Introduction to Paleo Data reports

When you hire Paleo Data Inc., you are hiring an experienced team of biostratigraphers to aid in geological and operational decision making for your drilling operations. Our team will perform sample analyses on cuttings through high powered microscopes either in our office or at well-site as needed. The data we collect can aid many aspects of drilling a borehole such as, pore pressure prediction models, casing point placement, and overall well design.

Paleo Data Report Sample - Biostratigraphy

Why use a ‘standardized’ report?

Results of our analyses are always delivered via standardized Paleo Data Inc. reports. The standardized report is a template that allows us to maintain consistency and deliver crucial data in a condensed and efficient format. This builds familiarity between our methodology and our clients; eliminating the need to decipher the report format and allowing clients to focus on the data and its impact to interpretation. Paleo Data Inc. standardized reports are a synopsis of findings from sample analyses highlighting local and regional bioevents that were observed in samples from the borehole.

What’s on the report?

Paleo Data Inc. reports contain nine columns: Depth, Epoch, Stage, type, biostrat horizon, comment, age, F (foram) zone, and N (nanno) zone. Future posts will explain the foram and nanno zone columns, where the ages on our biostrat chart come from, and how the horizons on the report relate to our biostrat chart.

Biostrat horizons

The most important column on the report is ‘biostrat horizon’. This is where the observed bioevents in an analyzed borehole will be listed. These bioevents are assigned ‘ages’ that describe at which point during the geologic timescale you will or will not see a given species. Bioevents are either Last Appearance Datums (LADs) or First Appearance Datums (FADs). While every species has a time associated with its first appearance (FAD) and its extinction (LAD), not all of these horizons are consistently useful enough to be reliable events placed on the biochart. However, what this means is that a reported bioevent (usually LADs) is an end member of a segment in time where that species lived. Most reported events are extinction events or LADs. When you consider the age ranges of these bioevents one can constrain the minimum and maximum age of section and where it fits on the geologic time scale.

Putting the bioevent in context

The other columns provide extra context and details about the bioevent preventing the need to look up reference material including: what depth it was observed—measured depth (MD) (with the option to add a true vertical depth (TVD) column upon request), what age the event is (in Ma), and what part of the geological timescale that age falls on. The observed depth of any bioevent is second only to the bioevent itself in terms of importance. Without a reported depth the bioevent cannot be placed into the context of the borehole and would be rendered nearly useless. The comment column will provide some insight into how the bioevent was observed by lending a qualitative confidence level for the observed biohorizon.

For example, if Discoaster kugleri is the reported bioevent, the age will be reported as 11.77 Ma. This age places this event in the Tortonian (stage) of the Late-Miocene (sub-epoch/epoch). Additionally, when consulting our biochart you will see that this event is the lowest (oldest) Tortonian event and serves as a ‘boundary marker’ for the Late and Middle-Miocene. Collectively, bioevents included on these reports help you understand the link between the depth drilled and the larger geological context of the borehole in terms of age.

Standardized reports make life easier

Essentially, Paleo Data Inc. reports provide a veritable road map for a given borehole. Having a standardized report allows clients to easily compare boreholes across basins by examining the reports side by side to see how the bioevents compare and thus, how the drilled sections compare geologically. It is important to note that the more information provided to biostratigraphers about the goals/targets of a specific borehole, as well as any additional geological context (i.e. seismic/well logs/geologic prognoses), the better equipped we will be to understand, and therefore consult on, how the fossil data provides clues about specific geological and operational challenges of the borehole.

Established in 1968, Paleo Data Inc. is a complete biostratigraphic service company, from bit to data to archival. Recognized as biostratigraphic leaders of the Gulf Coast, North America, Caribbean, Atlantic and International, the New Orleans-based company functions as an extension of its clients’ biostratigraphy department. To get started on your project, contact them at (504) 488-3711 or e-mail

Categories: FAQs

Paleo Data, a PetroStrat Company

Paleo Data Inc. is an employee-owned, full-service biostratigraphy consultancy working primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Coast, with additional international experience. Paleo Data Inc. maintains and updates substantial databases which utilize a consistent and proven biostratigraphic framework for optimal uniformity and accuracy in stratigraphic correlation. PetroStrat is a leading and global provider of integrated geoscience services, delivering best-in-class subsurface solutions to the energy industry, enabling customers to make informed strategic, operational and commercial decisions. They bring together the data, analytical services, and world-leading expertise under one roof, delivering agile, flexible, innovative, cost-effective, and HSE-conscious solutions, to de-risk exploration and development targets and reduce asset uncertainty. The team, in partnership with their clients, has worked on some of the biggest oil and gas discoveries in the world and has a proven track record in delivering significant returns on investment for a range of clients from service companies and small independents, to super majors and state oil companies. PetroStrat’s headquarters and main laboratories are in Conwy, North Wales, with offices in St. Albans (UK) and Northwich (UK), Houston (USA), Calgary (Canada), and facilities through joint ventures and collaborative agreements in Trinidad, Kuala Lumpur, and Mexico. Clients include many of the world’s international and national oil companies.