World-class training for the modern energy industry

Sand-rich and Confined Turbidite Systems: Annot, France (G048)

Tutor(s)

Mark Bentley: TRACS International, Ltd, and Langdale Geoscience

Ed Stephens: TRACS International, Ltd

Overview

Experience the classic, well-exposed Grès d’Annot turbidite outcrop area in the French Alps, an excellent analogue for deepwater exploration and development targets in structurally active slope and basin settings. This course will provide insights into field development challenges in relatively confined, high-net, submarine fan systems by using the world-class exposures along with static/dynamic models of the outcrops to support discussions. Seismic forward-models of 3-D and 4-D responses to waterfloods in these systems add to the conversation. The setting allows reservoirs to be observed at a range of scales from seismic- and field-scale, to the scale of a core plug, and is intended for a cross-discipline, geoscience and petroleum engineering audience.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Assess discrete, structurally controlled sediment transport pathways into bathymetrically complex deepwater basins.
  2. Assess the role of relative structural and flow confinement on turbidite reservoir architecture.
  3. Characterize internal reservoir architecture in different parts of the system and assess the impact of heterogeneities on fluid flow.
  4. Formulate reservoir and simulation modeling requirements, in order to forecast production performance from reservoirs of these types.
  5. Determine the level of detail required for reservoir characterization under a range of fluid fills and production mechanisms.
  6. Understand how much of the observed heterogeneity would be detectable on seismic, and predict how fluid-sensitive heterogeneities would be visible on 4-D seismic for a field on production.

Exertion Level

This class requires a DIFFICULT exertion level. The Grès d’Annot is quite comfortable in the early summer, with temperatures of 10–25°C (50–80°F) and occasional rain showers. Some field locations require path-based hillwalking involving ascents up to 600m (2000 feet). The longest excursion involves a full-day hike and will be conducted at a leisurely pace.

Level and Audience

Advanced. The course is designed for integrated teams (geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers) evaluating development opportunities for fields in deepwater confined basins. The ideal group would be an asset team, who would be encouraged to bring their own field issues (and data where possible) to discuss live on the analogue

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day field course in the French Alps, comprising field activities and exercises on-site, unless weather doesn’t allow. The manual will be provided in paper format, with a digital copy available as a take-away.

Course Content

The Grès d’Annot displays a range of reservoir architectures from high concentration gravity flows. These are often interpreted as ‘tanks’ of sand in field development scenarios, where much good effort is placed on extracting large-scale sand architectures from seismic. The internal content of sands within these high-net architectures is often assumed to be relatively homogeneous, but this is often not the case. On this course, key heterogeneities that impact fluid flow will be observed, and their significance quantified using on-scale reservoir and simulation models of the outcrops. The extent to which these features can be seen on seismic is evaluated by forward-modeling the outcrops under initial reservoir conditions (3-D seismic forward-models) and after production (4-D seismic forward-models).

Topics covered include:

  • Reservoir characterization in high-net, deep marine systems
  • Petrophysical expression of reservoir character
  • Static modeling techniques for these systems appropriate to a range of fluid fills
  • Fluid response to these heterogeneities and dynamic (simulation) modeling requirements
  • Seismic expression of field-scale architectures
  • Development planning and well placement in these systems

Exercises on-site will include: observation of key heterogeneities; conceptual sketching of a range of architectures; reservoir and simulation model design for those architectures; and interactive discussions on the importance of the observed heterogeneities in development planning (including well placement and production forecasting).

Itinerary

Day 0

Arrive in Nice and course introduction

Day 1

Field visits: St Antonin and St Benoit – regional scale

  • Regional setting – proximal/distal mini-basins and regional fill-and-spill
  • Large-scale heterogeneity

Day 2

Field visits: Coulomp Valley – gross reservoir architecture

  • Overview of sand distribution – boundaries and contacts
  • Seismic expression – 3-D seismic forward modeling
  • Large scale production performance

Day 3

Field visits: Annot Town – internal reservoir architecture

  • Reservoir heterogeneities
  • Log vs core expression – petrophysical response
  • Fluid sensitivity to heterogeneities
  • Static/dynamic modeling and forecasting
  • Monitoring production – 4-D seismic forward modeling

Day 4

Field visits: Col de la Cayolle – contrasting systems

  • Lower net components of sand-rich systems
  • Contrasting reservoir heterogeneities
  • Effective flow properties and sweep efficiency under production
  • How models go bad

Day 5

Field visits: Chalufy – reservoir margins

  • Observing on-scale reservoir pinch-outs
  • Seismic resolution of field margins
  • Drilling the edge: well planning influenced by seismic character
  • Observing at outcrop architectures we normally miss

Day 6

Depart Nice

An Introduction to Sequence Stratigraphy (G068)

Tutor(s)

Gary Hampson: Imperial College London

Overview

Sequence stratigraphy is a key tool for subsurface interpretation of depositional systems and thereby predicting the distribution of reservoir, source rock and seal lithologies. The course will introduce the principles and methods of sequence stratigraphy, with a focus on continental, shallow-marine and deep-marine depositional settings. Participants will apply these principles and methods via the sequence stratigraphic interpretation of subsurface data (e.g. seismic, well-log, core, reservoir production data).

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 2 days including a mix of lectures and exercises. The course manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring along a laptop or tablet to follow the lectures and exercises.

Online version: Three 3.5-hour interactive online sessions presented over 3 days (afternoons in Europe and mornings in North America). A digital manual will be distributed to participants before the course.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. This course is designed for junior geoscientists working on a variety of subsurface energy projects who want to gain a basic understanding of sequence stratigraphy and its applications to subsurface data sets. Participants should have knowledge of basic sedimentology and subsurface geology.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the basic terminology of sequence stratigraphy.
  2. Describe the key surfaces and systems tracts.
  3. Appreciate the main components of depositional sequences in continental, shallow-marine and deep-marine systems.
  4. Evaluate a range of subsurface data in terms of sequence stratigraphic methods and models.

Course Content

Session 1: Key concepts and terminology

  • Introduction to stratigraphy
  • Lithostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy
  • Sequence stratigraphy controls and concepts
    • Accommodation / Relative sea level
    • Sediment supply
    • Regression vs. transgression
  • Sequence stratigraphy terminology
    • Key definitions
    • Formation of parasequences
    • Transgressive surfaces
    • Parasequence stacking patterns
    • Forced regressions
    • Incised valleys
    • Sequence boundaries
    • Interfluves
    • Shoreline trajectory
  • Exercise on identifying stratal patterns and key surfaces

Session 2: Exploration-scale applications

  • Depositional sequences
  • Seismic analysis
  • Well-log analysis
  • Application to exploration plays
  • Exercise on passive-margin exploration plays

Session 3: Reservoir-scale applications

  • Application to shallow-marine reservoirs
  • Exercise on continental and shallow-marine reservoirs
  • Application to deep-marine reservoirs
  • Exercise on deep-marine reservoirs

Introduction to Clastic Facies (G073)

Tutor(s)

Howard Feldman: Consulting Geologist and Affiliate faculty, Colorado State University

Overview

This course provides an introduction to siliciclastic facies in all aqueous settings, focusing on sand deposition for application to conventional reservoirs. The course begins with an overview of sedimentary structures and their recognition in outcrop and core. Observations of sedimentary structures and facies stacking patterns are then used to interpret depositional environments and make predictions about sand body geometry, size, and compartmentalization. The course makes extensive use of large-format (50% scale) core photos and outcrop photopans from a wide range of environments. Subsurface data sets, including seismic and well logs, are used to illustrate the application of these concepts to subsurface mapping. We will also cover an introduction to core description workflows.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Interpret basic depositional models of siliciclastic systems with a focus on sandy facies, and prediction away from control at a range of scales.
  2. Collect basic observations from core that can be used to constrain depositional models.
  3. Integrate cores, well logs and seismic, in order to make predictions about the distribution of reservoir, source and seal.
  4. Interpret genetic stratigraphic units in core, well logs and seismic.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. The course is intended for subsurface geoscientists who would like an introduction to siliciclastic facies and their interpretation from core, well logs and seismic. There is no assumption of previous knowledge of clastic systems, and simple concepts are built up into sophisticated depositional models. Skills are built through a series of exercises using outcrop photopans, high-resolution core photos, well logs and seismic. There is abundant opportunity for interaction.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom: A 2-day course comprising a mix of lectures and exercises. The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual session: Four 3-hour interactive online sessions presented over 4 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). Digital course notes and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course.

Course Content

Session 1: Fluvial systems

  • Reynolds numbers and how they relate to bedforms
  • Recognition of sedimentary structures in core
  • How to utilize sedimentary structures and burrows to constrain depositional conditions
  • Fluvial depositional models (meandering, braided and fixed rivers)
  • Large-scale fluvial systems (alluvial fans, distributive fluvial systems, tributary systems)
  • Paleosols and how to use them

Session 2: Coastal systems

  • Introduction to coastal parasequences, the fundamental genetic unit of prograding clastic shoreline
  • Wave-dominated coasts (barrier islands, strand plains, wave-dominated deltas)
  • River-dominated deltas
  • Tide-dominated deltas and tidal recognition criteria

Session 3: Incised valley fills – Deepwater fans part 1

  • Incised valley facies models
  • Sediment gravity flows (slumps, debris flows, turbidity currents)
  • MTCs
  • Deepwater channels and levees

Session 4: Deepwater fans part 2

  • Avulsions
  • Lobes
  • Passive margin fans
  • Active margin fans
  • Drift deposits

Workshop in the Seismic Expression of Carbonates (G080)

Tutor(s)

Gene Rankey: Professor, University of Kansas.

Overview

The aim of this course is to provide a general overview of the basic principles of carbonate systems and their expression in seismic data, and to demonstrate its utility for exploration and production. The course will include conceptual models, practical hands-on exercises, and demonstrations of the utility of seismic data and derived products. Key examples will illustrate how seismic stratigraphy and seismic attribute analysis can be used to assess reservoir fairways, subdivide a reservoir, constrain reservoir models, and generate high-resolution, geologically constrained predictions of reservoir systems. An important part of this course will be to draw attention to unique aspects of carbonates and how they might differ from siliciclastic from pore to basin scales.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Establish a working knowledge of carbonate sediment and depositional systems.
  2. Assess carbonate seismic attributes, their general classes, and situations in which different types of attributes are most appropriate.
  3. Evaluate quantitative applications of seismic attributes to map seismic facies and porosity in carbonate reservoirs.
  4. Recognize the expression of carbonates in three-dimensions, how these patterns reflect dynamic stratigraphic evolution, and how these patterns can be related to reservoir trends.
  5. Identify the variation and controls on carbonate reservoir architecture in different system tracts.
  6. Appreciate how carbonate petrophysics influences the seismic response of carbonates.
  7. Appraise the different types of carbonate platform on seismic data and assess the presence of key seismic facies.
  8. Illustrate the seismic geometries of carbonate ramps and rimmed shelves and their possible reservoir character.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. The course is aimed at geologists and geophysicists working on carbonate exploration and production projects. No prior knowledge of carbonates is assumed but participants should have some background in the geosciences.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 2 day classroom course comprising presentations, exercises and case studies. Course notes and exercise materials will be distributed to participants during the course. The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises

Virtual version: Four 3.5-hour interactive online sessions presented over four days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). Digital course notes and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course. Some exercises may be completed by participants off-line.

Course Content

Introduction to the Course

Overview of Carbonate Sediment and Depositional Systems

  • Carbonate factories
  • Skeletal and non-skeletal carbonate grains
  • Differences from siliciclastics
  • Introduce facies models ramps, rimmed shelves, isolated platforms
  • “Unique” aspects of carbonates (produced in place, diagenetically unstable, complex pores, etc)

Carbonate Sequence and Seismic Stratigraphy

  • Basic concepts and terminology: introduction to stratigraphic hierarchy, parasequences, systems tracts, sequences; similarities and differences with siliciclastics
  • Stratal terminations; major surfaces in seismic; features that look like carbonates…but are not

Exercise – defining sequences and unique aspects of carbonates

Seismic Resolution and Seismic Modeling

  • The strengths and limitations of seismic data
  • Illustrate how geometric modeling provides insights into possible pitfalls, and how to avoid them
  • Case studies: Cretaceous, Italy and Bahamas; Permian, west Texas

Exercise: Stratal terminations

Seismic Geometry of Isolated Carbonate Platforms

  • Introduce and illustrate seismic geometries, recognition of seismic sequence boundaries
  • Describe common seismic facies (sequence-based)
  • Potential impact on reservoir character and production

Exercise: Seismic expression of isolated platforms and some challenges

Carbonate Pores and Petrophysics

  • Pore types and petrophysical classes (Choquette-Pray/Lucia)
  • Diagenetic environments and products
  • Influence of cements of velocity
  • Relation between diagenesis and sequence stratigraphy (sequence boundaries, diagenetic alteration related to sequence boundaries, role of climate; spatial variability in diagenesis)
  • Understanding the seismic response of carbonates requires at least a fundamental understanding and appreciation of these principles

Exercise: Petrophysics and carbonates

Seismic Expression of Carbonate Ramps

  • Introduce and illustrate seismic geometries, recognition of seismic sequence boundaries
  • Describe common seismic facies (sequence-based)
  • Potential impact on reservoir character and production

Exercise: Seismic expression of carbonate ramps and some challenges

Seismic Expression of Carbonate Rimmed Shelves

  • Introduce and illustrate seismic geometries, recognition of seismic sequence boundaries
  • Describe common seismic facies (sequence-based)
  • Potential impact on reservoir character and production
  • Case studies: Jurassic, Atlantic margins; West Australia

Exercise: Miocene, Bahamas

Seismic Attributes

  • Define seismic attributes, their general classes, and situations in which different types of attributes are most appropriate
  • Illustrate examples of the qualitative use of seismic attributes to understand carbonate reservoir systems
  • Discuss quantitative applications of seismic attributes to map seismic facies and porosity in carbonate reservoirs
  • Highlight limitations on seismic attribute analysis

Exercise: Seismic expression of carbonates and some challenges

Seismic Geomorphology of Carbonates

  • The expression of carbonates in three-dimensions, how these patterns reflect dynamic stratigraphic evolution, and how these patterns can be related to reservoir trends
  • Time slices, horizon slices, volumetric interpretation
  • Volumetric analysis of seismic data

Exercise: Seismic expression of carbonates in three dimensions

Advanced Seismic Attributes

  • In-depth case study from the Devonian of Western Canadian Basin demonstrates the application of seismic modeling to enhance interpretation. This interpretation of high-frequency sequences is followed by seismic attribute analysis to qualitatively predict reservoir distribution and properties

Cretaceous Lacustrine Carbonate Reservoirs of the South Atlantic (G045)

Tutor(s)

Paul Wright: Independent Consultant.

Overview

This course provides a description of the highly unusual carbonate reservoirs deposited in the Santos Basin (offshore Brazil) during the rift to sag stages of Atlantic opening, and a discussion of the controversies surrounding their origin. Particular emphasis will be given to the Aptian so-called microbialite reservoirs (Barra Velha Formation and equivalents), reviewing both of the main models for their development and evaluating the seismic and sedimentological models. A practical approach to characterizing these complex rock types will be provided. The course will include an introduction to non-marine carbonate systems in extensional settings, as well as a review of the South Atlantic coquina reservoirs.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 2-day classroom course. The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Four 3-hour interactive online sessions presented over 4 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). A digital manual will be distributed to participants before the course. Some reading is to be completed by participants off-line.

The course content and details can be altered to fill 1, 2 or 3 days for in-house delivery.

Level and Audience

Advanced. Intended for technical staff and managers who are involved in exploration for or exploitation of carbonates along the margins of the South Atlantic, or are interested in furthering their understanding of carbonate reservoirs in general.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Recognize the range of carbonate systems that develop in extensional settings.
  2. Describe the highly unusual and prolific Aptian carbonate reservoirs of the Santos Basin.
  3. Contrast the models for the formation of these chemogenic rocks and discuss their differences.
  4. Evaluate the strikingly different reservoir characteristics that emerge from the two models.

Course Content

Themes to be covered are:

  • Introducing non-marine carbonate systems in extensional settings
    • the continuum from lacustrine carbonates through to hydrothermal travertines
    • microbial carbonates
  • The tectonic settings of the pre-salt lacustrine carbonates
  • The Barra Velha and its equivalents
    • facies, cyclicity, porosity formation, clay mineral diagenesis, reservoir rock characterization and rock fabric classification
    • isotopic data and its significance
  • Evaluating the seismic evidence for Barra Velha platforms
  • Age equivalent Barra Velha facies and microbialites in Brazil (onshore and offshore) and West Africa
  • Current models for the coquinas reservoirs of Brazil and West Africa

Key Concepts in Clastic Reservoir Performance (G044)

Tutor(s)

Mike Boyles: Retired Shell Oil and Affiliate Faculty, Colorado School of Mines

Overview

This course presents the concepts and terms used to describe the sedimentology, stratigraphy and structure of clastic units, and introduces the environments of deposition of clastic sediments. The awareness of these topics and their heterogeneities allows participants to understand their role in predicting reservoir performance in exploration projects, in development planning and in managing field performance.

This course presents a stand-alone overview of clastic reservoirs and would be beneficial for any subsurface team member. It also serves to provide the framework for the geologic concepts that are examined in Clastic Reservoirs Field Seminar: Stratigraphic and Structural Heterogeneities That Impact Exploration and Production Reservoir Performance (G012). Attending G044 will allow G012 participants to maximize the benefit of spending time in the field. For a more detailed approach to the subject in the classroom, consider the 5-day Introduction to Clastic Reservoirs: Stratigraphic and Structural Heterogeneities That Impact Performance (G047).

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 1-day classroom course comprising a mix of lectures (75%) and hands-on exercises (25%). The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Two 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 2 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course. Some reading and an exercise are to be completed by participants off-line.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. This is a refresher course for geoscientists and an overview of geologic basics for reservoir engineers, petrophysicists, managers and support staff.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the basic terminology of sedimentology, stratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy.
  2. Describe key characteristics of eolian, coastal plain, delta and deepwater reservoirs.
  3. Understand how subsurface reservoirs can be divided into flow units that capture key reservoir flow characteristics.
  4. Describe heterogeneities that can impact flow unit properties.
  5. Understand how sequence stratigraphic concepts are applied in a practical and predictive way.

Course Content

  1. Basic tools used in subsurface interpretation
    • Sedimentology
    • Stratigraphy
    • Sequence stratigraphy
  2. Introduction to clastic facies
    • Eolian
    • Coastal plain
    • Deltas
    • Turbidites
  3. Structural Heterogeneities

Characterization of Clastic Reservoirs: Workflows for Reservoir Evaluation (G035)

Tutor(s)

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

Overview

Reservoir mapping at production scale has to be performed with an understanding of clastic depositional systems, with full integration of core, core-plugs, well logs, seismic and production and engineering data. The variation in reservoir architecture of most common deposition-system morphotypes strongly influences development and production strategies, as well as in mapping techniques for not only the field scale but also to increase chances of finding near-field opportunities. The workshop examines common reservoir facies in transitional-marine to deep water systems, from fluvio-, wave- and tidal-dominated deltas, incised valleys, deep water channel systems and distributary channel lobe systems (deep water fans). Discussions include dimensional data of sand bodies in the different environments and recognition criteria in cores, well logs and seismic. The class will present optimized workflows for reservoir mapping, including the definition of the deliverables that need to be achieved in different business stages, focusing on when, why and how to develop them.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 3 days; a mix of lectures (55%), core observation (10%) and hands-on exercises (35%). The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Five 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 5 days (morning sessions in North America and afternoon sessions in Europe). A printed manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course and several exercises are to be completed by participants off-line.

Level and Audience

Advanced. This course is intended for geologists, geophysicists and petrophysicists with basic training in sequence stratigraphy and basic clastic facies.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Recognize different environments of deposition (EoDs) in cores, emphasizing typical facies stacking in common transitional marine and deep marine reservoirs.
  2. Classify facies and stacking in typical transitional marine to deep marine EoDs.
  3. Mechanisms for sediment transport in different EoDs and impact on reservoir rock properties.
  4. Integrate core and core plug information in reservoir analysis, tying to well log and seismic data.
  5. Recognize typical log patterns in different depositional systems.
  6. Recognize typical seismic map views and cross-sectional views of sand-rich EoDs.
  7. Apply mapping techniques for well logs and seismic with emphasis on identification of EoDs.
  8. Make pre-drill predictions based on understanding of EoDs and seismic response.
  9. Understand dimensional data for sandbodies in different EoDs
  10. Implement reservoir mapping workflows that emphasize data integration and focus on deliverables in different business stages.

Course Content

  • Classification of clastic depositional environments.
  • How to recognize different environments of deposition (EoDs) in cores, emphasizing typical facies stacking in common transitional marine and deep marine reservoirs.
  • Facies classification and stacking in typical transitional marine to deep marine EoDs.
  • Sediment transport mechanisms in different EoDs and impact in reservoir rock properties.
  • Typical log patterns in different depositional systems.
  • Typical seismic map views and cross-sectional views of sand-rich (EoDs).
  • How to properly integrate core and core plug information in reservoir analysis, tying to well log and seismic data.
  • Mapping techniques for well logs and seismic with emphasis on identification of EoDs.
  • Pre-drill prediction based on understanding of EoDs and seismic response.
  • Dimensional data for sandbodies in different EoDs.
  • Reservoir mapping workflows emphasizing data integration and main deliverables in different business stages.

Introduction to Clastic Reservoirs: Stratigraphic and Structural Heterogeneities that Impact Performance (G047)

Tutor(s)

Mike Boyles: Retired Shell Oil; Affiliate Faculty, Colorado School of Mines

Overview

This is a 5-day in-depth introduction to clastic reservoirs, with a focus on stratigraphic and structural heterogeneities that impact reservoir prediction and production. The course will benefit any subsurface team member that is concerned about how variations in the geology might impact reservoir performance. Taking this course will allow one to better interpret subsurface data sets and outcrop exposures, resulting in a better understanding of the impact of stratigraphic and structural heterogeneities on reservoir performance.

It is recommended that you take this class before taking Clastic Reservoirs Field Seminar: Stratigraphic and Structural Heterogeneities that Impact Reservoir Performance (G012) in order to make better outcrop observations and understand the terminology used in field discussions. This will maximize the benefit of time spent in the field for G012 participants.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 5 days; a mix of lectures (75%) and hands-on exercises (25%). The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Five 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 5 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course. Some reading and several exercises are to be completed by participants off-line.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. It is a background course for subsurface team members to teach geologic basics that are often missed when predicting/understanding reservoirs. These basics can be applied to better predict reservoir performance for estimating reservoir productivity in exploration projects. It also allows for better field development planning and provides understanding of conformance issues within an existing field.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand detailed facies analysis within deposits of wave dominated deltas, fluvial dominated deltas, fluvial systems, tidal/estuarine, eolian and turbidites.
  2. Recognize key facies in cores and logs.
  3. Use depositional models to make better reservoir geometry predictions.
  4. Divide subsurface reservoirs into flow units that capture key reservoir flow characteristics and heterogeneities at a variety of reservoir model scales.
  5. Communicate and discuss flow unit properties with subsurface team disciplines.
  6. Use key sequence stratigraphic concepts in a practical and predictive way.

Course Content

The seminar emphasizes:

  • Basic tools used in subsurface interpretation
    • Sedimentology
    • Stratigraphy
    • Sequence stratigraphy
  • An overview of facies associated with:
    • Fluvial and wave dominated deltas
    • Fluvial systems
    • Eolian deposits
    • Tidally influenced shoreline deposits
    • Turbidites
    • Lacustrine
    • Incised valley fill
  • Sequence stratigraphic concepts including:
    • Sequences and parasequences
    • Sequence boundaries
    • Flooding surfaces and transgressive surfaces of erosion
  • Structural heterogeneities:
    • Fractures, deformation bands and fault seal

Modern and Ancient Tide- and Wave-influenced Depositional Systems: Subsurface Uncertainties in Shallow Marine Reservoirs, Southeast England, UK (G070)

Tutor(s)

Howard Johnson: Shell Professor of Petroleum Geology, Head of the Petroleum Geoscience and Engineering Section, and Director of Petroleum Geoscience, Imperial College London

Overview

Tide- and wave-influenced marginal marine hydrocarbon reservoirs offer a range of subsurface interpretation and development challenges. This course will use both modern and ancient systems to analyze the architecture, internal characteristics, distribution and reservoir quality of a variety of sand-dominated deposits. Modern deposits of the North Norfolk coastline will be used to explore the range of depositional processes operating and the resultant spatial distribution and internal attributes of potential reservoir units. These will be compared with Lower Cretaceous outcrops preserving a range of tidal-influenced and marine embayment deposits. Focus will be placed on the key development challenges in these marginal marine clastic systems.

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day field course comprising a mix of fieldwork, classroom lectures and practical sessions. Classroom learning and field observations will be supported and reinforced by exercise work. The course will be based in Hunstanton with easy access to the coastal field area. Transport will be by coach.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. The course is intended for geologists and reservoir engineers with a knowledge of petroleum geoscience who are working on marginal marine reservoir systems, particularly those preserving evidence of tidal influence.

Exertion Level

This field course requires an EASY exertion level. The first field day is in a quarry at Leighton Buzzard and involves a walk of about 2km (1.25 miles) to the main quarry face. The remaining field locations on the Norfolk coast are accessed by walks of less than 3.5km (2 miles) along flat sandy beaches and tidal channels that may be muddy and slippery in parts.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Interpret the depositional processes and environments that occur in fluvial-, tide- and wave-influenced clastic coastal depositional systems and relate these to the recognition of their ancient equivalents.
  2. Relate individual modern environmental systems to the larger regional-scale, including modern and ancient marine embayment and coastal barrier systems.
  3. Consider the range of geological controls on the reservoir architecture of clastic coastal deposits and relate this understanding to prediction of reservoir sand presence, geometry and rock properties.
  4. Analyze shallow marine sands in outcrop, with particular focus on internal heterogeneity, including potential permeability barriers and baffles.
  5. Assess the broader scale outcrop setting, in terms of the basinal depositional framework and use this understanding to inform prediction of reservoir distribution.
  6. Place clastic coastal depositional systems into their sequence stratigraphic significance, including addressing reservoir occurrence in transgressive and regressive settings.
  7. Use the modern and ancient examples discussed in the classroom and observed in the field to consider implications for exploration and development, particularly with regards to the subsurface reservoirs of the North Sea.

Course Content

Shallow marine systems are influenced by waves, tides or rivers. The course will examine shoreline and shelf systems from basic sedimentology through to specific petroleum issues. Data from modern depositional settings, surface outcrop exposures and subsurface data will be combined to develop an in-depth introduction to the petroleum potential of these depositional systems.

Tidal reservoirs can include good-quality sandstones, but often preserve a significant component of heterolithic (mud / sand) facies at a range of scales. These present challenges predominantly with respect to reservoir modelling and the associated permeability of heterolithic facies / bud-sand alternations in relation to fluid content. Exploration in frontier or mature provinces can target potential sites for tidal sand bodies by integrating an understanding of the regional tidal regime with locations where sand supply enters the basin margin. Working within a depositional and stratigraphic framework to define the context of tidal deposits and the scale and orientation of the potential reservoir units is a strategy that will be explored in this course.

The course will be framed around three themes:

1. Lower Cretaceous tide-dominated estuarine and marine embayment facies (Lower Greensand Group) at Leighton Buzzard
The Lower Cretaceous Woburn Sands is interpreted as a tide-dominated sandy system deposited in a transgressive incised-valley or tidal seaway. Quarries around Leighton Buzzard preserve a variety of tide-dominated faces and, more recently, have been interpreted as representing a change from a narrow estuary setting to a broad marine embayment. NW Europe experienced sea-level rise during the Lower Cretaceous, resulting in widening of the ocean connection and, when combined with local paleogeographic influences, led to tidal dominance in southern England. The course will visit one of the quarries to view the outcrop and enable comparison with the modern depositional system.

2. Modern sedimentology of a wave-dominated, prograding and accreting coastal barrier system of the North Norfolk coast
The modern depositional system of the North Norfolk coast is characterized by a westward prograding and accreting barrier system. The low-gradient shore profile forms a classic barrier coastline with barrier islands and intertidal sandflats backed by dunes, salt marshes and inter-tidal channels. Locally ebb tidal deltas form at the mouth of larger tidal channels. Onshore wave action from the northeast and longshore wave action supply sediment from the east. The course will explore this system with field visits to explore modern sedimentology.

3. Modern sedimentology of a tide-dominated marine embayment (The Wash)
The tide-dominated Holocene Wash embayment is a macrotidal, coastal embayment facing out into the North Sea. It evolved in the early Holocene, during transgression, from an estuarine valley into a broad, tide-dominated marine embayment. It receives little sediment input from the local rivers and is dominated by local marine sediment supply sources from waves and tides. A variety of depositional bodies and facies preserved in The Wash will be discussed during the course.

Itinerary

Day 1
Morning arrival in London.

  • Afternoon course introduction: course aims and objectives, clastic coastal-shelf depositional systems lecture and safety briefing

Overnight in London.

Day 2
Field visits: Munday’s Hill Quarry, Lower Cretaceous Greensand Group

  • Field visits during the day
  • Evening classroom lecture – geological controls on clastic coastal-shelf depositional systems: internal / auto-cyclic factors (processes, environments, etc.); external / allocyclic factors (RSL, tectonics, eustasy, hinterland, etc.); concepts and applications to E&P

Overnight in Hunstanton.

Day 3
Field visit: Wells-next-the-Sea

  • (AM/PM depending on tides) Wells-next-the-Sea, channel and beach – observation of sand bodies, small-scale sedimentary structures and geometries
  • Classroom lecture / practical session: reservoir characterization and 3-D reservoir geological models; modern and ancient (outcrop) analogues; static vs dynamic models; heterogeneity type, scale and significance

Overnight in Hunstanton.

Day 4
Field visit: Stiffkey

  • (AM/PM depending on tides) Stiffkey – walk across salt marsh to observe sedimentary changes
  • Classroom lecture / practical session: Holocene deposystems of the North Sea (Humber, Wash, Thames, Meuse, Rhine Estuary, Rhine Delta, Elbe/Weisser); large-scale context of the Wash / North Norfolk area

Overnight in Hunstanton.

Day 5
Field visit: Brancaster

  • Classroom lecture / practical session: synthesis of learnings
  • Brancaster: shoreface, ‘old mud’ – evidence of pre-existing coastal plain and tidal channel, coastal plain / salt marsh interface

Return to London.

Geology for Non-geologists (G088)

Tutor(s)

Jonathan Evans: Energy Transition Advisor, GeoLogica Ltd

Overview

The aim of this course is to provide an overview of the fundamental geological topics relevant to the modern energy industry. Focus will be placed on petroleum geoscience and the basics of petroleum exploration, but the course will also cover geothermal systems, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen energy.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom: A 2-day course comprising a mix of lectures, case studies and exercises. The manual will be provided in digital format and participants will be required to bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises.

Virtual version: Four 3.5-hour interactive online sessions presented over 4 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). Digital course notes and exercises will be distributed to participants before the course.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. The course is largely aimed at non-geologists who are interested in knowing more about the fundamentals of geology and how these relate to the modern energy industry.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Describe the fundamental principles of geology, including different rock types, geological time and stratigraphy.
  2. Understand the basics of petroleum geoscience, including the formation of oil and gas.
  3. Review the different types of reservoir rocks and their properties, including porosity and permeability.
  4. Recognize how we search for oil and gas, including using seismic and other data.
  5. Understand how we drill for oil and gas and how we acquire information from wells, such as log and core data.
  6. Recognize what technical staff in companies do and how they work together.
  7. Describe the basic principles of carbon capture and storage and how it is being adopted worldwide as a climate change mitigation tool.
  8. Understand the basics of geothermal energy, what it is and how it can be used.
  9. Appreciate how hydrogen energy can be used and stored underground.

Course Content

The course is divided into four sections:

Section 1: The principles of geology and the subsurface

Geological principles:

  • Structure of the Earth
  • Plate tectonics
  • Rock types
  • Geological time
  • Stratigraphy

Energy industry structure:

  • Global distribution of reserves and production (oil and gas)
  • Industry players and stakeholders (States, NOCs, IOCs, Independents etc.)
  • Oil and gas value chains (define upstream, downstream, trading etc.)
  • How companies create value for resource owners (states) and investors
  • Energy statistics, trends and future challenges
  • Climate change and potential mitigations

Section 2: Oil and gas basics

The value chain:

  • Exploration
  • Appraisal
  • Development
  • Production
  • Abandonment

Petroleum systems:

  • Source rocks – formation, maturation and migration
  • Reservoirs
  • Seals
  • Traps

Imaging the subsurface:

  • Satellite and airborne data
  • Seismic – 2-D and 3-D
  • Well logs and core
  • Analogues – outcrop studies, other oil/gas fields

Section 3: Drilling holes and getting hydrocarbons out

Overview of the drilling process:

  • Drill bits, drill pipe, running casing and cementing

Types of wells:

  • Vertical, horizontal and multilateral
  • Exploration, appraisal, production and injection

Rig types:

  • Land, barge, jack-up, semi-sub and drillship

Section 4: The future energy mix

Geothermal energy:

  • How is this different to oil and gas?
  • How do we extract heat from the subsurface?

Carbon capture and storage:

  • Capturing carbon dioxide
  • Storing carbon dioxide
  • Monitoring the subsurface reservoir

Hydrogen energy:

  • Producing hydrogen
  • Uses
  • Storing it underground

Other geological roles in energy:

  • Geonuclear – waste disposal
  • Critical minerals for the energy transition