September 20, 2019



The Principal

Graham reviewing structural framework of Western Canada Sedimentary Basin on dolomite field Trip.

The principal (President) of GDGC is Graham R. Davies, Ph.D., P.Geol.

Graham was born in Perth, Western Australia. He did his B.Sc. degree with first-class honors in geology - initially in zoology and geology- at the University of Western Australia (UWA). Towards the end of his honors year, Brian Logan (then of stromatolite fame) returned to UWA from Texas A & M with a large American Petroleum Institute grant for research on modern carbonate sediments in Shark Bay, a large embayment off the Indian Ocean on the central-west coast of Australia. Graham became the first Ph.D. student under that program, being paid to spend part of four years in small boats (see photo in 'Resume' on website) in a subtropical paradise!

After completion of his Ph.D., Graham moved to Rice University in Houston, Texas, for two years as a post-doctoral associate of Dr. James Lee Wilson (author of the definitive textbook on carbonate facies ). While at Rice, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) decided to publish his Ph.D. thesis on Shark Bay as the main contribution of AAPG Memoir 13, published in 1970. That publication opened up many opportunities in research and applied fields over the rest of Graham's career. In late 1969, Graham accepted a National Research Council Fellowship at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in Calgary, Alberta. Soon after, the GSC offered him a permanent research geologist position.

At the GSC, Graham initially worked on Devonian carbonates and evaporites in the subsurface of western Canada, receiving recognition and awards for demonstrating long-range correlations of carbonate-evaporite 'laminites' in that setting that contradicted currently-established interpretations. His involvement with evaporites led to a role as principal author for the western Canada segment of a Canada-wide evaluation of salt/evaporite deposits as potential sites for nuclear waste storage, co-funded by the GSC and Atomic Energy Canada. While at the GSC, Graham also was exposed to the spectacular geology and scenery of the Arctic Islands (Canadian Arctic Archipelago ), with field seasons on Ellesmere Island, often within 1000 kms of the North Pole. With his associate and long-term friend Dr. Walter Nassichuk ( later to become Director of GSC Calgary ), Graham eventually published nearly 30 papers on the upper Paleozoic geology of the Arctic, including some of the first documentation of Carboniferous-Permian reefs (similar to those in productive trends in Russia ), submarine cements in those reefs, and subaqueous evaporites.

While still at the GSC, Graham received offers of university teaching positions at Windsor, Connecticut and San Diego, and head of geological research at the new Australian Institute of Marine Science at Townsville, Queensland, on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia- but turned them all down to stay in Calgary- decisions his children sometimes later questioned!.

In early 1977, Graham left the GSC to co-found AGAT Consultants (later, AGAT Laboratories) with two other geologists and a corporate partner from Houston. He also created the company name- AGAT is the acronym for Applied Geoscience And Technology. Beginning as Vice President and Technical Manager, Graham later became President and principal owner of AGAT. During his tenure, AGAT (with a branch office in Denver, Colorado, for a number of years), pioneered reservoir quality analysis of sandstone reservoirs (eventually owning and operating two scanning electron microscopes for this purpose, one exclusively for oil sands ), and large-scale multi-client stratigraphic-reservoir projects in western Canada.

Graham also designed the first AGAT Table of Formations of Alberta that still is used widely in modified form in the petroleum industry in Canada. As AGAT grew, it acquired a 50% interest in Hardie and Associates engineering company and developed a reservoir engineering lab. While at AGAT, Graham and an associate out of Denver (Dr. Mike Wilson, former Exxon global sandstone reservoir specialist) began teaching a "Geology for Engineers" course, initially for the Petroleum Society of CIM, and now expanded (five-day course with core seminar and Rocky Mountain field trip) and still presented over 29 years later for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Graham left AGAT in 1983, although maintaining an association for several more years. He set up GDGC Ltd, through which he continues to operate. Through to 2004, GDGC specialized in large-scale multi-client stratigraphic-reservoir projects in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB), with offices in the University Research Park in Calgary. Those sub-regional projects covered Devonian, Mississippian and Triassic carbonates and Triassic and Cretaceous clastic reservoirs, with particular emphasis on the Lower Triassic Montney Fm which has recently re-emerged as one of the 'hottest' unconventional reservoir targets in western Canada. During that time, Graham also conducted geological projects in offshore Ghana in west Africa, in Jordan, and other international areas. Since 2006, Graham's main geological activities have been focussed on multi-client projects in joint venture with Canadian Discovery Ltd., as well as proprietary consulting. He also has presented courses, seminars and field trips on the Triassic of the WCSB and structurally controlled (hydrothermal ) dolomite reservoirs, as well as the ongoing`Geology for Engineers` course.

Through his career, Graham has published 77 technical papers and over 75 abstracts of oral presentations, and has authored or co-authored over 660 consulting reports for the Canadian and international petroleum industry. He also was the principal author of 16 large multi-client reports on the exploration geology of the WCSB, with distribution in excess of 350 copies. He has received many awards for technical publications and presentations, including the inaugural A.D.Baillie Award of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists ( CSPG ) for best oral presentation at the 1993 Pangea Conference, the 2002 R. J. Douglas Medal of the CSPG for 'outstanding and ongoing contributions to the sedimentary and petroleum geology of Canada', the 2007 CSPG Medal of Merit for the best paper on Canadian petroleum geology, the 2008 Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award of the AAPG for the best paper in the AAPG Bulletin for 2006, and the AAPG A.I. Levorson Award for the best oral presentation ( by co-author Taury Smith of the New York State Museum -also co-author of the award-winning 2006 paper ) at an AAPG section meeting in 2009. Graham also is a recipient of the 2004 Australian military 'Anniversary of National Service Medal' for full-time and part-time service in the Australian Army (compulsory when he was age 18 ).

Graham has been an active member of the CSPG over many years, including chairman or co-chair of many committees and meetings. He was elected Vice-President of the CSPG six years after he arrived in Canada, but chose not to run the following year for President, a decision he believes led to changes in CSPG bylaws so that the VP now automatically becomes President!

Graham's current main geological interests are in unconventional reservoirs and structurally-controlled ('hydrothermal') dolomite and leached limestone reservoirs. Principal focus in the last five years has been on the petroleum geology of the Devonian- Mississippian Bakken Fm in the Williston Basin, and the Lower Triassic Montney Fm and the Cretaceous Second White Specks in the WCSB. The latter three units, covered mainly by joint venture projects with Canadian Discovery in Calgary, are classified in part or total as unconventional reservoirs;

Sporting and Other Interests

In Australia, active in tennis, squash, sailing. Met wife-to-be ( Maureen- also UWA grad, later M.Sc. in psychology at UCalgary) while managing a squash centre near the UWA during third year of his B.Sc. degree. Sailing experience included some association with the Royal Perth Yacht Club, host club of the first winning challenge ( and later loss ) of America's Cup race. During early university time, was co-founder and inaugural treasurer of the West Australian Speleological Group (WASG), mainly formed by geology and zoology university students. A Photograph taken by a newspaper photographer of Graham standing below a spectacular flowstone structure that he named the 'Judge's Wig' in a newly-discovered cave in southwestern Australia (now world-famous vineyard territory) was published in the 'Daily News' (Perth newspaper ). On visit to Perth in 1992, he found that this photo now is logo and letterhead of greatly-expanded WASG, on T-shirts, and bumper stickers! Experience as cave explorer has had bearing many years later on dolomite research and origin of brecciated carbonates.

Through GDGC, Graham was co-sponsor of the first publication of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Alberta, and also presented the Heaton Lecture at the Museum on the occasion of the opening of the Devonian reef exhibit (1994). He and his wife also support the Calgary Opera Association at the Silver Impresario level.

Resume and Credentials:

Graham Davies' resume is available to view in both an on-line version and a printable PDF format (209 kb).

Copyright © Graham Davies Geological Consultants Ltd. (GDGC Ltd.)



Graham Davies Printable Resume
(PDF 209kb)