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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Postgraduate Course: Exploring the Subsurface (EASC11009)

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
SummaryThe knowledge and techniques developed during the exploration for hydrocarbon resources can be applied to other GeoEnergy technologies: geological carbon storage; and underground hydrogen and other energy storage. This course explores both the nature of the subsurface from a viewpoint of exploiting resources, and the techniques and technologies used to locate and develop these resources.

The course also bridges the gap between geology and geophysics. The course covers the application of geophysical techniques to exploration and other subsurface problems; and the basic principles of petroleum geology, subsurface fluids & wireline logging in lectures and accompanying practical classes.
Course description W1:
Thursday PM Lecture: Introduction to course; petroleum systems; unconventional hydrocarbon resources; future uses of the subsurface (CCS; energy storage) (MW)
(no practical class this week)
Friday PM Lecture: Introduction to seismic reflection interpretation 1 (MC)

(no lecture or practical class this week)
Friday PM Lecture: Introduction to seismic reflection interpretation 2 (MC)

Thursday PM Lecture: Subsurface fluids: water, origin of oil and gas; capturing CO2; generating H2 (MW)
Friday AM Practical: Estimating resources: how much is down there? (MW)
Friday PM Lecture: Introduction to seismic reflection interpretation 3 (MC)

Thursday PM Lecture: Migration, seals and leakage (MW)
Friday AM Practical: Calculation of burial and maturation using PetroMod basin modelling software (MW)

Thursday PM Lecture: Reservoirs, traps and pressure (MW)
Friday AM Practical: CO2 storage estimate (non-Monte-Carlo)

Thursday PM Lecture: Drilling and wireline logs (MW)
Friday AM Practical: Wireline log interpretation (MW)

Thursday PM Lecture: Introduction to Southern North Sea plays (MW)
Friday AM Practical: Core logging JCMB Room 6307.

Thursday PM Lecture: Introduction to Northern North Sea plays (MW)
Friday AM Practical: Digital seismic interpretation: Southern North Sea (MW).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to the Geological Record (EASC08027) AND The Dynamic Earth (GESC08003) AND Geology and Landscapes (EASC08030)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course cannot be taken by any student who has previously studied Geoscience, and specifically subsurface exploration including oil and gas exploration.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Summative Assessment Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 66 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 100%«br /»
Exam 0 %«br /»
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The course is assessed by a single essay due week 12. The topic will be announced to allow 2 weeks for completion. Maximum length 4000 words. This includes all text, diagrams and/or tables plus captions but references are not included in the word count. Should have the title and brief summary at the beginning, suggested length 50 - 100 words for the latter.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the basic principles of petroleum geology, subsurface fluid behaviour, and wireline well logging, and explain how these can be utilised in industrial applications.
  2. Integrate different types of geological data with modelling results to appraise the energy related resources in a sedimentary basin.
  3. Explain the principles of seismic reflection surveying, and use this knowledge to perform a basic interpretation of digital seismic reflection data
  4. Critically evaluate how geological and geophysical techniques and knowledge can be applied to modern GeoEnergy technologies, including Geological Carbon Storage
Reading List
Returning Carbon to Nature: Coal, Carbon Capture, and Storage by Micheal Stephenson.
ARUP Five Minute Guide to Hydrogen

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

Gluyas JG & Swarbrick R (2004) Petroleum Geoscience. Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Practical classes encourage data analysis and synthesis of a wide range of geoscience topics.
KeywordsCarbon Capture and Storage,Energy storage,Hydrogen Storage,Heat Storage,Wireline logs,Oil and gas
Course organiserDr Mark Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5943
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Jones
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