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Petroleum Engineering

Brian Toelle

Brian Toelle

Professor of Practice

E-mail: | Phone: 307-766-6780

Office Location: Room 4044, Engineering Building

Dept. 3295, 1000 E. University Avenue

Laramie, WY 82071


  • Ph.D. Geology (emphasis on Applied Geophysics), 2013, West Virginia University
  • M.S. Natural Science (emphasis on Structural Geology), 1981, Stephen F. Austin State University
  • B.S. Geology, 1978, Texas A & M University

Research Interests:

Produced Natural Gas Flaring Mitigation
Dr. Toelle has recently been awarded a provisional patent on a methodology designed to mitigate the flaring of natural gas at oil well sites. During oil production in some geologic plays the oil produced has a high volatile content and gas comes out of solution when the oil comes to the surface due to the release of pressure. Dr. Toelle and his co-inventor, Dr. Maohong Fan, have developed a new method for capturing this gas which is referred to as "FlareNitro".
Wyoming Petroleum Systems
During his employment with Texaco Dr. Toelle performed a number of basin analyses in offshore California. While at the University of Wyoming he has obtained access to a state-of-the-art, full 3-D petroleum systems modeling program, which his team has used to develop a complete petroleum model of the Bighorn Basin. Recently Dr. Toelle presented some of the results of this work at the AAPG's Regional Conference in Cheyenne. This work received the Steve Champlin Memorial Award for the best poster presentation. Work is continuing on selected basins within Wyoming through his Wyoming Petroleum Systems Research Group in order to identify petroleum potential with them.
Seismic-Based Porosity / Fracture Detection
Since 2001 Dr. Toelle has investigated the use of various seismic attributes for the detection of open fracture systems. This research was conducted during consulting projects for various Schlumberger clients. As a result of some of this research Dr. Toelle obtained a patent for Schlumberger in 2005 (Patent No. 6,941,228). He is currently continuing his research in this field.
Wildfire Supression
Dr. Toelle recognized the potential of re-purposing certain oil and gas industry components for fighting wildfires, which he named "NitroTube". Dr. Toelle formed a research group in this area and, with the help of his co-inventors, Dr. Suresh Muknahallipatna and Dr. Robert Kubichek, obtained a provisional patent on the technology.
4D Seismic Analysis and Reservoir Monitoring
Dr. Toelle's Ph.D. research included the monitoring of injected CO2 within a subsurface reservoir for the purpose of enhanced oil recovery. During this research Dr. Toelle used 4-D seismic difference mapping to identify where within a carbonate reservoir, Silurian aged pinnacle reef in the northern Michigan basin, CO2 flowed following injection at a particular well location. This research was funded by the US Department of Energy (DE-FC26-04NT15425) and has implications with regard to CO2 sequestration. (DOE brochure, p.18)
Azimuthal Seismic
In addition to the enhanced oil recovery project mentioned above Dr. Toelle's PhD research also investigated the interpretation of Azimuthal Seismic volumes for discriminating between matrix porosity and fracture systems within carbonate reservoirs. This on-going research has significant implications with regard to the characterization of reservoirs with respect to their development, particularly during the enhanced oil recovery phase. Additionally, this is proving to be of significance with regard to production from Shale Oil reservoirs as knowing where open, natural fracture systems exist within these reservoirs is important to economic production.
Tectonic Inheritance
In addition to those research topics mentioned above Dr. Toelle is currently researching the concept of Tectonic Inheritance.

Research Web Sites:
See Dr. Toelle's current curriculum vitae (CV)
See Dr. Toelle's publications and presentations
See Dr. Toelle's Google Scholar page.
See Dr. Toelle's ResearchGate page.
See Dr. Toelle's page.

Course(s) Taught:

PETE 3900, Undergraduate Research
PETE 4320, Well Log Interpretation
PETE 4400, Tight Gas Sand/Coalbed Methane
PETE 4736, Petroleum Engineering Design
PETE 4800, Shale Reservoir Development
PETE 5400, Tight Gas Sand/Coalbed Methane
PETE 5800, Shale Reservoir Development
Contact Us

Petroleum Engineering

EN 4015

Dept. 3295

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4258


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1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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