Geography and Geology Capitalization

The SPE Style Guide has several rules for capitalizing names of locations, both regional and geological.

Titles of major bodies of land and water are capitalized:

Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Indian Ocean, Death Valley, South Padre Island, Middle East

Real properties and legal entities are also capitalized:

Platform C, South Swan Hills Unit

However, general directions and general locations are not capitalized:

east Texas, western Alberta, offshore Africa, midcontinent region

Capitalize geologic ages, including leading adjectives:

Mesozoic, Lower Permian, Upper Jurassic

But do not capitalize geologic formations, such as:

basin – Campos basin

belt – Orinoco belt

delta – Nile delta

field – Woolybutt field in Australia, the funniest field name ever!

formation – Kareem formation

play – Bakken play

pool – Keg River F pool

reservoir – Gharif reservoir

sand – Milk River sand

shale – Marcellus shale

trend – Spraberry trend

zone – Lower Ratawi zone

There are two exceptions to the above rule: Permian Basin and Overthrust Belt.


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