Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Unconventional Resources

Recognition of Mudstone Depositional Processes and Depositional Settings: Implications for Reservoir Heterogeneity and Play Extent

Course Code: N382
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
4 days


This course will describe, illustrate, and interpret the wide range of bedforms and depositional processes within mudstone dominated successions, including flocculation, hypopycnal, hyperpycnal, wave enhanced gravity, and turbidite flows. Several mudstone classification and terminology schemes based on mineralogy and element composition will be introduced and contrasted for their strengths and weaknesses in assessing reservoir properties.

Duration and Training Method

A four-day course conducted in a classroom / core workshop setting and including lectures, exercises and case studies. The course will be conducted at the BEG's core facility in Houston, Texas.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Evaluate sedimentary settings and the processes that deposit fine grained sediments.
  2. Assess the characteristics of shales and the lithological variables that distinguish different shale plays.
  3. Evaluate shale sections in core.
  4. Assess common physical sedimentary structures.
  5. Assess visible diagenetic features.
  6. Assess various bioturbation features.
  7. Evaluate and name fine grained rocks on the basis of core and hand specimen derived properties.

Participant will learn to identify different types of bedforms within mudstone dominated deposits so as to interpret depositional processes. This will allow better characterization of reservoir- to accumulation- scale heterogeneity and understanding of varying flow paths due to lateral variability in reservoir properties.

The core workshop will compare and contrast a wide range of mudstone reservoir deposits from organic mudstones deposited in relatively deep marine, slope to and shallow water settings deposits. The study of sedimentary processes and features will be enhanced by results of flume studies at Indiana University, including videos of flow experiments and SEM images of flow deposits. Sedimentary processes and their potential relationship to pore systems will be explored.

Case studies of integration of sedimentary processes and facies distribution to build sequence stratigraphic frameworks to map and predict reservoir fairways will be presented.

The course will include demonstration of the Indiana University mudflume, a large racetrack flume facility dedicated to the experimental study of mudstone depositional processes. Flumes are used to obtain quantitative information about depositional and erosional parameters of clays. This is combined with studies of modern mud accumulating environments to develop a better understanding of mud deposition.

The course is intended primarily for geoscientists and petrophysicists exploiting shale and mudstone resource plays, but the learnings are of relevance to reservoir and production engineers as well.

Per Kent Pedersen

Dr. Per Kent Pedersen, P.Geol., has +10 years of diverse experience in academia, government and industry.  He began his career as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, working on several industry and government funded research projects integrating outcrop, core and well log data of thick shale and sandstone strata in Western Canada from southern Alberta to Yukon and the Northwest Territories.  Following a year as Assistant Professor at Brandon University, Manitoba, he took up a position as Senior Petroleum Research Geologist with the Petroleum Geology Branch, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, where his research focused on the Cretaceous hydrocarbon potential in Saskatchewan, particularly on the shallow gas system.

In 2005 Per joined Apache Canada Ltd as an Exploration Geologist, where he was part of the New Venture Unit exploring mainly for new large unconventional type oil and gas accumulations within the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.  He recommended and drilled close to 30 wildcat exploration wells, with discovery of potentially a new large gas pool within the foothills of southern Alberta.  Per also provide technical support for acquisition and farm-in property evaluations, and oversaw a drilling program of more than 600 shallow gas wells within the Hatton Pool, SW Saskatchewan.  He joined in 2007 Kereco Energy Ltd. as a Senior Exploration Geologist identifying conventional and unconventional drilling targets in Northeastern British Columbia within Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, Mississippian and Devonian sandstones, shale, and carbonates.  Targets also include natural fractured reservoirs within shallow to deep seated thrust sheets, complemented by field work to map structures and areas of more intense fracturing.

Per joined in 2008, the Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary as Associate Professor, where his research primarily focuses on geological reservoir characterization of unconventional oil and gas systems as part of several industry funded research consortias. He also runs his own consulting company providing technical support for reservoir characterization and reserve estimation, and teaches field seminars for various petroleum companies and geological societies.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Department of Earth Sciences ,University of Aarhus Denmark - Geology

Courses Taught
N259: From Outcrop to Subsurface: Understanding and Evaluating Shale Resource Plays (Alberta, Canada)
N291: Geological Reservoir Characteristics of Siliciclastic Unconventional Light Oil Plays,  Western Canada Sedimentary
Basin (Alberta, Canada)
N382: Recognition of Mudstone Depositional Processes and Depositional Settings: Implications for Reservation Heterogeneity and Play Extent

Juergen Schieber

Dr. Schieber is a professor of geology at Indiana University and a specialist on shales. He has published extensively (148 papers, 20 guidebook chapters, 4 books, 287 conference abstracts). He is also an invited lecturer at universities in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia; at research organizations, industry short courses, and symposia. Dr. Schieber is a member of the science team that currently explores the geology of Gale Crater on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover.

His research is characterized by a holistic approach to shales, and consists of an integration of field studies (facies, stratigraphy) and lab studies (thin sections, electron microscopy, and geochemistry) in order to understand the various factors that are involved in the formation of shales. A key focus point is the experimental study of shale sedimentology via flume studies and related experimental work. Funding for this research is provided by government agencies (NSF, DOE, NASA), foundations (Petroleum Research Fund), and industry via the Indiana University Shale Research Consortium (ExxonMobil, Anadarko, Marathon, Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Wintershall, Whiting, Statoil) and separate research agreements (Schlumberger/TerraTek; Pioneer Natural Resources). He consults on matters pertaining to shale sedimentology, shale fabric and pore structure, and also teaches short courses on shale sedimentology and facies analysis, as well as microscope based petrography.

His research interests include: Basin Analysis and Sedimentology, Sedimentology, Diagenesis, and Pore Systems of Shales, the Genesis of Black Shales and Sediment hosted Mineral Deposits, Evolution of the Belt Basin and the Devonian basins of the eastern US, Geochemistry of Sediments, Planetary Geology and sedimentary geology of Mars.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University of Oregon - Geology
BS University of Tübingen, Germany - Geology

Courses Taught
N382: Recognition of Mudstone Depositional Processes and Depositional Settings: Implications for Reservation Heterogeneity and Play Extent

CEU: 3.2 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 32 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
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