World-class training for the modern energy industry

Reservoir Characterization of Deepwater Systems, San Diego, California (G046)

  • TypeType: Field
  • TypeDiscipline: Depositional Systems, Reservoir Characterization
  • TypeDuration: 5 days (excl travel)

Tutor(s)

Vitor Abreu, ACT-Geoscience; Adjunct Professor, Rice University

Overview

Submarine canyons and deepwater channels are the primary conduits for the transfer of coarse sediments from the shelf to deep-water fans and they are today major targets for petroleum exploration. Southern California has had a long and complex geologic history that has involved many episodes of deepwater sedimentation in a variety of settings ranging from the Paleozoic passive margin of the North American craton to Mesozoic forearc and arc settings to Cenozoic transform, pull-apart, and continental borderland basins. These settings feature deep-water deposits in which both large and small submarine channels and fans played major roles as sediment transport routes and sites of sedimentation.

Duration and Logistics

5 days; a mix of outcrop examination and discussion (70%) and supporting classroom lectures (30%).  The field course is conducted in southern California along the coastline north of San Diego.

Level and Audience

Advanced. Geologists, geophysicists, and petroleum engineers working on deep water reservoirs from exploration to production.

Exertion Level

This class requires a MODERATE exertion level. Access to the coastal cliff outcrops is via sandy beaches, with most walks under 2 km. Some shallow wading on a sandy beach is also necessary in order to visit some outcrops.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Review deepwater lithofacies nomenclature and definitions, common lithofacies associations, and interpret lithofacies in outcrops and cores.
  2. Interpret environments of deposition (EoD’s) and related reservoir architecture, lithofacies associations, and diversity.
  3. Interpret sequence stratigraphic surfaces in outcrop, logs, and seismic in DW settings and related to vertical stacking of facies.
  4. Use core and well-logs to interpret EoD’s.
  5. Evaluate reservoir geometry and connectivity in different EoD’s.
  6. Recognise the Do’s and Don’ts of using outcrops as reservoir analogs
  7. Apply outcrop information as analog for reservoir model building
  8. Evaluate seismic response, including geometry, facies, and acoustic response in deepwater EoD’s
  9. Apply the criteria for the identification of Composite Sequences, Sequence Sets, and Depositional Sequences and their components in outcrops, cores, well logs, and seismic
  10. Use interpretation and mapping techniques for cores, well-logs, and seismic lines in deepwater settings, from Exploration to Production business scales
  11. Apply criteria and mapping strategies for play elements in deepwater depositional settings
  12. Identify and map play fairways in deepwater settings.

Course Content

Six deepwater systems will be examined in this field course. These include in the order that we will examine them: (1) Miocene-Pliocene Capistrano Formation at San Clemente State Beach, (2) Capistrano and Monterey sediments cropping out at Dana Point Harbor, (3) Cretaceous strata in coastal exposures in La Jolla, (4) Eocene strata in sea cliffs north of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, (5) Point Loma and Cabrillo Formations in the Tourmaline Surfing Beach and (6) Cretaceous Point Loma Formation exposed at the Point Loma Peninsula.

This course combines field activities with in-class lectures and exercises. Exercises in the field will focus on description of DW lithofacies, stratal geometries and recognizing key stratigraphic surfaces, emphasizing practical applications. Participants will also learn to describe cores, integrate core and well-log information with seismic to generate high-resolution EoD maps of reservoirs in different settings. Engineering data is used to demonstrate how to improve prediction of reservoir performance. Cores, well-logs and seismic examples are compared to and contrasted with outcrops to help participants to extrapolate 2-D outcrop information to 3-D views of reservoir scale depositional systems.

Itinerary

The schedule below is just a sample as the exact order of locations and outcrops visited are subject to change due to changing weather, tides and sunlight hours.

Day 1
Arrive in San Diego. The group will stay at the Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla. Meet and greet session at the hotel conference room at 5:00 PM. Discussions of safety procedures and deepwater lithofacies and depositional models.

Day 2
Meet at the conference room at 8 AM to discuss deepwater distributive systems. Safety briefing. Leave for Point Loma sea cliffs at 9:30 AM. Return to the hotel no later than 6 PM.

Day 3
Meet at the conference room at 8 AM to discuss deepwater channel systems. Safety briefing. Leave hotel at 9:00 to Blacks Beach Sea Cliff. Wrap-up discussions on Black’s Beach and leave from the Scripps Pier at 3:00 PM. Meeting at the hotel for discussion of deepwater channel Systems.

Day 4
Meet at the conference room at 8 AM. Continued discussion of deepwater channel systems. Safety briefing before heading to the field at 9 AM. Spend the day at the San Clemente sea cliffs. Head back to the hotel no later than 6 PM.

Day 5
Meet at the conference room at 8 AM. Discussion of deepwater depositional processes. Safety briefing before heading to the field at 9 AM. Spend the morning at Dana Point and the afternoon at the Tourmaline Surf Beach Park. Head back to the hotel no later than 6 PM.

Day 6
Check out from the hotel and be ready to leave at 8:30 AM. Visit the La Jolla Cove Park and then prepare to depart to the airport by 12:30 PM.

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