Basin Research

The Basin Research Energy Section is the oil, gas, and coal research section of the LGS, and it performs research into the nature and occurrence of oil, gas, and coal both in Louisiana and around the world. The BRES disseminates its research and technical information widely, especially to the independent oil and gas producers of Louisiana, thereby enabling more economically efficient exploration and production operations. The Basin Research Energy Section was formerly the LSU Basin Research Institute, which was established in 1984 and which was merged into the Louisiana Geological Survey in 2000.


Basin Research Staff


Chacko J. John, PhD
Associate Director, Professor
Telephone: 225-578-8681

Chacko J. John is Director, State Geologist and Professor-Research at the Louisiana Geological Survey (LGS), Louisiana State University (LSU). He holds M.S. and Ph.D degrees in Geology from the University of Delaware, and B.Sc. and M.Sc. Degrees in Geology from the University of Nagpur (India). Prior to his present position he served as Director of the Basin Research Institute of Louisiana State University, which is now the Basin Research Energy Section of the LGS.

John joined the LGS in 1987 and subsequently held the positions of Assistant Professor-Research, Associate Professor-Research, Chief, Energy and Mineral Resources Section, and Director of Research before being appointed to his current position in 1997. He has previously served as an advanced geologist with Marathon Oil Company, as a senior exploration geologist with Geo Consultants International, and as geologist-in-charge of the Akula Clay mine with English India Clays Ltd.

John is a member of many professional associations and has served as president of the Louisiana Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), the Energy Minerals Division of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS), and the Baton Rouge Geological Society. He was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2004, has been a recipient of professional society awards, and is the author and/or co-author of numerous technical reports, book chapters, professional presentations and journal publications.

His fields of research specialization are petroleum geology, sedimentology, reservoir characterization, depositional environments and models of clastic sandstone reservoirs, geopressured-geothermal energy resources, coastal geomorphology and environmental geology.

Chacko J. John, PhD projects



Brian J. Harder
Research Associate 5 (retired-part-time)
Telephone: 225-578-8533 

Brian holds both a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University, and A.A.S. in chemical Technology, from Alfred State College, and is a member of SPE. Before joining LSU in 1987, he worked for Gearhart Industries as an engineer in Oklahoma, North Texas, North Louisiana and Mississippi. Harder’s areas of expertise include petroleum engineering, well logging, petroleum economics, the development of oil and gas databases, oil and gas atlas preparation, regulatory studies, and oil and gas operations in wetland areas of south Louisiana.
Brian J. Harder projects


Reed J. Bourgeois
Computer Analyst 3
Telephone: 225-578-8879

Reed Bourgeois obtained a B.S. from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana in 1985. Reed provides computer assistance to the research staff with their projects and is also responsible for the acquisition, upkeep, and maintenance of LGS computer hardware and software. Reed started at LSU in 1991.

Reed J. Bourgeois projects