Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Clastics

Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Reservoir Geology of Deepwater Clastic Systems (County Clare, Ireland)

Course Code: N009
Instructors:  Andy Pulham
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration:
5 days

Next Event

Location: County Clare, Ireland
Date:  15 - 19 Jul. 2023
Start Time: 09:00 BST
Event Code: N009a23F
Fee From: GBP £8,150 (exc. Tax)


Business Impact: Participants on this course will learn to appreciate the sedimentology and stratigraphy of deepwater systems and apply this understanding to the prediction of reservoir presence, quality, distribution, and architecture. Participants will thus be equipped to add value to subsurface projects across the E&P life cycle.

The focus of this course is an outcrop examination of basin floor, slope and shelf margin architecture and stratigraphy. Controls on deepwater sedimentation are discussed in detail, specifically high amplitude sea level changes, sediment supply and the importance of varied gravity flow processes to reservoir elements and their distribution. Observations and interpretations are supported by lectures, case studies, analogues, and behind-outcrop core and wireline log data.


"This is a really great course balancing geology and enjoying your surroundings. The outcrop examples linking to geological models are outstanding. The increase in data with well information makes this a must for people working in deepwater environments."


Event Code: N009a23F
Duration: 5 days
Instructors: Andy Pulham
Dates: 15 - 19 Jul. 2023
Start Time: 09:00 BST
Location: County Clare, Ireland
Fee From
GBP £8,150 (exc. Tax)
Good Availability
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Duration and Training Method

This is a field course, supported by classroom sessions in a 70:30 ratio. Classroom sessions will comprise presentations, case studies, and reviews of the fieldwork.

Course Overview

Participants will learn how to:

  1. Validate the range of gravity flow processes and products, their recognition in the subsurface and reservoir implications.
  2. Evaluate the temporal and spatial distribution of the key elements of sand-rich basin-floor turbidite and associated slope systems.
  3. Characterise the stratigraphic architecture, scale and distribution of potential reservoir units in sand-rich turbidite systems.
  4. Evaluate reservoir description tools and techniques; cores, logs and seismic, for the variety of depositional settings examined.
  5. Assess the contrasting nature of internal reservoir characteristics through a variety of deepwater depositional elements and its implications for exploration and exploitation risks.
  6. Assess the large-scale controls that can operate on deepwater depositional systems, with particular emphasis on high-resolution sequence stratigraphy in basin floor, slope and associated deltaic systems.
  7. Evaluate regional scale links from basin margin to basin floor settings and make well constrained predictions of reservoir presence and potential quality.

Key themes of this course are:

  1. Controls on deepwater depositional systems.
  2. Deltaic sediment supply systems and evidence for high amplitude sea-level cycles. Contrasts between low stand shelf edge deltas and incised valleys and highstand and transgressive systems tracts. Implications for deepwater sedimentation.
  3. Gravity flow processes and products; their recognition and implications.
  4. Clastic slope systems. Zones of coarse sediment by-pass or significant exploration targets?
  5. Basin floor fans. Simple piles of sand or complicated reservoir architectures?
  6. Subsurface case studies.

Below is the planned itinerary for the course. Please note that the itinerary may vary due to weather and tides.

Day 0: Arrival

  • Arrival and transfer to the small coastal community of Kilkee

Day 1: Lecture and Field

  • Introduction to the Clare Basin stratigraphy and deepwater systems
  • Uppermost slope and shelf margin architecture
  • Deltaic sequence stratigraphy and implications to deepwater sedimentation

Day 2: Field

  • Turbidite systems; sedimentology and stratigraphy
  • Slumps, slides, debris flows and slope sands; including channels, growth faults and overbanks

Day 3: Field

  • Architecture of deep-water channels and related sheets
  • Deepwater processes and products

Day 4: Lectures and Field

  • Summary shelf margin to deep-water stratigraphy and models for deepwater sedimentation
  • Inner fan sedimentology and stratigraphy; channel complexes, slumps and condensed sections
  • Mid-fan sedimentology and stratigraphy; channels, sheets and sediment by-pass surfaces
  • Fan fringe sedimentology and stratigraphy; deep basin mudrocks and distal fan elements

 Day 5: Lectures and Field

  • Synthesis of deepwater systems and key lessons from the Clare Basin
  • Boat trip to view key cliff exposures
  • Outer fan stratigraphy; sheets

Day 6: Departure

  • Transfer to Shannon and departure

The course is relevant to all subsurface Geoscientists who wish to broaden and deepen their knowledge of deep marine clastic plays. Non-geoscience staff will also benefit from participation. This field course is suitable for multi-disciplinary team attendance.

Andy Pulham

Dr. Andy Pulham has more than 35 years of industrial and academic experience. Since early 2005 Andy has been constructing his own consulting and training company and alliances. He has consulted in South America, USA, Europe and Africa.

After graduating, Andy spent 12 years with BP Exploration as a Petroleum Sedimentologist and for BP worked in NW Europe, North America and South America. Highlights in Andy’s industrial career have been regional studies in the Jurassic of the North Sea and the Cenozoic of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and the appraisal of the Cusiana Field in Colombia. From 1995-2001 Andy was Principal Investigator for Reservoir Geology at the Energy and Minerals Applied Research Center in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado. While in Colorado, Andy conducted research into the production characteristics of marginal marine siliciclastic oil and gas reservoirs and alluvial architecture in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. Subsurface projects were drawn from the Americas, Europe and Papua New Guinea. In 2001 Andy gained an appointment as the Canada Research Chair in Petroleum Geosciences in the Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland and taught undergraduate and graduate petroleum geology and sedimentology and advised graduate students in subsurface reservoir, seismic stratigraphy and outcrop sedimentology projects. Andy left academia in 2003 and joined Nautilus USA as VP of Geoscience and acted as the senior technical liaison and technical manager for the Geoscience Training Alliance in North America.

Andy’s primary interests are clastic sedimentology and stratigraphy. Andy’s portfolio of geoscience training classes now number eleven schools and include deepwater clastics, marginal marine and deltas, play fairway analysis and exploration prospecting and petroleum systems.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD University College of Wales, Swansea - Geology
BSc University of Liverpool, England - Physical Geography and Geology
AAPG - Member
SEPM - Member
IAS - Member
RMAG - Member

Courses Taught
N087: Play Fairway Analysis & Exploration Prospecting
N009: Sedimentology, Stratigraphy & Reservoir Geology of Deepwater Clastic Systems (County Clare, Ireland)
N011: High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Reservoir Applications (Utah, USA)
N042: Reservoir Sedimentology & Stratigraphy of Coastal and Shelfal Successions: Deltas, Shorelines and Origins of Isolated Sandstones (NW Colorado, USA)
N115: High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphy: Application to Deltaic Systems and Reservoirs  (County Clare Ireland)
N570: Deepwater Clastic Systems - Processes, Products, Architectural Elements and Strategies for E&P

CEU: 4 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 40 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.