University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Postgraduate Course: Hydrocarbons (EASC11004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryHydrocarbon resources fuel the entire Western-World lifestyle, yet the easily located resources are rapidly depleting, those remaining are in geologically complex and difficult of access settings. Prospecting requires a high degree of understanding of both geological and geophysical aspects of basin exploration, and particularly the interplay between these two disciplines.

This course aims to bridge the gap between geology and geophysics, helping to produce geology graduates with a working knowledge of exploration geophysics, and geophysics graduates with some geological knowledge as applied to the hydrocarbon industry, where many will be employed. The course covers the application of geophysical techniques to exploration and other subsurface problems; and the basic principles of petroleum geology, petroleum geochemistry, subsurface fluids & wireline logging in 11 lectures and accompanying practical classes.
Course description Lecture: Monday 9-9.50 AM, Room 304B, Grant Institute
Practical: Monday 10-11.50 AM, Room 6231 in JCMB unless indicated below.

Course summary by week:

Sept 18 W1 Introduction; petroleum systems; unconventional hydrocarbon resources (MW)
P1 Conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves, exploration histories (MW)

Sept 25 W2 Origin of oil and gas; source rocks (MW)
P2 Moderated discussion of future sources of energy
2nd Lecture: Maturation of source rocks; geochemical compositions of crude oils; measures of maturation and migration (MW)

Oct 2 W3 Petroleum Systems, migration, traps, pressure (MW)
P3 Calculating oil reserves in a field (MW)

Oct 9 W4 Drilling and wireline logs (MW)
P4 Formative Practical - Wireline log interpretation (MW)

Oct 16 W5 KB Centre level 3 for practical - TBC
Introduction to southern North Sea plays (MW)
P5 Calculation of burial and maturation using PetroMod basin modelling software (MW)

Oct 23 W6 KB Centre Level 3 for practical - TBC
Introduction to Northern North Sea plays (MW)
P6 Digital seismic interpretation: Southern North Sea (MW).

Oct 30 W7 BGS Lyell Centre (Heriot-Watt University campus) oilfield core viewing practical (bus departs KB at 09.00, returns KB at 12.00)

Nov 6 W8 Using the subsurface including Carbon Capture and Storage (MW)
P8 Geological Carbon Storage (MW)

NOTE - non-geophysicists should revise the principles of seismic surveying (from your previous years' notes) ready for the next 3 weeks:

Nov 13 W9 Principles of rock physics (MC)
P9 Use of geophysical survey techniques to appraise a concealed basin (MW)

Nov 20 W10 Amplitude-versus-offset analysis (MC)
P9 Sedimentology of the Ninian Delta using oilfield data (MW)

Nov 27 W11 KB Centre Level 3 for practical (TBC)
W11 Quantitative Seismic Interpretation (MC)
P11 Seismic attribute analysis (MC)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Not available to students who have taken Petroleum Systems.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100 % course work; an essay covering one or more aspects of the coursework.

MAXIMUM 4000 words, excluding references, plus relevant figures.

Fully referenced in the style of a scientific paper, with a reference list of cited literature (may include scientific papers, books, webpages and news reports).

Deadline for submission: Monday 6th November, 12 noon.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
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 seismic techniques used in the hydrocarbon industry.
  4. Understand the principles of interpretation of the main logging devices used in the hydrocarbon industry.
Reading List
(*, ** indicate usefulness)

** 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 AVAILABLE IN ELECTRONIC FORM via the UoE LIBRARY - do library search on Glennie KW.

Note there are several versions of this book from c. 1984 to present. Most of the paper copies in the library are older editions. For this course they are probably fine, the geology doesn't change very fast, though data about individual oil and gas fields may be out of date.

* 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.
Additional Class Delivery Information Lecture: Monday 9-9.50 AM, Room 304B, Grant Institute

Practical: Monday 10-11.50 AM, Room 6231 in JCMB unless otherwise indicated.

KeywordsHydrocarbons,Oil industry,Natural gas,Carbon Capture and Storage,Wireline logs
Course organiserDr Mark Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5943
Course secretaryMiss Susie Crocker
Tel: (0131 6)51 7126
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information