Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Structure and Tectonics

From Sub-Seismic Faults to Rift Basins: Exploration, Appraisal, and Production Insights (Gulf of Corinth, Greece)

Course Code: N575
Instructors:  Douglas Paton
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days

Next Event

Location: Gulf of Corinth, Greece
Date:  30 Sep. - 4 Oct. 2024
Start Time: 09:00 EEST
Event Code: N575a24F
Fee From: GBP £8,720 (exc. Tax)


This course integrates field observations from the active rift system in the Gulf of Corinth directly with subsurface understanding and uncertainty across exploration, appraisal, and production workflows. Central to this is a consideration of the spatial and temporal evolution of normal faults and associated sedimentary systems, and how this is critical across the range of sub-seismic, reservoir, basin, and regional scales. Although the course is field based, it will draw heavily on sub-surface geophysical examples to unravel the 4D evolution of rift basins and provide insights into reservoir structural geology.

Business impact: The Gulf of Corinth is one of the best exposed rift basins globally and provides an exceptional setting in which to understand the impact of structural geology on reservoir distribution, effectiveness, and compartmentalisation.


Event Code: N575a24F
Duration: 5 days
Instructors: Douglas Paton
Dates: 30 Sep. - 4 Oct. 2024
Start Time: 09:00 EEST
Location: Gulf of Corinth, Greece
Fee From
GBP £8,720 (exc. Tax)
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Duration and Training Method

This is a field course supported by classroom seminars and workshops in a ratio of 80:20 percent. Both 2D and 3D seismic data from other regions will be used for discussion on the application of observations and lessons from outcrops to exploration and production challenges in the subsurface.

Participants are encouraged to bring samples of problem data for group discussion.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Assess the tectonic setting and evolution of the Corinth Rift.
  2. Evaluate the application of field observations to understanding uncertainty in sub-surface data sets at both sub-seismic and regional scales.
  3. Characterise the geometry, kinematics, and evolution of an isolated normal fault and fault arrays.
  4. Assess the role of sub-seismic faulting on compartmentalisation and segmentation.
  5. Compare models for rifting and normal fault growth mechanisms, strain localisation, and the effects on rift basin and passive/transform margin development.
  6. Apply field observations to interpret the evolution of a rift basin and its fill, applying this to sub-surface examples.

The key topics to be covered are:

  • The importance of understanding structural geology from both a reservoir distribution and compartmentalisation perspective in exploration, appraisal, and production workflows.
  • The geometry of isolated normal faults and impact on reservoir distribution.
  • The role of fault linkage on modifying structural evolution and basin fill.
  • The importance of differentiating cumulative versus instantaneous displacement on structural evolution and basin fill.
  • The use of field observations from fault zone to rift basin scales to reduce uncertainty in sub-surface data interpretation.
  • The evolution of a fault relay ramp and impact on segmentation and reservoir/source rock distribution.
  • The impact of sub-seismic faulting on interpretation uncertainty and predicting cross-fault fluid flow.
  • Construction of multi-scale cross sections to understand strain distribution, evolution, basin fill, and heat flow variability.


Day 0 – Arrival and Introduction 

  • Arrival into Athens and transfer to hotel
  • Evening HSSE briefing
  • Introduction to concepts, region, and application to sub-surface data

Day 1: Loutraki/Perachora Peninsula

  • Regional and basin scale exploration of rift basins

Day 2: Achaea

  • Stratigraphy and Structure of a single fault block

Day 3: Achaea

  • Fault mapping and geometry
  • Fault block interaction and influence on reservoir distribution

Day 4: Achaea

  •  Growth, linkage and death of normal faults

Day 5: Corinthia and Corinth Canal

  • Reservoir scale structures
  • Impact of structural geology on reservoir model build and production
  • Drive to Athens

Day 6: Departure from Athens

This course is appropriate for both early-career and experienced geoscientists across the breadth of exploration, appraisal, and production roles. Participation would be equally useful to graduate geoscientists as to experienced practitioners/domain specialists in sedimentology, petrophysics, geophysics, reservoir and/or basin modelling, who are looking to develop a more integrated workflow approach.

The course can also be adapted for non-geoscientists to provide insights into hydrocarbon exploration and production in rift basins and passive/transform margins.

Douglas Paton

Since 2020, Douglas has led an independent consulting company, TectonKnow, which has a focus on understanding and predicting hydrocarbon prospectivity in complex structural and tectonic settings utilizing the 25 years exposure to margins globally and includes the development of the Reclus database of global structures and tectonics.

Douglas investigated the role of basement structures on continental breakup and fault evolution in Southern Africa for his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and then worked as a Conoco-Phillips funded PDRA looking at the structural controls on fairway deposition in the Zeta area, Northern North Sea.

He then moved to GFZ Potsdam where he applied basin analysis concepts to petroleum system modelling in the Orange Basin and became interested in the long term evolution of margins from inception through to break-up. After Potsdam, he took up a Chevron sponsored Associate Research Professor position at the Colorado School of Mines in a research group focussing on structural controls on deep water clastic deposition.

Initially moving to Leeds as the BHP Billiton Lecturer in Structural Geology, which included research on the structural evolution of the Sinu Accretionary Prism. He subsequently was appointed Chair in Structural Geology and Basin Analysis where he ran an industry facing research consortium with a focus on a global understanding of structural geology, tectonics and basin analysis.

Dr. Paton’s research interests focus on the structural evolution and deformation of sedimentary basins.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD - The University of Edinburgh - Geology
BA - Department of Earth Science, University of Cambridge - Natural Sciences

Courses Taught
N218: Structural Controls on Deepwater Systems: Growth Structures and Minibasin Fill (Austrian Alps)
N556: Building the Structural Framework for a Reservoir Model
N575: From Sub-Seismic Faults to Rift Basins: Exploration, Appraisal, and Production Insights (Gulf of Corinth, Greece)
N657: Seismic Structural Interpretation Techniques
N717: Seismic Inputs and Structural Modelling Workshop


CEU: 4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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