World-class training for the modern energy industry

Geomechanics for Unconventional Developments (G051)

Tutor(s)

Marisela Sanchez-Nagel and/or Neal Nagel: OilField Geomechanics LLC

Overview

The course starts with an introduction to geomechanics fundamentals and then aspects relevant to unconventionals are developed, especially as they relate to the effect of fabric and heterogeneity. “Common knowledge” is challenged and popular procedures are presented in the light of geomechanics fundamentals and concepts. Recent topics such as cube developments and frac hits are discussed. This is an in-depth but engaging training course.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: 3 days; a mix of lectures (80%) and hands-on exercises and/or examples (20%). 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, afternoon sessions in Europe). A digital manual and exercise materials will be distributed to participants before the course.

Interactive questioning and possibly breakout sessions will be utilized to reinforce learnings.

Level and Audience

Advanced. Intended for geoscientists, reservoir and completion engineers and petrophysicists who wish to understand how geomechanics can help them effectively develop their reservoirs.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of geomechanics including stress and strain, pore pressure evaluation, mechanical rock behavior and geomechanical models.
  2. Gain an understanding of conventional fracturing models in unconventional developments and the associated workflow.
  3. Describe the properties of naturally fractured reservoirs including their influence on drilling, stimulation and production.
  4. Perform reservoir quality evaluations including the assessment of poroperm, natural fractures, pressures and mechanical properties as quality indicators.
  5. Characterize shale properties including shale types, brittle versus ductile behavior and geological scenarios for completions.
  6. Assess the influence of the stress field and in-situ pore pressure on hydraulic fracture behavior.
  7. Assess the microseismic response with anisotropic stresses and the use of numerical models for interpretation and characterization.
  8. Characterize the effects of multiple well completions in a fractured rock mass.
  9. Assess the types of hydraulic fracture monitoring including microseismic monitoring.

Course Content

Part 1: Geomechanics Fundamentals
Module 0. Introduction to Unconventional Geomechanics

  • A few words about Oilfield Geomechanics
  • What is geomechanics? Definitions, history, relevance

Modules 1 – 2. Principles of stress and strain with field stress measurements

  • Basic of stress-strain and Mohr circles – applications to natural fractures
  • Effective stress concepts, role of pore pressure
  • Field stress variations, structural effects
  • Stresses around boreholes
  • Stress determination

Module 3. Pore pressure evaluation

  • Basic concepts and causes of overpressure
  • Pore pressure analyses – Eaton, Bowers’, NCT, effective stress methods
  • Analysis workflow
  • Challenges in Unconventional, field examples

Modules 4 – 5. Mechanical rock behavior

  • Mechanical properties, elasticity, plasticity, poroelasticity, viscoelasticity
  • Failure in rocks, failure criteria
  • Influence of faults and fracture, anisotropy
  • Laboratory testing, measurements, interpretation
  • Use of logs for mechanical properties, calibration, correlations

Module 6. Geomechanical modeling and workflows

  • Concepts and tools
  • 1D, 2D and 3D models; when and where appropriate
  • Geomechanics workflows in Unconventionals

Part 2: Geomechanics for Unconventional Developments

Modules 7-8. Hydraulic fracturing fundamentals

  • Basic, objectives, parameters
  • Frac containment, net pressure
  • Injection testing, DFITs
  • Horizontal wells and perforating
  • Proppants – 100 mesh and proppant transport
  • Fracturing fluids
  • Role of natural fractures
  • Injection zone selection effects

Module 9. Stress Shadows for single frac, multi-stage and multi-well

  • Mechanics of stress shadows
  • Effect on multi stages and clusters
  • Multi-well stress shadows
  • Tip shear stresses, Modeling examples Module

10. Rock fabric characterization

  • Description and quantification of rock fabric attributes – cores
  • Mechanical behavior, hydraulic behavior, testing in unconventionals
  • Stresses – critically stress fractures and hydraulic conductivity
  • Geometry and spatial occurrence, DFN models
  • Examples of evaluation in unconventional plays

Module 11. Shale geomechanics

  • Unconventional shale plays – shale types – challenges, critical issues
  • Geological scenarios for completions
  • Geomechanics of interfaces – HF interaction with interfaces, effect of fracture toughness
  • Shale properties static and dynamics examples from different plays – elastic parameters, time dependency, frictional properties
  • Myths to debunk – brittleness, complexity, SRV and microseismic, sand volume per lateral length

Module 12. Hydraulic fractures (HFs) and natural fractures (NFs) with operational effects

  • HFs propagation with NFs – effect of NF orientation
  • Dual HF propagating in a fractured media
  • Pressure Diffusion – coupled effects – stimulation benefits
  • Interaction HF – NF – crossing rules
  • Influence of NF characteristics – Dense vs sparse DFN, stress anisotropy, NF connectivity, parametric studies, with modeling examples
  • Influence of operational parameters, effects of fluid viscosity, injection rates – injection time
  • Influence of the stress field and in-situ pore pressure on HF behavior
  • Microseismicity response with anisotropic stresses – dry and wet MS events. Effect of initial aperture of the NFs

Module 13. Depletion effects and refracs

  • Depletion effects on HFs, depletion and in situ stresses
  • Parent -child evaluations, cluster efficiency, drainage volume
  • Frac hits (fracture Driven Interactions -FDIs) – types
  • Microseismic depletion delineation, cube evaluations

Module 14. Multi-well completions

  • Zipper fracs, stress perturbations, induced shear around zipper fracs
  • Interaction of HFs, overlapping HFs, models
  • Zipper fracs stress shadows
  • Effect of multiple well completions in fractured rock mass – sheared fabric – friction angle effect, geometry of zipper fracs. Effect on fabric stimulation
  • Sheared length, pressure diffusion

Module 15. HF monitoring and models (extra session as time permits)

Temperature logs, strengths and weaknesses, procedures. Effect of wellbore and completion
RA logging procedures, strength and weaknesses, tracer applications
Microseismic monitoring – MS as a geomechanics issue. Events, field data, MS imaging, passive seismology, triggered or induced seismicity, array design, surface vs downhole, source mechanisms, SRV from MS and drainage volume
Tiltmeters- direct fracture monitoring, measurements, patterns, cases
DAS/DTS basics, production estimations, cluster efficiency, integrated analysis
HF Models – advanced models fundamentals, input data, 2D models, pseudo (planar) 3D, Cell/Grid based models lumped pseudo 3D, Fully 3D, HF reservoir simulator

Applied Concepts in Fractured Reservoirs with Discussions on Production, EOR, CO2 Sequestration and Geothermal Energy (G039)

Tutor(s)

John Lorenz and Scott Cooper: FractureStudies LLC

Overview

This course explores the wide range of structures that fall under the term ‘fracture’ and examines the effects of different fracture types on permeability in conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, and for EOR, CO2 sequestration and geothermal energy applications. The course establishes an understanding of natural fractures by explaining fracture mechanics and the origins of fractures, and then presents practical approaches to analyzing and working with fractures. Topics will include: collecting fracture data; measuring fracture attributes; differentiating natural from induced fractures; calibrating fracture data (from core, CT scans, outcrops, image logs and seismic); and determining in situ stresses. The course also describes how to predict fracture types in different structural domains and in different types of reservoirs, how the differences between extension and shear fractures control both individual fracture permeability and fracture network interconnectedness, and how to assess the interaction between natural and hydraulic stimulation fractures. Discussions of the applications to CO2 sequestration, geothermal energy, hydrocarbon reservoirs and enhanced recovery are included.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 3-day classroom course comprising a mix of lectures (80%) and hands-on exercises (20%). The manual will be provided in digital format and participants should bring a laptop or tablet computer to follow the lectures and exercises. A highlight of the classroom version is the inclusion of a hands-on, 65-plus piece teaching collection of natural and induced fractures in core.

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 exercises are to be completed by participants off-line.

Level and Audience

Advanced. Intended for geoscientists, reservoir and completion engineers, and petrophysicists, who wish to characterize and understand fracture systems and their effects on reservoir permeability and fluid flow. The class includes assessing how fracture permeability is affected by the in-situ stress system, and the interaction of natural fractures with hydraulic stimulation fractures.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Appreciate how different fracture types have different effects on reservoir permeability and fluid flow.
  2. Assess how fracture types can vary by lithology within the same structural setting.
  3. Establish how fracture types can vary by structural setting within the same lithology.
  4. Assess fracture permeability and how it can be sensitive to changes in the in-situ stress during production and injection.
  5. Recognize fracture type using the small sampling of a reservoir offered by core and how this can provide a conceptual model for differentiating radial from anisotropic drainage, or flow away from the well during injection.
  6. Appreciate the interaction of natural fractures with hydraulic stimulation fractures as utilized in hydrocarbon, sequestration and geothermal industries, depending on fracture type and orientation relative to the in-situ stresses.
  7. Use insights into fracture mechanics and the origins of fractures, and gain an understanding of natural fractures and their potential effects on fluid flow.

Course Content

Part 1: Understanding natural fractures – types, dimensions and origins

  • Nomenclature and fracture classification systems
  • Fracture characteristics and dimensions – individual fractures, fracture populations and fracture systems
  • Identifying natural fracture types
  • The geologic origin of stress systems capable of fracturing rock
  • The mechanics of fracturing rock in extension and shear
  • The essential importance of pore pressure in fracture mechanics
  • Correlating laboratory and outcrop fracture observations to theoretical fracture mechanics
  • Mechanical stratigraphy: fracturing in carbonates vs sandstones vs shales
  • Fractures related to faults and anticlines: the characteristics of fracture corridors and sweet spots
  • Additional fracture types

Part 2: Measuring and analyzing natural fractures

  • Planning a fracture study: getting the most out of fracture measurements
  • Fracture data sources: core, CT scans, outcrops, image logs and seismic data
  • Fracture data from engineering tests
  • Techniques, methodologies and work flows
  • Coring and core processing protocols
  • Logging core for optimum fracture characterization
  • Distinguishing natural from drilling-induced fractures
  • Analyzing fracture data for use in fluid-flow models
  • Case studies: estimating fracture effectiveness from core data

Part 3: The effects of natural fractures

  • Fractured-reservoir classification
  • Effects of fractures on drilling and coring
  • Fracture volumetrics
  • Case studies: the Midale Field, the Rulison Field and the Spraberry Formation
  • The permeability behavior of individual fractures
  • The permeability and flow behavior of fracture systems
  • The sensitivity of individual fractures and fracture-system permeability to changing stresses during production and injection
  • The effects of fault and fracture-controlled sweet spots and barriers
  • Completions: the interaction between natural and hydraulic fractures

Applied Structural Geology for E&P (G009)

Tutor(s)

W. Lansing Taylor: Independent Consultant

Overview

Structural geology is a fundamental discipline of the earth sciences with direct application for geoscientists and reservoir engineers involved in conventional and unconventional oil and gas exploration and development. This course provides knowledge and workflows for two common processes:

  1. The interpretation of structural features from seismic images to identify traps in hydrocarbon-bearing basins.
  2. The geomechanical characterization of unconventional reservoirs to optimize hydraulic fracture operations.

Structural geology is about the physical processes that deform rocks producing faults, fractures, folds, unconformities, growth strata and local diagenetic phenomena. At the seismic scale, the geometric arrangement of these structural features produces the characteristic forms of hydrocarbon traps. At the reservoir scale, the presence of structural features strongly impacts reservoir quality and connectivity.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 5-day classroom course comprising a mix of lectures (70%) and exercises (30%). 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. Multiple choice quizzes will be utilized to reinforce learnings.

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. Multiple choice quizzes will be utilized to reinforce learnings.

 

Level and Audience

Fundamental. This course is intended for geologists and geophysicists engaged in the interpretation of faults, folds, natural fractures, unconformities and tectono-stratigraphic packages from seismic. Engineers and managers will benefit from an awareness of the topics discussed. Participants are expected to have a basic understanding of geologic process and materials but do not require any specific background in structural geology.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Interpret the geometry of faults, folds and unconformities from 2-D and 3-D seismic images in a geometrically defensible manner consistent with the tectonic setting.
  2. Identify stratigraphic packages that pre-date, are synchronous with, or post-date a given deformation event and use that knowledge to make more robust stratigraphic correlations and better predict the spatial distribution of facies.
  3. Understand the interplay of lithology, geomechanics and natural discontinuities in determining the quality of an unconventional resource.
  4. Identify when and how to apply built-in curvature, dislocation analysis and discrete fracture network model now available in most seismic interpretation software.

Course Content

The subject of structural geology can be subdivided into two broad categories: structural styles and structural methods.

Structural styles – the characteristic geometry of hydrocarbon traps formed in different tectonic environments. This course utilizes seismic images, outcrop examples and numerical and analog models to illustrate characteristic trap geometries formed during extension, gravity collapse, thin-skin and thick-skin contraction, inversion, strike-slip and in salt-involved systems.

Structural methods – the current toolbox available for enhancing interpretation and for predicting features that are sub-seismic in scale. This portion of the course includes discussion of geomechanics, natural fractures, the use of discrete fracture network (DFN) models, curvature analysis and the evolving field of dislocation analysis. These tools are most frequently applied as elements of reservoir characterization in unconventional systems.

Tectonics and petroleum systems

  • Structural styles and methods as applied to petroleum geology
  • The Wilson Cycle and the formation of sedimentary basins
  • Tectonic setting of hydrocarbons in the US

Structural interpretation of seismic images

  • Key concept: tectonic stratigraphy
  • Understanding progressive unconformities
  • Fault plane reflectors, auto-picking and ant tracking
  • Common seismic artifacts: velocity issues and prismatic reflectors

Exercise: Seismic interpretation of tectonic stratigraphy

Geometric characterization of faults in 3-D

  • Fault planes, tip lines and slip distribution
  • Fault-related folding
  • Fault linkage structures (relay ramps)
  • Fault patterns in map view

Exercise: Construct paper relay ramp model

Traps in Extensional Settings

  • Rifting and planar rotational faults
  • Passive margins, gravity collapse and listric faults
  • Extensional traps in foreland basins

Extensional traps in strike slip
Exercise: Post-rift thermal subsidence model

Traps in contractional settings

  • Dynamics of fold and thrust belts
  • Detachment, fault-propagation and fault-bend folding
  • Basement-rooted uplifts
  • Contractional traps in foreland basins (inversion)
  • Contractional traps in strike slip

Exercise: Depth to detachment construction

Salt-bearing systems

  • Models of salt deformation: passive, active and reactive
  • Pillows and diapirs
  • Extrusion, salt sheets and mini-basins
  • Impact of salt on heat flow and maturation

Geomechanics for unconventionals

  • Controls on unconventional production: TOC and maturation
  • Understanding brittleness and fracability
  • Displacement, strain and stress
  • Rheology (elastic, poro-elastic, plastic and viscous)
  • Determination of in situ stress and pore pressure

Hydraulic fractures

  • Review of operations: stages, clusters and pumping pressure
  • Fracture monitoring (surface tilt-meter, micro-seismic and fiber)
  • Failure and propagation criteria
  • Mechanical stratigraphy and fracture height
  • Fracture complexity: length, aperture and flow back

Natural fractures

  • Geometry and hydraulic properties of natural fractures
  • Predictive model: curvature analysis
  • Predictive model: dislocation analysis

Exercise: Curvature analysis

Discrete fracture network models

  • Data characterization: image logs and core
  • Controlling elements map
  • Upscaling and reservoir simulation
  • Interaction of natural fractures with hydraulic fractures

Progressive Deformation in the Arbuckle and Wichita Mountains: Implications for Mid-Continent and Resource Plays – A Field Seminar (G083)

Tutor(s)

Kevin J. Smart, David A. Ferrill, Adam J. Cawood: Southwest Research Institute

Overview

This field seminar will explore natural deformation in Paleozoic rocks in and around the Wichita and Arbuckle uplifts in southern Oklahoma. Investigating mechanical stratigraphy and the regional tectonic setting provides the context for understanding deformation features, such as joints, shear fractures, folds, faults and stylolites. Outcrop observations will be tied to the deformation conditions under which they developed, and related to the subsurface (cores, logs and stress data), to illustrate the critical importance of understanding deformation in the subsurface, including both pre-existing natural deformation and as analogs for deformation produced by induced hydraulic fracturing.

Duration and Logistics

A 4-day field course, comprising a mix of field exercises (85%) and classroom work (15%). The course will start in Lawton, Oklahoma, and end near Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Level and Audience

Advanced. The course is aimed at geoscientists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers and production engineers working in mechanically layered, deformed rocks in Oklahoma or other relatively gently deformed sedimentary foreland basins. It will be of particular interest to any geoscientists, petrophysicists and engineers working in unconventional reservoirs, including those in the Anadarko Basin.

Exertion Level

This course requires a LOW exertion level. Fieldwork is in southern Oklahoma, where the climate can be variable according to the season. Transportation is by SUVs. Most driving is on black-top roads, and most outcrops are adjacent to roads or within inactive quarries with uneven ground, where long strenuous hikes are not needed to access the exposures.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Identify small-scale deformation features that are common in the SCOOP/STACK plays of the Anadarko basin and other unconventional reservoirs.
  2. Interpret stress conditions and stress evolution from small-scale deformation features.
  3. Characterize mechanical stratigraphy based on lithostratigraphy and rock strength information.
  4. Relate deformation style to tectonic setting of southern Oklahoma.
  5. Assess the role of mechanical stratigraphy, stress conditions and pre-existing deformation features on rock behavior, including fracture prediction in unconventional and conventional reservoirs.
  6. Consider, in general terms, the behavior of lithological units under different well completion strategies.
  7. Evaluate geomechanical issues for common petroleum and unconventional resource applications such as well design, borehole stability and hydraulic fracturing.

Course Content

The course will be primarily field-based with some initial classroom time. The course will explore outcrops in the Wichita and Arbuckle uplifts, and discuss relevance to deformation in and around the Anadarko Basin. The variety of rock types and the locations along the southwestern edge of the Anadarko Basin provide examples of the major tectonic influences and rock deformation responses, including progressive deformation that can inform interpretations of the subsurface hydrocarbon plays.

Draft Itinerary

Day 0

  • Travel to Lawton, Oklahoma.
  • Welcome lecture and safety brief.

Day 1

Field visit: Wichita Mountains

  • Introductory lectures covering basic concepts of faulting, fracturing and mechanical stratigraphy, and regional tectonic setting
  • Field trip to outcrops in and around the Wichita Mountains
  • Return to Lawton, Oklahoma

Day 2

Field visit: Slick Hills

  • Field trip to outcrops in the Slick Hills
  • Continue to Ardmore, Oklahoma

Day 3

Field visit: Arbuckle Mountains

  • Field trip to outcrops of Paleozoic strata in and around the Arbuckle Mountains, including Arbuckle anticline transect
  • Return to Ardmore, Oklahoma

Day 4

Field visit: Arbuckle Mountains

  • Field trip to outcrops of Paleozoic strata in and around the Arbuckle Mountains – explore 3-dimensionality of deformation, stress history and progressive deformation
  • Course wrap-up and departure

Salt Tectonics of the Gulf of Mexico (G092)

Tutor(s)

Mark G. Rowan: President, Rowan Consulting, Inc.

Overview

The objective of this 3-day course is to provide geoscientists with a detailed explanation of those aspects of salt tectonics applicable to the northern and southern Gulf of Mexico (GoM) salt basins. It consists primarily of lectures, with examples from the GoM and other basins, that are supplemented by practical exercises. The emphasis is on fundamental mechanics and processes, structural geometries and evolution, salt-sediment interaction and the implications for hydrocarbon exploration and production.

Duration and Logistics

A 3-day in-person classroom course, comprising a mix of lectures (75%) and seismic 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.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. The course is intended for geoscientists working the Gulf of Mexico and is also applicable to salt basins around the world.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the implications of layered-evaporite sequences for velocity-model building and seismic interpretation.
  2. Describe how halite differs from other lithologies and how that impacts deformation in salt basins.
  3. Characterize the ways in which extension, contraction and differential loading trigger salt flow and diapir initiation / growth.
  4. Interpret typical salt and stratal geometries associated with salt evacuation and diapirism.
  5. Predict how drape folding around passive diapirs impacts stratal geometries, faulting and reservoir distribution in diapir-flank traps.
  6. Understand why and how allochthonous salt forms and how salt sheets / canopies evolve.
  7. Assess the effects of salt on various aspects of the petroleum system, including trap formation, reservoir presence, hydrocarbon maturation and migration and seal.

Course Content

This course will focus on the structural geology of salt basins, the geological interpretation of seismic data and the interactions between salt and surrounding strata. Each day’s lectures will be supplemented by appropriate seismic-based exercises using 2-D and 3-D seismic data.

Salt basins

  • Layered evaporite sequences
  • Tectonic settings

Fundamentals of salt tectonics

  • Mechanics of halite and other evaporites
  • Drives and processes of gravitational failure of divergent margins
  • Definitions

Extensional salt tectonics

  • Thin-skinned extension and diapir initiation
  • Diapir reactivation
  • Thick-skinned extension

Translational salt tectonics

Contractional salt tectonics

  • Thin-skinned shortening
  • Diapir initiation and rejuvenation

Strike-slip salt tectonics

Vertical salt tectonics

  • Passive diapirism
  • Salt movement triggered by differential loading
  • Turtle structures and expulsion-rollover structures
  • Near-diapir folding and faulting
  • Dissolution

Allochthonous salt tectonics

  • Salt sheet initiation and advance
  • Styles and evolution of sheets and canopies

Implication for the petroleum system

  • Trap formation and timing
  • Reservoir distribution and facies
  • Hydrocarbon maturation and migration
  • Salt and weld seal

Trap and Seal Analysis: Theory and Application (G090)

Tutor(s)

Russell K. Davies: Redlands Fault Geological Consulting LLC

Overview

This course introduces the concepts and methods in trap and seal analysis, particularly in relation to fault characterization, including fault mapping and fault seal, as applied to cross-fault flow resistance in traps for hydrocarbons and/or CO2. In addition, the concepts of caprock analysis are introduced for an integrated trap and seal analysis in subsurface reservoirs. The lectures introduce fundamentals and advanced concepts for faulting and flow for the prediction of fault behavior in subsurface traps and the concepts discussed are applied in simple exercises to reinforce learning.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 4-day classroom course, comprising a mix of lectures (65%) 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 five 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.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. The course is intended for geoscientists (geologists and geophysicists) and petroleum engineers, so they can apply these principles in their subsurface projects.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Analyze fault geometries and architecture, apply this knowledge to make robust fault interpretations.
  2. Assess fault rock types and properties and likely impacts on fluid flow across and along faults.
  3. Conduct juxtaposition seal analysis and employ triangle diagrams.
  4. Apply algorithms, such as SGR and CSF, for predicting clay contents across faults.
  5. Assess the relationship between threshold pressure and fault seal capacity against the clay content predicted across fault surfaces.
  6. Characterize faults as potential migration and leakage pathways.
  7. Evaluate the geomechanical and capillary properties of top seal units.

Course Content

The course is divided into ten topics:

  1. Introduction to fault mapping and trap and seal characterization
  2. Fault geometry mapping and fault zone architecture
    • Introduction to fundamental characteristics of fault geometry, fault linkage and fault throw distribution, and development of fault zones and fault rock
    • Interpretation techniques and pitfalls
  3. Fault Rock Properties
    • Different fault rock types are discussed with examples showing differences in mechanical and chemical deformation that may impact fluid flow
    • Description and deformation mechanisms
    • Flow properties of faults
      • permeability, porosity and threshold pressure
  4. Flow Basics
    • A theoretical interlude to introduce the basic concepts on flow through porous media, including capillary and permeability controls
    • Permeability and Darcy’s Law
    • Capillarity threshold pressure
      • wettability
      • interfacial tension
    • Relative permeability
  5. Fault Mapping
    • Juxtaposition seal
    • Fault rock seal
      • Shale Gouge Ratio (SGR)
      • Clay Smear Factor (CSF)
      • Effective Shale Gouge Ratio (ESGR)
    • Relationship between threshold pressure, permeability and clay content
    • Relationship between threshold pressure and sealing capacity of faults
  6. Triangle Diagrams
    • A quick and efficient method to evaluate the sealing capacity of faults based on modeled stratigraphy from well logs or derived from the expected depositional setting
    • Evaluating the clay distributions related to threshold pressure and permeability provides the information for the seal risk of faults
  7. Faults in simulation
    • Review and methods of fault rock properties in reservoir flow simulation
  8. Geomechanics as applied to up-fault flow risks
    • Faults as migration routes and paths
    • Fault reactivation and along fault flow risks
  9. Fundamentals of top seal (caprock) analysis
    • Mechanical and capillary controls
  10. Validation, Risk and Uncertainty
    • A discussion of validating the fault seal from available behavior and discussion of associated risks and uncertainty

Customization

The course can be adjusted for a CO2 focus. It can also be modified to include an additional day for the participants to learn the basic functionality of the Structural and Fault Analysis Module in Petrel. This option will require licenses of Petrel and the Structural and Fault Analysis Module from SLB. An additional day could also be included as a workshop for the client to bring in proprietary data and trap and seal issues to discuss potential solutions.

Salt Tectonics – From Concepts to Application (G020)

Tutor(s)

Mark G. Rowan: President, Rowan Consulting, Inc.

Overview

This course covers all aspects of global salt tectonics. It discusses the origin and nature of evaporite basins and provides instruction on the essential elements of salt mechanics, diapirism, salt-related structural styles and salt-sediment interaction. Covered material ranges from fundamental concepts and practical application, to the influence of salt on petroleum systems. Lectures are complemented by exercises interpreting a variety of seismic data, illustrating characteristic structural styles and evolutionary development of salt basins.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 4-day classroom course comprising a mix of lectures (75%) and seismic 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: Eight 3-hour interactive online sessions presented over 8 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

Advanced. The course is intended for geoscientists who wish to strengthen their skills in evaluating salt basins around the world.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the implications of layered-evaporite sequences for velocity-model building and seismic interpretation.
  2. Describe how halite differs from other lithologies and how that impacts deformation in salt basins.
  3. Characterize the ways in which extension, contraction and differential loading trigger salt flow and diapir initiation / growth.
  4. Evaluate how salt impacts deformation in different tectonic environments, including rift basins, divergent margins and convergent-margin fold-and-thrust belts.
  5. Interpret typical salt and stratal geometries associated with salt evacuation and diapirism.
  6. Predict how drape folding around passive diapirs impacts stratal geometries, faulting and reservoir distribution in diapir-flank traps.
  7. Understand why and how allochthonous salt forms and how salt sheets / canopies evolve.
  8. Assess the effects of salt on various aspects of the petroleum system, including trap formation, reservoir presence and quality, hydrocarbon maturation and migration, and weld seal.

Course Content

This course will focus on the structural geology of salt basins, the geological interpretation of seismic data and the interactions between salt and surrounding strata. Each day’s lectures will be supplemented by appropriate seismic-based exercises using 2-D and 3-D from worldwide salt basins.

Salt basins

  • Layered evaporite sequences
  • Tectonic settings

Fundamentals of salt tectonics

  • Mechanics of halite and other evaporites
  • Drives and processes of gravitational failure of divergent margins
  • Definitions

Extensional salt tectonics

  • Thin-skinned extension and diapir initiation
  • Diapir reactivation
  • Thick-skinned extension

Contractional salt tectonics

  • Thin-skinned shortening
  • Diapir initiation and rejuvenation
  • Thick-skinned shortening

Strike-slip salt tectonics

Vertical salt tectonics

  • Salt movement triggered by differential loading
  • Turtle structures and expulsion-rollover structures
  • Passive diapirism
  • Near-diapir folding and faulting

Salt dissolution

Allochthonous salt tectonics

  • Salt sheet initiation and emplacement
  • Styles and evolution of sheets and canopies

Salt and petroleum systems

  • Trap formation and timing
  • Reservoir deposition and facies
  • Hydrocarbon maturation and migration
  • Salt and weld seal

Seismic Structural Interpretation and Analysis Workshop (G005)

Tutor(s)

Peter Hennings: Consulting Geologist and Research Scientist and Lecturer, UT Austin, Texas

Overview

The course addresses interpretation of 2-D and 3-D seismic reflection data for unraveling the geometry and kinematic evolution of crustal structures, principally in sedimentary rocks. Topics include understanding how structures manifest themselves in seismic data and approaches to effective interpretation and kinematic analysis. Structural systems addressed include extensional, fold and thrust belts, salt tectonics and inversion. Applied topics include interpretation and analysis approaches, determination of geologic and basin history, fault system analysis, fault permeability structure and geomechanical evaluations, such as in situ stress determination and application to induced seismicity risking. Practical exercises are based on global seismic datasets and are reinforced by active in-class discussion.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: A 5-day classroom course, comprising a mix of lectures (40%), analysis of case studies (30%) and integrated exercises (30%). 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: Ten 3.5-hour interactive online sessions presented over 10 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. The course is intended for geoscientists who wish to strengthen their seismic interpretation and analysis skills by applying key interpretation techniques and strategies to a wide range of structural types and application goals.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Understand the manifestation of 3-D structures in reflection seismic data.
  2. Develop effective structural interpretation perception – learning to think ‘kinemechanically’.
  3. Generate interpretations with geometric admissibility and kinematic compatibility.
  4. Understand imaging scale, artefacts and interpretation pitfalls.
  5. Gain experience in interpretation and analysis in all structural regimes.
  6. Understand how faults form, grow, interact, reactivate and impact fluid flow.
  7. Gain an introductory understanding of geomechanics as applied to interpretation.
  8. Become acquainted with fault stress analysis and fault seal risking.

Course Content

Agenda

Introduction to interpretation

  • Topics of applied seismic interpretation and application
  • The components of a complete interpretation
  • Introduction to mechanics of deformation
  • Applying ‘kinemechanical thinking’ to interpretation
  • Review of faults, folds and strain
  • Recognizing detachments and ductile lithologic units
  • Determining the timing of structural movement
  • Interpreting lithologic units and mechanical stratigraphy
  • Recognizing unconformities and basic sediment depositional geometries

Reflection seismic data and interpretation pitfalls

  • Understanding the basics of reflection imaging and processing
  • Understanding normal-incident ray-paths and basic reflector geometries
  • Understanding stacking vs time migration
  • Understanding multiples and refractions
  • Understanding seismic velocity, velocity effects and depth conversion

Understanding stress and geomechanics for interpretation

  • Understanding crustal stress and its representation
  • Andersonian faulting theory
  • Mohr-Coulomb failure analysis and rock strength
  • Effective stress and influence of pore pressure
  • Sliding friction and the Coulomb failure function
  • Critically stressed fault hypothesis
  • Interpreting stress – what can be calculated and what must be modelled and/or assumed
  • Interpreting fractures and stress indicators from image logs

Extensional faults and systems

  • Development and evolution of normal faults, displacement and linkage
  • Fault systems and how they evolve over geologic time
  • Mechanical stratigraphy controls
  • Folds associated with extension
  • Using fold shape to discern fault geometry and evolution
  • Fault system reactivation and obliquity
  • Rift system anatomy and controls on 2-D and 3-D architecture
  • Controls on subsidence and evolution systematics
  • Fault stress analysis

Rift systems

  • Anatomy and geometry
  • Basin development and subsidence

Basement-rooted compression and inversion

  • Anatomy and geometry
  • Structural hierarchy
  • Geometry and kinematics of oil-field-scale structures

Basement-detached compression

  • Critical wedge mechanics
  • System geometry and kinematic evolution
  • Geometry and kinematics of basement-detached compressional structures
  • Imbricates, wedges and duplex systems and the role of mechanical stratigraphy
  • Structurally linked systems and toe-thrust belts
  • Spatiotemporal evolution of thrust systems
  • 3-D geometry of thrust structures and faults

2-D geometric analysis and restoration

  • Restoration and analysis workflows
  • Rock deformation approximations and line-length restoration
  • QCing interpretations by visual inspection
  • Impact of critical assumptions
  • Working with multiple hypotheses
  • Utility of geometric analysis and restoration

Salt-dominated structural systems

  • Basic principles of salt mechanics
  • Triggers of salt-system deformation and mobility
  • Mechanisms controls on salt diapir rise and collapse
  • Geophysical properties of salt and surrounding sediments
  • Salt-surface reflectivity, migration and velocity considerations
  • Methods of imaging salt structures
  • Criteria for interpretation of the top and base of salt

Natural Fractures (Faults and Joints): Quantification and Analysis (G033)

Tutor(s)

Mark Bentley: TRACS International, Ltd and Langdale Geoscience

Overview

TRACS and GeoLogica are working in partnership to deliver classes to the oil and gas industry. TRACS bring proven, high-quality courses and GeoLogica bring their years of experience in the ability to deliver them to a multi-client audience. This course will explore superb exposures of fault and joint systems within the Triassic/Lower Jurassic of the East Bristol Channel and Central Somerset Basins, focusing on 3-D seismic scale fault systems, including a variety of fracture geometries, fabrics and networks. Field analysis will be supported by materials on stress, strain and fracture development, as well as an analysis of both seal potential and flow potential. Key challenges regarding predicting fracture volumetrics and the challenges of fault seal will be addressed, including how to bridge the gap between outcrop detail and seismic structures and how to represent fractures in reservoir models, whether they be sealing or conductive to flow.

Duration and Logistics

3 days; a mix of field visits (50%) and classroom lectures with exercises (50%).

Exertion Level

This class requires an EASY exertion level. Somerset is quite comfortable in the spring and early summer, with temperatures of 5–20°C (40–65°F) and occasional rain showers. Field stops require short walks along coastal paths, beaches and wave cut platforms. The longest walk is <4km (2.5 miles). Field stops are all at approximately sea level and some are tide dependent. Transport will be by coach.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. The course is designed for geoscientists, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers and well engineers. Ideally structured for groups working in multi-discipline, asset-based teams with structurally complex reservoirs wishing to understand fracture properties and their impact on fluid flow.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Characterize fracture systems and geometries in the subsurface.
  2. Quantify fault properties, including sealing capacity and threshold pressure.
  3. Quantify open natural fracture properties.
  4. Address modeling challenges for fracture type and fracture property distribution.
  5. Represent fractures (both faults and joints) in reservoir simulations.
  6. Evaluate risk and uncertainty associated with fracture modeling.
  7. Evaluate the impact of fractures on well planning and seal integrity.

 

Course Content

Fault systems exposed on the North Somerset foreshores deform Triassic to Lower Jurassic stratigraphy and are located on the southern margin of the Mesozoic to Tertiary, E-W and NW-SE trending East Bristol Channel and Central Somerset Basins. These basins link the Main Bristol Channel Basin with the western part of the Wessex Basin located to the east.

  • The region as a whole offers an excellent backdrop for the inclusion of a variety of fracture-related themes including:
  • Methods for quantification of fault zone properties
  • Sealing capacity and threshold pressure
  • Impact on well design (trajectories) and well planning
  • Mapping and QC of mapped fault networks
  • Representation of open fault damage zones in reservoir simulations
  • Risking and uncertainty based on understanding of fault seal and trap analysis
  • Well planning in compartmentalized reservoirs
  • Impact on exploration, appraisal and development decisions in E&P

Triassic strata comprise a series of red mudstones and siltstones laid down in playa lake settings, these overlain by lacustrine and marine gypsiferous marls, siltstones, sandstones and dolomites of the Blue Anchor Series. Rhaetian marine mudstones and finally marine marls and limestones of the Blue Lias Formation of the Lower Jurassic complete the transgressive sequence.

Fieldwork will focus on two key outcrop locations at Kilve and Watchet.

3-D examples of extensional fault systems are exposed in the cliffs and on the foreshore at Kilve in North Somerset. Extensional faults range from a few meters to several hundred meters in strike-lengths and occur in dark-coloured shales and interbedded limestones. The limestones display text-book joint patterns – analogues for type 1 and 2 naturally fractured reservoirs.

Extensional and inverted fault systems are also exposed in the cliffs and on the foreshore at Watchet in North Somerset along the southern margin of the Bristol Channel. Inverted Upper Jurassic extensional faults juxtapose grey Lower Jurassic (Lower Lias) shales and interbedded limestones against the red Upper Triassic Mercia mudstones.

Itinerary (Provisional)

Day 0 Arrival into Bristol Airport and transfer to Holford, Somerset (or make own way to Holford).

Day 1 The class begins with a short introductory lecture and course safety briefing.

Classroom: Faults as structural elements
Fault properties (beyond “open or closed”)
• Faults vs joints
• Hybrid fractures
• Fault terminology
• Faults as volumes
• Fault related fracturing
• Damage zones
Fieldwork: Watchet

Day 2

Classroom: Fault seal components (inside a gouge)
• Fault seal processes
• Layer juxtaposition
• Lithological mixing
• Cementation
• Clay smear
• Shale Gouge Ratio
Fieldwork: Kilve

Day 3

Classroom: Fault rock permeability
• Measured fault rock permeabilities
• The Sperrevik relationships
Faults-Baffles, Barriers or Conduits
• Fault seal
• Relative permeability effects
• Production behavior
Fieldwork: Klive

Day 4

Departure: Return to Bristol Airport for flights home.

Women in Energy Field Experience: The Role of Salt in Hydrocarbon Exploitation, Energy Storage and Carbon-reduction Mechanisms, Paradox Basin, Utah and Colorado (G084)

Tutor(s)

Kate Giles: Professor Earth Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso

Cindy Yeilding: NE Director, Denbury Inc.

Overview

This course is aimed exclusively at women working in the energy industry, particularly in the geoscience, geotechnical and engineering fields. The primary technical goal is to provide a widely applicable introduction to the interrelationship between sedimentation and structural geology with a particular focus on salt tectonics and salt-sediment interaction. The geology is examined with reference to energy production, including hydrocarbon exploration and production, along with discussions around energy transition topics (CCUS, geothermal, hydrogen and energy storage). While the technical aspects are paramount, the course is also designed to provide networking and professional development opportunities. Evening discussions and activities will allow for exchange of ideas and experiences in a supportive and open atmosphere.

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day field course starting and finishing in Grand Junction, Colorado, comprising a mixture of field exercises, activities and networking.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. This course requires a basic understanding of geoscience and will suit those working in the geoscience, geotechnical and engineering fields. The aim is to facilitate knowledge and experience exchange among the participants, so is open to women from a very wide range of experience levels.

Exertion Level

This course requires a MODERATE exertion level. There will be hikes to outcrops of up to 6.5km (4 miles) round trip. Some of these will encounter uneven and rocky ground with some short, steep inclines. The climate in southern Utah is typically warm to hot and dry with temperatures up to 37.5°C (100°F) and the elevation is between 1,250–1,500m (4,000–5,000 ft).

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Describe the regional stratigraphy and principal structural features of the Paradox Basin, Utah.
  2. Characterize and interpret controls on Paradox Basin salt-related structures and key features of passive diapiric systems, including halokinetic sequences, caprock development, non-evaporite stringers / inclusions, welds, megaflaps, counter-regional faults, radial faults and burial wedges.
  3. Examine stratal geometries and halokinetic sequences and how these relate to intervals of salt inflation / evacuation and sediment flux.
  4. Assess the controls on basin fill architecture, fluid flow and deformation within the Paradox Basin and compare this to analogous salt basins worldwide.
  5. Understand the importance of salt basins to the energy industry for hydrocarbon production.

Course Content

This course is principally an introduction to the interrelationship between sedimentation and structural geology with a particular focus on salt tectonics and salt-sediment interaction. However, the structure of the trip is designed to allow women to connect and develop a network of female colleagues from all experience levels and wide backgrounds within the energy industry. Participants will build confidence, advance professional development and learn from others in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Itinerary*
Day 1 – Grand Junction to Moab
Theme: Seeing the Bigger Picture
Field location: Castle Valley

  • Stratigraphy and halokinetic sequences
  • Secondary weld traverse and weld characteristics
  • Halokinetic tilted oil / water contact in Permian eolian dune reservoir
  • Discussion of counter-regional fault / weld

Afternoon photo op at mini-arch and evening icebreaker. Overnight in Moab

Day 2 – Onion Creek
Theme: Challenging Dogma
Field locations: Fisher Valley Salt Wall and Stinkin’ Spring

  • Non-evaporite inclusions and stringers
  • Burial wedges and halokinetic sequences
  • Caprock shear zones
  • Salt shoulder, gravitational, syndepositional chevron folds and radial faults

Dinner with speaker. Challenging dogma and outlook on energy careers going forward. Overnight in Moab

Day 3 – Paradox Valley and Big Gypsum Valley Salt Wall
Theme: Expecting the Unexpected
Field locations: Paradox Valley and Big Gypsum Valley Salt Wall

  • Observe the relationships that give the area its name
  • Detailed examination of 3-D exposure of a megaflap and mini-basin tectonostratigraphic sequences
  • Fracture networks and radial faults
  • Review and discussion – case study on the evolution of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico deepwater basin

Evening fireside chats and group discussion. Overnight in Gateway Canyon Resort

Day 4 – Little Gypsum Valley Salt Wall
Theme: Transitions
Field locations: Gypsum Valley Bridge Canyon and Dolores River outcrops

  • Examination of diapir caprock (gypsum and carbonate)
  • Non-evaporite inclusions / stringers
  • Halokinetic sequences and Chinle burial wedge

Evening scavenger hunt. Overnight in Gateway Canyon Resort

Day 5 – Sinbad Valley and return to Grand Junction
Theme: Sailing Home
Field locations: Sinbad Valley Salt Wall

  • Vista view of megaflap
  • Counter-regional faulting and stratal geometry
  • Examine non-evaporite inclusions within the diapir and oil seep at diapir margin

Return to Grand Junction Airport

*All activities subject to change based on conditions, accessibility and availability

The Course Includes:

  • All transportation costs from the start to the end of the course, including the services of professional drivers.
  • All accommodation costs for the nights stated.
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, except for any dinners marked “free evening”.
  • Entry fees and activity fees, where arranged as part of the course.
  • All service charges and gratuities in hotels and restaurants.

The Course Excludes:

  • Transportation to the start venue or from the end venue of the course. Air fares are not included.
  • Personal expenditures, including bar bills, laundry bills, and the cost of meals on any free evenings.
  • A hotel room on the night before the course starts, or the night after the course ends.
  • Passport and visa fees.
  • Travel insurance. Participants should carry their own health and travel insurance.

Participants are required to carry their own health and travel insurance in case of accident or unforeseen circumstances.