• Class and Course

    Deepwater Sedimentary Systems

    This is a state-of-the-art course from a world leader in deepwater systems – modern, ancient and subsurface. It will use the latest findings and global examples from around the world to help address your exploration and production issues. Where do we find deepwater massive sand reservoirs? What are the most important attributes of thin-bedded turbidites? What do sandy contourites and hybrid contourite-turbidites look like? What are the principal attributes of channel, lobe, levee, MTD, sheet and contourite architectural elements? How rich are source rocks in deepwater systems? And much more… 

    Turbidite reservoirs are currently the principal target for oil and gas exploration. Driven by technological advances and much improved scientific understanding, the pace of exploration and discovery in this realm is fast accelerating. Keeping pace with these developments and the new knowledge base is essential for all those involved in deepwater systems. But what began as the turbidite reservoir 50 years ago has matured into the more varied deepwater play of the 21st Century. 

    This course addresses the full range of deepwater systems – from the building blocks of process and facies, through the nature and recognition of architectural elements and their subsurface characterisation using sediment, seismic and wireline log data, to the internal/external controls that determine their overall geometry and occurrence. 

    At each stage, these data and concepts will be illustrated with numerous case studies from around the world – including modern systems, ancient outcrop analogues and subsurface reservoirs – and reinforced with class exercises. The petroleum perspectives and take-home lessons will be fully developed and discussed.


    Unit 1 Global Overview and Deepwater Building Blocks

    • Historical perspective, technologies and current trends
    • Deepwater systems with hydrocarbons or hydrocarbon potential
    • Deepwater processes and facies overview
    • Ancient, modern and subsurface analogues of deepwater systems


    Unit 2 Downslope System

    • Downslope processes: mass transport processes (slides, slumps, debris flows), turbidity currents, hybrid processes, hyperpycnal flow
    • Downslope facies and facies models: mass transport deposits, coarse, medium and fine-grained turbidites, hybrid event beds, hyperpycnites
    • Case studies: downslope


    Unit 3 Alongslope System

    • Alongslope processes: wind-driven currents, thermohaline circulation, cascades, bottom currents, internal tides and waves, benthic storms, water mass fronts, seafloor polishing
    • Alongslope facies and models: muddy contourites, sandy contourites, calci-contourites
    • Case studies: alongslope


    Unit 4 Pelagic (Open Ocean) System

    • Pelagic and hemipelagic processes, facies and facies models.: pelagic-hemipelagic system, deepwater black shales
    • Case studies: pelagic/hemipelagic
    • Unconventional reservoir characteristics, seals and source rocks


    Unit 5 Petroleum perspective

    • Deepwater source rocks and black shale occurrence
    • Deepwater reservoir rocks and properties
    • Deepwater seals: nature and properties
    • Case studies


    Unit 6 Architectural Elements – Downslope systems

    • Element characterisation: geometry, seismics, vertical sequences, wireline logs, facies associations, attribute summary
    • Channels and channel-fill
    • Levees and interchannel areas
    • Mass transport complexes
    • Turbidite lobes and sheets


    Unit 7 Architectural Elements – Alongslope systems

    • Contourite drifts, sheets and depositional elements
    • Contourite erosional elements
    • Contourite terraces
    • Hybrid contourite-turbidite systems
    • Seismic characterisation of contourite systems
    • Wireline log characterisation of contourite systems


    Unit 8 Deepwater depositional systems and controls

    • Overview of deepwater depositional system models
    • Slope aprons and mass transport complexes
    • Submarine fans and channels
    • Basin systems
    • Contourite depositional systems
    • Controls on deepwater depositional systems – sequence stratigraphy vs tectonic pulsing


    Units 9 Deepwater Petroleum Systems – Examples and Lessons

    • Case studies and lessons from established turbidite plays: North Sea, California, Bohai
    • Case studies and lessons from current deepwater provinces: Gulf Of Mexico, West Africa, NWUK, Brazil, North Slope Alaska, Nile Delta
    • The new frontiers…current targets and expectations


    Unit 10 The Deepwater Challenge

    • Special issues for drilling in deepwater
    • Slope instability and hazard mapping
    • Gas hydrates in deepwater
    • Turbidity currents and bottom current hazards
    • Hazard management


    Unit 11 Course summary and general discussion

    • Opportunity for delegate contributions
    • Implications for exploration, appraisal, development and reservoir management
    • Take-home lessons and data


    Case studies and exercises throughout course



    1. Thin-bedded turbidites

    2. Deepwater Massive Sands

    3. Sandy contourites

    4. Deepwater carbonates

    5. Sediment waves


    Exploration and production, geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers

    Currently there are no scheduled classes for this course.

    Click below to be alerted when scheduled

    Set a training goal, and easily track your progress

    Customize your own learning journey and track your progress when you start using a defined learning path.

    In just few simple steps, you can customize your own learning journey in the discipline of your interest based on your immediate, intermediate and transitional goals. Once done, you can save it in NExTpert, the digital learning ecosystem, and track your progress.
    © 2024 SLB Limited. All rights reserved.