Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Carbonates

Integration of Sedimentology, Petrophysics and Seismic Interpretation for Exploration and Production of Carbonate Systems

Course Code: N073
Instructors:  Gregor Eberli
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
4 days
8 sessions


Business Impact: Participants of this course will have the necessary knowledge for assessing different plays in carbonates as they will be familiar with a wide range of carbonate depositional environments. The course outlines what aspects are different from clastics and thus improves success in exploration and reservoir characterization of carbonates. The petrophysical portion will give the participants the expertise to better assess uncertainties in predicting reservoir properties with geophysical methods such as saturation using AVO and porosity from seismic inversion.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of necessary concepts for seismic interpretation in carbonate systems for successful exploration and production. The newest concepts in depositional and microbial processes in shallow and deep water carbonate environments, rock physics, and sequence stratigraphy are presented through a combination of lectures, case studies and exercises. The participants will be exposed to many aspects of seismic stratigraphic interpretation related to carbonate reservoirs in traditional, unconventional and lacustrine environments.


"This was an exceptional course. Lecturer was well prepared, knowledgeable and organised. The material/delivery was well paced. Exercises were challenged but very illustrative of concepts covered."

Duration and Training Method

This is a classroom or virtual classroom course comprising a mixture of lectures, exercises and case studies. Participants are encouraged to bring relevant material that can contribute to the discussion.

Course Overview

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Appraise common carbonate seismic facies and geometries.
  2. Assess the diagenetic influence on porosity, permeability, and sonic velocity of carbonate reservoirs.
  3. Evaluate possible carbonate depositional environments on seismic data and predict the facies within the various environments.
  4. Evaluate the usage of seismic attributes in interpreting carbonates.
  5. Examine potential reservoirs in carbonate contourite systems.
  6. Appreciate the difficulty of distinguishing carbonate buildups from volcanic edifices.
  7. Perform seismic stratigraphic interpretations to predict, map and quantify carbonate reservoirs.
  8. Integrate stratigraphic principles into a carbonate interpretation.
  9. Evaluate seismic data for an integrated carbonate reservoir characterization.
  10. Evaluate the controlling factors for variations of carbonates in unconventional reservoirs.

Carbonate Depositional Systems: morphologies of shelf, isolated platform, ramp:

  • Unique aspects of carbonates
  • Modern examples of ramp, shelf and isolated platforms
    • Exercise
  • Oligo - Miocene Carbonate Ramp Systems
    • Apulia and elsewhere

Seismic Geometry and Facies in Carbonate Systems:

  • Seismic facies analysis of carbonate systems
    • Exercise

Carbonate Depositional Systems: slope and basin:

  • Modern carbonate slopes: morphology, processes and facies
  • Carbonate contourite drift systems - overview
  • Carbonate contourites and the petroleum system
    • Examples and case studies

Carbonate Petrophysics:

  • Carbonate diagenesis and its influence on petrophysical properties
  • Control on sonic velocity and resistivity in carbonates
    • Exercise
  • Rock physics models explaining velocity variations in carbonates
  • Porosity types and porosity models for carbonates
  • Effect of Saturation on Velocity in Carbonates

 Carbonate Microbialites:

  • Modern stromatolites and associated facies
  • Microbial processes influence on reservoir quality
  • Petrophysical properties of microbialites
  • Lessons from the modern carbonates for the exploration in the Presalt

Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy:

  • Introduction to carbonate sequence stratigraphy
  • Comparison of sequence stratigraphic models
  • Exercise: Sequence analysis

(Seismic) Carbonate Reservoir Characterization:

  • Carbonate depositional cycles as building blocks for reservoirs
    • Exercise
  • Fractures within depositional cycles and flow units
  • Workflow in seismic reservoir characterization illustrated on Giant field in Abu Dhabi

Challenges in Carbonate Exploration:

  • Distinguishing carbonates buildups from volcanic edifices in seismic data
    • Exercise

Mixing of Carbonate and Siliciclastics

  • Mixed systems in conventional reservoirs
  • Mixing in unconventional reservoirs
    • Depositional and diagenetic processes of fine-grained carbonates
    • Case study: Vaca Muerta Neuquén Basin

This course is aimed at motivated geoscientists working on carbonate plays, prospects and fields, who are seeking to share and build upon their knowledge. Managers and team leaders working on carbonate assets are also welcome. This workshop format would benefit multi-disciplinary asset teams.

Gregor Eberli

 Gregor P. Eberli holds the Robert N. Ginsburg Endowed Chair in Marine Geology in the Department of Marine Geoscience at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami. Eberli is a leading researcher in various aspects of carbonate geology and geophysics. His research interests include carbonate sedimentology, seismic stratigraphy, and petrophysics of carbonates. He is recognized for revealing the complicated internal architecture of Great Bahama Bank and changing the view of the growth pattern of such carbonate platforms. He was the Co-Chief scientists on drilling expeditions of the International Ocean Discovery Program to the Bahamas and the Maldives that helped assess the effects of sea level fluctuations and ocean currents on carbonate platforms and the adjacent basin.

In his laboratory, he conducts petrophysical experiments that help to better understand the log and seismic signature of carbonates. In particular, he explores the influence of pore structure on sonic velocity and resistivity in carbonates and integrates these petrophysical analyses into the sedimentologic and stratigraphic analyses for improved reservoir characterization.

He is the director of the CSL – Center for Carbonate Research, which conducts basic research in sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics, and geochemistry in modern and ancient carbonate systems to enhance prediction of facies and petrophysical properties in subsurface carbonates.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland
MSc Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland
AAPG Distinguished Lecturer - 1996/97
JOI/USSAC Distinguished, Lecturer - 1997-1998
EAGE Distinguished Lecturer - 2005 - 2006
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Courses Taught
N073:  Workshop in Geological Seismic Interpretation: Carbonate Systems

CEU: 2.8 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 28 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.