John B. Curtis

Professor Emeritus, Geology and Geological Engineering

John Curtis


Fax: 303-273-3574

Professional Organizations

  • Professional Geologist (Wyoming)
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists
  • Geochemical Society
  • Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society


  • Ph.D., Geology, The Ohio State University, 1989
    Dissertation Title: Evaluation of the Hydrocarbon Source-Rock Potential of Carbonaceous Shales: Upper Devonian Shales of the Appalachian Basin
  • M.S., Geology, Miami University, 1972
    Thesis title: The Behavior of Strontium Isotopes in Surface Waters of the Scioto River Drainage Basin, Ohio
  • B.A., Geology, Miami University, 1970
  • Petroleum industry schools covering seismic interpretation, basic and advanced well log analysis, sandstone and carbonate reservoir exploration techniques, reservoir engineering, remote sensing, geopressured reservoirs, and coal geology, 1976-1990
  • Technical and management courses, U.S. Air Force, 1972-1975

Professional Skill Areas

  • Natural Gas Resource Assessment (
  • Petroleum Geochemistry
  • Petroleum Exploration and Development

Selected Publications

  • Curtis, J.B., 2016, Natural Gas, in G. M. Crawley, ed., Fossil Fuels: World Scientific Series in Current Energy Issues, v. 1, Chapter 8, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore.
  • Curiale, J.A., and Curtis, J.B., 2016, Organic geochemical applications to the exploration for source-rock reservoirs – A review: J. of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources, v. 13, p. 1-31.
  • Lewan, M.D., Dolan, M.P., and Curtis, J.B., 2014, Effects of smectite on oil-expulsion efficiency of the Kreyenhagen Shale based on hydrous pyrolysis experiments: AAPG Bulletin, v. 98, p. 1091-1109.
  • Clauer, N., Lewan, M.D., Dolan, M., Chaudhuri, S., and Curtis, J.B., 2014, Mineralogical,  chemical, and K-Ar isotopic changes in Kreyenhagen Shale whole rocks and <2 μm clay  fractions during natural burial and hydrous-pyrolysis experimental maturation: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 130, p. 93-112.
  • Kotarba, M., Curtis, J.B., and M. Lewan,  2009, Comparison of natural gases accumulated in Oligocene strata with hydrous pyrolysis gases from Menilite  Shales of the Polish Outer Carpathians: Organic Geochemistry v. 40, p. 769-78.
  • Hill, D.G., Curtis, J.B., and P. Lillis, 2008, Update on North American shale-gas exploration and development: Gas Shale in the Rocky Mountains and Beyond: in Hill, D.G., Lillis, P.L., and J.B.Curtis, eds., Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists 2008 Guidebook (CD-ROM), Denver, CO.
  • Curtis, J.B., and M.A. Boland, 2006, Challenges in providing technical information for societal use: Examples from the gas resource assessment community: Technology in Society, v. 28, no. 4, p. 505-516.
  • Lewan, M. D., Kotarba, M.J., Curtis, J.B., Wieclaw, D. and P. Kosakowski, 2006, Oil-generation kinetics for organic facies with Type-II and -IIS kerogen in the Menilite Shales of the Polish Carpathians: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 70, p. 3351-3368.
  • Curtis, J.B., Kotarba, M.J., Lewan, M.D., and Wieclaw, D., 2004, Oil/source rock correlations in the Polish Flysch Carpathians and Mesozoic basement and organic facies of the Oligocene Menilite Shales: Insights from hydrous pyrolysis experiments: Organic Geochemistry 35, p. 1573-1596.
  • Miskimins, J.L., Curtis, J. B., Davis, T., and M. Peeters, 2004, Capstone design in the Earth engineering sciences: Case study of a 10-year interdisciplinary program, Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference and Exposition, June 20-23, 2004.
  • National Research Council, 2003, U.S. Natural Gas Demand, Supply, and Technology: Looking Toward the Future: The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 96p. (Author of Chapter 3, North American Natural Gas Supply. p. 34-48.)
  • Curtis, J.B., 2002, Fractured shale – gas systems: AAPG Bulletin, v. 86, p. 1921-1938.
  • Law, B.E., and J.B. Curtis, 2002, Introduction to unconventional petroleum systems: AAPG Bulletin, v. 86, p. 1851-1852.
  • Curtis, J.B., and S. L. Montgomery, 2002, Recoverable natural gas resource of the United States: Summary of recent estimates: AAPG Bulletin, v.86, p. 1671- 1678.
  • Curtis, J.B., 2001, An overview of remaining Rocky Mountain gas resources: in Anderson, D. S., Robinson, J. W., Estes-Jackson, J. E., and E. B. Coalson, eds., Gas in the Rockies: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, (Chapter 3), pp. 23-28.
  • Curtis, J.B., and G. Faure, 1999, Accumulation of organic matter in the Rome trough of the Appalachian basin and its subsequent thermal history – Reply: AAPG Bulletin, v. 83, No. 4, p. 668-669.
  • Curtis, J.B., 1997, Natural gas resources of the Rocky Mountains and considerations for future supply: The Mountain Geologist, v. 34, no.1, p. 3 – 6. (Guest Editor of this issue)
  • Curtis, J.B., and G. Faure, 1997, Accumulation of organic matter in the Rome trough of the Appalachian basin and its subsequent thermal history: AAPG Bulletin, v. 81, No. 3, p. 424-437.
  • Curtis, J.B., 1996, How well do we know the size of the U.S. natural gas resource base?: Society of Petroleum Engineers, Journal of Petroleum Technology, v.48, no. 1, p. 75-81.
  • Curtis, J.B., 1994, Rocky Mountain natural gas resources: A Potential Gas Committee perspective, 1984 – 1992: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, The Mountain Geologist, v. 31, no. 2, p. 37-44.
  • Luffel, D.L., Guidry, F.K., and J.B. Curtis, 1992, Evaluation of Devonian shale with new core and log analysis methods: Society of Petroleum Engineers, Journal of Petroleum Technology, v. 44, no. 11, p. 1192-1197.
  • Curtis, J.B. and R.A. McBane, 1989, Use of geochemistry to improve identification of completion intervals: Society of Petroleum Engineers, Formation Evaluation, June, p. 163-166.
  • Lancaster, D.E., Guidry, F.K., Graham, R.L., Curtis. J.B., Shaw, J.S., and T.H. Blake, 1989, A case study of the evaluation, completion, and testing of a Devonian shale gas well: Society of Petroleum Engineers, Journal of Petroleum Technology, May, p. 509-518.
  • Faure, G., Hoefs, J., Jones, L.M., Curtis. J.B., and D.E. Pride, 1988, Extreme 18O depletion in calcite and chert clasts from the Elephant Moraine on the East Antarctic ice sheet: Nature, v. 332, no. 6162, p. 352-354.
  • Lang, H.R., Curtis, J.B., and J.S. Kovacs, 1985, Lost River, West Virginia, petroleum test site report: in Abrams, M.J., ed., The Joint NASA/Geosat Test Case Project Final Report, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, Oklahoma, p. 12-i to 12-94 (An Author/Editor of Chapter 12)
  • Stueber, A.M., Baldwin, A.D., Curtis, J.B., Pushkar, P., and J.D. Steele, 1975, Geochemistry of strontium in the Scioto River drainage basin, Ohio: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 86, p. 892-896.
  • Curtis, J.B., and A.M. Stueber, 1973, 87Sr/86Sr ratios and total strontium concentrations in surface waters of the Scioto River drainage basin, Ohio: Ohio Journal of Science, v. 73, p. 166-175.

Professional Service

  • National Research Council of the National Academies
    • 2005 – 2006: Expert panel for evaluation of US Department of Energy natural gas research program
    • 2004: Review of Charting the future of Methane Hydrates research in the United States
    • 2003: Workshop planning committee, North American natural gas supply and demand
  • Inter-University Centre Petroleum Engineering Summer School, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2002 – 2005
    • I was an invited lecturer, moderator and (2005) director of this workshop for petroleum professionals, academicians and students. The 2005 symposium encompassed 64 papers from participants representing six countries.
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists:
    • Associate Editor, AAPG Bulletin, 1998 – 2010
    • Co-Chair, Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources Committee , 1998 – 2004
    • Invited Member, Committee on Resource Evaluation, 1993 – 2013
    • Invited Member, Committee on Research, 2000 – 2004
    • Elected Society Delegate, 1995 – 2007
    • Technical Session Convenor, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2015 Annual Meetings (URTeC 2013, 2016)
    • Faculty Co-Sponsor, CSM Student Chapter, 1992 – 2012
    • Matson Award Judge, 1992
    • Jules Braunstein Award Judge, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2000
  • Colorado Governor Appointments:
    • Colorado Geological Survey Advisory Committee
    • Research Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
      The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is an organization of states which promotes conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment.
  • Alaska Governor Appointments:
    • Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission Blue Ribbon Task Force on Education of Petroleum Professionals
  • U.S. Geological Survey: Volunteer Scientist; technical reviewer 1999 – 2014
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists
    • Associate Editor, The Mountain Geologist, 1996 – 2008 (Guest Editor, v34, no1 issue on Natural Gas in the Rockies)
    • Elected Delegate to AAPG, 1995 – 2007
  • Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
    • President, CSM Chapter, 1997 –2002
    • CSM Program Chair, 1995 – 1996
  • Gas Technology Institute (previously Gas Research Institute) 1994 – 2001
    • Invited Member, GTI Advisory Council
    • Previously Chair, Science and Technology Committee
    • Previously Vice-Chair and Chair, GRI Research Coordination Council
    • Previously Chair, GRI Supply Divisional Panel