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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Hydrocarbon Reservoir Quality (EASC10015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course examines the science underpinning porosity and permeability in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. This is particularly relevant for hydrocarbon exploration and production, has importance for CO2 storage sites and can also help understand deep aquifers. The mineralogy and physical arrangement of sedimentary grains is changed during burial by compaction, geochemical reactions, and fluid flow. That has a systematic impact on spaces between the grains - porosity holding fluids, and permeability enabling flow of fluids. Course themes are divided into Sandstones and Carbonates. Each theme progresses from depositional and shallow burial effects, to processes during deeper burial. Shallow burial (dis)similarities will be explained as will deep burial contrasts and similarities between sandstones and carbonates.

Course description The focus will be on several scales. Firstly the basin setting and gross depositional and basin architecture. Second the reservoir scale depositional (in)homogeneities. Thirdly, the cementation and dissolution effects at the pore scale, with integration of geological setting, basin modelling, geochemical measurements and petrological measurements. This will help understand how to predict good, or poor, quality porosity and permeability within a basin.

Delivery will be through a series of four lecture days, shared with BSc and MSc classes from Edinburgh. There is also a whole-day excursion to the core store archive of North Sea reservoir rocks, held at BGS in Riccarton west Edinburgh taking place on the 29th of January. Students will be expected to travel there and back by bus or their own method. Formative assessment is by class dialogue and interaction, with some self-paced Q and A on LEARN. Formal assessment is via written essay and exam.

Although lectures are shared between U/G and P/G a higher quality standard is expected from P/G.

Class timetable

15 Jan - lecture
22 Jan - lecture
29 Jan visit to BGS core store, Riccarton
5 Feb - lecture
12 Feb - lecture
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Sedimentology, or petroleum geoscience, or hydrogeology are useful. Check with organiser if you do not hold any of these at SCQF 9, or 10, or 11
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  80
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Assessment is 4 sides (2 pages of paper), of A4 assessed essay. This includes text as 11pt Arial, and also diagrams and references as chosen by individual student. The aim is to interpret, critically summarise, and link together the main topics of the lecture courses. Criteria are: first class: innovation; upper second: accurate critique; lower second: sporadically flawed; third: serially flawed.

These follow the CMS1 Common Marking Scheme.

Assessment deadlines:

Essay to submit electronically through the course Learn site via turnitin before 16:00 on 5 March 2017.
Feedback For each lecture, students are provided with printed hand-outs of all notes and diagrams used. Digital versions are available on LEARN. Feedback is predominantly by in-class Q&A during and after each lecture presentation. This is aided by a listing of recommended research-level publications. A short MCQ self-guided assessment will be available, to highlight major topics for each lecture.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To develop a critical understanding of how sandstone and carbonate reservoir porosity and permeability in the subsurface is influenced by sedimentological effects of depositional mineralogy, grainsize, and sorting.
  2. To develop a detailed understanding of the effects, from shallow-to-deep burial of compaction, cementation and dissolution. This knowledge will be integrated with basin modelling, geochemical measurements and petrological measurements.
  3. To illustrate some of the research and commercial methods, with case examples, by which porous reservoirs can be assessed.
  4. To engage with synthesis and condensation of information, via an assessed critical essay, limited to 4 sides of A4. This will enable students to showcase their detailed understanding of specific topics, the linkage into a coherent understanding The outcome is to achieve professional level interpretations of applied developments.
Reading List
Notified during class and by information on LEARN
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Stuart Haszeldine
Tel: (0131 6)50 8549
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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