Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Clastics

Clastic Reservoir Characterization: The Importance of Recent Sand Models to Aid Subsurface Interpretations

Course Code: N450
Instructors:  Larry Meckel
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
3 days


This course will examine virtually every clastic reservoir you will ever explore for or develop, from basin margin alluvial fans to deep water units in the basin. For each reservoir type we will use Holocene core and log data to model depositional processes, facies variation and geometries. The models will be applied to outstanding outcrops and then to subsurface analogs via logs, field-trap examples and seismic signatures.

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom course comprising lectures illustrated by core, log and seismic data.

Course Overview

  1. Describe the depositional processes that produce each reservoir type.
  2. Recognize the depositional record of each type in cores, outcrops, and logs, so as to be able to identify them in the subsurface.
  3. Identify the typical geometries and lateral facies variation for each type.
  4. Understand how these characteristics provide the depositional model for each reservoir type.
  5. Describe the common and acceptable variations for each model.
  6. Recognize these reservoir types in some of the best outcrops in the world.
  7. Apply this information to subsurface examples using logs, seismic, and examples of trap types.

We will develop models for, and show examples of, over 20 reservoir types, from alluvial fans at the margin of the basin to a variety of deep water units out in the basin. For each reservoir type, we will look at complete logs and cores through Holocene (modern) examples to document (1) the depositional processes, (2) the typical geometries, and (3) the facies context (i.e. the lateral seals). We will then apply these models, first to outstanding outcrops and then to the subsurface via logs, field-trap examples, and finally typical seismic signatures.

  • Introduction
    • Clastics have had 2 paradigm shifts:
      • The tie to logs (’50s –‘60s)
      • The tie to seismic (‘70s)
    • What is the recent (Holocene)
  • Alluvial fans
  • Aeolian
  • Channels
    • General
    • Straight
    • Meandering
    • Braided
    • Incised valleys
    • Estuaries
  • Bars
    • General
    • Coastal regressive
    • Transgressive
    • Shallow marine (shelf sands)
  • Deltas
    • Some observations about deltas
    • River dominated
    • Wave dominated
    • Tide dominated
    • Unstable, typically lowstand shelf margin deltas
  • Deep water reservoirs
    • Depositional processes
    • Ramp systems
    • Submarine canyons
    • Submarine fans
    • Contourites
  • Summary

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the size, scale and variability of clastic reservoirs, and so is suitable for geologists assigned to describe the reservoirs, geophysicists working to map them and to engineers developing and producing them.

Larry Meckel

Larry is an exploration consultant with 40 years of domestic and international experience. He does regional exploration studies and basin evaluations to identify oil and gas opportunities. He also generates and markets oil and gas prospects.

As a consultant, Larry has been involved in Tight Gas Exploration since 1975. During this period he has worked these units in more than 20 basins in Canada, the U.S., and currently in Mexico. His experience spans both clastic and carbonate plays. He has been fortunate to be part of various teams that have made significant discoveries. He will attempt to bring this experience to the course to show how to integrate all the pertinent data (rock, logs, pressures, test recoveries) and to resolve conflicting pieces of information. He is also keenly aware that these plays are not always the easiest to sell to management and will have some useful suggestions.

Larry started his career with Shell Oil and Development Companies as an exploration geologist and manager. He co-founded a Houston consulting company - Sneider and Meckel Associates, Inc. - and now has his own consulting-exploration company in Denver. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Colorado School of Mines where he teaches “Unconventional Petroleum Systems” and “Geology and Seismic Signatures of Reservoir Systems”.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Johns Hopkins University
BA Rice University
AAPG - Member
SEG - Member
SEPM - Member
Mexican Geological Society - Member
Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists-Active Member
AAPG Grover E. Murray Distinguished Educator Award recipient

Courses Taught
N141: Unconventional Resources: Exploration for Tight Gas Sands
N184: Unconventional Resources: The Main Oil Systems (Colorado, USA)
N450: Clastic Reservoir Characterization: The Importance of Recent Sand Models to Aid Subsurface Interpretation

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.