N260 Practical Subsurface Mapping
N260 Practical Subsurface Mapping
This course provides an introduction to the basic skills and techniques required to generate reliable subsurface maps and volumetric estimates by hand from well and seismic data. Although subsurface interpretation work and contouring is now largely done using computers it remains essential for early career geoscientists and petroleum engineers to understand basic mapping and volumetric concepts and retain control of the critical decisions involved in the process.
A five-day classroom course, comprising lectures, worked exercises and discussions, with at least half of the time devoted to worked examples. Participants will make a variety of hand-contoured maps from both well and seismic data, and understand their significance for estimating volumes of hydrocarbons in place in both exploration and production contexts.
Participants will learn to:
Subsurface mapping is a critical skill for those involved in describing hydrocarbon reservoirs. It is vital to know how to generate reliable subsurface maps that have internal integrity, honour available data, resolve data conflicts and communicate to decision-makers a realistic representation of the subsurface.
Such maps are used to quantify in-place hydrocarbon volumes and inform all kinds of drilling decisions during prospect evaluation, field appraisal and development and ultimately help to optimise the commercial potential of a project.
The course content is highly practical with several substantial exercises that complement the lecture material, as follows:
Lecture 1: Course overview and objectives
Lecture 2: Basics of structural geology
Lecture 3: Techniques of subsurface mapping, including:
Lecture 3: Techniques of subsurface mapping
Lecture 4: Basics of seismic
Lecture 5: Introduction to depth conversion
Lecture 6: Well log data
DAYS 3 - 4
Lecture 7: Well correlations & well cross-sections
Lecture 8: Subsurface pressure data and its value in mapping hydrocarbon distribution, including:
DAYS 4 - 5
Lecture 9: Calculating volumes of oil and gas in place in exploration and production
Lecture 10: More advanced volumetric considerations
Lecture 11: Volumetrics Checklist
This course is aimed at early career geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers, who want to learn how to make maps that realistically describe hydrocarbon reservoirs and their structural surroundings. It will also be useful for technical assistants involved in subsurface mapping and volumetric estimation.
The process of generating subsurface maps provides a technical team with the opportunity to collaborate between subsurface disciplines (geologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, engineers) and integrate data from a variety of sources (various types of seismic and well data). This course is enriched by attendance of participants with a variety of discipline backgrounds.
As a foundational course for early career geoscientists and petroleum engineers, no formal pre-requisites exist. Some knowledge of the upstream oil and gas business and some experience using subsurface data will prove helpful, as will a basic awareness of the nature of hydrocarbon reservoirs and their structural settings.
After participating in course N260 and developing further experience constructing a variety of subsurface maps, courses N240 (Using Seismic Data from Rank Exploration to Early Field Development), N085 (Introduction to Seismic Interpretation) and N282 (Interpreter’s Guide to Depth Imaging) would be useful follow up courses. These courses address the interpretation and integration of seismic data through lectures and hands on mapping exercises. Further additional courses in related technical topics are V124 (Play Fairway Analysis and Prospect Evaluation: Key Concepts and Techniques), N031 (Prospect Evaluation and Volumetric Methods, Dorset, UK), N087 (Play Fairway Analysis and Exploration Prospecting), N089 (Exploration Risk Analysis: Prospect Quantification, Decision Techniques, Estimating under Uncertainty and Upstream Portfolio Management) and N286 (Seismic Acquisition Principles and Practice).
Click on a name to learn more about the instructor
Nigel formed Banks Geoscience Limited in 1992 to provide geological and geophysical consultancy services to oil companies, governments, banks and universities. He has over 30 years experience in oil and gas exploration and production as a geoscientist.
Nigel has worked for Shell, Occidental and, more recently, Cairn Energy. As a consultant he has carried out numerous international projects involving equity determinations, reserves estimation and corporate valuations. He has also assisted several governments and national oil companies in evaluating their country’s petroleum potential and in attracting foreign investment for petroleum exploration.
Nigel was formerly a Visiting Professor at Oxford Brookes University and currently is a Visiting Lecturer on the M.Sc. courses in Petroleum Geoscience and Petroleum Geophysics at Imperial College, London. He also gives a variety of technical training courses to international oil companies and investors.
Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Oxford University - Geology
N097: Introduction of the Oil and Gas Industry
N260: Practical Subsurface Mapping
N829: Report Writing and Presentation Skills for Geoscientists and Engineers
N831: Fundamentals of the Oil and Gas Industry
R001: Oil and Gas Essentials
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