Fundamentals of Hydrocarbon Exploration

Duration: 5 days

Business context

Finding new oil and gas reserves is core business for most oil & gas companies or government petroleum organisations. Geologist working in exploration teams need to have a thorough grasp of the geological processes that are relevant for the formation of oil and gas pools. Also they must have skills in, and awareness of the multitude of tools used in petroleum exploration. This course discusses the fundamentals of all aspects of petroleum exploration.

Who should attend

Geologists and geophysicists working in the oil & gas business and in related government organisations.

Course content

  • Overview of world-wide oil & gas occurrences:
  • Formation of sedimentary basins.
  • Play concepts and petroleum systems.
  • Fundamentals of seismic acquisition, processing & Interpretation
  • Key aspects of reservoirs (clastics & carbonates), seals, and source rocks.
  • Trap formation and structural style
  • Hydrocarbon generation & migration
  • Oil and gas prospect mapping
  • Basin prospectivity assessment
  • Volumes, risk & uncertainty, exploration economics

Learning, methods and tools

At the end of the course the participants will have a good general understanding of the basics of oil and gas exploration.

Each topic is introduced by a lecture, and leaning is re-enforced by practical exercises (on paper). Hand-out material in paper and/or electronic format will be provided. On request, special emphasis can be given to the local geological setting.

Day by day programme

Day 1

Focus on basins & screening tools

  • Introduction: the exploration work flow & Global distribution of oil & gas
  • Exercise: testing the geological knowledge
  • Basin formation & type
  • Exercise: basin type and structural style
  • Non seismic methods
  • Exercise: using surface geochemistry
  • Interpreting basin stratigraphy
  • Exercises: stratigraphy and prospectivity

Day 2

Focus on seismic, logs, source & clastics

  • The seismic method
  • Exercise: interpretation of seismic data 1
  • Source rocks
  • Exercise: interpreting source rock data
  • Siliciclastic reservoirs
  • Exercise: Interpretation of seismic data 2
  • Geology from wireline logs
  • Exercise: well correlation

Day 3

Focus on carbonates, traps & facies

  • Carbonate reservoirs
  • Exercise:
  • Trapping geometries
  • Exercise: interpretation of seismic data
  • Seal
  • Exercise: clay smear potential
  • Facies mapping
  • Exercise: facies map construction

Day 4

Focus on kitchen & prospect

  • Burial history reconstruction
  • Exercise: create burial history
  • Generation & migration of hydrocarbons
  • Exercise: effective drainage area construction
  • Kitchen mapping
  • Exercise: maturity data and kitchen map
  • Prospect mapping
  • Exercise: Assess prospect risk & uncertainty

Day 5

Focus on plays, prospects, and volumes

  • Plays and petroleum systems
  • Exercise: play maps
  • Volumetrics, risk & uncertainties
  • Exercise: calculate volumetrics in prospect
  • Exploration economics
  • Exercise: data integration
  • Wrap-up & evaluation