Scientist and Project Manager with 36 years of academic and research field experience in earthquake seismology, active tectonics, field geological mapping, and earthquake-fault risk analysis; and 15 concurrent years of experience in environmentalscience/engineeringand geo-hazards. Manuel is the founder of the ‘Tectonic and Seismotectonic Research Department’ of the Geological Survey of Iran in Tehran (1971). Over the past 17 years from his office based in the US, he has been working with scientists from the University of Cambridge (UK), University of Oxford (UK), Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR, USA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Caltech/NASA (CA, USA), NATO Scientific Affairs Division (Brussels, Belgium), and UNESCO/INDRI (Paris, France) on numerous international seismic hazard and earth science projects. He graduated from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 1981 and holds a PhD. He is a certified professional geologist and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, USA.


Stephen Cheshire holds a BA and an MA in Geology from Oxford University. Between 1974 and 1979 he was in graduate school at the University of Calgary. Stephen then joined the Petroleum Recovery Institute as Manager Application Division, and in 1982 worked as a Senior Petrophysicist with Canadian Hunter. Between 1992 and 1996, he was Manager of Petrophysics with Mincom Petroleum Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Prior to joining Saudi Aramco in 2000, Stephen was Team Leader Petrophysics with Santos Brisbane. Throughout his career, he has been involved in advanced petrophysical technique development and application to tough petrophysical problems on a worldwide basis. He is designer and coder of the Multimin optimizing package and has trained several hundred petrophysicists in its use. His current area of interest is in the shaly sand gas analysis of deep gas reservoirs in Saudi Arabia.


L. Robin M. Cocks is at the Natural History Museum, London, where from 1986 to 1998 he headed the Palaeontology Department. He has published extensively on Lower Palaeozoic global palaeogeography and biostratigraphy, particularly on brachiopods, and edited the 2005 Elsevier Encyclopedia of Geology. Robin has been President of The Geological Society of London, The Geologists’ Association, the Palaeontological Association, and the Palaeontographical Society. He holds two British Government medals, the Coke Medal of the Geological Society, and the Dumont Medal of the Geological Society of Belgium, and is a Titular Member of the IUGS Silurian Subcommission.


Shivaji Dasgupta is a Senior Geophysical Consultant in the EXPEC Advanced Research Center of Saudi Aramco. His previous experience includes working in exploration and producing departments in USA for Amoco Production (now BP), Mitchell Energy & Development, and Conoco. Shiv’s professional interests include integration of geophysical techniques for reservoir development, fluid flow monitoring and production optimization. He has a BSc in Geophysical Engineering from the Indian School of Mines, an MS in Geophysics from St. Louis University, and an MBA from Illinois University (1975). Shiv is a member of the AAPG, AGU, EAGE, SEG, and SPE.


Roger Davies is Projects Director and co-founder of Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd. Roger has over 25 years of oil industry experience starting with a Major oil company (BP) and working as an independent geoscience consultant before co-founding Neftex in 2001. Within Neftex, Roger leads bespoke projects for clients and has a fundamental role in the development and application of the Neftex Sequence Stratigraphic Model. He has a PhD in Carbonate Sedimentology and

Micropalaeontology from Southampton University, and a BSc in Geology from Bristol University. His early career was spent as a Sedimentologist working worldwide on carbonate and clastic reservoirs for BP.

(roger.davies@neftex.com roger.b.davies@btinternet.com)

Henk Droste is Senior Geologist with Shell Technology Oman. He was previously employed by the JVR Centre for Carbonate Studies at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman. Henk has an MSc in Geology from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He joined Shell in 1984 and has been working in The Netherlands, UK and Oman as a carbonate research geologist, regional review geologist, seismic interpreter, production geologist and Head of Geological Services. His main research activities are regional geology in the Middle East and carbonate sequence stratigraphy and reservoir characterization.


Charles (Chip) T. Feazel is Principal Carbonate Stratigrapher for ConocoPhillips, with worldwide responsibility for interpreting carbonate depositional and diagenetic histories to predict reservoir properties. Following undergraduate studies at Ohio Wesleyan University, he received a PhD in Geology from The Johns Hopkins University. In 32 years with Phillips - subsequently ConocoPhillips - Chip has enjoyed a variety of technical and managerial assignments in the US and overseas, in field development and technology teams. His current projects include carbonate reservoirs in Alaska, Norway, Qatar, Oklahoma and Texas.


Gordon Forbes gained a BSc (Honours) in Geology from Aberdeen University in 1979 and went on to complete both MSc and PhD degrees in Palynology at Sheffield University. He worked as a Palynologist with Palaeoservices UK from 1983 to 1993, specializing in Mesozoic sequences worldwide, but with a particular emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa. During a secondment in 1986–88 Gordon set up and managed the first independent palynological laboratory in Cairo, for Palaeoservices Egypt. After a short spell with Halliburton he formed Datum Stratigraphic Consultancy in 1994, operating as an independent consultant. In 1997 Gordon joined the Shell Group as a Stratigrapher for Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. in the Netherlands before moving to Petroleum Development Oman in 2003 to Head up the Exploration Stratigraphy Department. His current interests include the impact of biostratigraphy in both the Exploration and Production realms and the use of new and varied non-biostratigraphical techniques.


Stephen G. Franks is a Senior Geological Consultant in the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Advanced Research Center of Saudi Aramco. His primary research is directed toward pre-drill reservoir quality prediction in sandstones. Steve has spent more than 30 years in the oil and gas industry. He has a BSc degree in Geology from Millsaps College, an MSc in Geology from the University of Mississippi, and a PhD in Geology from Case Western Reserve University. He was with Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) for 26 years, spending his first 10 years and last 8 years in R&D, separated by an 8-year period in exploration. He was appointed as both a Senior Exploration Advisor and Senior Research Advisor to ARCO management. In 1999 he formed RockFluid Systems, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in pore-level reservoir characterization and formation water geochemistry. Steve joined Saudi Aramco in 2001 to develop reservoir quality prediction models for the deep sandstone gas reservoirs of Saudi Arabia. In addition to reservoir quality prediction, he has conducted studies of deep formation water chemistry, modern sabkha pore waters, and investigated early diagenesis of modern desert sediments using stable isotope geochemistry and optical luminescence age dating. Stephen is a member of the AAPG, SEPM, and Dhahran Geoscience Society.


George Grabowski Jr. is a Geological Advisor in ExxonMobil Exploration Company. He received a BS in Geology from Bucknell University in 1974, an MA in Geology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1976, and a PhD in Geology from Rice University in 1981. George worked for the USGS-KGS Areal Mapping Program from 1976 to 1978 and is a co-author of the 1980 Geological Map of Kentucky. He joined Exxon Production Research Company in 1981, starting in the Coal and Oil Shale Section and moving to the Carbonate Facies and Diagenesis Section and then the Petroleum Geochemistry Section. George transferred to the Global Studies Section of Exxon Exploration Company in 1991 and worked on basins throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia until 2001 when he joined the Middle East team. His main areas of interest are stratigraphy and facies of organic-rich rocks, carbonate facies and diagenesis, and regional tectonics and stratigraphy. He is currently the lead professional in the Middle East Regional/Database Team.


Felix M. Gradstein is Chair of the International Commission on Stratigraphy. Following retirement from the Geological Survey of Canada and Saga Petroleum Norway, he joined the Natural History Museum, University of Oslo as Stratigraphy/Micropaleontology Professor, where he is developing relational stratigraphic databases for offshore Norway. His activities have included quantitative stratigraphy (he chaired previous IGCP and IUGS programs), Ocean Drilling Program legs in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and coordinating compilation of Mesozoic and Phanerozoic geologic time scales. He is an avid skier and offshore sailor.


Ezat Heydari holds a BSc degree from the Univer-sity of Tehran, Iran, an MSc from Pennsylvania State University, and a PhD from Louisiana State University. He specializes in sedimentology and stratigraphy, depositional environments, petrography, diagenesis, low-temperature geochemistry, subsurface geology, and petroleum geology. One of his active research projects include detailed 2007 GeoArabia Reviewers studies of Jurassic oil and gas reservoirs of the US Gulf Coast. Ezat’s interest also lies in the Permian and Triassic strata of Iran. He is the author of 35 published research papers and 50 conference presentations.


Heiko Hillgärtner is a Senior Carbonate Geologist with Shell Technology Oman. He was previously with Shell’s Carbonate Development Team in The Netherlands. He received a PhD from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1998. During post-doctoral research at the Institut Français du Pétrole and the Free University in Amsterdam Heiko focused on the sequence stratigraphy and reservoir characterization of the Kharaib and Shu’aiba formations. During his time as Research Geologist in Shell Exploration and Production he has provided technical service to operating companies in Oman, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, and Iran. Currently his research is focusing on novel ways to represent carbonate heterogeneities in reservoir models.


Andrew Horbury is a Carbonate Geologist with Cambridge Carbonates, which he co-founded in 1992 after spending 6 years working the Middle East region with BP Exploration. He gained a BSc from Bristol University and a PhD in Carbonate Sedimentology from Manchester University. Andrew is a co-author of the book, Arabian Plate Sequence Stratigraphy. His present interests include the sequence stratigraphic evolution, sedimentology and reservoir geology of northern Arabia, complex fractured carbonate and dolomite reservoirs in southern Italy, Mesozoic play systems and reservoirs in Mexico, and the development of an image analysis system for characterising porosity systems and diagenetic textures in carbonates.


Geraint Wyn ap Gwilym Hughes is Senior Geological Consultant and Leader of the Carbonate Systems Support Group in Saudi Aramco’s Geological Technical Services Division. He gained BSc, MSc, PhD and DSc degrees from Prifysgol Cymru (University of Wales) Aberystwyth and in 2000 he received the Saudi Aramco Exploration Professional Contribution award, in 2004 the best paper award, and in 2006 the GEO 2006 best poster award. His biostratigraphic experience, prior to joining Saudi Aramco in 1991, includes 10 years with the Solomon Islands Geological Survey, and 10 years as Unit Head of the North Africa-Middle East-India region for Robertson Research International. Wyn’s professional activities are focused on integrating micropaleontology with sedimentology to enhance the sequence stratigraphically influenced understanding of Saudi Arabian hydrocarbon intra-reservoir bio- and lithofacies distribution. He maintains links with academic research as an Adjunct Professor of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran. He is a member of the British Micropaleontological Society, the Grzybowski Agglutinated Foraminiferal Society, the Dhahran Geoscience Society, the International Fossil Alga Association and the Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research.


Pierre Jezequel is presently Head of the Mineralogy Laboratory at Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, having joined the company in 1988. His responsibilities include the study of mineral grains and the microscopic characterization of solid particles. Pierre has an MSc in Mining Geology from the Paris School of Mines. Between 1978 and 1988, he worked as a Geologist in several prospecting programs in West Africa and carried out geological mapping and regional exploration involving the collection and analysis of rock samples and alluvial samples. Prior to 1978, Pierre was an Exploration Geologist in charge of a team working on the Mineral Inventory of France. He is a Member of the Geological and Mineralogical Society of Bretagne.


Robert Wynn Jones gained a BSc in Geological Sciences from the University of Birmingham and a PhD in Micropaleontology from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth. He has worked as a Paleontologist in the oil industry since 1982, principally on the integration of paleontological data and interpretations into regional exploration and reservoir models. He has extensive experience of the Middle East. He has been with BP for the last 23 years. Robert also maintains an active interest in academic research in his spare time. The latest of his six books, “Applied Palaeontology” (Cambridge University Press, 2006) contains case histories of the applications of paleontology in the Middle East.


Anton Koopman is currently a Principal Regional Geologist in the New Ventures Team of Shell E&P in Rijswijk, The Netherlands. He joined Shell in 1983, after his PhD from Utrecht University, on detachment tectonics in the Central Apennines of Italy. Some 5 years in structural geological research in The Netherlands, mainly involved with scaled sandbox modeling of strike-slip tectonics, were followed by assignments in Syria (1987–1992) and Brunei (1992–1996). Anton returned to the structural geology group in The Netherlands (1996–1999), after which he got involved with several integrated field development studies for Shell companies in Egypt, Syria, Oman, Nigeria, and Australia. Since 2001 his focus returned to exploration, mainly involved with regional structural framework studies on the Caspian Sea and Middle East regions, particularly detachment tectonics, this time in the Zagros.


Robert Loucks is a Senior Research Scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology. He received his BA degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1967 and his PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1976. His general research interests include carbonate and siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, diagenesis, and reservoir characterization.


M. Dia Mahmoud is the President of GEO Petroleum & Exploration Services Limited (GEOPEX) and the Managing Director of Spectrum-Geopex Egypt Limited a seismic data processing centre in Egypt. Dia completed his BSc in Applied Geology with Honors, in 1965 from Ain Shams University in Cairo. After his graduation, he worked for Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co. (GUPCO) for about ten years as an Explorationist in the Gulf of Suez and Western Desert. Between 1975 and 1993, he worked for Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia as a Senior Explorationist and Consultant. Dia returned to Egypt and founded GEOPEX in 1993, then Spectrum-Geopex in 1996. He has been a certified member of the AAPG for over 30 years, and is a member of the SEG, EAGE, and EPEX in Egypt.


Joerg Mattner is a Geoscience Consultant and the Executive Editor forthejournalGeoArabia. In 2001 he founded GeoTech in Bahrain, an independent Geoscience Consultancy for Middle East geology and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Joerg received his PhD in 1990 from Clausthal University, Germany. During his studies and subsequent teaching assignment, he worked on geological projects in Europe, South America and northern Canada. In 1990, he joined the Petrophysical Evaluation Group of Western Atlas in London. Subsequently Joerg moved to Syria, and established a log analysis center. In 1994 he became Chief Geologist for the Middle East and opened Western Atlas’ regional Geoscience Center in Bahrain. Through mergers he joined Baker Hughes, and in 2000 took up an assignment as Director of Marketing and Business Development with Western Geophysical. Joerg’s special interests are structural geology and fractured reservoir characterization. He was member of the GEO 2000, 2002 and 2004 Conference Technical Committees.


Ian Millar is Head of the Radiogenic Isotope Group at the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratories, based at the British Geological Survey in Keyworth. He was educated at Glasgow University, and completed his PhD at London University, studying Proterozoic metamorphic rocks in Scotland. From 1984 to 2005 Ian was employed as an Isotope Geologist by the British Antarctic Survey, latterly using isotope techniques to evaluate evidence for terrane accretion along the Pacific margin of Gondwana. In 2005 he joined the British Geological Survey, where he applies radiogenic isotope techniqes to a wide range of studies in igneous geochemistry, tectonics, sedimentary provenance, and environmental science.


Stewart Molyneux is a Palynologist with the British Geological Survey, based in Keyworth, Nottingham, UK. He has a BSc (Honors, 1975) in Geology and Botany from the University of Sheffield, and was awarded a PhD in Palynology in 1981, also from Sheffield. Stewart joined the British Geological Survey in 1979. Since then, he has specialized in Lower Paleozoic palynology, including consultancy work for the oil and gas industry in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, and Libya. Stewart is a member of the British Micropalaeontological Society, CIMP, and Palaeontological Association. He has published more than 50 papers on Lower Paleozoic palynology and stratigraphy, including papers on the Middle East and North Africa.


Denis Mougenot joined Sercel in Nantes, France, as Chief Geophysicist in March 2002 after five years as an Area Geophysicist for CGG/ARGAS, working in the Geophysical Research and Development Division of Saudi Aramco. He is a graduate of École Normale Supérieure, and has a PhD and a DSc in Geodynamics from the University of Paris. He has 32 years of seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation experience. Denis has published many papers on seismic land acquisition and on reservoir characterization. He is a member of the AAPG, EAGE, SEG, and SGF.


Tony Probert has 25 years experience working for SSL, Geco-Prakla, and WesternGeco in Africa, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and UK, and currently based in Schlumberger House, Gatwick. He graduated with BSc in Physics of Natural Resources from Salford University. He worked on the first permanent ocean bottom cable 4D project on Foinaven (North Sea) from 1995-98, and subsequently managed all the multicomponent processing in the UK and Scandinavia from 1998-2003. Currently he is involved in corporate marketing and business development. He has authored and co-authored papers for geophysical conferences, and articles in Oilfield Review, CSEG Recorder, Harts E&P etc. These include papers on multicomponent seismic acquisition, processing, imaging and azimuthal anisotropy.


Jan M. Schreurs is Head of Geological Services, Exploration Department in Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). He received an MSc in Geology in 1983 from the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, and spent a year as a Research Assistant at the Technical University of Delft. Jan was awarded a PhD in Geology by the Free University of Amsterdam in 1985 and joined Shell Research the same year as Research Geophysicist. In 1989, he moved to Shell Expro in London as an Exploration Geologist with the Hydrocarbon Systems Review Group and subsequently with Regional Basin Evaluation. In 1995, Jan joined Brunei Shell Petroleum as Senior Explorationist Offshore East until 1998 when he became Exploration Team Leader Western Desert with Shell Egypt. Jan was transferred to PDO in 2001, where he has held different jobs in exploration. He is a member of the Geological Society of Oman and Koninklijk Nederlands Geologish en Mijnbouwkundig Genootschap, and is professionally interested in basin modeling and hydrocarbon systems.


Mike Simmons is Director of Geoscience at Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd., a leading consultancy company specializing in global sequence stratigraphy and its applications to hydrocarbon explo 2007 GeoArabia Reviewers ration and production. He has responsibilities for the development of the Neftex Sequence Stratigraphic Model. Mike oversees the application of the model in Neftex’s regional studies and carries out bespoke sequence stratigraphic studies for clients. Previously he was Director and Chief Geologist of CASP at Cambridge University and the Head of the Department of Geology and Petroleum Geology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Mike spent 11 years with BP Exploration working as a Senior Geologist/Biostratigrapher, specializing in the Middle East and Former Soviet Union regions. He holds BSc and PhD degrees from Plymouth University.


Pieter Spaak is Coordinator and Geologist in the regional Middle East & North Africa Team in Shell, supporting exploration ventures in the area, with a focus on Paleozoic plays. He joined Shell in 1983 with a PhD in Stratigraphy from Utrecht University. Pieter has worked for Shell in the UK, Indonesia, The Netherlands and Oman in exploration and production departments.


Michael H. Stephenson is presently a Senior Stratigrapher with the British Geological Survey (BGS) in Nottingham, UK. His education has included a BSc in Geology from Imperial College and an MSc and a PhD in Palynology from the University of Sheffield. Mike’s scientific work is concerned mainly with the Paleozoic stratigraphy of Arabia and he has published a number of papers on the region, as well as worked extensively as a consultant to oil companies in the area, mainly in reservoir scale palynostratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy and regional correlation. Mike is also interested in the statistical palynological characterization of argillaceous baffles to hydrocarbon flow, and use of combined kerogen carbon isotopes and palynology in high-resolution correlation. Outside the Middle East, Mike is involved in computing applications in stratigraphy, and the palynostratigraphy, sedimentology and paleoecology of Paleozoic sequences from onshore and offshore northwest Europe, Australia and Africa. He has publications on Paleozoic sequences in Ireland, Scotland and southern Africa. Mike is a member of the AASP, PESGB and BMS, and is currently Secretary General of the Commission Internationale de Microflore du Paléozoique.


Frans van Buchem has 17 years experience in applied geological research on carbonate systems. Since graduating with a PhD from Cambridge University, UK, in 1990, he worked for 16 years with the Institut Français du Pétrole in Paris in various positions. In 2006, Frans joined Maersk Oil Qatar. His main fields of research are carbonate petroleum systems, including the sedimentology of carbonates, and organic matter, sequence stratigraphy and reservoir characterization. He has been involved in extensive research in petroleum provinces of western Canada, the western USA, Mexico and Northern Africa, and is an expert on Cretaceous carbonate systems in the Middle East. Frans has presented and published numerous technical papers, and is active as an editor and reviewer for GeoArabia and the Journal of Petroleum Geology.


Denis Vaslet is Head of the Geology and Geoinformation Division at the Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, the French Geological Survey. He has 30 years of experience in the geology of the Middle East. From 1977 to 1979 Denis was involved in geological mapping and phosphate prospecting in Iran for the Geological Survey of Iran and the National Iranian Oil Company. From 1979 to 1991, he was responsible for the Cover Rocks mapping program in Saudi Arabia for the Saudi Arabian Deputy Ministry for Mineral Resources. Denis has been involved in the complete lithostratigraphic revision of the Phanerozoic rocks of central Saudi Arabia, for which he received his Doctorate des Sciences from the University of Paris in 1987. He is currently in charge of geological and geophysical mapping both in France and overseas, and for the production and distribution of digital geologic information at the French Geological Survey. Denis remains involved in several research projects in the sedimentary geology and stratigraphy fields within the Arabian Peninsula.