N011 High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Reservoir Applications (Utah, USA)

Event Facts

12 - 17 Sep. 2020
Event Code:
6 days
Andy Pulham, Lee Krystinik
Booking Status:
Good Availability
USD $10,780 (Exclusive of tax)

Course Facts

Course Code:
6 days
Physical Demand:
4.0 Continuing Education Units
40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate Issued Upon Completion


This course evaluates key sequence stratigraphic principles and their usage in reservoir applications, based on detailed sedimentological and stratigraphical examination of the deltaic marginal to shallow marine deposits of the Cretaceous Book Cliffs and Coal Cliffs, SE Utah, USA. Attendees will learn to recognise key marginal marine facies and key surfaces, their sequence stratigraphic significance, and reservoir implications. 

Duration and Training Method

This is a six-day field course in Utah with outcrop instruction (80%) supported by classroom presentations and exercises (20%). Subsurface examples will be linked to outcrops to illustrate applications of observations. Attendees will work as teams on some exercises.

Participants will learn to:

  1. Assess the sedimentology, ichnology, and stratigraphic architecture in coastal plain and nearshore settings (wave-dominated deltas, fluvial-dominated deltas and shoreface systems) using core and outcrop.
  2. Evaluate and correlate key stratigraphic surfaces and parasequence stacking patterns in shoreline systems, and their use at reservoir scale.
  3. Evaluate the sedimentary cyclicity and sequence stratigraphic hierarchy at reservoir to sub-regional scales.
  4. Interpret the influences of subsidence, eustasy, and sediment supply in creating stratigraphic architecture in marginal marine settings.
  5. Predict reservoir continuity and lateral variability in coastal plain successions, based upon observations in linked marine facies.
  6. Predict facies changes in marginal marine settings during changes in relative sea-level and understand the significance of evolving paleogeography for reservoir presence and exploration opportunities.
  7. Integrate the stratigraphic stacking patterns observed in the outcrops and in the correlation exercises to predict reservoir presence and trapping configurations in undrilled areas removed from immediate datasets.

Outcrops, cores and subsurface examples will be used to demonstrate stratigraphic architecture, correlation using key surfaces and reservoir applications. Attendees will learn to recognise key marginal marine facies and surfaces, their sequence stratigraphic significance and reservoir implications.

Focus will be on the nature, recognition and correlation of key stratigraphic surfaces and their use at reservoir scale investigations. Reservoir description tools and techniques will be illustrated and explored throughout the course.

Day 0

  • Travel to Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Optional group dinner.


Day 1: Introduction to the field area

  • Introduction to the course, and sedimentology and stratigraphy of southeast Utah
  • Outcrop traverse from 'mountains to coast', en route to the field area
  • Overnight in Price, Utah

Day 2: Architecture of the Kenilworth Member, Blackhawk Formation

  • A regional transect through the Kenilworth Member of the Blackhawk Formation.
    • Examine the architecture of a prograding shoreline complex and test stratigraphic principals and concepts for dip and strike prediction of lithofacies and reservoir elements.
    • Discuss the implications of the observations and how they might impact production and exploration strategies.
  • Overnight in Price, Utah

Day 3: Shoreline systems and parasequence patterns

  • A field exercise involving reservoir scale architecture of a wave-dominated shoreline complex.
    • Recognition of key facies in wave-dominated delta systems and understanding sequence stratigraphic building blocks; observation of cyclicity and vertical and lateral facies changes.
    • Participants will interpret outcrop sections and integrate these in a township-scale correlation exercise.
  • Overnight in Price, Utah

Day 4: Parasequence correlations

  • Classroom and field correlation exercise (continued from previous day) and lectures on stratigraphic tools and concepts
  • Field work comprises sedimentology and stratigraphic architecture in coastal plain and nearshore settings including up and down-dip examination of previously observed parasequences and their stacking patterns
  • Overnight in Emery, Utah

Day 5: Ferron Sandstone and fluvial-dominated deltas

  • Review of Coal Cliff stratigraphy followed by examination of this fluvially-influenced deltaic system.
  • Sedimentology and stratigraphic architecture in coastal plain and nearshore settings are observed and discussed in comparison with the wave-dominated beach-shoreface systems seen on days 2, 3 and 4.
  • Overnight in Emery, Utah.

Day 6: Ferron Sandstone reservoir stratigraphy

  • Examination of Ferron Sandstone cores and a well correlation exercise and discussion of the distribution and prediction of reservoir quality in marginal settings.
  • Correlations from the core and log data are tested and reconciled at outcrop.
  • Final evening presentations, group dinner and overnight in Emery, Utah.

Day 7

  • Group drives from Emery to Salt Lake City for departure.

Click on following links to view drone-aquired 3-D models of some of the outcrops.




Who should attend

Exploration and development geologists and geophysicists seeking training in deltaic and shallow marine stratigraphy or a refresher course. Reservoir engineers seeking more information about stratigraphic controls on reservoir behaviour and techniques in reservoir zonation. Asset Managers responsible for exploitation of marginal marine clastic reservoirs.

Prerequisites and linking courses

It is assumed that participants have a basic knowledge of sedimentology and stratigraphy before attending this course, as presented in Basic Application level courses N155 (Introduction to Clastic Systems: A Petroleum Perspective), N251 (Well Log Sequence Stratigraphy: Applications to E&P), and N003 (Geological Interpretation of Well Logs). Attendance on N007 (Seismic and Sequence Stratigraphy for Play Prediction and Basin Analysis) would be advantageous, but not required.

Those wanting to apply sequence stratigraphic concepts to well-log correlation for characterization and prediction of sandstone reservoirs could subsequently attend N451 (Practical Oil-Finders Guide to Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphy (Wyoming, USA)). N042 (Reservoir Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Coastal and Shelfal Successions: Deltas, Shorelines and Origins of Isolated Sandstones (NW Colorado, USA)) would also be an excellent follow-up class.

The physical demands for this class are MODERATE according to the Nautilus Training Alliance field course grading system. The field area is semi-desert with sparse vegetation. There will be walks of up to 0.7 km (0.5 mile) most days over rocky trails, outcrops and some steep ground. The longest hike of the trip will be 2.5 km (1.5 mile). The field area is at an elevation of approximately 2000 m (6000 ft), and when combined with hot temperatures, may lead to unexpected fatigue or shortness of breath for some participants. Transport is by SUVs. Most driving is on blacktop and well-marked dirt roads, with some outcrops reached by dirt track with moderately technical driving.

Learn how RPS manages safety

Andy Pulham

Dr. Andy Pulham has 37 years of industrial and academic experience.  After graduating Andy spent 12 years with BP Exploration as a Petroleum Sedimentologist and for BP worked in NW Europe, North America and South America. Highlights in Andy’s industrial career have been regional studies in the Jurassic of the North Sea and the Cenozoic of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and the appraisal of the Cusiana Field in Colombia.

From 1995-2001 Andy was Principal Investigator for Reservoir Geology at the Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado. While in Colorado, Andy conducted research into the production characteristics of marginal marine siliciclastic oil and gas reservoirs and alluvial architecture in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. Subsurface projects were drawn from the Americas, Europe and Papua New Guinea.

In 2001 Andy gained an appointment as the Canada Research Chair in Petroleum Geosciences in the Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland and taught undergraduate and graduate petroleum geology and sedimentology and advised graduate students in subsurface reservoir, seismic stratigraphy and outcrop sedimentology projects.

Andy left academia in 2003 and joined Nautilus USA as VP of Geoscience and acted as the senior technical liaison and technical manager for the Geoscience Training Alliance in North America; an alliance at the time of 15 oil and gas companies.

Since early 2005 Andy has been constructing his own consulting and training company and alliances. Andy’s primary interests are clastic sedimentology and stratigraphy. He has consulted in South America, USA, Europe and Africa. Andy’s portfolio of geoscience training classes now number eleven schools and include deepwater clastics, marginal marine and deltas, play fairway analysis and exploration prospecting and petroleum systems.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University College of Wales, Swansea - Geology
BSc University of Liverpool, England - Physical Geography and Geology
AAPG - Member
SEPM - Member
IAS - Member
RMAG - Member

Courses Taught
N087: Play Fairway Analysis & Exploration Prospecting
N009: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy & Reservoir Geology of Deepwater Clastic Systems (County Clare, Ireland)
N011: High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Reservoir Applications (Utah, USA)
N042: Reservoir Sedimentology & Stratigraphy of Coastal and Shelfal Successions: Deltas, Shorelines and Origins of Isolated Sandstones (NW Colorado, USA)
N115: High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Application to Deltaic Systems and Reservoirs  (County Clare Ireland)


Lee Krystinik

Dr. Lee F. Krystinik has specialized in using sedimentary and stratigraphic analysis to find oil and gas in clastic reservoirs since he received his Ph.D. in geology from Princeton University. Krystinik has held positions as Manager of Regional Studies at Reservoirs Inc., Manager of Geology at Union Pacific Resources and Global Chief Geologist for ConocoPhillips. He Co-founded Fossil Creek Resources, a private-equity funded start up and is now a founding Partner in Equus Alliance, an exploration investment partnership that applies new technologies in the search for overlooked targets, predominantly shallow, conventional oil targets

His areas of interest include syntectonic sedimentation and other controls on basin-fill architecture, integrated play assessment and cost effective implementation of new concepts and technology. Dr. Krystinik has been an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer in North America and Latin America and he is a past President of both SEPM and AAPG.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Princeton University - Geology
Past President of AAPG and SEPM

Courses Taught
N011: High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Reservoir Applications (Utah, USA)
N027: Reservoir Sedimentology & Stratigraphy of Continental Clastic Systems (Wyoming, USA)
N042: Reservoir Sedimentology & Stratigraphy of Coastal and Shelfal Successions: Deltas, Shorelines and Origins of Isolated Sandstones (NW Colorado, USA)
N244: Clastic Reservoir Prediction Using Advanced Sequence Stratigraphic Interpretation (Wyoming, USA)
N407: Predicting Reservoir and Petroleum Systems in Rifts and Extensional Basins (New Mexico & Colorado, USA)
N451: Practical Oil-Finders Guide to Siliciclastic Sequence Stratigraphy (Wyoming)
N463: Geological Drivers for Tight-Oil and Unconventional Plays in the Powder River Basin and Applications to Other Basins (Wyoming, USA)


Alternative Dates for this Course

Related Subjects

The instructors did an outstanding job of simplifying the concepts of sequence stratigraphy and how they can be used in exploration.