D483 Geological Seismic Interpretation of Deepwater Systems: Depositional Environments, Reservoir Architecture and Stratigraphy (Distance Learning)

Event Facts

  • 22 Sep. 2020
  • 23 Sep. 2020
  • 24 Sep. 2020
  • 29 Sep. 2020
  • 30 Sep. 2020
  • 1 Oct. 2020
Courses consist of a series of 2-3 hour webinar sessions starting at 14:00 London and 08:00 Houston time. Any variation to this will be communicated in the courses joining instructions
Event Code:
6 sessions
Mike Mayall
Booking Status:
Good Availability
GBP £2,490 (Exclusive of tax)

Course Facts

Course Code:
3 days
Virtual Classroom
2.4 Continuing Education Units
24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


This Distance Learning course will be scheduled as a series of two- to three-hour long webinars over a two-week period (equivalent to a three-day classroom course), comprising a mixture of lectures, discussions, case studies, and worked examples to be completed by participants during and between webinar sessions. 

This course focuses on the seismic stratigraphic interpretation of deepwater depositional systems and has an emphasis on utilising practical workflows for mapping, predicting and quantifying deepwater reservoirs. Through this, the course provides seismic interpreters with the skills and techniques required to more efficiently map different deepwater facies leading to better understanding of the reservoir distribution and stratigraphic trap potential. This can be utilised in all stages of the E&P cycle.

Duration and Training Method

A virtual classroom course divided into 6 webinar sessions, comprising lectures, discussion, case studies, and practical exercises to be completed by participants during and between sessions.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Develop a systematic approach to mapping, and interpreting deepwater depositional systems at scales from basin to individual reservoirs.
  2. Evaluate seismic facies to create depositional models and predict reservoir presence, distribution, and quality.
  3. Assess implications of interpretations on lithology, net-to-gross, and reservoir properties.

Lectures will provide a summary of the fundamentals of deepwater depositional systems. The principal goal of the course is to provide subsurface seismic interpreters with practical workflows for interpretation and hands-on experience in seismic stratigraphic interpretation.

Topic 1:

Deepwater depositional systems – fundamentals

A brief overview and reminder so we are all using similar language

  • Depositional processes and facies
  • Sequence stratigraphic setting
  • Submarine Fan types and controls

Slope types and Key depositional elements (Channels, MTC’s, Sheets)

An overview of slope types based on degree of structuration and confinement of depositional systems. Identification of the key facies elements common to all deep-water deposits. This will form the basis for the rest of the course.

Application of workflow for channel systems

Channels are major reservoir systems on slopes. We will investigate the downdip changes in channel style across a slope and the associated internal stratigraphic and facies architecture. Channels are very variable and the key is to recognise elements which are common to each as a basis for initial mapping. This allows us to develop a simple but highly effective workflow for systematic analysis of channel systems.

  • Mapping methodologies
  • Stratigraphic architecture
  • Facies prediction and reservoir quality

 Topic 2:

Application of workflow for sheet systems

Sheet sands occur in a wide variety of setting including ponded basis, stepped slopes and basin floors.

However, we can generate an analytical approach and workflow which is applicable in all of these settings. The key is in understanding the development of slope topography. This can often be subtle and requires careful observations and frequently careful depth conversion of the data.

  • Mapping methodologies
  • Stratigraphic architecture
  • Controls of slope topography
  • Facies prediction and reservoir quality

Topic 3:  Application of workflow for Mass Transport Complexes

Mass Transport Complexes only very rarely form reservoirs with sustainable production rates in deep water. However, we can recognise seven ways in which they can be critical in controlling the distribution and character of reservoirs and as potential seals. We will investigate the following:

  • Mapping methodologies
  • Stratigraphic architecture
  • Impact on reservoir distribution

Topic 4: Stratigraphic traps

Stratigraphic traps can be important throughout a basin history from early exploration to new plays in a mature basin. Without strong, calibrated DHI’s they will always be relatively high risk plays. The key is how we can keep them in our prospect portfolio to a point at which we might consider drilling one. We will discuss the significant factors that help us focus on areas with the greatest stratigraphic trapping potential:

  • Significance
  • Definition

Topic 5: Application of analogues - maximizing the value of using analogues

At all stage of the E&P cycle, data is always less than we would really like so we turn to the concept of

‘Analogues’. At least twelve ways have identified in which the concept is used in the industry. This can lead to confusion and reduce impact. This session will provide some clarity around the concept and thereby start to maximize the value of Analogues.

Who should attend

Geoscientists working on deepwater sediments, whether in exploration, appraisal, development or production.

Prerequisites and linking courses

Participants will benefit if they have some knowledge of deepwater sedimentology but this will be covered to a fundamental level on the course. 

There are a wide range of linking Nautilus Training Alliance field courses that explore deepwater clastic systems worldwide, including N009 (Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Reservoir Geology of Deepwater Clastic Systems - County Clare, Ireland) and N033 (Characterisation, Modelling, Simulation and Development Planning in Deepwater Clastic Reservoirs -Tabernas, Spain). 

N485 (Advanced Seismic Interpretation) provides further information about the interpretation of features on seismic profiles.

Mike Mayall

Mike started at BP as a sedimentologist in the International group in London and worked on numerous projects from all over the world, particularly in Indonesia, Ireland, Norway and Alaska. He later became manager of the International Sedimentology group and subsequently moved to Houston as manager of an Integrated Reservoir Description group. Mike spent four years in Houston where he was involved in many projects including early exploration and appraisal of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.  On returning to London Mike worked on major projects in the NW shelf of Australia and on clastic and carbonate reservoirs offshore Vietnam.

When new giant discoveries were made in deepwater offshore Angola Mike was part of the small BP team which evaluated the discoveries and took them through the BP sanctioning process. During this time Mike was able to interpret the fabulous seismic data, integrate with small multidiscipline teams and work with, and learn from, the operating teams in other major companies. Through this thrilling and exhilarating period Mike was involved in the appraisal and sanctioning of ten major projects in deepwater reservoirs.

Mike’s key skills are in reducing complex technical issues to practical and pragmatic value focused on important element of a project. He is an energetic and passionate advocate of technical quality, teaching and coaching of both young and more experienced professionals. Mike has taught many field and classroom training courses ranging from basic sedimentology and petroleum geology to conducting advanced workshops. Mike has always had strong links with academia and he is enthusiastic about applying research results to industry subsurface problems.

Mike has published papers on clay mineralogy, Devonian limestones, shelf edge deltas, tufted algal mats, Miocene carbonates and earthquake beds. His more recent work has been focussed on deepwater reservoirs and he has published a number of papers with colleagues from industry and academia. Thirty four years after starting with BP, Mike retired to become an independent consultant.

Mike now is a consultant for the oil industry and has also helped develop and deliver industry training courses on ‘Passive margin play concepts’ and ‘Maximising the impact of analogues across the E&P cycle’. He is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London with a research program on sedimentation and tectonics in slope systems. He also teaches on the Petroleum Geology MSc course. Mike works with the Aberdeen University deep-water PRAXS consortia on developing workflows for interpreting deep-water slope systems. He has numerous publications particularly on deep-water sediments.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Reading University - The late Triassic (Rhaetian) transgression in SW Britain
MSc Reading University - Sedimentology and it’s Applications
BSc Cardiff University - Geology, Honors

Courses Taught
N372:  Integrated Subsurface Description in a Working Petroleum System (North Derbyshire, UK)

Alternative Dates for this Course

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