Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Reservoir Development

Clastic Diagenesis and Reservoir Quality Modeling

Course Code: N285
Instructors:  Rick Tobin
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
3 days


This course describes the basics of sandstone diagenesis, facies analysis and the application of this technology to assess the risk of reservoir quality preservation in the subsurface. Much emphasis is placed on the design and techniques of quantitative pre-drill prediction modeling. Participants will develop the knowledge and confidence to effectively integrate reservoir quality models into ongoing exploration projects. 


I really liked the paragenesis exercise and I think the class gave a great understanding of the complexity involved in diagenetic modeling and really understanding reservoir quality.

Duration and Training Method

A three-day classroom course comprised of lectures, practical exercises and case studies.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Analyse the effects of sandstone rock properties (composition, texture, pore system and facies) on petrophysical attributes.
  2. Determine potential formation damage mechanisms from petrographic examination.
  3. Analyse all relevant data required for constructing a diagenetic model, including petrographic data, core analysis data, log data and basin modeling data.
  4. Employ fit-for-purpose sampling strategies to acquire rock/core-based data.
  5. Monitor the quality of acquired rock data.
  6. Interpret how sandstone provenance and diagenesis  control reservoir quality preservation and destruction during burial.
  7. Establish an appropriate modeling strategy for building predictive simulations of reservoir quality.
  8. Understand the basics of how reservoir quality models can be combined with basin analysis and static reservoir models to create 2D and 3D visualizations of reservoir quality.
  9. Determine the limitations and uncertainties inherent in diagenetic models.

For the past decade, the oil and gas industry has relied greatly on the use of diagenetic modeling simulators to predict reservoir quality in a variety of sandstone reservoirs worldwide. This class will introduce participants to the study of sandstone diagenesis and predictive modeling techniques, and will provide the fundamental skills needed to (1) successfully collaborate with reservoir quality modelers, (2) integrate modeling results into ongoing exploration projects and/or (3) launch a career as a reservoir quality modeler.

Topics covered in the class are:

1. Sandstone Facies and Reservoir Rock Properties

  • Seismic/log scale - sandstone grouping by depositional element, depositional facies, lithotype and petrofacies
  • Pore scale - basics of sandstone composition, texture, pore system and petrographic evaluation
  • Effects of composition, texture and pore system on reservoir quality
  • Effects of mineralogy and pore system on log interpretation
  • Integration of sandstone rock properties and petrophysics
  • Identification of potential formation damage mechanisms

2. Related Analytical Techniques and Applications

  • Petrographic techniques - ambient vs. stressed sample preparation, basic petrology, point counting methods, grain size analysis, LPSA, XRD/XRF, SEM, CL and SEMCL, stable isotopes
  • Rock properties techniques - routine core analysis, SCAL, acoustic and mechanical rock properties
  • Burial history techniques - AFTA Apatite fission track analysis, Fluid Inclusion Stratigraphy, Fluid Inclusion Microthermometry

3. Rock Data and Quality Assurance

  • Strategies for acquiring rock samples - coring, core sampling, SWC, cuttings and statistical validity check
  • Quality control issues during the coring process
  • QC issues related to laboratory handling and analysis
  • Human (vendor/consultant) interpretation QC issues
  • Using multiple techniques to validate data accuracy

4. Sandstone Provenance and Diagenesis

  • Sandstone provenance and usefulness in designing models
  • Sandstone diagenesis – interpretation, processes, geologic controls and effects on reservoir quality
  • Diagenetic compartmentalization

5. Sandstone Reservoir Quality Controls and Diagenetic Modeling

  • Diagenetic controls on porosity destruction during diagenesis
  • Development of RQ (reservoir quality) prediction methods (a historical perspective)
  • Current RQ modeling techniques, including Touchstone and TMAP
  • Examples of modeling projects

6. Integration of Sandstone Reservoir Modeling Techniques

  • Burial history simulations of source rocks and reservoir rocks
  • Touchstone simulations of compaction, diagenesis and RQ
  • RQ mapping using Touchstone/static model-derived CRS maps and TMAP
  • Integration of basin models and Touchstone models for building improved static and dynamic models

This course is designed for exploration geologists, geophysicists and petrophysicists with some prior geological background. This course will be especially useful for technical professionals who collaborate with reservoir quality modeling specialists.

Rick Tobin

Rick Tobin is currently the manager of the Petrophysics and Reservoir Quality Team for ConocoPhillips in Houston. He joined ConocoPhillips in June 2014 as a specialist on projects involving sandstone diagenesis and reservoir quality modeling and prediction.  Rick has 33 years combined industry experience with Amoco, BP, Maersk Oil, and ConocoPhillips.  During his career, Rick has been involved with a number of major projects in the North Sea, onshore basins in the USA, Gulf of Mexico, offshore Angola, Trinidad, and various basins in South America, Russia, China, the middle east, northern Africa, and southeast Asia. His technical specialties and research interests include sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, fluid inclusion microthermometry, diagenesis, and reservoir quality modeling (currently Touchstone and T>Map). 

Although a “specialist” at heart, Rick’s true passion involves integrating his work with other related technologies including petrophysics, rock physics, sedimentology / stratigraphy, basin modeling, and reservoir engineering. He received his B.S. from James Madison University in 1977 and both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cincinnati (1979, 1982).

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Cincinnati
MS University of Cincinnati
BS James Madison University

Courses Taught
N285: Clastic Diagenesis and Reservoir Quality Modelling

CEU: 2.4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 24 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.