Subsurface Mapping

Trainer(s): Evert Uitentuis
Duration: 5 days

Course Description - Subsurface Mapping
Business context: A profitable development of an oil or gas field starts with a good understanding of the subsurface. As part of a subsurface evaluation team, geophysicists and geologists interpret subsurface data and provide geological models that form the basis for development planning. Construction of maps and sections of the subsurface, including integration of seismic and well data, forms an important part of the evaluation. The result should also provide illustration material on which management should be able to make decisions.

Computers are currently used to construct subsurface models and calculate reserves. A check for consistency with structural models against a quick manual evaluation should always be done. This course provides the tools for this.

Assessment of the connectivity between hydrocarbon-bearing areas is critical in understanding in the fluid flow within a reservoir, knowledge on faults dimensions and properties with respect to transmissibility is discussed such that will learn how to perform fault seal analysis.
At the end of the course participants will be able to apply geological concepts, construct maps and sections and validate computer-generated interpretations. They will be able to calculate subsurface volumes and assess their uncertainties.


  • Geologists, petroleum engineers and geophysicists involved with the development of oil and gas reservoirs.
  • Geologists needing knowledge of Correlation and Structural/Stratigraphic mapping


Course Content
* Geological concepts, global tectonics
* Geophysical methods, production seismic
* Hydrocarbon basin mapping and analysis
* Planning, gathering and management of geological data
* Well log basic interpretation and correlation
* Mapping of reservoir parameters and structure, integration of seismic data
* Structural styles, trapping conditions
* Subsurface stresses and pressures
* Reservoir architecture, geological modelling
* Oil and gas volumetric calculations
* Fault dimensions, properties and sealing capacity
* Case histories

Course Agenda

Day 1

Exploration and Production (E&P) development projects, Basin analysis

Introduction of participants and trainer, course objectives

Activities in E&P, the project life cycle

The role of subsurface maps and models in E&P projects

  • Concepts of petroleum geology, structural regimes
  • Hydrocarbon basins/plays
  • Plate tectonics, structural regimes
  • Sedimentary cycles and sequences
  • Sedimentary environments overview
  • Origin of hydrocarbons, source-rocks and maturity
  • Hydrocarbon traps, fluid contacts and spill-points
  • Various Group and Individual Exercises

Day 2

Seismic and reservoir property data

  • Seismic data gathering, processing and interpretation.
  • Data gathering (cores and logs)
  • Derivation of reservoir properties and mapping thereof.
  • Exercises:
    • Preparing property maps e.g. porosity, thickness and EOC.

Day 3

Structural styles, maps and sections

  • Structural styles, Maps and Sections
  • Stratigraphic Principles
  • Structural Geology: stresses and subsurface pressures
  • Various Exercises
    • Correlation
    • Structural maps and sections
    • Integration of pressure data

Day 4

Volumetric calculations and Reservoir Conditions

  • Volumetric calculations, subsurface uncertainties
  • Introduction to Computer Mapping & Modelling (Petrel)
  • Exercises:
    • Volumetric calculations


Day 5

  • Faults, fault constructions and fault sealing
    • Exercise: Fault Sealing
  • Preparation Subsurface Model
  • Course review and round-up