Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Reservoir Development

Clastic Reservoir Characterisation for Appraisal and Development (Southern Pyrenees, Spain)

Course Code: N432
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days


This field course integrates clastic sedimentological predictive models with reservoir characterisation for appraisal and field development, using case studies from the Cenozoic of the southern Pyrenees, Spain. Variations in depositional architecture are considered in terms of linked depositional systems, including fluvial, coastal, shallow marine, slope, and deepwater facies. The impacts of differing architectures on field development are considered, together with practical guidance on the choices available for building static and dynamic models.

This course is particularly well suited to provision as a tailored "in-house" learning experience, such as by focussing on a specific environment of deposition, and/or by incorporating your asset data for comparison.

Business Impact:  Variations in stratigraphic architecture occur over short distances in clastic successions, both laterally and vertically, and strongly impact the production performance of a hydrocarbon reservoir. An understanding of the issues involved in developing different architectures in clastic systems and the decisions required to model these heterogenous reservoirs are critical to predicting the long-term production behaviour. Participants will be able to better understand clastic depositonal systems and the practical application of that knowledge in the generation of effective static and dynamic models.


'This field course focusing on deep-water turbidites, shallow marine, coastal, deltaic and finally fluvial sediments and their Development Geology is a very good course that I recommend to anyone working in exploration and particularly field development. Very useful also for non-geologists, especially reservoir and drilling engineers, to see the sand bodies/sedimentary features in 3D outcrops; to compare the outcrop, core, hand specimen, well log and finally seismic scales.'

Duration and Training Method

This is a field course in the southern Pyrenean foreland basins. Fieldwork includes presentations, sedimentological exercises, modelling exercises, and discussions. Short classroom sessions comprise a core visit, case studies, and reviews of the fieldwork.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Evaluate the sedimentology and basin fill architecture of a linked continental, shallow marine and deepwater depositional system.
  2. Predict significant changes in sedimentology and stratigraphic architecture, both  laterally and up or down dip in clastic reservoir systems.
  3. Integrate the interactions of the controls on sandstone body architecture.
  4. Assess the impact of depositional architectures, flow zones; and sedimentary heterogeneity on; potential recovery in different hydrocarbon fluid and development scenarios.
  5. Plan how both static and dynamic data can be incorporated to characterise depositional architecture.
  6. Evaluate and rate different modelling options for different architectures, fluids and development scenarios.
  7. Manage the issues of up-scaling in heterogenous clastic systems and select appropriate techniques to use in different scenarios.

Exercises carried out at outcrops and in classroom sessions illustrate the influence of sedimentological architecture on modelling options for different development scenarios. Predictive facies models will be discussed and their application to understanding the controls on the architectures developed and preserved in the rock record, from both an exploration and development perspective. The course will explore how to use static and dynamic data to differentiate between sedimentary architectures in the subsurface and examine production challenges posed by different sedimentary stacking and sedimentary depositional structures. Questions of scale, from core to log to outcrop to simulation model and then how to upscale in complex heterogenous environments will be discussed in the field and classroom.

The following itinerary is intended as a guide, and may be modified according to weather and/or the participants' interests and focus.

Day 0: Arrival and travel to hotel in Tremp

Day 1: Fieldwork in Tremp area

  • Basin introduction
  • Tidally-influenced reservoir sandstone bodies in the Ager Basin
  • Sandy braided fluvial facies in a confined valley setting, Tremp Basin
  • Proximal pebbly braided river facies at the margin of the Ebro Basin
  • A series of stops in shallow marine and coastal facies
  • Overnight in Graus

Day 2: Fieldwork in the Ainsa area

  • Reservoir sedimentology of offshore and barrier bar complexes
  • Large-scale architecture of submarine fan channel complexes
  • Turbidite reservoir facies in a proximal, channelised setting
  • Core store visit of turbidite reservoir facies
  • Overnight in Ainsa

Day 3: Fieldwork in the Jaca area

  • Prograding shoreline and deltaic facies in mixed carbonate/clastic successions
  • Turbidite successions in submarine fan lobe complexes
  • Basin margin facies in an internally-drained basin setting
  • Overnight in Murillo de Gallego

Day 4: Fieldwork in the Ebro Basin, Huesca area

  • Reservoir-scale fluvial channel and overbank successions
  • Heterogeneity of meandering river deposits
  • Basin-margin facies variations and alluvial fan sedimentology
  • Overnight in Murillo de Gallego

Day 5: Fieldwork in Ebro Basin and return to Barcelona

  • Basin-margin fluvial facies and downstream facies transitions
  • Scale of reservoir heterogeneity in fluvial successions
  • Channel and overbank fluvial reservoir architecture and connectivity
  • Return to Barcelona and departure

The course is aimed at geoscientists, petrophysicists, and reservoir engineers who wish to better understand clastic depositonal systems and the practical application of that knowledge in the generation of effective static and dynamic models. Multi-disciplinary asset teams would benefit from attendance as a group. Managers and team leaders of such technical teams are also welcome.

John Howell

John Howell is Chair in Virtual Geosciences at the University of Aberdeen, where he has been a professor since 2012. In the past 25 years, he has worked on outcrops from all over the World with special focus on the western USA. He currently runs the SAFARI project, a collaboration between University of Aberdeen and Uni Bergen, supported by 13 companies.

John read for a PhD in reservoir sedimentology at the University of Birmingham (1992). He proceeded to the University of Liverpool where he spent 10 years working as a researcher and lecturer. During that time he participated in numerous oil industry funded projects, collaborating with virtually all the major oil companies, primarily in the fields of sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy and latterly reservoir modelling. In 2002 he took a professorship at the University of Bergen to further his applied research interests in analogue reservoir modelling. In 2005 he was one of the founders of Rocksource, a Norwegian Independent E&P Company. He worked there in the senior management until end 2011 initially as the Production Manager and latterly the CTO.

John has worked in a diverse range of basins on six continents, supervised over 50 PhD students, published more than a 150 papers, and edited 7 books. He was an AAPG distinguished lecturer in 2009. His current research focuses on virtual geosciences, including the improved use of analogues for understanding reservoirs. Over the past 15 years he has pioneered the use of Virtual Outcrops, collected using lidar and more recently UAVs (drones), in the geosciences. He is passionate about outreach in the geosciences. He was a co-host on "The Big Monster Dig", a TV series on geology and palaeontology for C4 and Discovery. He also has numerous other TV and radio credits as a scientific expert.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Birmingham - Reservoir Sedimentology
BA University of Cardiff - Geology
Fellow of the Geological Society of London

Courses Taught
N106: Advanced Reservoir Modelling (Elgin, UK)
N155: Introduction to Clastic Depositional Systems: A Petroleum Perspective
N298: Reservoir Analogues for the Southwestern Barents Sea: Outcrop Examples from Svalbard (Norway)
N335: Modelling Clastic Reservoirs (Pyrenees, Spain)
N532: Aeolian and Dryland Fluvial Reservoirs: Field and Virtual Outcrop (Elgin, UK)
N550: North Sea Multiphase Rift Evolution: Outcrop to Subsurface Perspectives on Stratigraphy, Sedimentology & Petroleum Systems (East Coast, UK)
N576: Reservoir Modelling and the Application of Outcrop Analogues (Utah, USA)

Stephanie Kape

Dr. Stephanie Kape has over 26 years of experience in the Oil and Gas Industry and is currently an independent consultant geologist at Salar Geoscience Ltd.

After graduating, Stephanie spent 5 years working as a consultant structural geologist with Midland Valley in Glasgow, working on a range of exploration and development projects worldwide. In 2001, Stephanie joined Amerada Hess Ltd as a production geologist based in Aberdeen. She moved to Canadian Natural Resources in 2003 as a Development Geologist and worked the mature North Sea portfolio. In 2005, Stephanie joined BG Group in Reading working the HPHT exploration, development and appraisal portfolio of the UK Central North Sea. In this role she developed a number of models for fluvial reservoirs, working on the issues and predicting reservoir deliverability. In 2008 Stephanie joined the Subsurface Assurance Team in BG, as part of an internal technical auditor, reviewing the company’s exploration, appraisal and development projects worldwide. Later roles included developments work on carbonates, exploration team lead roles in UK and Norway and in Global New Ventures.

Since 2017 Stephanie has worked as an independent consultant, working on varied projects worldwide. These have included M&A work, exploration in North Africa, appraisal projects in Norway and UK, and developments in fractured carbonates in the Middle East.

Throughout her career as a development geologist, Stephanie has worked with reservoir models and has acted as an internal focus for Reservoir Modelling. She has maintained an interest in fluvial sedimentology and the integration of this with other disciplines to build effective predictive models, publishing and presenting at conferences.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Birmingham - Geology
BSc University of Manchester - Geology
C.Geol - Chartered Geologist
Geological Society

Courses Taught
N530: Shore to Shelf Depositional Systems (Virtual Outcrops)
N534: Delta Plain to Base of Slope Reservoir Systems: Outcrop, Seismic, and Production Analogues in a Sequence Stratigraphic Context
N108: Exploration and Geological Model Development in Fluvial Reservoirs
N412: A Critical Guide to Reservoir Appraisal and Development
N415: Reservoir Characterisation for Appraisal and Development
N432: Clastic Reservoir Characterisation for Appraisal and Development (Southern Pyrenees, Spain)

Gary Nichols

Gary is Head of Technical Development for RPS Training and is responsible for developing learning and development strategies, new energy subject areas, and different modes of delivery.

Before joining RPS Energy to work with the Nautilus Training Alliance, Gary taught at Royal Holloway University of London and the University Centre on Svalbard covering undergraduate and MSc courses in Sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy, Petroleum Geology and Sedimentary Basins plus MSc Petroleum Geoscience courses in Clastic sedimentology, Sequence Stratigraphy and Sedimentary Basin models.

Key research topics include clastic sedimentology and sedimentary basin analysis;  climatic and tectonic controls on sedimentation; fluvial sedimentology; basin-scale patterns of sedimentation and the architecture of basin-fill successions; endorheic basins. Field studies have been carried out in flexural basins in Spain, Greece, USA and Spitsbergen, extensional basins in Madagascar, Greece, northern Thailand, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden and in arc-related settings in Antarctica, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. Detailed sedimentological studies include alluvial fan and fluvial sedimentation in continental basins and the reservoir characteristics of fluvial successions. Gary has published over 100 scientific papers and a widely-used textbook 'Sedimentology and Stratigraphy'. He is currently President of the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM).

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Cambridge
BSc London University, Honors
C.Geol - Chartered Geologist

Courses Taught
N108: Exploration and Geological Model Development in Fluvial Reservoirs (Pyrenees, Spain)
N155: Introduction to Clastic Depositional Systems: a Petroleum Perspective
N269: Sequence Stratigraphy and Subsurface Prediction: Methods, Limitations and New Developments (Isle of Wight, UK)
N387: Exploration and Development in Fluvio-Lacustrine Systems
N403: Reservoir Sedimentology of Fluvial - Shallow Marine Facies (Isle of Wight, UK)
N418: Tectonics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Coal-Bearing Basins
N432: Clastic Reservoir Characterisation for Appraisal and Development (Southern Pyrenees, Spain)
N544: Source to Sink: Provenance, Sediment Routing and Reservoir Characterisation (Southern Pyrenees, Spain)
W017: North Sea Reservoirs Series - Triassic Reservoirs Overview

CEU: 4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 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.