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This course combines theory, outcrop and software training on the methods for the interpretation of fault geometry and fault zone processes and the analysis of fault compartmentalization in exploration and development plays. The group is divided into teams of two to work together in producing a model using Petrel for presentation at the end of the course.
The Northumberland basin, the onshore extension of the prolific hydrocarbon province of the Southern North Sea, provides a direct hydrocarbon analogue for producing fields at both the seismic and outcrop scale. Well-exposed fault zones along the coast with complex architecture cut the Carboniferous and Permian sands that form offshore reservoirs. Outcrop demonstrations and exercises are designed to characterize the distributions of low permeability fault rock that controls the flow in the subsurface and provide a basis for the theory and methodology to interpret these behaviors in the subsurface using the Petrel Structural and Fault Analysis (SFA) module.
The outcrop stops are along the North-Eastern coastline of the UK running from Cullercoates Bay (Tynemouth) to Whitley Bay with a local hotel planned for accommodations and lectures.
Hotel conference facilities (afternoon)
o Health and safety briefing
Afternoon field work
o Overview of the Tynemouth Priory outcrop to discuss some features of the regional geology
Afternoon/evening lectures –
o General overview and introduction to course, goals and outcomes
o Regional geology overview
o Lecture – Fault Geometry, Kinematics and Architecture
o Review of regional Petrel modelDay 2
Morning: In the field. Theme: Uncertainties in exploration workflows
o Drive to Hartley Steps car park to examine exposures of the Crag Point Fault
o Exercise – compile stratigraphic log
o Juxtaposition analysis based on log and faults in outcrop
o Scale of observation: outcrop vs seismic and implications
o Fault zone architecture and implications
o If time permits – drive to Seaton Sluice and view outcrops of reservoir channel sands
Afternoon: Hotel conference facilities. Lecture material and exercises: QC analysis and juxtapositions
o QC of pillar faults and horizon input data
o Horizon clean-up tool
o Building horizons and layering
o QC of fault / horizon intersections
o 1D juxtaposition tool
o Juxtaposition analysis
o Map-based volume calculation
o Incorporating geometric and stratigraphic uncertaintyDay 3
Morning: In the field. Theme: Fault processes and fault rocks
o Drive to Hartley Steps car park to examine a series of low-throw faults around Hartley Steps.
o Discussion on scales of observation
o Outcrop-scale fault geometry and implications
o Fault rock types and fault architecture
o If time permits – drive to Collywell Bay to examine and discuss Collywell Bay fault
Afternoon: Hotel conference facilities
o Lecture – Fault rock property types, distributions and prediction methods. Fault seal theory and controls on flow.
o Exercise – Fault seal exploration workflow in Petrel
- Fault clay prediction
- Sealing capacity calculation
o Exercise – Fault seal production workflow in Petrel
- Fault permeability estimation
- Fault thickness estimation
- Transmissibility multipliers and flow indicatorsDay 4
Morning: In the field. Theme: Cataclasites and thickness of faults and their damage zones
o Walk to Cullercoates Bay to examine the 90 Fathom fault
o Examine deformation bands associated with the fault – thickness, orientation, density, spatial variation
o Discussion on the impact of fluid flow
o If not already visited, Seaton Sluice and/or Collywell Bay outcrops can be examined
Afternoon: Hotel conference facilities
o Lecture and exercise – Incorporating fault damage zones in the model (permeability modification)
o Using the workflow editor to model uncertainties
o Introduction to final exercise – Running uncertainty cases based on the Petrel model of the field areaDay 5
All day: Hotel conference facilities
o Final exercise – Teams run uncertainty cases and create powerpoint presentation summarizing their results
o Final presentations
o Course evaluations and course summary
The course is designed for exploration and production geologists, geophysicists and engineers working in the subsurface interpretation of faulted prospects in exploration and development plays
The integration of the outcrop and software models is designed to emphasize the functionality and application of fault interpretation and seal analysis in the SFA module including:
• Clean-up of horizon interpretation data and structural uncertainty modeling.
• Structural framework and pillar gridding of faults.
• Fault–horizon interpretation intersections.
• Fault-throw profiles and cumulative frequency plots.
• Fault geometric analysis (including dip, azimuth, throw, heave).
• Fault juxtaposition analysis.
• Fault clay content predictions (SGR, ESGR, clay smears).
• Fault seal prediction (standard published global equations, core calibrated functions).
• Sealing capacity and column height predictions.
• Fault permeability and threshold pressure predictors.
By the end of the course, participants will be confident in:
• Applying concepts of fault geometry and kinematics to improve subsurface fault interpretation.
• Identifying and understanding key uncertainties in risking traps with fault seal components.
• Estimating seal capacities and column heights from capillary seal concepts and clay contents derived from a range of algorithms and incorporating the methodologies in the SFA module in Petrel.
• Identifying potential trap scenarios and full workflows and methods for deriving seal capacities directly within Petrel.
• Generating structural models with correct horizon and fault intersections, and checking the quality and uncertainty of the interpretation and model at various stages within the SFA module in Petrel.
Experience with Petrel is recommended.
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