Postgraduate field courses
MSc Petroleum Geoscience
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. 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 Field trip takes place over a weekend in the Autumn term. It forms part of the Fractured Reservoirs module 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.
Students visit well-exposed outcrops of Upper Carboniferous deep-water deposits in northern Derbyshire, UK to gain a better understanding of the sedimentology, stratigraphic architecture and controls on the development of deep-water reservoirs. High net-to-gross slope channels, low net-to-gross basin-floor fans and their geneticallty-related shelf delta feeder system are well-exposed in seismic-scale outcrops. Furthermore, a high-resolution biostratigraphic framework, coupled with seismic reflection and borehole data allow the deposits to be placed within a regional tectono-stratigraphic framework. Field-based practical exercises are supported by evening lectures and assessments, which highlight issues related to seismic and well-log datasets from deep-water reservoirs. This field course supports material covered during the Clastic Sedimentology classroom course.
US Fieldtrip - Utah
The first week of the field trip focuses on the sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and reservoir characterisation of coastal-plain, marginal-marine and shallow-marine deposits using the superb exposures of the Book Cliffs and Coal Cliffs. The second week addresses structural geology, basin evolution and tectonic-sedimentation interaction in the unique exposures of the northern Paradox Basin, an exhumed salt basin. Well logs, cores and seismic data are used to demonstrate the subsurface expression of the rocks studied at outcrop, and specific comparisons are drawn with subsurface hydrocarbon provinces and reservoirs. The fieldtrip thus provides practical revision and integration of many advanced aspects of the taught modules prior to exams. By happy coincidence, this fantastic geology is exposed in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world - Utah's reputation as a "geologist's paradise" is fully justified! As part of the trip, we visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, in addition to many less well-known areas of outstanding natural beauty.
US Fieldtrip - Texas and New Mexico
This fieldtrip is designed to complement and reinforce the material taught in the ‘Applied sedimentology – carbonate reservoirs” course. The field course focuses on depositional geometries of carbonate systems, notably including the famous Permian-age Capitan succession of Texas and New Mexico where a complete depositional system is exposed in a series of canyons in National Parks. Students also visit Carlsbad Caverns to witness several aspects of meteoric diagenesis, as well as the outcrops immediately outside of the jurisdiction of the park where beautiful sponges of the reef tract are preserved. The geometries of other carbonate systems, notably carbonate ramps of Permian and Carboniferous age as well as carbonate mud mounds of Mississippian age, are also studied during this fieldtrip. The main educational purpose are to relate geometry of potential reservoir units with the texture of different facies in carbonate rocks, and the learning outcomes will include building confidence when interpreting seismic and well-log data from similar systems, and acquiring a better appreciation of what controls the distribution of good reservoir quality facies in carbonate rocks.
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.
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). (2) To introduce the different elements of petroleum plays in an active hydrocarbon basin.