Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Unconventional Resources

Exploiting Clastic Resource Plays in Fluvial Through Shallow Marine Environments: a Modern/Ancient Approach (Alberta, Canada)

Course Code: N287
Instructors:  Tom MoslowJerry Sexton
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days

Summary

This course presents the key geologic attributes that determine the viability of non-shale clastic reservoirs as potential resource play targets. Facies heterogeneity, permeability anisotropy, areal extent and architecture of clastic reservoirs in a variety of depositional settings are examined to determine reasonable constraints on the lateral variability in clastic facies that will reduce risk, enhance accurate characterization and add predictability in resource plays and reservoir simulations. 

Feedback

Exceptionally executed for the first time this course was run, I would take it again. One of my favourite classes.

Duration and Training Method

This is a five-day course, comprising classroom lectures (30%), core workshops (25%) and field work (45%). The core workshop takes place at the AER Core Research Centre in Calgary. The field stops are in the Foothills and Front Ranges of Kananaskis Provincial Park and greater Canmore areas.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

1. Analyse the facies heterogeneity, permeability anisotropy, areal extent and architecture of clastic reservoirs in a variety of depositional settings.
2. Generate inputs to predictive models for reservoir simulations and extrapolation to horizontal drilling programs for a variety of depositional settings.
3. Determine permeability anisotropy and demonstrate the concept of reservoir “sweet spots”.
4. Generate “facies heterogeneity indices” for clastic depositional environments.
5. Analyse the sedimentary characteristics, patterns of reservoir quality and net:gross ratios of varying depositional environments based on the observation of cored facies in modern and ancient successions.
6. Establish geometries and length-to-width ratios of sand bodies in varying depositional environments.

Recent technological advancements in the drilling, completion and computer simulation of clastic reservoirs have placed increasing demands on geoscientists to better characterize and predict the attributes of clastic deposits that lend themselves for successful exploitation of such technologies. This has also led to the advent of the “resource play” and the unrealistic pursuit for reservoirs with lateral homogeneity and ubiquitous continuity. Coincident with this is the assumption that the geological characterization of a clastic reservoir presents too many complex variables that are not resolvable to any significant degree. However, while lateral variability and facies heterogeneity are inherent to the nature of deposition in clastic sediments, these attributes are predictable, commonly repetitive and occur in an orderly fashion.

This combined lecture course, core workshop and field trip is designed to provide an overview of the key geologic attributes that determine the viability of clastic reservoirs in a variety of depositional settings as potential resource plays for hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation. An emphasis is placed on characterizing the facies heterogeneity, permeability anisotropy, areal extent and architecture of clastic reservoirs in a variety of depositional settings. Insights from modern environments of deposition and comparison to ancient equivalents provide the basis for placing reasonable constraints on the lateral variability in clastic facies that will reduce risk, enhance accurate characterization and add predictability in resource plays and reservoir simulations.

Other topics to be included:

  • Review the basis for developing predictive models in reservoir simulations and extrapolation to horizontal drilling programs in a variety of depositional settings
  • Permeability anisotropy and  the concept of reservoir “sweet spots”
  • “Facies heterogeneity index” for varying clastic depositional environments
  • Case examples of resource plays from subsurface ancient reconstructions
  • Review of the sedimentary characteristics, patterns or reservoir quality and net:gross ratios of varying depositional environments based on the observation of cored facies in modern and ancient successions
  • Depositional systems reviewed include: fluvial, estuarine, deltaic, barrier shoreline and shelf/shoreface
  • Predictive geometries and length-to-width ratios of sand bodies in varying depositional environments

Note that this course does not focus on shales, but rather the coarser grained fraction of the clastic spectrum of sedimentary rock, specifically siltstones, sandstones and conglomerate reservoirs with respect to their potential as “resource plays”.

Itinerary (subject to revision)

Days 1, 2 and 3 (AM)
Classroom lectures and core workshops at Energy Resources Conservation Board Core Research Centre in Calgary.

Overnight in Calgary (Days 1 and 2).

Days Days 3 (PM), 4 and 5
Field stops to examine outcrop exposures and modern fluvial environments in the Kananaskis Provincial Park and Canmore areas of Alberta.

Overnight in Kananaskis (Days 3 and 4).

Day 5
Overnight in Calgary for flights home the next morning.

Exploration or development geologists, geophysicists, reservoir engineers, reservoir modelers and/or geoscience and engineering managers within companies that are evaluating or exploiting unconventional clastic reservoirs through multi-well horizontal drilling programs.

Tom Moslow

Background
Dr. Tom Moslow is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Calgary and a former Professor (1985–1994) at the University of Alberta and Louisiana State University (1983-87). His fields of specialization are in petroleum geology, clastic sedimentology, and sequence stratigraphy with an applied emphasis on the predictive architecture and heterogeneity of unconventional (i.e. “resource play”) reservoirs. In 1995 Tom was employed by Canadian Hunter Exploration as a Sr. Geological Advisor. He subsequently joined Ulster Petroleum as Chief Geologist in 1997 and was appointed Vice President, New Ventures and Technology in 1999 where he was responsible for leading a multi-disciplinary team of technical specialists and explorationists that doubled the company’s production.  In 2000, Tom became a co-founder and principal of Midnight Oil & Gas Ltd. as Vice-President of Exploration which led to the creation of Daylight Energy Trust where he served as Vice President of Geology and Geophysics. He held executive positions in subsequent affiliated companies including Midnight Oil Exploration and Pace Oil and Gas Ltd and led Pace’s Geosciences Division including Exploration and New Ventures teams.  He retired from Pace at the end of 2011. In early 2012 Tom formed Moslow Geoscience Consulting through which he provides geo-technical assessment, advisement, mentorship and instruction to the oil and gas industry including courses pertaining principally to the exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in conventional and unconventional reservoirs.

Tom has won numerous awards and honours for his work and research on topics pertaining to the Triassic and Lower Cretaceous of the Deep Basin of Western Canada and tight gas/resource play geology in general. He has taught a variety of professional development courses focused on applied petroleum geology subjects in Canada, USA and South America. He has authored or co-authored over 75 publications in a variety of journals on topics mostly pertaining to clastic sedimentology, subsurface geology, and reservoir architecture in unconventional clastic resource plays.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of South Carolina - Geology
MSc Duke University - Geology

Courses Taught
N287:Exploiting Clastic Resource Plays in Fluvial Through Shallow Marine Environments: a Modern/Ancient Approach (Alberta, Canada)

Jerry Sexton

Background
Walter ("Jerry") is a coastal geomorphologist/sedimentologist with over 30 years of professional experience and is a broad based geoscientist with experience in surface mining (heavy mineral, peat, sand & gravel), groundwater pollution and shoreline mapping for contingency planning.  Walter has taught and co-taught over 175 week-long seminars on “Modern Clastic Depositional Environments” principally along the South Carolina coastline but also internationally for both the ground water and petroleum industries as well as for academic institutions.   

These field seminars have been taught for many energy companies including BP America, Suncor, Conoco/Phillips, Encana, Apache and Chesapeake Energy.  He is the founder and president of Athena Technologies, Inc. founded in 1987 specializing in shallow stratigraphic studies of modern depositional systems.  Walter has conducted research in Europe on the coastline of France, the Middle East (Kuwait and Abdul Dhabi), Africa (Nigeria), Central America (Panama), the Caribbean and throughout much of the United States including Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands.  In 2006 he presented the Annual Honorary Address for the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  He has worked on basin projects from the Gulf Coast through the Western Canadian Basin.  Walter has published numerous papers on modern clastic deposition ranging from fluvial/alluvial valley topics to the continental shelf margin. 

His approach toward teaching field seminars on modern clastic depositional systems is to start with the review of the mechanics/processes of sedimentation and build on the physical evolution of key depositional environments such as the shoreface. This seminar is centered around the modeling of depositional systems (estuaries, shorelines, deltas and alluvial valleys) with ultimately viewing the three dimensional setting as it might appear in the ancient geologic record. 

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of South Carolina

Courses Taught
N096: Recent Depositional & Stratigraphic Analogues for Fluvial & Shallow Marine Reservoirs (South Carolina, USA)
N287: Exploiting Clastic Resource Plays in Fluvial Through Shallow Marine Environments: a Modern/Ancient Approach (Alberta, Canada)

 

CEU: 4.0 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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