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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Hydrocarbons (EASC09003)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course introduces many of the concepts and methods utilised by the petroleum industry in finding and exploiting fossil fuel reserves. Many geosciences graduates are employed in this industry, and it is hoped that the course will prepare for both job applications and resulting interviews, as well as giving a broad overview of the subject.
Course description L1 Geological elements of a petroleum system; future sources of energy including clathrates and oil shales.
P1 Location of reserves and resources worldwide, unconventional hydrocarbons, exploration histories
L2a Origin of oil and gas; source rocks
L2b Maturation of source rocks; geochemical compositions of crude oils; measures of maturation and migration.
L3 Migration from the source rock; migration to the trap; sealing of trap; fluid pressure in the subsurface.
P3 Calculation of burial and maturation.
L4 Petroleum systems, plays, traps and fluids
P4 Plays, traps and field volumes
L5 Drilling and wireline logs
P5 Logging practical.
L6 Regional seismic surveys.
P6 Sedimentology of the Ninian Delta using oilfield data
L7 Geophysical exploration techniques; reconnaissance gravity and magnetics.
P7 Use of geophysical survey techniques to appraise a concealed basin
L & P8 Carbon Capture and Storage
L9 Introduction to the Southern North Aea plays
P9 The Rotleigend play
L10 Introduction to North Sea plays
P10 The Brent play

Although the course is focused on an applied topic, a huge amount of academic effort has been focussed on the requirements of the hydrocarbon industry. Data analysis from hydrocarbon fields, using geophysical and geological models are core to the highly technological modern-day industry. Academic questions such as ¿where does oil come from?¿ become highly applied when they are used to inform exploration strategy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Earth Dynamics (EASC08001)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Stratigraphy and Sedimentology (EASC08015) OR
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Global Tectonics and Sedimentology (EASC08019)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesBasic Geological Training
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Draw on a broad and integrated knowledge of the basic principles and industrial applications of petroleum geology, petroleum geochemistry, subsurface fluids, geophysical exploration and wireline well logging.
  2. Display detailed knowledge of the plays in the North and South North Sea.
  3. Appreciate some of the specialised techniques used in the hydrocarbon industry: reconnaissance gravity, magnetic and regional seismic reflection surveys and wireline logging.
  4. Understand the principles of interpretation of the main logging devices used in the hydrocarbon industry
Reading List
(*, **, *** indicate usefulness)

Consider purchase (two or more copies of each should be in library):

*** Selley RC (1998) Elements of Petroleum Geology, 2nd ed. Academic Press

** Gluyas JG & Swarbrick R (2004) Petroleum Geoscience. Blackwell.
ISBN 0632 03767 9. Good for integration of geology and geophysics applied to hydrocarbon exploration and production

** Glennie KW (1998) Introduction to the Petroleum Geology of the North Sea. 4th ed. Blackwell Science

** Kearey P, Brooks M and Hill, I. (2003) An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration. Blackwell. ISBN 0 632 04929 4. Good for seismic reflection, magnetics & gravity.

Also refer to:

Hunt, J.M. (1995) Petroleum Geochemistry and Geology ISBN 0-7167-2441-3. A bit advanced for this course but still good. Out of print but in library.

Rider M (1996) The geological interpretation of well logs, 2nd ed. Whittles Publishing, Caithness. ISBN 1 870325 36 2 (£38).

North FK (1985) Petroleum Geology. Allen and Unwin. Out of print but in library.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Practical classes encourage data analysis and synthesis of a wide range of geoscience topics
KeywordsHydrocarbons: oil industry,natural gas,carbon capture and storage,wireline logs,seismic,magneti
Course organiserDr Mark Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5943
Course secretaryMrs Katie Leith
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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