N320 Prospect, Trap and Fault Seal Analysis: Mapping Key Uncertainties (Miri, Malaysia)
N320 Prospect, Trap and Fault Seal Analysis: Mapping Key Uncertainties (Miri, Malaysia)
Increasingly leads and prospects are smaller and closer to seismic resolution - the use of straightforward mapping and structural techniques can take these prospects to successful discoveries. In many cases significant fault dependencies mean mapping and fault seal analysis are key to estimating trapped columns, fluid contacts, volume and risk. Students will learn how a map works or fails as well as quantitative techniques to test multiple dependencies and complex fault interactions. Field excursions will examine the scale and structure of a real oilfield and explore fault geometries and trapping mechanisms.
A five-day combined field and classroom course, the proportion of field to classroom time is around 50:50. Lectures with numerous exercises (some involving paper mapping) and simple structural techniques will be augmented by field visits to examine real rocks involved in an active petroleum system and a local oilfield.
Participants will learn to:
Increasingly the leads and prospects explorers are looking at are smaller and closer to seismic resolution. The course involves a ‘back-to-the-future’ approach and through the use of straightforward mapping and structural techniques participants will gain the skills to take their prospects through to successful discoveries.
In many cases, prospects have significant fault dependencies. Thus mapping and fault seal analysis are critical to estimating trapped columns, fluid contacts, volume and risk.
During the training, common sense, easy-to-use techniques will be used to assess faulted prospects. The ability to see how a map works or fails to work as a prospect will be a key skill students will be expected to leave the course with. These ‘quick look’ skills will be augmented in the field were they will explore fault geometries, associated trapping mechanisms and uncertainties to give strong visual memories of fault to take into prospect evaluation.
As well as the ‘quick look’ techniques there will be time to develop quantitative techniques to make, test and break prospects. In particular, the consideration of multiple fault dependencies and the ability to hand-contour complex fault interactions (relay ramps, branch lines and soft-linked faults) that may be required to get a prospect to work. At the end of the training participants will have the skills both to produce better prospects of their own and to help peer review prospects of others.
Provisional Itinerary and Agenda
Day 0: Arrival
Attendees arrive in Miri, Sarawak. Check in to hotel. Introduction to the course, participant and tutor introductions and aspirations, Nautilus field safety briefing, housekeeping.
Day 1: Introduction to scale of structures and trap analysis. Regional and Intraformational Seals
Introductory lectures – Course Objectives, Introduction to the geology of NW Borneo and Sarawak
Field excursion to the Lambir Hills to introduce local stratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy. Examination of potential regional and intraformational seals in the field. Sedimentary aspects of seal integrity.
Groups will ultimately present 4 prospects. In a scenario exercise that will run through the training participants will be spilt in to groups to help present, mature and rank a series of prospects.
Day 2: Juxtaposition and SGR analysis
Morning field excursion – visit to the Miri Field and Canada Hill to understand the scale of a real prospect. Airport Road outcrop – examination of fault geometries and faulting at a variety of scales, does my fault seal?
Afternoon classroom session - Participants will build the skills to work confidently on exploration fault seal analysis. In particular, understanding when and how to use Juxtaposition and SGR analysis.
Teams will be introduced to their prospects and go through a cursory ranking process.
Day 3: Pressure and fault seal analysis
Morning field excursion – visit local outcrops in Miri to examine a variety of fault types in a heterolithic succession.
Afternoon classroom session - Participants will be introduced to the impact and risks associated with hydrodynamic seals and how they differ from membrane fault seal. A key feature of fault seal analysis is the identification and modelling of uncertainty associated with the measurement, interpretation and mapping of faulted horizons. Students will gain the skills to quickly and efficiently identify fault uncertainties.
Day 4: Fault statistics and revising the prospect
Morning field excursion – Field exercises will give students practical understanding of the variations in fault geometry relative to the size of the fault. Analysis of fault statistics at outcrop (throw/heave/shape).
Afternoon classroom session - Group prospects will be updated using the practical skills learned during the training. With a prospect defined a there will be a review of the geomechanical and charge issues that could then limit the accumulation size.
Day 5: Presentation of team prospects, summary
Field work on the final day will be used to explore the field evidence for geomechanical mechanisms that can diminish trap efficiency and thus reduce trapped columns.
Afternoon classroom session - Students will go through a "Peer Assist" review of their prospects to re-rank and help define the drilling order for the prospects.
Final wrap up and course evaluations
Day 6: Departure
This course is relevant to all geoscientists who are engaged in the assessment and appraisal of prospects and trapped hydrocarbon volumes and who require a better understanding of the controls on faulted traps.
Participants will benefit most if they have a basic grounding in geology but structural geological terms and techniques will be introduced from first principles.
The physical demands for this course are MODERATE according to the Nautilus field course grading system. The field stops are not strenuous. There is no ascent more than 10 m (30 ft) and no walks longer than 2 km (1.25 miles) at sea level. However, the environment in north Borneo is tropical, hot and humid and this elevates the grading from LOW to MODERATE. Participants should be prepared for temperatures over 30ºC (85ºF) and 100% humidity - such tropical conditions are not tolerated well by some people. Lightweight loose clothing is recommended and long sleeves and trousers will protect against biting insects.
Click on a name to learn more about the instructor
Howard Johnson has around 30 years of petroleum-related experience, divided equally between Shell and Imperial College London. He is currently the Shell Professor of Petroleum Geology at Imperial College, a position that he has held since 1993. He is Director of the MSc Petroleum Geoscience course (45-50 students annually), and Head of the Petroleum Geoscience and Engineering Research Section, which is a research-active, multidisciplinary group comprising 14 academic staff and around 50 PhD students and research staff. His personal research interests are in clastic sedimentology and reservoir characterization.
He has wide experience in delivering technical courses for petroleum industry professionals, including Development Geology, Reservoir Characterisation and Sedimentology. He has published around 50 technical publications.
Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Oxford - Geology (focus on Sedimentology)
BSc University of Liverpool - Geology
N008: An Introduction to Reservoir Appraisal & Development
N195: Deltaic to Deep Water Depositional Systems of NW Borneo - Concepts & Models for Reservoir Prediction (NW Borneo, Malaysia)
Titus is the founder of FaultSeal Pty Ltd. Titus established FaultSeal in 2001 where he has developed FaultRisk, a probabilistic fault analysis tool. Since then he has been growing the company and team internationally. FaultSeal is now servicing the Upstream Oil and Gas industry worldwide, providing them with invaluable fault analysis. Titus is continuously researching and developing fault analysis to ensure he is always ahead of the game.
He has extensive experience in the study and characterization of faulted and fractured reservoirs in over 30 countries. Prior to setting up FaultSeal Pty Ltd he managed the Asia Pacific operations for Midland Valley Exploration from Glasgow in Scotland. Prior to Midland Valley he worked for UK Nirex in Oxfordshire making 3D models for a site being considered for radioactive waste disposal. Having worked in these R&D roles Titus’ aim is to provide services and tools for the generalist that improve oil and gas discovery and production.
N320: Prospect, Trap and Fault Seal Analysis: Mapping Key Uncertainties (Miri, Sarawak)
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