Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Carbonates

Controls on Carbonate Depositional Systems and Reservoir Characterisation (Oligo-Miocene - Apulia, Italy)

Course Code: N494
Instructors:  Michele Morsilli
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days


Business Impact: The key learnings from this course can be applied throughout the E&P life-cycle to better predict carbonate reservoir potential and conduct volumetric assessments with greater confidence. 

The Oligo-Miocene systems in the southern Apulia region illustrate variations in the dominant carbonate factories and platform morphology relating to changing environmental, physiographic, eustatic and tectonic conditions. The course will use a process-product based approach that examines temporal variation of carbonate production. This approach is an effective aid in the prediction of platform geometry and key reservoir heterogeneities, avoiding the direct use of surface analogues as facies models. In addition to the depositional systems represented, early and post-depositional diagenesis will be examined and the impact of this on porosity and permeability in reservoir settings will be discussed.

Duration and Training Method

This is a field course, supported by classroom sessions in a 80:20 ratio. Classroom sessions will cover fundamental aspects of carbonate rocks and specific aspects of the local geology. Exercises will be incorporated to consolidate field and classroom learning.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Discuss the essential aspects of carbonate-producing biota, sediments, rocks and depositional facies and how these have evolved over geological time.
  2. Review modern and ancient carbonate platform types and the controls on platform geometry.
  3. Determine the controls on carbonate reservoir quality and relate these to original depositional facies, rock textures and diagenesis.
  4. Analyse the textures, biota, facies and architecture of selected Oligo-Miocene carbonate systems in Apulia.
  5. Assess the key controls on the dominant carbonate-producing biota in the Oligo-Miocene and hence location of the main carbonate factories.
  6. Assess how the location of carbonate factories in the platforms studied affects platform geometry and reservoir architecture.
  7. Apply the learnings from outcrop studies to subsurface carbonate systems to aid reservoir prediction.
  8. Determine the likely impact that heterogeneities deriving from stratigraphy, diagenesis and structure might have on reservoir behaviour.

Day 0
Participants arrive in Brindisi and transfer by coach to the hotel in Otranto town (Lecce Province), approx. 1.5 hrs travel.

Day 1
Morning: Classroom - Introduction to the course. Safety briefing. Regional geology and setting. Carbonate rock components, textures and fabrics. Carbonate classification systems. Exercises on carbonate components and textures.

Afternoon: Fieldwork to examine Cretaceous basement and other Cenozoic platforms unconformably covered by Oligocene systems of Castro and Porto Badisco Limestones (Chattian).

Day 2
Morning: Fieldwork – The drowning of Porto Badisco Limestones and the Aturia Level, a Miocene condensed interval (lower Burdigalian-lower Messinian).

Afternoon: Fieldwork – The Upper Miocene (Messinian) reef complex: corals, halimeda and vermetids bioherms.

Day 3
Fieldwork – Facies types in the Castro Limestones inner ramp and distally steepened ramp.

Day 4
Fieldwork - Facies types in the Porto Badisco Limestones: a transect form inner platform euphotic factory to mid ramp oligophotic factory.

Day 5
Morning: Fieldwork – Geology of Eocene (Priabonina) Torre Specchialaguardia Limestone

Afternoon: Classroom – Review of Cenozoic carbonate systems and course summary.

Day 6
Transfer to Brindisi airport for departure

This course is designed for geoscientists who wish to better understand how to characterise carbonate reservoirs. Attendance on this course would also benefit reservoir engineers and petrophysicists looking to broaden their knowledge on carbonate porosity distribution and how these impact hydrocarbon in-place volumes, as well as production behaviour. Team leaders and managers working on carbonate assets can also benefit from attending this course.

Michele Morsilli

Michele Morsilli is an Associate Professor at the University of Ferrara in Italy. His research interests include sedimentology with an emphasis on carbonate and mixed siliciclastic-carbonate depositional systems, facies analysis, depositional architecture and their controls. In recent years Michele has been involved in the research of the role of internal waves in controlling the shape and development of carbonate bodies, spanning in age from Triassic to Miocene, as well as in the recognition of sedimentary structures related to these events.

Field researches on carbonate successions have been conducted in:
• Italy: Apulia Platform (Maiella, Gargano, Murge and Salento), Dolomites, Sardinia, Calabria, Lessini Shelf  and Liguria
• Spain: Mallorca, Menorca, Pyrenees (Jaca Basin) and Iberian Basin (Teruel area).
• Carribean: Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire (Netherland Antilles)
• Etiopia: Negele area (Antalo Limestone, Jurassic), close to Somali border

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Bologna University - Sedimentology
MSc Bologna University - Geology

Courses Taught
N059:  Applied Carbonate Geology: Carbonate Facies and Reservoirs (Mallorca and Menorca, Spain)
N494:  Controls on Carbonate Depositional Systems and Reservoir Characterisation (Oligo-Miocene - Apulia, Italy)

CEU: 4.0 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.