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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Subsurface Reservoir Quality (PGGE11226)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummarySubsurface reservoirs will continue to be very important for the extraction of hydrocarbons, as well as a lot of new geo-energy and waste uses. Abundant knowledge has been gained from decades of hydrocarbon research, which can be applied to diverse future uses of geo-energy in the subsurface, for example the storage of variable supply from renewable energy has to match fluctuating consumer demand. Porous and permeable reservoirs aid climate control using carbon capture and storage; energy storage hydrogen and methane, or geothermal heat stores.
Course description The first half of this course examines the science underpinning reservoir quality in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. This is particularly relevant for hydrocarbon exploration and production, for CO2 storage sites, for energy storage as compressed air or as hydrogen or methane, and for groundwater 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, i.e. the 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 and deep burial (dis)similarities will be explained as will contrast and similarities between sandstones and carbonates.

The second half of this course will focus on the large scale architecture of sandstone depositional units with sedimentary basins. A short lecture series will explain the different methods of recognising sedimentary subdivisions, and how stratigraphy is built up from deposition, to fossil time zones, radiomentric dats and seismic facies. A core-logging exercise is undertaken (normally in the BGS corestore in Edinburgh but may be in University if unavailable) will consider larger scale reservoir characteristics including net:gross ratio and the role of fluid baffles and barriers. Small groups present team seminars to the class on their selected topic, illustrating research or commercial applications.

Teaching methods
During week 1-5 reservoir quality, before each meeting, students will pre-view recorded video lectures. These will be summarised rapidly in class by the lecturer, leading to small group discussion of topics and feedback to lecturer and class. This enables greater exploration of problem concepts and topics before and during the class meetings. In week6-10 will be conventional lectures, a practical site visit to North Sea core archive, and team presentation of group seminars.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Hydrocarbon Reservoir Quality (EASC10015)
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
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesBasic geology to the satisfaction of the course organiser
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 29, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 167 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Pore scale reservoir quality Week 1-5 100 % Essay. 3 sides A4 of fact based critical analysis

Basin architecture week 6-10 Core store visit Report 10%. Team seminar presentation 10%. Personal essay 80% of part 2, fact based critical analysis 3 sides A4

Core Report (10%) due week 7
Team Seminars (10%) week 9 and 10
Essay (80%) due week 11
Feedback Part 1 - Active discussion in class with small groups, and then with academic presenter

Part 2 seminar interaction with presenter, hands-on practical site visit core store, seminar review

No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of how sandstone and carbonate reservoir porosity and permeability occurs in the subsurface is influenced by sedimentological effects of depositional mineralogy, grainsize, and sorting. Followed by burial overprint.
  2. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the effects on mineralogy, texture, porosity and permeability - from shallow-to-deep burial of compaction, cementation and dissolution. This knowledge will be integrated with basin modelling, geochemical measurements and petrological measurements.
  3. Show an appreciation of the macro- and micro-scale controls on porosity and permeability creation and change in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs.
  4. Illustrate some of the research and commercial methods, with case examples, by which porous reservoirs can be assessed.
  5. Engage with synthesis and condensation of information, via an assessed critical essay. This will showcase students detailed understanding of specific topics, linkage into a coherent understanding, and with objectives to offer professional level interpretations of forefront developments.
Reading List
Wilson MD, 1998, Reservoir quality assessment and prediction in clastic rocks. SEPM Short Course 30.

Hartmann Beaumont and Coalson, 2000, Predicting sandstone reservoir system quality. Search and Discovery article 40005

Beaumont & Foster, 1988, Reservoirs II Sandstones. AAPG Treatise of Petroleum geology 5.

Beaumont & Foster, 1988, Reservoirs III Carbonates, AAPG Treatise of Petroleum geology 4. Includes:
Harris and Kendall, 1985, Carbonate Cementation a review;
Longman, 1980, Carbonate diagenetic textures from near surface diagenetic environments;
Jardine et al., 1977, J Pet Tech v.29. Distribution and quality carbonate reservoirs;
McIlreath and Morrow, 1990, Diagenesis. Geoscience Canada 338pp.
Stonecipher, S., 1984, Factors controlling diagenesis AAPG
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical thinking, rival hypotheses for the fundamental controls and processes of diagenesis are presented, and must be summarised and compared in the assessed essay.
Group working for preparation of a presentation
Presentation skills
Technical knowledge
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Stuart Haszeldine
Tel: (0131 6)50 8549
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Jones
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