• Class and Course

    Seismic Structural Interpretation Techniques

    The aim of this course is to consider how the interpretation of seismic reflection data can be used within hydrocarbon exploration of complex sedimentary basins with a focus on the interaction of sedimentary and structural evolution and the impact on hydrocarbon systems. It will provide an overview of the fundamentals of geophysical data interpretation and then consider the application in a suite of sedimentary basin settings. It will consider fault geometry; basin fill and implications for reservoir distribution and deformation. The class is taught through integrating recent advances in understanding of structural geology in the context of Basin Analysis, the integration of sedimentary deposition and structural geology and can be applied to both exploration and production settings. 

    This current offering is delivered over 5 days with significant practical activities to ensure participants have the opportunity to apply their new knowledge.  Each will comprise a combination of lectures (~1 hour) and practical material (~ 2hours). Participants will be expected to work up the practical exercises and present their findings either as individuals or within groups. 

    Using a combination of group exercises and individual exercises we consider how a key component of interpretation is an appreciation of the uncertainty inherent in the data. Throughout the course participants will be encouraged to present their observations and interpretations to illustrate the variability that arises in data interpretation and to discuss its implications.


    Day 1 Introduction

    Session 1

    Introduction to geophysics principals

    Seismic interpretation fundamentals – what are you going to use the interpretation for?

    Structural geology fundamentals

    Session 2

    Importance of understanding geo-history at basin, prospect and reservoir scale

    Identification of growth-stratigraphy and importance of pre, syn and post kinematic units.

    Application of restorations to validate interpretation.


    Day 2 – Extensional systems

    Session 3 – Normal Faults

    Recognising normal faults on seismic sections

    Identification of isolated normal faults and linked fault arrays

    Impact of fault identification and mapping on reservoir understanding

    Session 4 – Normal faults and rift basins

    Linked arrays, additional fault complexity on mature fault systems.

    Hydrocarbon plays on rift basins.


    Day 3 – Compressional systems

    Session 5 -Reverse Fault

    Awareness of the variety of compressional structures that occur.

    Development of the key structural styles of reverse faults and the associated folding

    Consideration of the limitations of seismic imaging for reverse faults

    Session 6 – Interaction of reverse faults and 3D Geometry

    Consideration of the lateral and temporal variation of reverse structures

    Impact on reservoir distribution and presence


    Day 4 – Complex, multi-phase deformation

    Session 7 – Strike-slip deformation

    Recognising strike slip deformation on seismic sections

    3D and 4D evolution of strike-slip systems and impact on basin fill

    Session 8 – Inversion tectonics

    Identification of both negative and positive structural inversion

    Impact on hydrocarbon systems and basin fill


    Day 5 – Other settings

    Session 9 – Salt tectonics

    Although salt tectonics can be extensive course on its own this session will cover some of the key elements associated with salt basins.

    Session 10 – Summary

    This session is flexible and can contain elements of the following:

    Review and address any specific questions or exercises from the week that requires additional time.

    Discussion of how structural styles have to be considered as linked system in some examples such as margin collapse systems.

    Although the focus of the course is structural geology, the topics covered are essential to understanding the inter-dependency across Geophysics, Geology, Resevoir Engineering and the economics that underlies the decision making process throughout the petroleum exploration lifecycle. 

    The course is devised to be flexible around the experience of the participants and will be tailored to either entry level and intermediate level. It can also be delivered to include an advanced option.

    ‒         Introduction to the use of seismic reflection studies in structural analysis of basins

    ‒         Importance of structural mapping in frontier exploration, trap identification and reservoir modelling

    ‒         Applying fundamental restoration techniques to constrain seismic interpretation

    ‒         Definition of mega-sequences in unconstrained basin settings

    ‒         Evoution of normal faults and importance of developing a conceptual model for interpreration

    ‒         Interaction of normal faults and basin fill

    ‒         Constraining reverse fault geometry from fold identification – impact on reservoir distribution

    ‒         Salt tectonics – spatial and temporal evolution

    ‒         Strike slip tectonics in 3D

    ‒         Inversion tectonics – unravelling multi-phase fault evolution

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