Alan Yu

Alan Yu

Professor of the Practice

Basin Modeling, Conventional and Unconventional Petroleum Systems, Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, Pore Pressure Prediction

  (979) 458-8529

  Halbouty 255


Areas related to petroleum systems analysis and basin modeling applied to conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration and production. More specific topics include basin thermal history, source rock maturity, oil and gas generation/expulsion timings and migration, as well as formation pore pressure, top seal capacity, fluid property, and reservoir property predictions. Currently focus on the Permian Basin’s 3D basin modeling and petroleum system analysis.


Over 30 years of professional experience in integrated petroleum system analysis including conventional and unconventional exploration and production in major oil companies and research at universities. Specialized in integrated 2D and 3D basin modeling for regional and prospect evaluation and formation pore pressure prediction prior to drill. Background includes work in numerous deep water regions worldwide and major onshore shale plays.  Proven oil finder, workflow creator, productive researcher and established mentor for young professionals.

Selected Publications

How to Predict Biodegradation Risk and Reservoir Fluid Quality – A new Approach, the biodegradation index, uses the thermal and hydrocarbon-charge histories of a prospect to allow quantitative, pre-drill risk assessment for biodegraded oils (Z. (Alan) Yu, G. Cole, G. Grubitz and F. Peel), 2002, World Oil/ April 2002, p. 63-74.

Arcuate and Growth Faults in Basin Models: Application to a South Louisiana Roll-over Structure (Z. Yu and I. Lerche), 1995, Mathematical Geology, Vol. 27. No. 4. p.513-547.

Modeling Abnormal Pressure Development in the Sandstone/Shale Basins (Z. Yu and I. Lerche), 1996, Marine and Petroleum Geology, Vol. 13, 13, No. 2, pp. 179-193.

Inversion of Dynamical Indicators in Quantitative Basin Analysis Models III: Multi-Well Information and Two-Dimensional Case Histories (Z. Yu, I. Lerche and O. Bour), 1995, Math. Geo., Vol. 27, no. 1, p. 41-68.

Three Phase Fluid Migration with Solubilities in a Two-Dimensional Basin Simulation Model (Z. Yu and I. Lerche), 1995, Marine and Petroleum Geology, Vol. 12, No. 1, p. 3-16.

Thermal History and Hydrocarbon Maturity Study in the Norton Basin, Alaska (Z. Yu, Y. Li and I. Lerche), 1992, Energy Exploration and Exploitation, Vol. 10, No. 6, p. 402-421.

Thermal Impact of Salt : Simulation of Thermal Anomaly in the Gulf of Mexico (Z. Yu, I. Lerche and A. Lowrie), 1992, Pure and Applied Geophysics, Vol. 138, No. 2, p. 180-192.

Crystalline Basement Focusing of Heat Versus Fluid Flow/Convection Effect: A Case Study of the I-1 Well in the Danish North Sea (Z. Yu, I. Lerche, and R. Thomsen), 1995, Petroleum Geoscience, Vol. 1, pp.31-35.

An Integrated Quantitative Basin Analysis of the Northern Part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Northerneast Alaska (Z. Yu and I. Lerche), 1992, Journal of Geodynamics, Vol. 15, Nos 1/2, pp 107-146, 1992.

Effects of Open and Shut Slant Faults in Basinal Development Processes (I. Lerche, Z. Yu and J. Lui), 1993, GCSSEPM Foundation 14th Annual Research Conference Proceedings, #14, p81-97.

Impacts of Various TOC Distribution on Hydrocarbon generation and accumulation (Z. Yu and I. Lerche), 1994, Organic Geochemistry, Vol. 21, No. 10/11, pp 1121-1130.

Salt Dynamics: Simulation of Mushroom Cap on a Salt Diapir in Barents Sea, Norway (Z. Yu and I. Lerche ), 1992, in Arctic Geology and Petroleum Potential eds. by T. D. Vorren et al, NPF Special Publication #2, p669-679.

Sedimentary Fracturing and Faulting Around Rapidly Moving Salt Sheets (Z.Yu, I. Lerche, and A. Lowrie),1991, Proceedings of the Offshore Technology Conference, Houston, OTC # 6531, V.1, p.281-287.

Simulation of Mushroom Caps on Salt in Barents Sea, Norway (Z. Yu and I. Lerche), 1991, Energy Exploration and Exploitation, Vol. 9, No. 3, p.94-106.

 Application of a Matched Filter Method to Enhance Signal-to-Noise Ratios in Geological Time Series (Z. Yu, I. Lerche, D.F. Williams, D. Trainor and N. Nealy-Williams), 1991, Nuclear Geophysics, Vol. 5 , No. 3, p. 279-289.

Subsurface Hydrocarbon Migration: Steady-State Model, Sensitivity Analysis and Field Example, Green Canyon Block, North Central Gulf of Mexico (Z. Yu, I. Lerche and D.F. Williams), 1990, Energy Exploration and Exploitation, Vol.8 No.3, p. 66-183.

A Phase Sensitive Detection Algorithm for Detection of Short-Lived Events in Stable Isotope Records (Z. Yu, I. Lerche and D.F. Williams), 1990, Paleoceanography, Vol.5 No.2, p. 229-237.

Modeling Fracturing and Faulting Within Sediments Around Rapidly Moving Lateral Salt Sheets (Z. Yu, I. Lerche and A. Lowrie), 1991, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, V.75, No.11, (November), p. 1772-1778.

An Experimental Study of Oil Secondary Migration in a Three Dimensional Tilted Porous Medium (Jianzhao Yan , Xiaorong Luo , Weimin Wang , Renaud Toussaint, Jean Schmittbuhl, Guy Vasseur, Fang Chen, Alan Yu, Likuan Zhang), AAPG Bulletin, V. 96, No. 5 (May 2012), P. 773–788.


Ph.D. in Geology – University of South Carolina, Columbia, 1992

MS in Geology – University of South Carolina, Columbia

BS in Petroleum Exploration – Northeast Petroleum University, China

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