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

CCS Reservoir Geology at Outcrop: Rotliegend and Bunter/Sherwood Sandstones, Cumbria and NW Cheshire (E578)

Tutor(s)

Richard Worden: Professor in the Department of Earth Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK

Overview

This course is intended to give subsurface teams the opportunity to see some of the rocks at outcrop that they are planning to use as CO2 storage sites. Visiting these outcrops will allow subsurface teams, who generally use logs and limited core to build models, the opportunity to see the larger and smaller scale architecture of the rocks they are working on. We will also discuss post-depositional changes to their sandstones, including petrophysical and geomechanical property evolution (pre- and post-CO2 injection), and some of the risks associated with developing saline aquifers and depleted gas fields as CO2 storage sites in these sandstones.

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day field course comprising a mix of field activities in NW England (Cumbria, Cheshire and Merseyside) with classroom lecture sessions and discussions.

Exertion Level

This class requires a MODERATE exertion level. Field locations are mainly relatively easy walks from road access points, although there may be some scrambling over coastal boulders and walking down and up tide-dependent coastal access paths.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. This course is intended for geoscience and engineering professionals working in CCS projects, especially those with an active interest in the Permian Rotliegend and Triassic Bunter/Sherwood Sandstones.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Characterize the main depositional features that influence Permian Sandstone (Rotliegend) reservoir properties and CCS reservoir development and likely performance.
  2. Assess the main diagenetic features that influence Permian Sandstone (Rotliegend) reservoir properties and CCS reservoir development and likely performance.
  3. Appraise the main depositional features that influence Triassic Sandstone (Bunter/Sherwood) reservoir properties and CCS reservoir development and likely performance.
  4. Examine the main diagenetic features that influence Triassic Sandstone (Bunter/Sherwood) reservoir properties and CCS reservoir development and likely performance.
  5. Evaluate the role of depositional and diagenetic processes in influencing top-seal caprock performance in CCS reservoirs.

Course Content

The course will incorporate field visits to East and West Cumbria (Vale of Eden and St Bees Head) and NW Cheshire/Merseyside (Hilbre, Thursaston, Helsby, Beeston, Daresbury). There will also be formal classroom presentations about what the class has seen/will see and its relevance to Permian (Rotliegend) and Triassic (Sherwood and Bunter) CCS reservoir, with consideration and possible visits to overlying mudstone caprocks (Permian: St Bees Shale/Zechstein; Triassic: Mercia Mudsone/Haisborough Gp).

Itinerary (tbc based on availability of sites)

Day 1

  • Arrive at Armathwaite (Vale of Eden hotel if available)
  • Evening presentations on the outcrop (field) and subsurface geology of the Lower Permian sandstones (Rotliegend equivalent)

Day 2
Field visits: Vale of Eden

  • Travel to Ravenglass (Pennington hotel if available)
  • Evening presentations on the outcrop (field) and subsurface geology of the Upper Permian and the Lower part of the Sherwood Sandstones (Bunter equivalent)

Day 3
Field visits: Ravenglass and north of St Bees Head (highly tide dependent access to coastal outcrops)

  • Travel to North Cheshire (North Cheshire Hotel if available)

Day 4
Field visits: Upper Sherwood Sandstone, possibly at Hilbre, West Kirby or similar (Ormskirk Fm, equivalent of Upper Bunter)

  • Travel to Liverpool/Wirral and North Cheshire
  • Possible evening presentation on geology of depleted gas fields and saline aquifers in Triassic sandstones

Day 5
Field visits: Upper Sherwood Sandstone and possibly lowermost Mercia Mudstone Group in NW England, outcrops at Helsby, Beeston, Daresbury or even Altrincham

  • Check out of Chester hotel
  • Course concludes

 

Building a Reservoir Model, Pembrokeshire, UK (G055)

Tutor(s)

Mark Bentley: TRACS International and Langdale Geoscience.

Overview

This course offers a software-independent view on the process of reservoir model design and simulation model-building, addresses the underlying reasons why some models disappoint and offers solutions that support the building of more efficient, fit-for-purpose models. The thread through the week is a model design for the notional ‘Pembroke Field’ – a synthetic field constructed from reservoir analogue outcrops in South Pembrokeshire.  The Pembroke Field contains three contrasting reservoir types: continental clastics, shallow marine deltaics and naturally fractured carbonates, in both structurally deformed and undeformed settings. Data from producing oil and gas fields has been scaled to the synthetic models to create a realistic hydrocarbon field accumulation, ready for development.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Create a fluid-sensitive conceptual model for a heterogeneous reservoir, built from a selection of elements and placed in a realistic architectural framework: the “sketch”.
  2. Guide the use of geostatistical tools intuitively, balancing deterministic and probabilistic components with awareness of the limits of the tools.
  3. Select appropriate methods for modeling of matrix properties, including the handling of net (cut-off’s vs total property modeling).
  4. Evaluate options for multi-scale modelling and the possible need for multi-scale approaches based on hierarchical understanding of Representative Elementary Volumes (REV).
  5. Understand issues surrounding permeability modeling and why this differs from the handling of other properties.
  6. Learn a rule of thumb (“Flora’s rule”) to help assess what level of static model detail matters to flow modeling and forecasting.
  7. Review how to use well test analysis to constrain models.
  8. Review options for model-based uncertainty handling (base case led, multi-deterministic scenarios, multi-stochastic ensembles), learn how to post-process the results and how to select an appropriate workflow which minimizes impact of behavioral bias.

Exertion Level

This class requires an EASY exertion level. Field stops require short walks along coastal paths, beaches and wave cut platforms. The longest walk is <5km (3 miles). Field stops are all at approximately sea level and some are tide dependent. Transport will be by coach.This class requires an EASY exertion level. Field stops require short walks along coastal paths, beaches and wave cut platforms. The longest walk is <5km (3 miles). Field stops are all at approximately sea level and some are tide dependent. Transport will be by coach.

Level and Audience

Intermediate. The course is aimed at geoscientists with knowledge of reservoir modeling software, petrophysicists who provide input to static reservoir models and reservoir engineers involved in simulation work who deal with the static-dynamic interface on a regular basis. The course is also of benefit to team leaders who wish to have a deeper understanding of the principles behind modeling and how to QC models made by others.

Duration and Logistics

5 days; a mix of field work (70%), and classroom exercises (30%).

Course Content

The central theme of the course is Reservoir Model Design, on the premise that it is design rather than software knowledge that typically distinguishes “good models” from “bad models”. Considerable time is dedicated to reservoir model and simulation exercises in many companies but the results often disappoint: the time taken to build models is often too long, the models too detailed and cumbersome and the final model is ultimately not fit-for-purpose. This course examines the reasons why and offers remedies to fix these problems.

Modelling and simulation software is not run live on the event – the emphasis is on good design. However, models and simulations of the Pembroke Field have been built at a number of scales and will be shown to quantify the impact of the observed field heterogeneities on fluid flow.

The course is organized around the following five themes, issues within which are often the cause of poor model outcome:

Model purpose
What is the question we are specifically trying to address? What do we really mean when we say “fit for purpose”?

Elements and architecture
How much detail should be incorporated into the models? From the rich spectrum of potential lithofacies, electrofacies, biostratigraphic and analogue data inputs, how do we select the “right” number of components (elements) to take forward into the modeling process? Once selected, how do these elements combine into a realistic description of length scales and reservoir architecture? How to capture this in an interpretative sketch that can be used as a cross-discipline communication tool.

Probability and determinism
Is the balance of probabilistic and deterministic components appropriate given the model purpose? Should heterogeneities be handled implicitly or explicitly in the static and dynamic models and if implicitly, then how should we average their properties? What are our expectations of geostatistics and how do we control the algorithms intuitively to replicate a sketched reservoir concept? This applies both to modeling of the matrix and also fractures, and we explore how we can use well test data to place deterministic constraints on our models.

Multi-scale modeling
What scale should we be modeling and simulating at, given the fluid type and model purpose? Can everything be modeled at one scale, or are static/dynamic multi-scale models required? We address the full spectrum of heterogeneity using the concept of Representative Elementary Volumes and conclude that traditional static-dynamic upscaling is only part of the story and not always the main part. Illustrations of fine-scale “Truth” models will be used to illustrate where we sometimes go wrong when we over-simplify a design.

Model-based uncertainty-handling
How to really go wrong. What are the tools we can use to identify natural bias (heuristics) in the modeling process and select workflows that capture useful ranges in a practical way, minimizing bias in the process. We summarize the current range of stochastically and deterministically led options, including the current trend towards “ensemble” modeling and the use of machine learning and AI. We discuss which techniques are appropriate to use and when, and how to post-process the results and communicate them usefully to colleagues.

Itinerary

Day 0
Arrival. Evening course introduction and safety briefing
Overnight Saundersfoot

Day 1
Model purpose, elements and architecture
Fieldwork: Amroth, incised valley fill, delta front and delta plain depositional systems
Overnight Saundersfoot

Day 2
Rock modelling, probability and determinism, practical geostatistics
Fieldwork: Swanlake Bay and Manorbier, Lower Old Red Sandstone (Early Devonian) fluvial facies – sandbody types and palaoesols
Overnight Saundersfoot

Day 3
Property modelling, handling permeability and fractures
Fieldwork: Saundersfoot – folding
Overnight Saundersfoot

Day 4
Dealing with scale: upscaling, multi-scale modelling and the REV
Fieldwork: Stackpole – faulting and fractured carbonates
Overnight Saundersfoot

Day 5
Model-based uncertainty handling; completing the Pembroke model design and debriefing with reservoir and simulation models.
Fieldwork: Tenby – carbonates and structural features
Overnight Saundersfoot

Day 6
Departure

Characterization, Modeling, Simulation and Development Planning in Deepwater Clastic Reservoirs, Tabernas, Spain (G076)

Tutor(s)

Mark Bentley: TRACS International Ltd and Langdale Geoscience

Ed Stephens: TRACS International

Overview

This course is led by a production geologist and reservoir engineer involved in deepwater reservoir development, and is presented as a practical reservoir discussion rather than purely a traditional geological field trip. The objective of this field course is to explore the reservoir modelling and petroleum engineering aspects of deepwater clastic reservoirs. The discussions highlight the linkage from depositional processes to geological architecture and flow heterogeneity in development planning. The Tabernas outcrops are very well exposed and offer examples of sand-rich and debris-flow-dominated reservoirs, high net:gross fan systems and classic mud-dominated facies. In particular, they give excellent insights into the reservoir heterogeneities occurring within apparently continuous ‘sand lobes’ and major channels.

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day field course based in Almeria, Spain, comprising a mix of field activities and exercises. Transport will be by SUV on paved roads and unpaved tracks.

Level and Audience

Advanced. The course is largely aimed at geologists and reservoir engineers working on deepwater developments. The course is best suited to multidisciplinary team of geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists and reservoir engineers.

Exertion Level

This class requires a MODERATE exertion level. There will be multiple walks of up to 1km (0.5 mile) most days. The longest walk of the class is approximately 2km (1 mile), with an ascent (and descent) of 75m (245 ft). The field area is in Europe’s only desert region and participants should expect high temperatures and an arid working environment. Participants should also be prepared for sudden and heavy rain showers.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Assess the genetic processes that produce slumps, slides, debrites and high/low density turbidites, and explain why the concept of confinement underpins the description of heterogeneity in deepwater clastic systems.
  2. Evaluate the extent to which pay is under-/over-estimated in mud-rich/sand-rich systems, respectively, and the resulting errors in STOIIP and PI estimation.
  3. Organise a detailed sedimentological description into key reservoir elements and build an architectural model using those elements.
  4. Assess the basic principle of flow in porous media (Darcy) and describe how flow heterogeneity varies in layered and amalgamated clastic systems.
  5. Appraise the contrasting heterogeneities in sand- and mud-rich systems and determine how much detail is required in a reservoir description based on a consideration of fluid type and production mechanism.
  6. Evaluate how kv/kh impacts recovery in typical deepwater clastic architectures; optimally locate a well to optimize sweep for a range of architectural cases.
  7. Judge length scale variations for a typical deepwater clastic system, and discuss how this would be handled in a reservoir modelling and simulation context.

Course Content

This course covers the following topics:

  • Types of submarine fan systems
  • Influence of topography on reservoir distribution and quality
  • Reservoir heterogeneity
  • Reservoir modelling and simulation
  • Upscaling from core to simulation scale
  • Well selection and placement
  • Development planning for submarine fan reservoirs

Itinerary

Day 0: Arrival in Almeria

  • Evening course safety brief and introductory lecture.
  • Group dinner at the hotel.

Day 1: Overview of the Tabernas Basin

  • The class begins with overviews, orientation and scale of the Tabernas Basin, and a general introduction to deepwater clastic sedimentology and terminology
  • Visit to the basin margin to view coarse non-marine and shallow marine clastics which mark the initiation of sedimentation in the basin
  • Visit to the deepwater basin-fill succession to see the types of depositional environments in the basin – slumps, slides, debris flows, unconfined and confined turbidites

Day 2: Muddy Fan

  • Visit to a series of outcrop sections within a low net:gross submarine fan and typical geometries of those environments – thin-bedded turbidite sheet sands in confined and unconfined settings
  • Discuss thresholds of net:gross and the particular issue of thin bed pay
  • Use an outcrop-based model example to explore the concept of effective net from an engineering rather than a purely geological perspective

Day 3: Feeder Systems

  • Visit a series of outcrop sections to analyse the muddy feeder system and the sandy feeder system. Here we will study the individual architectures of the channelised units and discuss the facies, stacking patterns and evidence for their interpretation as feeder systems
  • Thin-skin sliding and soft sedimentary tectonics are also viewed in deeper, more distal sediments

Day 4: Sandy Fan

  • Visit a series of outcrop sections within a high net:gross submarine fan; high concentration, amalgamated sands in the lower fan, sheet-like tabular sands in the upper fan
  • Visit to the onlap margin of the body to view the overall geometries. Here we will conceive an overall sedimentological model for the outcrops and take a reservoir engineering perspective on the observed heterogeneity – does any of it matter? Outcome of this discussion will link through to a well design exercise
  • Outcrop-based permeability data will be used to support the observations on heterogeneity and to discuss how small-scale heterogeneity can be reasonably scaled into a simulation model

Day 5: Isolated Channel

  • Visit a series of outcrop sections to view Tabernas’ famous isolated channel and take the opportunity to describe and discuss intra-channel architectures and likely morphologies
  • Participants will carry out a modelling exercise on the channel based on their observations. A model developed for the class will be used as a basis for discussion of development planning in submarine fan systems

Day 6: Depart Almeria

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.

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

Modeling and Development Planning in Carbonate Reservoirs: Provence, France (G034)

Tutor(s)

Mark Bentley: TRACS International Ltd and Langdale Geoscience
Ed Stephens: TRACS International Ltd

Overview

Using analogue outcrops in the Luberon and Cassis area of southern France, this course develops workflows for static and dynamic modeling in carbonate reservoirs, covering in particular the issues of conceptual reservoir characterization, the handling of scale and the representation of fracture detail in cellular models. The analogue section chosen is a direct analogue for Shuaiba/Kharaib Middle East reservoirs, including high and low energy areas of rudist platforms, inner and outer shelves, and chalks. The modeling principles are transferable to other carbonate environments.

Duration and Logistics

5 days; field activities and exercises (100%); the outdoors will be used as a classroom. 

Level and Audience

Advanced. A course for technical professionals working in integrated teams who are planning development activities in carbonate reservoirs (reservoir engineers, geoscientists, petrophysicists) and all involved in reservoir and simulation modeling.

Exertion Level

This class requires an EASY exertion level. Provence is quite comfortable in the late summer to fall, with temperatures of 10-25°(50-80°F) and occasional rain showers. The field locations are all easily accessible requiring only a short walk from the transport. The longest walk is approximately 0.5km (0.3 mile) along a road section. There will be one boat trip (weather dependent) to view key cliff exposures that can only be seen from offshore (1-2 hours duration).

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Describe a carbonate reservoir in terms of essential reservoir elements and the architectural arrangement of those elements.
  2. Evaluate reservoir property distributions for those elements in a form suitable for input to static/dynamic reservoir modeling.
  3. Judge the scale at which a static/dynamic modeling exercise should be conducted, including any need for multi-scale modeling.
  4. Prepare rules of thumb for effective property modeling in carbonates at a range of scales.
  5. Assess fracture systems in carbonates and explain the options for modeling them (explicit DFN vs implicit effective properties).
  6. Apply the concept of representative elementary volumes (REV) to fractured and unfractured carbonates.
  7. Discuss optimal development planning for an oil reservoir based on the outcrops seen during the course.
  8. Catch up with current research activities in carbonate reservoirs.

Course Content

Carbonate reservoirs are often poorly modelled, and the distinction between workflows for carbonates and clastics is often missed. The lack of clear k/phi relationships in carbonates distinguishes them from their clastic counterparts, and fractures, in particular, can be difficult to model without convoluted workflows.

Reservoir modelling schemes are applied to contrasting analogue outcrops in the Luberon and Cassis areas.  These cover environments ranging from inner to outer platforms through shelf to proximal basin, including a spectacular karstified fracture system. The outcrops selected are age-equivalent analogues for Middle Eastern Shuaiba/Kharaib carbonates on the opposing side of Tethys.

Topics covered include:

  • Carbonate reservoir characterisation
  • Fracture characterisation
  • Model scale and upscaling
  • Representative elementary volumes in carbonates
  • Well placement
  • Simulation and forecasting in carbonates

Exercises
The chosen analogue areas for model design exercises are the Orgon area (shelf and proximal basin chalks) and platform carbonates of the Rustrel and La Nesque areas. The large outcrops at La Nesque lend themselves well to the seismic forward modeling task. Karsts and faults/fractures are superbly represented in the Fontaine du Vaucluse area. The outcrops along the Mediterranean coastline around Cassis display contrasting styles of world-class examples of natural fractured reservoirs, on-scale.

Itinerary

Day 0 Arrive in Marseilles and transfer to Gordes

Day 1 Orgon

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

Orientation and Context

  • Regional tectonics, Tethys
  • Stratigraphy vs Middle East

Lateral Homogeneity

  • Critical order of magnitude k
  • Kv/Kh
  • Three forces
  • Dispersive nature of the subsurface

Day 2 Rustrel

Lateral Heterogeneity

  • Small-scale k heterogeneity
  • Handling scale
  • Thief zones
  • Forecasting water breakthrough

Day 3 La Nesque

Large Scale Architecture

  • Gross architecture
  • Imagine on seismic
  • Coning behavior
  • Large scale vs small scale models

Transfer to Cassis

Day 4 Cassis

Fractures and Karst

  • Damage zone architecture
  • Matrix vs fracture flow
  • Naturally fractured reservoir architectures

Day 5 Cassis

Field development planning in carbonates

  • Conceptualization
  • Development scenarios
  • Optimal well planning choices

Day 6 Departure from Marseilles

 

Reservoir Characterization of Deepwater Systems: Ross Formation, Ireland (G023)

Tutor(s)

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

Overview

Given the high cost of exploration and development of deepwater reservoirs, it is essential to have an accurate pre-drill prediction of reservoir architecture and properties, and to integrate post-drill assessments of reservoir heterogeneity away from well penetrations. The outcrops of the Ross Formation offer a unique opportunity to observe seismic-scale exposures of a deepwater fan system with characteristics similar to the producing fields in West Africa, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico, to name a few. The size and quality of the exposures allow the participants to observe the main building blocks of fan systems. Lobes and distributary channels can be observed from proximal to distal settings, with excellent exposures of vertical stacking and 2-D arrangements of these elements.

Duration and Logistics

A 5-day field course comprising a mix of field activities with exercises (60%) and classroom lectures with exercises (40%). Exercises emphasize practical applications and will focus on description of deepwater lithofacies, stratal geometries and recognizing key stratigraphic surfaces. The course is based in Kilkee Bay, Ireland, with participants flying in and out of Shannon, Ireland.

Level and Audience

Advanced. This course is intended for geoscientists, petrophysicists, engineers and managers who are seeking to gain a comprehensive understanding of deepwater reservoirs.

Exertion Level

This class requires an EASY exertion level. Access to the coastal outcrops is relatively easy and there will be walks of up to 2km (1.2 miles) most days, all at sea level. The longest walk on the class is approximately 3.2km (2 miles), with no ascent or descent over 50m (160 feet). Summer weather can be cool and wet, or warm and wet, with a daily temperature range of 4–24°C (40–74°F). Transport will be by van on paved roads.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Interpret and map different archetypes of deepwater reservoirs using cores, well-logs and seismic lines, from exploration to production business scales.
  2. Define trap configurations and perform risk assessment for stratigraphic traps.
  3. Estimate reservoir presence risk and predict N:G.
  4. Interpret environments of deposition (EoDs) and related reservoir architecture, lithofacies associations and diversity.
  5. Evaluate reservoir geometry and connectivity in different EoDs, integrating with production data.
  6. Define depositional geometries of turbidites in seismic-scale outcrops.

Course Content

IIn addition to visiting world-class outcrops, participants will learn to describe cores and integrate core and well-log information with seismic to generate high-resolution environment of deposition maps of reservoirs in different settings. Additionally, participants will learn how to integrate engineering and production data to improve prediction of reservoir performance. Cores, well-logs and seismic examples are compared to and contrasted with outcrops to help participants extrapolate 2-D outcrop information to 3-D views of reservoir scale depositional systems.

Itinerary (Provisional)

Day 0
Participants arrive at Shannon Airport and travel to Kilkee Bay.

Day 1
Field visit: George’s Point

  • George’s Point, east side of Kilkee Bay, to introduce the local stratigraphy and setting
  • Lectures: Class introduction, field safety and geologic setting; and sequence stratigraphy of deepwater systems
  • Exercises: Lowstand sequence sets from Pelotas Basin, West Siberia and New Jersey

Day 2
Field visit: Loop Head and Fisherman’s Point

  • Loop Head; general basinal context; Ross Formation turbidites. Bridges of Ross and east of Ross; major slump sheets, Fisherman’s Point turbidite channels and sand volcanoes
  • Lectures: Deepwater processes and depositional models
  • Exercises: Lobes and lobe complexes – Golo Fan

Day 3
Field visits: Ross Formation at Kilcredaun, Carrigaholt and Loop Head

  • Ross Formation at Kilcredaun; boat trip from Carrigaholt; Ross Formation in sea cliffs between Carrigaholt and Loop Head; lateral accretion packages of the Rehy Cliffs
  • Lectures: Deepwater lithofacies and rock properties
  • Exercises: Core description of deepwater reservoirs

Day 4
Field visits: Kilbaha Bay, Kilcloher Head and Rinevella Bay

  • Turbidite facies including channels and mega-flutes
  • Lectures: Deepwater exploration methods, reservoir presence assessment and pre-drill prediction
  • Exercises: East breaks mini-basin mapping and pre-drill prediction

Day 5
Field visit: Torkeal Bay

  • Torkeal Bay – stories, story stacking, lobe and lobe stacking
  • Lectures: Deepwater reservoirs and production behavior
  • Exercises: High-resolution reservoir mapping and production data integration

Day 6
Drive to Shannon and depart.

The Low Carbon Business for Operations Staff: Business, Geoscience and Engineering Fundamentals (E569)

Tutor(s)

Benjamin Klooss: Camberwell Energy

Gioia Falcone: Rankine Chair of Energy and Engineering, University of Glasgow;

Bob Harrison: Director, Sustainable Ideas Ltd

Overview

This course aims to provide a broad overview of notable non-technical and technical themes for those operations staff new to low-carbon business projects. The course will be divided into three principal themes: business, geoscience and engineering; and will look to combine knowledge from across the different low-carbon business streams (CCS, geothermal and hydrogen). Participants will come away with a broad knowledge of the business landscape and of the subsurface and operational engineering challenges and limitations.

Duration and Logistics

Classroom version: Three half-day sessions, totalling 1.5 days in-person classroom training.

Virtual version: Three 4-hour interactive online sessions presented over 3 days (mornings in North America and afternoons in Europe). In each case a digital manual will be provided for the participants.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. This course is aimed at production and surface engineering technical staff and managers with a background in oil and gas but limited exposure to the low-carbon business, who want an overview and appreciation of this new energy landscape, the skills required and the technical challenges.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Outline the current and likely future status of the European energy mix, including new energy sources and the drive towards Net Zero.
  2. Understand the regulatory, policy and financial drivers for adopting these new energy sources.
  3. Apply learnings from oil and gas projects to the subsurface and engineering challenges posed by these new energy systems.
  4. Recall the basic principles of heat generation in the subsurface and the associated key characteristics of geothermal resources and reservoirs.
  5. Appreciate the risks and uncertainties in developing geothermal resources.
  6. Understand the subsurface requirements for CO2 storage and the associated leakage risk.
  7. Assess the volumetrics of CO2 storage and flow away from injector wells, as controlled by reservoir properties.
  8. Describe the different geological storage options for hydrogen, their capacity and storage integrity challenges.
  9. Appreciate how the handling of CO2, hydrogen and heat is different from oil and gas.
  10. Outline the different operational facilities requirements of new energy types, including design and lifetime.

Course Content

The course is split into three parts: business, geoscience and engineering.

Part 1: Business for the energy transition

  • Global energy demand, current and future projections by sector to 2050, with a focus on Europe. Demand for electricity vs primary energy
  • Economic aspects of renewables (e.g. profitability, size of the application vs economics)
  • Global and European energy supply – current and projected levels of primary energy supply, including hydrocarbons, nuclear and renewables (e.g. geothermal, wind, hydrogen, solar and bioenergy). European estimates of domestically produced vs imported total primary energy
  • European climate policy objectives. Decarbonization targets for the EU and separately for the UK. Scale of the low-carbon energy transition that is required in Europe. Discussion of circular economy within this context

This part of the course will be anchored around case studies to illustrate opportunities, policy drivers and commercial factors:

  1. CCS in the Netherlands
  2. Hydrogen in the Netherlands
  3. (Options) German commercial and industrial heat sector, UK offshore wind or UK rooftop solar

Each case study will discuss:

  • Specific market context to outline the scale of the opportunity
  • Policies, regulations and support instruments directly affecting the particular business opportunity in the case study country (for example, carbon price, contract-for difference, subsidies)
  • Potential business models and commercial risks. This will include high-level descriptions of the factors determining business viability, profitability and limiting factors

Part 2: Geoscience

  • Fluid properties and phase behavior of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and water, compared to hydrocarbons, at different operating pressures and temperatures. Flow assurance challenges of transporting and storing these fluids. Impact of impurities on fluid properties
  • Geothermal energy and summary of associated geoscience, including subsurface heat transfer processes, use of low- and high-enthalpy resources, and underground thermal energy storage. Exploration and appraisal of geothermal resources. Geothermal project risks and uncertainty from the subsurface perspective
  • Carbon geo-sequestration and the various trapping mechanisms that contain the injected CO2 underground. Subsurface storage site requirements, screening, selection, and estimation of CO2 storage capacity. Leakage risk and the design and implementation of appropriate monitoring. Lessons learnt from operational CCS projects from dedicated subsurface storage and CO2-EOR perspectives
  • Hydrogen – geoscience summary of natural hydrogen occurrences. Comparison of underground storage options (salt cavern, depleted hydrocarbon reservoir, aquifer) with comparisons of capacity, injectivity and productivity, inventory monitoring, challenges and risks

Part 3: Engineering

  • Geothermal – well types, completion design and operational challenges compared to hydrocarbons. Infrastructure considerations depending on end-use. Materials and engineering challenges posed by temperature, geochemical and microbial issues, and corresponding HSE aspects
  • CCS – well types and different needs to those of hydrocarbon production. Required infrastructure to handle, transport and inject CO2 effectively and safely, and meet industry norms and regulations
  • Hydrogen – the different ‘colors’ of hydrogen production, with respect to inputs and by-products, round-trip efficiencies, carbon footprint and HSE aspects. Requirements for wells and surface facilities to meet hydrogen duty needs and regulatory standards
  • Re-purposing of existing surface and subsurface infrastructure to help accelerate delivery of and reduce capital outlay for the energy transition. Review of each element in the supply chain from pipelines to facilities, via wells to the reservoir. Interdependency between reuse and decommissioning of infrastructure

The geoscience and engineering parts of the course will feature case studies from around the world to illustrate the challenges of treatment, transportation and underground storage for the new energy systems.

Lessons from Energy Transitions: Future Integrated Solutions that Sustain Nature and Local Communities (E557)

Tutor(s)

Gioia Falcone: Rankine Chair of Energy and Engineering, University of Glasgow

Bob Harrison: Director, Sustainable Ideas Ltd

Overview

This course considers the past and future energy transitions in the northeast of England, and their impact and legacy on the region’s industrial sector, local communities and nature conservation. It is hoped that lessons learnt from the past experiences in the region will help a sustainable energy transition. The course will cover CCS, hydrogen generation, wind and nuclear power, geothermal energy and the repurposing of legacy assets.

Duration and Logistics

A 4-day field course with site visits supported by classroom sessions. The course will be based in the town of Hartlepool, County Durham, to provide easy access to nearby coastal and inland locations.

Level and Audience

Fundamental. The course is intended for professionals working in energy transition, nature conservation and community engagement; those responsible for policy on energy and conservation matters; and energy sector investors.

Exertion Level

The course requires an EASY exertion level. Outcrops include coastal sections and inland exposures all with easy access. There will be some walks along beaches and easy paths through dunes with a maximum distance of around 5km (3 miles) or less.

Objectives

You will learn to:

  1. Describe and explain the overall potential of the region for integrated solutions with the context of the present energy transition.
  2. Characterize the locations of potential projects and explain technical factors that affect these and their feasibility.
  3. Describe how wider factors can affect feasibility of the projects including the environmental and social impacts.
  4. Evaluate strategic choices for local and regional policy makers, as well as landowners and investors.
  5. Make predictions and assessments of other regions in the UK for the potential development of similar projects.

Course Content

The UK has seen major energy transitions before – from wood to coal, from coal to oil, gas and nuclear, and now to renewable sources such as wind and geo-energy. In 2019, the UK was the first major economy to commit to achieving Net Zero by 2050, but this latest transition may prove the hardest to achieve so far, as the replacement sources have a lower energy density than those being substituted, and the existing fossil-fuel-based supply is constrained and exacerbated by recent geo-political events.

For example, it is claimed that developing CCS technology in the UK could reduce the cost of meeting the nation’s climate change obligations by up to £5bn each year. It is also claimed that thousands of jobs could be created through implementation of CCS hubs in Britain’s oldest industrial centres, but local content remains unclear.

The legacy of past energy interventions means this latest transition must not only supply ‘clean energy’, but also sustain our natural environment and local communities.

When discussing each element of the energy transition, we will try to put into context: the impact on the environment (traffic, emissions, noise, disruption to infrastructure); the number of jobs that may be created in the area; the impact on nature; the reduction of carbon footprint; and the risks and mitigations, etc.

Itinerary (tbc based on availability of sites)

Day 0 – Arrival in Hartlepool

At accommodation

  • ‘Setting the scene’ lecture on the need for energy transition, put into a global, nationwide, and local context

Day 1

Field visits: Seaham and Horden Nature Reserve

  • Coal – understand the impact, importance and history of the coal-mining industry for the region. Also, consider how its legacy may be used in the energy transition while helping to sustain and improve the natural environment of the area
  • Geothermal energy – an introduction with special mentions of heat pumps, mine water treatment and re-use of old oil and gas wells
  • Visit Dawdon Mine water treatment scheme in Seaham for geothermal heat source
  • Visit Horden Nature Reserve – from abandoned colliery with polluted dunes and beaches to part of Durham’s Heritage Coast

Day 2

Field visits: Hartlepool, Seal Sands and Greatham

  • Walk along North Sands to visit Bunter Sandstone outcrop in Hartlepool – discuss CO2 storage site selection, containment, capacity and injectivity; deep saline aquifers vs depleted gas fields; whether existing oil and gas infrastructure can be re-used for CCS
  • Visit ConocoPhillips Ekofisk oil terminal and refinery in Seal Sands
  • Visit Greatham to discuss Brent platform decommissioning (Able Ltd), also manufacturing and decommissioning of wind turbine parts

Day 3

Field visits: Greatham and Teesmouth

  • Visit the nuclear power plant in Greatham
  • Visit sites north and south of the river in Teesmouth Nature Reserve
  • View Redcar offshore wind farm from beach at Teesmouth or offshore visit

Day 4

Field visits: Saltholme, Wilton, Coatham and Redcar

  • Visit salt caverns in Saltholme (which also hosts an RSPB wildlife reserve) and at Wilton – such caverns could be used to store hydrogen
  • Gas terminal and processing plant at Coatham (CATS and Breagh gas field) – need natural gas (reformed with steam) to produce blue hydrogen
  • NZT development site – redevelopment of abandoned Redcar steel works
  • Local council – public acceptance, job local content and social license to operate

Day 5 – Departure and return home