Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Basin Analysis

Hydrocarbon Habitat in Rift Basins

Course Code: N129
Instructors:  Joseph Lambiase
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days
10 sessions


Business Impact: Attendance on this course will primarily aid in exploration but will also add value during appraisal, development and production of reservoirs and oil fields in extensional settings.

The course describes the sedimentology and stratigraphic evolution of rift-fill and post-rift successions in non-marine and marine settings, as a product of structural evolution, climate variation, and sea level change. These principles are applied to the acquisition and evaluation of exploration acreage and illustrated by worldwide case studies.

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classroom course, comprising lectures, discussion, and practical exercises.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Characterise rift basin types and tectonic regimes under which rift basins form and assess their probable structural evolution through pre-, syn- and post-rift stages of development.
  2. Compare models of rift basin evolution and contrast these with a range of real rifts.
  3. Assess sedimentary and stratigraphic features of rift basin fill.
  4. Assess the role of both climatic and tectonic controls in determining rift basin fill, especially as it relates to the deposition of likely source, reservoir and seal formations.
  5. Reconstruct likely sediment fairways based on the structural architecture of a given rift system and predict possible locations for source and reservoir facies.
  6. Apply sequence stratigraphic principles and models to both marine and non-marine rift basins.
  7. Appraise the petroleum systems in rifts and characterise both common and under-explored play concepts.

Course Introduction

  • Format, content, aims and objectives of the course

Rift Tectonics and Structure

  • Basin evolution
  • Extension and trans-tension
  • Inversion


  • Syn-rift, post-rift and passive margin stratigraphic geometries
  • Non-marine syn-rift successions
  • Marine and mixed syn-rift successions

Controls on Sedimentation

  • Tectonics versus climate
  • Sediment sources and rift topography
  • External versus internal drainage
  • Local and basin-wide sediment sources and deposition
  • Sedimentation versus subsidence rate

Sedimentary Processes and Facies Distribution

  • Processes controlling the character of fluvial, alluvial fan, paludal, aeolian, shallow/evaporitic lake, deltaic, lacustrine, shoreline, turbidite, fan delta and carbonate sediments

 Sequence Stratigraphy

  • Application to marine and non-marine rifts
  • Lake level/sediment supply linkage

Syn-Rift Stratigraphic Development

  • Facies distribution
  • Tectonic and climatic influences

Marine Rifts

  • Sea level and sediment supply
  • Facies distribution and stratigraphic evolution

Post-Rift Successions

  • Marine, nonmarine and mixed sag basins
  • Tectonic and sea level controls
  • Facies and stratigraphic development
  • Exercise: facies distribution and stratigraphy

Source Rocks, Reservoirs and Seals

  • Deposition of source, reservoir and seal facies
  • Spatial distribution in rift basin successions

Petroleum Systems

  • Source rocks and migration
  • Reservoirs and seals
  • Trap types

Hydrocarbon Habitat

  • Reserve distribution in rift basins

Play Concepts and Exploration Strategy

  • Proven plays: case studies worldwide
  • Prospecting in rift basins
  • Under-explored plays
  • Exercise: acreage evaluation 

Geologists, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, petroleum engineers involved with exploration in rift basins or looking to broaden and deepen their knowledge of rift systems.

Joseph Lambiase

Joe is a Clastic Sedimentologist with nearly 15 years of experience as an international explorationist with Marathon Oil Company and Amerada Hess Ltd. He also was the Brunei Shell Professor of Petroleum Geoscience and Head of the Petroleum Geoscience Department at Universiti Brunei Darussalam for 13 years and the Director of the Petroleum Geoscience Program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok for 8 years. Since 2017, Joe has been the Director of Lambiase Geoscience, a Florida-based Petroleum Geology consultancy. He has published nearly 100 scientific papers and is a Past-President of the AAPG Asia-Pacific Region.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD McMaster University - Sedimentology

MSc University of Rhode Island - Geology

A.B. Brown Univeristy - Geology

Courses Taught
N492: Clastic Depositional Systems in SE Asia: Concepts and Models for Reservoir Characterisation and Prediction

N129: Hydrocarbon Habitat in Rift Basins

CEU: 3.5 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 35 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.