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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, King's Buildings

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

Sept 17 W1 Introduction; petroleum systems; unconventional hydrocarbon resources (MW)
P1 Conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reserves, exploration histories (MW)

Online lecture: Origin of oil and gas; source rocks (MW) - to be viewed before week 2

Sept 24 W2 Online test about Lecture 2; open discussion of questions.
P2 Moderated discussion of future sources of energy
Lecture: Maturation of source rocks; geochemical compositions of crude oils; measures of maturation and migration (MW)

Oct 1 W3 Migration from the source rock; migration to the trap; sealing of trap; fluid pressure in the subsurface. (MW)
P3 Calculation of burial and maturation using PetroMod basin modelling software (MW) KB Centre level 3 for practical

Oct 8 W4 Petroleum systems, plays, traps and fluids (MW)
P4 Estimating the volume of an oilfield (MW) KB Centre level 3 for practical

Oct 15 W5 Drilling and wireline logs (MW)
P5 Wireline log interpretation (MW)

Oct 22 W6 Introduction to Southern North Sea plays (MW)
P6 Core logging JCMB Room 6307 for practical

Oct 29 W7 Introduction to Northern North Sea plays (MW)
P7 Digital seismic interpretation: Southern North Sea (MW). KB Centre level 3 for practical

Nov 5 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 12 W9 Principles of rock physics (MC)
P9 Use of geophysical survey techniques to appraise a concealed basin (MW)

Nov 19 W10 Amplitude-versus-offset analysis (MC)
P10 Sedimentology of the Ninian Delta using oilfield data (MW)

Nov 26 W11 Quantitative Seismic Interpretation (MC)
P11 Seismic attribute analysis (MC) KB Centre Level 3 for practical
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 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  40
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).

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

- 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 secretaryMs Heather Dyson
Tel: (0131 6)51 7126
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