Online Short-Course in Carbonate Reservoirs

Course Details

Welcome to the Online Exploration and Development of Carbonate Reservoirs Short-Course. We understand that with the global pandemic, oil price crash and with most companies slashing training budgets, travel expenses are the biggest hurdle in getting the training you need.

Starting in 2015 we were the first online geoscience course provider that included live lectures, exercises and modules that you can pick and choose. Although we recommend that you complete all modules in the correct progression, we understand time and budget constraints, therefore you have the flexibility of choosing what modules to take and the order in which you complete them.

Course notes and exercise materials will be provided to you using a dropbox link. The price of individual modules is $250 and if you choose to take all modules together you can do so for $2500 if you’re a professional, $900 if you are a student. We give additional discounts as well, e-mail us to find out if you are eligible.

Each module runs for 3-hours and is taught live on Zoom so you have an opportunity to be interactive and ask the instructor questions. If you want a sample of the instructor’s teaching style you can watch this youtube webinar.

Who Should Attend

• Geologists
• Geophysicists who wish to better understand carbonate seismology and seismic stratigraphy
• Petrophysicists
• Engineers who wish to develop a better understanding of the factors that control distribution, reservoir connectivity, and compartmentalization in carbonate reservoirs

• Graduate Students (Masters or Doctorate) who wish to develop a better understanding of the petroleum industry and the importance of carbonate reservoirs

The course assumes no prior knowledge of carbonates therefore we also encourage non-geoscientists and graduate-students to enroll.

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    Course Outline

    Module 1

    This module covers a systematic step-by-step methodology for approaching carbonate reservoirs. We will start with the identification of carbonate platform type in seismic data, discuss reservoir distribution through a virtual tour of modern reefs in Bali and proximal ramp deposits in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi. After covering carbonate platforms we will discuss carbonate factories, cyclicity, and the relationship between mechanical stratigraphy, diagenesis and bioturbation.

    This module was initially developed as a carbonate crash course for the engineering department at the Colorado School of Mines three years ago and has now become an annual tradition due to its popularity. You will get to see fantastic examples that have real-world sub-surface applications using data that is not available in the public domain.

    Module 2

    Carbonate producers differ not only though earth’s history but even in the modern seas. Temperate and coolwater assemblages are very different from their tropical counterparts.

    Wolfgang Schlager had the wisdom of dividing carbonates into T, C and M factories. In this module we will begin with factors that control carbonate production such as water chemistry, temperature, depth, clastic sediment supply (water turbidity) and others. We will then discuss carbonate-evaporite associations and how this can be a winning combination from a hycrocarbon entrapment perspective.

    Several case studies will be provided and by the end of the module participants will learn what carbonate factories produced the best and worst reservoir types and associated plays.

    An exercise using sub-surface data will help course participants hone their skills in the identification of carbonate factory types and potential plays.

    Module 3

    Sandstone reservoirs are fairly simple in their diversity of clast types. In carbonates, grains can be biotic, abiotic, or biotically influenced. Grain chemistry will determine how they respond to diagenetic changes. In this module, we will begin by covering the most common types of non-skeletal and skeletal grain types and how their presence can be used to interpret depositional environments.

    We will then introduce participants to the different matrix and cement types. What you learn will be solidified in an exercise in which you will be presented core and thin-section data which you will use to interpret environments of deposition.

    Module 4

    The major difference in the way sedimentologists approach carbonates lies in methodology. Unlike siliciclastics most carbonate cores are devoid of sedimentary structures. In carbonates thin-sections must be created to create microfacies and these are interpreted for environments of deposition, diagenesis and pore types.

    In recent years a great deal of work has been done on microbial carbonates. This module not only introduces participants to the popular classification schemes of Folk and Dunham but also covers classification schemes for microbialites.

    After spending an hour on lectures the last 2 hours of this module will be spent on exercises on thin-sections and core. Whether you will be doing thin-section or core descriptions yourself, or you would like to be able to gauge the quality of the work done by a consultant for you, this module will serve you well.

    Module 5

    This module is presented in a workshop format. Participants will be introduced to seismic sequence analysis and will learn how to mark reflection terminations and pick sequence boundaries and maximum flooding surfaces.

    The second part of the course will teach the ABC-Method of seismic facies analysis first developed by Exxon Research Labs and participants will then work on seismic data provided by the instructor.

    If you are working on a carbonate project at your company or as part of your thesis/dissertation, we strongly urge you to digitize the line. Please ensure you have Microsoft Powerpoint on your computer for exercises.

    Module 6

    Despite the rapid evolution of sequence stratigraphy over the past 40 years, carbonate sequence stratigraphy is still poorly understood by most in the oil and gas industry. Unlike siliciclastics where the interplay between sediment supply, climate, tectonics and relative sea-level change are somewhat predictable, carbonate production differs and depends largely on the type of carbonate factory. Many have often ‘forced’ clastic models onto carbonates, which can have drastic consequences.
    This course focuses on carbonate sequence stratigraphy from a petroleum systems stand-point. Instead of boring you with details as to what Milankovitch band you should expect to see in what type of carbonate, we will focus on two main areas:
    1. Effect of relative sea-level change on carbonate reservoir distribution and quality for exploration.
    2. Sediment body geometries and their successful geomodeling for development

    Module 7

    Until ten years ago, most geologists would write off entire sections of core as “bioturbated” and not take the time to describe ichnofacies or to think about the possible relationship between bioturbation and reservoir quality.

    Thanks to the work of George Pemberton, Murray Gingras, James MacEachern, Tom De Keyser and others we now know that bioturbation can both increase and decrease reservoir quality. Therefore, if and when you do find bioturbation in your reservoirs it is your responsibility to understand what effect burrowing has had on quality.

    The first half of this module focuses on identification of common ichnofacies found in marine carbonates and different types of biogenically enhanced permeability.

    The second half of this course introduces participants to the complex world of carbonate diagenesis with an emphasis on dolomitization and dolostone reservoirs.

    Module 8

    Despite advances in imaging fractures in sub-surface datasets such as borehole image logs and a large collection of seismic attributes, the basics of fractures are poorly understood by most.

    This module introduces participants to the process of fracturing and common fracture types. Several core and outcrop photos are used to illustrate the differences.

    The course also covers mechanical stratigraphy and its control on production. Case studies from producing carbonate reservoirs are presented to develop a thorough understanding of the relationship between fractures and reservoir quality.

    Module 9

    Porosity and permeability in carbonates is controlled by platform-scale stratigraphy, facies distribution and diagenesis. In this module we will cover carbonate pore types, their classification and relationships between porosity and permeability.

    The first exercise will teach participants how to calculate Net:Gross in carbonates accurately by using dominant pore type and the critical flow parameter.

    The second exercise will address a common issue geomodelers face in carbonates: What porosity and permeability value to use with multiple pore types? Unlike sandstones, most carbonates contain a range of pore types each contributing to total porosity.

    Module 10

    Unconventional resource plays began with fractured shale reservoirs onshore US. Soon the principles that led to success in shale plays were also applied to mud-rich carbonate successions with incredibly low porosity (microporosity).

    This module is evenly divided between shallow and deep marine carbonate unconventional resource plays. The Bakken, Three Forks and Niobrara are used to as case studies for shallow marine carbonates whereas examples from the Permian Basin are presented to illustrate deepwater carbonates.

    The exercise includes photos from Bakken and Three Forks core these will be used by participants to constrain facies belts and plan geosteering.


    Our location

    Our headquarters are twenty minutes away from downtown Denver and half an hour from the largest core facility in the United States. Or field office in Ouray allows us quick access to world-class outcrops in Utah and New Mexico.