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Trap and Seal Risking in Exploration and Development - A field and lecture workshop - Moab, Utah

The main objective of this course is to use field exposures supplemented with classroom lectures and outcrop exercises to train attendees on the methods and concepts on interpreting fault geometry and seal and evaluating associated risk to improve the interpretation of faulted traps in the subsurface. The excellent exposures of fault styles and fault zones in Utah are at a similar scale to subsurface traps. Structure maps on key horizons from the outcrop are used as analogues to subsurface traps and serve as a base for exercises throughout the week. The group is separated into teams who use the maps and synthetic well logs to produce “prospects” integrating the concepts learned during the week.

At the end of this course, the attendees should understand the basic controls on trap and fault seal and the associated risks and uncertainties and be able to apply the methods discussed in their exploration and development projects for a more comprehensive analysis of trap and seal risks.

The course starts with lectures on Sunday afternoon in Grand Junction, Colorado and ends on Friday evening in Grand Junction with a group meal at a local restaurant, although most of the week is spent in Moab, Utah where the outcrops are within a short driving distance. Flights home are scheduled for the following Saturday.

  • Agenda
  • Audience
  • Prerequisites
  • Agenda

    Day 1

    • Attendees arrive in Grand Junction and meet at hotel meeting room in early afternoon.

    • Introduction and course overview.

    • Classroom lectures:

          Fault interpretation and associated trap styles, linkages and geometry.

          Basic contractional tectonics and associated structures.

          Regional geology.

          Safety lecture.

    Day 2

    • Leave early in the morning and spend the day on a drive from Grand Junction to Moab with outcrop stops (basement involved deformation, regional geology).

          Overviews to discuss regional geology.

          Colorado National Monument: discussion of basement involved deformation.

          Introduce team exercises and “prospect maps”.

          Discuss style of deformation and potential fault seal behavior.

          Introduce concepts of mechanical stratigraphy.

    • Arrive early evening in Moab, Utah.

    Day 3

    • Depart early to Arches National park and spend the day discussing and observing fault geometry and trap styles at range of scales and participating in team exercises.

          Moab Fault and Anticline overview.

          Review the structural styles and interpret the traps on structure maps on key horizons.

          Discuss key risks, estimate column heights from spill, top seal capacity and fault juxtaposition seal using outcrop structure/prospect maps.

          Evaluate the throws on fault and methods to evaluate.

          Discuss the structural styles and fault linkages and walk up relay ramp to Delicate Arch.

    Day 4

    Lecture (morning) and field (late morning to afternoon):

    • Morning lecture: Fault seal characterization and risk.

          Review of capillary process, permeability control and methods for estimating flow resistance across faults.

    • Late morning: Drive to northern part of Moab Fault.

          Regional overview of Moab Fault and linkages (seismic scale fault).

          Discuss fault gouge/smear prediction in seismic scale faults.

          Map hard-linkage of two seismic-scale faults.

          Map along the fault discussing the linkages and relate to “prospect maps” discussing the associated risks.

          Evaluate the throws on fault, methods, and risks to evaluate.

    Day 5

    Lecture (morning) and field (late morning):

    • Morning Lecture: Faults in reservoir flow simulation.

    • Late morning – outcrop exposure at entrance to Arches National Park for close-up of fault zone architecture across seismic fault.

          Discussion of subseismic faults and association with larger structure.

    • Afternoon – teams meet to develop prospects with key risks and presentation of results.

    Day 6

    • Morning review of “prospects” and discussion.

    • Afternoon drive into Onion Creek salt diapir for overview of salt controlled traps.

          Seismic exercise.

    • Return to Grand Junction for team dinner.

  • Audience

    The course is designed for exploration and production geologists, geophysicists and engineers working in both extensional and structural terrains.

  • Prerequisites

    None required, but knowledge of Geology is suggested. As this is a field trip, a reasonable degree of physical fitness is expected.

  • Prerequisites

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