Reservoir Architecture of Deepwater Systems (Ross Formation, Ireland)

Course Details

Given the high cost of exploration and development of deepwater (DW) reservoirs, it is essential to create accurate pre-drill prediction of reservoir architecture and properties, and to integrate post-drill assessments of reservoir heterogeneity away from well penetrations. The seismic scale outcrops of the Ross Formation offer a unique opportunity to observe a deep water fan system with characteristics similar to producing fields in West Africa, offshore Brazil, and Gulf of Mexico, to name a few. The size and quality of these outcrops allow the participants to observe closely the main building blocks of fan systems. In these outcrops, lobes and distributary channels can be observed from proximal to distal depositionally, with excellent exposures of vertical stacking and 2-D arrangements of these elements.

The 5-days course combines field activities with in-class lectures and exercises. Exercises in the field emphasize practical applications and will focus on description of DW lithofacies, stratal geometries and recognizing key stratigraphic surfaces. Participants will also learn to describe cores, integrate core and well-log information with seismic to generate high-resolution Environment of Deposition maps of reservoirs in different settings. Additionally, participants will learn how to integrate engineering and production data to improve prediction of reservoir performance. Cores, well-logs and seismic examples are compared to and contrast with outcrops to help participants to extrapolate 2-D outcrop information to 3-D views of reservoir scale depositional systems.

This course is taught by Dr. Vitor Abreu.


• Geologists
• Geophysicists
• Petrophysicists
• Engineers

This course is meant for all who are working on deepwater petroleum systems in an exploration or development capacity.

Course Outline

Day 1

George’s Point, east side of Kilkee Bay to introduce the local stratigraphy and setting.

Lectures: Class Introduction, Field Safety, Geologic Setting


Lecture: Sequence Stratigraphy of DW Systems.

Exercises: Lowstand Sequence Sets from Pelotas Basin, West Siberia and New Jersey

Day 2

Loop Head; general basinal context; Ross Formation turbidites.

Bridges of Ross and east of Ross; major slump sheets,

Fisherman’s Point turbidite channels and sand volcanoes


Lectures: Deep Water Processes and Depositional Models

Exercises: Lobes and Lobe Complexes – Golo Fan

Day 3

Ross Formation at Kilcredaun

Boat trip from Carrigaholt: Ross Formation in sea cliffs between Carrigaholt and Loop Head.

Lateral Accretion Packages of the Rehy Cliffs


Lectures: Deep Water Lithofacies and Rock Properties

Exercises: Core description of DW reservoirs

Day 4

Kilbaha Bay; Kilcloher Head. Turbidite facies including channels and mega-flutes.

Rinevella Bay


Lectures: Deep Water Exploration Methods, Reservoir Presence Assessment and Pre-Drill Prediction

Exercises: East Breaks Mini-Basin Mapping and Pre-Drill Prediction

Day 5

Torkeal Bay – stories, story stacking, lobe and lobe stacking


Lectures: Deep Water Reservoirs - Production Behavior

Exercises: High-Resolution Reservoir Mapping and Production Data Integration