The Role of a Prospecting Geologist

Joshua Neale Wolcott is the director of operations for Cimmaron Resources, Inc., an oil and gas company based in Denver, Colorado. In this role, Josh Wolcott oversees the development of various projects across the country, including the Rocky Mountains and the Powder River Basin. In order to seek out new exploration projects, Joshua Wolcott and his team work closely with several prospecting geologists.

Also known as exploration geologists, prospecting geologists utilize their advanced knowledge of the Earth’s surface – and what lies beneath it – to help locate valuable natural resources. By calling on the skills of a prospecting geologist, oil and gas companies can increase the success and efficiency of their drilling operations.

In order to predict where oil may be found, prospecting geologists first survey a location’s overall environment and surface rock formations before taking drill samples. The geologist then analyzes these samples in a lab to determine the likelihood of the presence of oil in the area. In some cases, oil may be present in quantities too low to justify drilling, in which case a prospecting geologist may make a professional recommendation to drill in other nearby locations.

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The Potential Rebound of Coal Prices

Joshua (Josh) Wolcott is a former program manager at World Vision, where he helped develop a banking program that financed more than 1,000 small businesses. Now the director of operations for Cimmaron Resources, Inc., in Denver, Colorado, Joshua Neale Wolcott is in charge of developing energy projects in the Rocky Mountains and Oklahoma, including the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

Due to a number of factors, such as slowed economic growth in China (the world’s biggest coal user) and a larger focus on natural gas throughout the world, coal prices have plummeted. However, coal is still the source for more than 40 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and small companies operating in the Powder River Basin could allow coal to rebound. In fact, the price of Powder River Basin coal recently reached its highest point in two years, topping out at $13 per ton. In addition, coal output in Wyoming increased to 100,706 tons through April of 2014, an increase of 0.5 percent from the previous year. These hopeful figures are largely the result of the Powder River Basin’s lower operating costs.