• Class and Course

    Sedimentology and Depositional Environments of Deepwater Deposits

    Following a review of deepwater petroleum systems, a detailed overview of both clastic and carbonate deepwater depositional systems is presented and complemented by a number of case-study examples. The case studies focus on the practical implications of the observed geological characteristics for exploration and development decision making.

    Deepwater E&P projects are typically high cost / high risk / high reward projects. To mitigate and manage the technical and economic risks of deepwater projects it is essential for all staff involved in such projects to have a sound understanding of the key controls on the occurrence and key characteristics of deepwater hydrocarbon accumulations.

    By the end of this 5-day course, participants will be able :

    • to identify the key implications of the inferred characteristics of a clastic or carbonate mass-flow deposit, for their own discipline and for the project as a whole
    • to communicate effectively about these technical issues with the other disciplines involved in the project
    • to contribute effectively to managing and mitigating risks to exploration and/or development activities in deepwater E&P projects.
    Day 1

    Deepwater petroleum systems

    • Course Intro & refresher on why soft rock geology matters to the Oil Industry
    • Deepwater petroleum systems overview
    • Deepwater source rock systems

    Course participants will gain a sound understanding of the geological characteristics of deepwater hydrocarbon resources. This is key to managing the technical and commercial risks of high cost deepwater E&P projects. In this a clear distinction is made between hydrocarbon reservoirs that originally formed in shallow water environments but which currently occur in deepwater settings [water depth > 500 m], and deepwater reservoirs that were deposited in deepwater by mass-flow mechanisms.

    Day 2

    Deepwater depositional systems

    • Participants’ learning points from the previous day
    • Deepwater mass-flow sediment transport mechanisms
    • Deepwater contourite sediment transport mechanisms
    • Deepwater clastic depositional systems

    A variety of mass-flow sediment transport mechanisms occurs in deepwater settings, with debris flows and turbidites most important for the deposition of reservoir quality rocks. Participants will understand the controls on the occurrence and distribution of the different deepwater transport mechanisms. This is important for the prediction and modelling of the spatial variations in reservoir quality.

    Day 3

    Clastic case studies

    • Participants’ learning points from the previous day
    • Gulf of Mexico
    • Angola
    • North Sea
    • Nigeria

    Based on a variety of case studies course participants will gain an understanding of how basin characteristics such as plate tectonic and sea-level setting, presence or absence of salt, or shelf slope depositional characteristics control the deposition and distribution of clastic reservoir rocks. This is of key importance when interpreting seismic data sets and for the prediction and modelling of the spatial variations in reservoir quality.

    Day 4

    Carbonate deepwater deposits

    Sequence stratigraphic controls on deepwater sedimentary systems

    • Participants’ learning points from the previous day
    • Refresher on carbonate systems
    • Carbonate case studies
    • Optional workshop module based on Client data[by prior arrangement]
    • Sea level and eustacy & Sequence stratigraphy fundamentals

    Carbonate deepwater mass-flow deposits differ from clastic equivalents in several important aspects. Whereas large-scale clastic turbidite deposits typically form during sea-level low-stands when rivers drop their sediment load at the shelf edge, carbonate mass-flow deposits are typically sourced by reef systems during sea-level high-stands. The pore systems of carbonates moreover are typically far more complex than in clastic reservoirs. This makes their petrophysical characterisation much more complex. Hence volumetric and reserves estimates are also much more uncertain than in clastics.

    Day 5

    Course summary and review of key technical aspects

    • Participants’ learning points from the previous day
    • Course overview and summary
    • Course test by participants
    • Close-out

    To re-inforce the participants’ learning an extensive summary of key technical messages as presented in the course is given. This complements the daily review of the participants’ own learning points from the previous day. The course is concluded with the participants taking a multiple choice questionnaire test, the results of which may at the Client’s request be compared with the scores of an optional pre-course test.

    Practicing geoscientists and engineers who are about to join or have recently joined a team tasked with exploring for deepwater hydrocarbon accumulations, or the development of such deepwater assets.

    • Course Intro
    • Deepwater petroleum systems overview
    • Deepwater sediment transport mechanisms [mass-flows and contourites]
    • Deepwater clastic mass-flow depositional systems
    • Reefal carbonates as sources of mass-flow deep water carbonates
    • Case studies: Slope systems - Angola / Proximal slope & basin floor settings - North Sea / Slope & basin floor fan systems - Nigeria / Slope & basin floor fan systems - Gulf of Mexico / Carbonate mass-flow deposits - Mexico & North Sea
    • Sequence stratigraphic controls on clastic and carbonate deepwater depositional systems
    • Optional topic: workshop module using Client’s own data set(s) [by prior arrangement]

    Reasonable knowledge of Petroleum Geology. Awareness of the basics of soft rock geology and knowledge of subsurface technical workflows.

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