D523 Sandstone Diagenesis and Reservoir Quality

Event Facts

  • 13 Sep. 2021
  • 14 Sep. 2021
  • 15 Sep. 2021
  • 16 Sep. 2021
  • 17 Sep. 2021
Half-day sessions, starting in the mornings for the Americas and afternoons for Europe, Africa and Middle East. Any variation to this will be communicated in advance.
Event Code:
5 sessions
Richard Worden
Booking Status:
Good Availability
GBP £2,245 (Exclusive of tax)

Course Facts

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


Business Impact: A better understanding of reservoir quality and diagenesis will lead to improved exploration risking of reservoir quality and provide a basis for building reservoir models and choosing well locations during appraisal and development. This knowledge will allow participants to add value to subsurface projects across the E&P life-cycle.

It is not good enough simply to explore for sandstone in the subsurface; Reservoir quality, in terms of both porosity and permeability, must be above threshold values for the reservoir to be economic both in terms of storage and deliverability. 

Reservoir quality is a complex function of the clastic factory that supplied the sand, the environment of deposition, the processes that occur soon after deposition, compactional processes, both mechanical and chemical that occur during burial, and the suite of thermally-controlled diagenetic cements including quartz, clay mineral and carbonates. While there is a typical and broadly predictable suite of reservoir quality-degrading processes that remorselessly occur from the time of deposition to the time of exploitation of the reservoir, there are some fortunate circumstances that lead to anomalously elevated reservoir quality, including microquartz and chlorite grain coats and early oil emplacement or overpressure development.

The course will examine fundamentals but will extensively use case studies and worked examples. At the conclusion of the course you should feel confident about commissioning reservoir quality studies and interpreting reservoir quality-related data. You will also have an improved understanding of the relationship between reservoir quality and other sub-surface disciplines.

Duration and Training Method

 A virtual classroom course divided into 6 webinar sessions (equivalent to a three-day classroom course), comprising lectures, discussion, case studies, and practical exercises to be completed by participants during and between sessions.

Participants will learn to:
  1. Recognise the fundamental link between reservoir quality and diagenesis in deeply buried strata; develop an understanding of the links between sandstone diagenesis and sedimentology, petrophysics, geomechanics and petroleum systems analysis.
  2. Appreciate the relationships between environments of deposition and early (shallow, low temperature) diagenesis with their effects on reservoir quality in oil and gas fields.
  3. Develop and apply understanding of the effects of clay, carbonate and quartz cements on sandstone reservoir quality.
  4. Understand when and how sandstones compact, the links between chemical compaction and quartz cementation and the factors that can inhibit quartz cement, including microquartz coats, chlorite grain coats, early oil emplacement and early overpressure development.
  5. Apply sandstone diagenesis concepts to rock quality prediction during exploration and reservoir model building.
  6. Understand when to request which suite of analyses, including well-established and new techniques, and how to apply petrographic and other data to reservoir quality problems.
The course is split into six sections, as shown below:
  1. Fundamentals: The whole course in a nutshell.
  2. The clastic factory: Preparing rocks to remember their past during burial.
  3. Depositional environments and facies: We rarely make a silk purse from a sow’s ear during diagenesis! 
  4. Burial diagenesis - mechanical processes: The inexorable journey south.
  5. Burial diagenesis - chemical processes: It's getting hot in here… The destruction and enhancement of porosity due to temperature- and pressure-related processes. 
  6. Applications
        a) Diagenetic modelling for exploration risking of reservoir quality.
        b) Reservoir characterisation and static model building.

Who should attend

The course is aimed at all geoscientists, petrophysicists and reservoir engineers who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge of clastic reservoir quality from all sandstone types, from all depositional environments and from all types of burial and thermal history. The course will provide an effective working knowledge of reservoir quality for all subsurface scientists and engineers and provides further insights to those who require a more detailed application of this subject matter while leading or managing subsurface projects.

Prerequisites and linking courses

While there are no formal prerequesties for this course, a basic knowledge of the fundamental sedimentological processes and petroleum systems is expected.

Complementary courses include D342 (Compartmentalization and Connectivity in Sandstone Reservoirs (Distance Learning)), D427 (Reservoir Model Design (Distance Learning)), (N011 (High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Reservoir Applications (Utah, USA)), and N012 (Reservoir Modelling Field Class (Utah, USA)).

Richard Worden

Professor Richard Worden is leader of the Diagenesis Research Group and programme director of the MSc on Petroleum Reservoir Geoscience at Liverpool University. He has more than 30 years of industry and research experience.

Prof. Worden undertook a BSc in Geology and Geochemistry at the University of Manchester, completing it with a 1st class honours degree in 1984. Following a PhD at Manchester University in 1988, he worked for BP Research and BP Exploration in Sunbury, UK, for 6 years. This was followed by a lectureship at Queen’s University in Belfast until 2000 and then a professorship at Liverpool University.

Richard has worked on a number of areas of research, almost all related to oil and gas geoscience, with focus on high quality reservoir-scale data (including quantitative mineral and textural data, and the integration of petrophysical, petrographic, geomechanical, geochemical,  and sedimentological data) to help with oil and gas exploration, appraisal and asset management. He has worked extensively on sandstone reservoir quality throughout his career, with focus on the causes of anomalous porosity-preservation in deeply buried sandstone reservoirs. His research is now extending into reservoir property-related issues involved in the energy transition (CCS, hydrogen generation and storage).  He has published seminal papers on the role of microquartz coatings and on the effects of early oil emplacement on quartz cementation, with a key paper on chlorite-inhibition of quartz currently in press with the Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.  

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Manchester - Geology, Mechanisms of Mineral Reactions
BSc University of Manchester - Geology and Geochemistry
PESGB - Member
Geological Society - Fellow

Courses Taught
N523: Sandstone Reservoir Quality and Diagenesis
W005: North Sea Exploration Workshop: The Upper Jurassic North Sea: A Case Study in Assessing Controls on Reservoir Quality in Shallow Marine Depositional Systems

Alternative Dates for this Course

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