Postgraduate field courses
MSc Petroleum Geoscience
Wessex Basin Fieldtrip
The Wessex Basin Fieldtrip runs for 6 days in the second week of the Autumn term, for both the Petroleum Geoscience MSc and Petroleum Engineering MSc classes. The fieldtrip has two aims: (1) to consolidate the classroom-taught concepts of development geology, with an emphasis on the role of outcrop analogues in understanding subsurface reservoirs, and (2) to introduce the different elements of petroleum plays in an active hydrocarbon basin. Students document outcrops of units that are direct analogues to the reservoir studied several weeks later in the Production Geoscience Group Project (Sherwood Sandstone, Wytch Farm Field, Wessex Basin).
The Somerset Fieldtrip takes place for 2 days over a weekend in the Autumn term. It forms part of the Faults and Fracturesmodule and the fieldwork exercises are designed to complement the taught course. Students study faulted and fractured Jurassic limestones exposed along the foreshore and in the cliffs at Kilve. Due to the quality of the outcrops, Kilve is recognised as superb location at which to study faulting and fracturing and the scale of the exposures in the foreshore resemble a horizontal slice through a 3D seismic volume. Students learn how to: (1) describe a fault and its related damage zone, (2) study normal fault growth, linkage and displacement, (3) measure fracture sets, and (4) study an inverted normal fault.
The Oman Fieldtrip takes place over 7 days near the end of the Spring term, and focusses on a range of carbonate systems that are superbly exposed in the Oman Mountains and the Jebel Madar salt dome. During this fieldtrip, we will explore outcrop analogues to the Precambrian source rocks and carbonate reservoirs of Oman, the famous ‘Khuff’ formation that hosts large natural gas reserves in Qatar, the Jurassic ‘Arab’ formations that form the largest reservoir in the world (Ghawar Field) as well as detailed depositional features of Cretaceous sedimentary systems of the region, notable for large microbial reservoirs in the Shuai’ba Formation and rudist-related reservoirs in the UAE. We will also take the opportunity to review the structural evolution of the region and how it impacts on trapping mechanisms, and see world-class examples of fault-related diagenesis. The fieldtrip thus provides practical revision of the carbonate part of the Advanced Sedimentology module, and emphasises its integration with many advanced aspects of other taught modules prior to the May exams.
This fieldtrip to the Spanish Pyrenees takes place for 9 days around Easter, after the end of the Spring term. In combination with the Oman Fieldtrip, the Pyrenees Fieldtrip synthesises classroom-based material taught in the preceding two terms, in particular the Advanced Sedimentology, Basin Analysis and Petroleum Systems modules. The fieldtrip investigates the evolution of the Southern Pyrenean foreland basins, following a transect from east to west parallel to the orogeny and focussing on the source-to-sink response of linked depositional systems to tectonics in a contractional setting. The fieldtrip demonstrates the stratigraphic analysis of depositional systems from reservoir scale to basin scale, linked to tectonic basin development and analysis of structural styles. Specific comparisons are drawn with subsurface hydrocarbon provinces and reservoirs.
MSc Petroleum Engineering
Wessex Basin Fieldtrip
The fieldtrip has two aims. (1) To consolidate the classroom-taught concepts of development geology, with an emphasis on the role of outcrop analogues in understanding subsurface reservoirs, and (2) to introduce the different elements of petroleum plays in an active hydrocarbon basin.
The students document outcrops of units that are direct analogues to the reservoir studied several weeks later in the Production Geoscience Group Project (Sherwood Sandstone, Wytch Farm Field, Wessex Basin).
MSc Metals & Energy
Wessex Geological Fieldtrip
This fieldtrip is complimentary to the Introduction to Petroleum Geology course, putting concepts and skills into practice. The fieldtrip has two specific objectives. Firstly to review the geological processes that result in the generation, migration, entrapment and preservation of hydrocarbons. This is assisted by the Wessex Basin being an exhumed, partly uplifted, petroliferous sedimentary basin. Secondly we will describe the main productive reservoir intervals of the Wytch Farm Oil Field, particularly the Triassic Sherwood Sandstone and the Lower Jurassic Bridport Sands. This information will be used to discuss broader aspects of the development of the Wytch Farm oil field and to make comparisons to the North Sea Fields.
South Africa – Visit to Active Mining Operations
A visit of at least ten days to a region of active mining, downstream metal and mineral processing and energy development will be arranged for the third and fourth weeks of the summer term. The visit is a key component of your degree programme as it provides first-hand experience of all aspects of the extraction industry. It also reinforces the practical application of the theoretical material covered in the first two terms.