Utah - Book Cliffs: Development Geology Field Seminar

Evert van de Graaff 
7 Days

Business context

A good appreciation of the nature of reservoir and non-reservoir rocks in the subsurface is of fundamental importance to sound EP decision making. This applies throughout a field's life-cycle, all the way from the exploration phase, through appraisal, field development and finally field abandonment.

This seminar will help participants in developing geological and reservoir modeling skills based on examination of a range of world class, field-scale reservoir analogues.

Who should attend

Geoscientists and petroleum engineers. Great for Asset teams that need to develop a shared understanding of their reservoirs through examination of outcrop analogues.

Course content

Large scale and superbly exposed outcrops in the Book Cliffs / Colorado National Monument / Arches National Park/ Canyonlands and adjoining areas. Paleocene lacustrine source rocks [Green River Formation in Roan Cliffs] / Cretaceous coastal & deltaic deposits in a sequence stratigraphic context [Mesa Verde Group / Mancos Shale in Book Cliffs] / Jurassic / Cretaceous fluvial deposits ( Morrison Fm & Dakota Sst) / analogues for Rotliegendes & Triassic reservoirs [Jurassic Wingate Fm (aeolian) - Entrada Fm (fluvial) - Entrada & Navajo Fm (aeolian) / Permo- Carboniferous Cutler Fm (aeolian / fluvial / marine / incised valley deposits in a sequence stratigraphic context / salt tectonics (salt diapir / salt walls / fault compartmentalisation) / fractured Precambrian basement rocks / gold mining project as an analogue for oil & gas  projects.

Learning, methods and tools

Start & finish in Grand Junction [Colorado - USA] which is served by commuter airlines from Denver / Salt Lake City / Phoenix. Use will be mader of self drive 4WD vehicles.

Participants of the seminar will learn to identify the key geological features that should be captured in a reservoir model. Thereby they will be better able to assess uncertainties and VOI aspects. Interdisciplinary discussions will help create a shared understanding of the subsurface reality.

Day by day programme

Day 1     Grand Junction [Co]

  • Introductory briefing (Technical programme, HSE & logistics; Collection of rental cars)
  • Colorado National Monument (Briefing on stratigraphic & structural setting Uncompahgre High / Grand Valley / Book Cliffs / Roan Cliffs / Grand Mesa;  Estimating volumetrics [STOIIP / GIIP] / assessing likely presence of aquifer drive / gas vs oil field development / conceptual field development / sequence stratigraphy continental clastics / fracture systems)
  • Dinosaur Museum [Fruita]

Day 2     Grand Junction [Co]

  • Book Cliff panorama [S139 Road] (Mesa Verde Group - sequence stratigraphy / stacked coastal reservoir - seal pairs [parasequences] / sand shale-out / STOIIP estimation / aquifer characteristics / FDP concept)
  • Coal Gulch [Book Cliffs] (Depositional setting coal measures / sequence stratigraphy / Coal Bed Methane developments)
  • '27.25 Road' section [Book Cliffs] [NB not accessible in wet conditions] (QC of core description / cyclic coastal parasequences / sequence stratigraphy)
  • Douglas Pass [Green River Fm / Roan Cliffs] [alternative for '27.25 Road' stop] (lacustrine source rocks / oil shale / 'unconventionals')

Day 3     Grand Junction [Co] > Green River [Ut]

  • Rabbit Valley [IS 70] (low N/G fluvial reservoir architecture / dinosaur fossils)
  • Thompson Springs [IS 70] (Coastal deltaics / sequence stratigraphy / strike-slip faulting)
  • Battleship Butte - Tusher Canyon [Green River] (Coastal parasequences / sequence stratigraphy / clinoforms)

Day 4     Green River [Ut]

  • Jurassic Morrison Fm / Cretaceous Dakota Sst [IS 70 & Hanksville] (Fluviatile reservoir architecture: connectivity & orientation)
  • Lower Cretaceous [S 24 Road - Hanksville] (Incised valley / high energy vs low energy transgressive deposits)
  • Tertiary intrusives [S276 Road - Hanksville] (In situ stress regimes / thrust faulting / 'fracking' / playa deposits)
  • Jurassic Wingate Fm & Kayenta Fm [Lake Powell area] (Aeolian / fluvial / playa analogues for Rotliegendes)

Day 5     Green River [Ut] > Moab [Ut]

  • John Powell Museum [Green River]
  • Arches National Park [Moab] (Fault systems / cataclasis / reservoir compartmentalization / volumetrics / in situ stress regimes / well-bore orientation & well-bore stability; Navajo Fm & Entrada Fm - analogues for aeolian Rotliegendes)
  • Permian Cutler Fm [Castle Valley - Moab] ('Ice-house' vs 'Green-house' sequence stratigraphy / incised valley)

Day 6     Moab [Ut]

  • Permian Cutler Fm [Canyonlands National Park] ('Ice-house' vs 'Green-house' sequence stratigraphy / maximum flooding surfaces in arid coastal plain settings / analogues for aeolian & fluvial Rotliegendes / natural fracture systems)
  • Upheaval Dome [Canyonlands National Park] (Salt diapirism / in situ stress regimes / well targeting, well -bore positioning, orientation & well-bore stability)
  • Dead Horse Point ('Ice-house' vs 'Green-house' sequence stratigraphy / maximum flooding surfaces in arid coastal plain settings / analogues for aeolian & fluvial Rotliegendes)

Day 7     Moab [Ut] > Grand Junction [Co]

  • Paradox Valley [S 90 Road] (Salt tectonism / salt induced diagenesis)
  • Hanging Flume [S 141 Road] (Project planning / scenario planning / CAPEX vs OPEX / economics)
  • Permian Cutler Fm [Gateway - S 141 Road] (Analogue for conglomeratic Rotliegendes)
  • Pre-Cambrian crystalline basement [Unaweep Canyon - S 141 Road] (Analogue for fractured basement reservoirs)