1. n. [Geology]
A reservoir or portion of a reservoir that contains economically producible hydrocarbons. The term derives from the fact that it is capable of "paying" an income. Pay is also called pay sand or pay zone. The overall interval in which pay sections occur is the gross pay; the smaller portions of the gross pay that meet local criteria for pay (such as minimum porosity, permeability and hydrocarbon saturation) are net pay.