Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Carbonates

Depositional Systems of the South Atlantic Pre-Salt: refining models for exploration and development

Course Code: W006
Instructors:  Paul Wright
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
2 days


The workshop provides an overview of the current understanding of the complex pre-salt carbonate reservoirs of the South Atlantic, including offshore Brazil and West Africa. Following an introduction to lacustrine depositional systems and the range of carbonates found in rift basins, the different reservoir types (coquinas and 'microbialites') in the South Atlantic basins are reviewed. Two current contrasting models for the 'microbialite' reservoirs are critically assessed, from the seismic to core-scales. Practical guides to understanding the highly unusual rock types in these reservoirs are provided. 

Duration and Training Method

The workshop will be taught by Paul Wright (PWCG). Emphasis will be placed on the depositional systems and how different models impact upon exploration and development strategies, and how to evaluate these models. Exercises will provide methodologies for assessing which models are applicable, with a focus on understanding the highly unusual rock fabrics and porosity evolution in these limestones.

Course Overview

Day 1

  • Lacustrine depositional systems: how and why they differ from marine systems
  • Carbonates in non-marine rift systems
  • Microbialites in lacustrine systems and reservoir case study
  • Brazilian margin Cretaceous Pre-Salt carbonates 1:Coquinas
  • Brazilian margin Cretaceous Pre-Salt carbonates 2: What are the 'microbialite' reservoirs and why are they so unusual?

Day 2

  • Brazilian margin Cretaceous Pre-Salt carbonates 3: Evaluating the different 'microbialite' depositional models. Seismic data provided by Spectrum
  • Brazilian margin Cretaceous Pre-Salt carbonates 4: Diagenesis and porosity generation in the 'microbialites'
  • Brazilian margin Cretaceous Pre-Salt carbonates 5: A practical guide to studying the limestones (exercise)
  • West African Cretaceous Pre-Salt carbonates
  • Synthesis: Brazil versus West Africa pre-salt play concepts

The workshop is designed to appeal to all geoscientists involved in the subsurface analysis of the pre-salt in the South Atlantic.

Paul Wright

Paul Wright has worked on carbonates for over 40 years, holding positions at the universities of Bristol and Reading as well as the BG Chair in Applied Sedimentology at Cardiff University for ten years. For over five years from 2007 Paul was principal consultant sedimentologist and group technical authority for carbonates at BG Group. He has worked extensively on carbonate reservoirs in North Africa, offshore India, Kazakhstan and offshore Brazil, as well as in the Paris Basin, Abu Dhabi and West Africa. He has conducted field work widely in UK, Spain, Portugal, Oman and USA.

Paul has written over 140 research papers, and co-authored or edited several books including the main text book in carbonate sedimentology. He has supervised over 20 PhD students, most of whom work in the oil and gas industry. He has served on the editorial boards of several international journals.

He is now director of PW Carbonate Geoscience Ltd, specializing in consulting, training and mentoring in applied carbonate sedimentology. He is an honorary fellow at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.

Paul is the 2016 recipient of the Pettijohn medal for outstanding contributions to sedimentology and stratigraphy, awarded by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), and also recipient of the 2015 AAPG Grover E Murray Distinguished Educator Award.

Courses Taught
N020: Carbonate Depositional Systems:  Reservoir Sedimentology & Diagenesis
N143: Advanced Concepts in Carbonate Exploration and Reservoir Characterization (Northern Spain)
N245: Sedimentology and stratigraphy of Lacustrine Systems: Reservoir and Source Rocks (Utah & Colorado, USA)
N336: Carbonate Reservoir Description Based on Core and Well Data (Nottinghamshire, UK)

CEU: 1.6 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 16 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.