Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Geophysics and Seismic Interpretation

Seismic Stratigraphy of the Permian Basin (W Texas & SE New Mexico, USA)

Course Code: N467
Instructors:  Vitor Abreu
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
5 days


This field course is designed for geoscientists and engineers exploring and developing plays in mixed carbonate-siliciclastic systems and has relevance to those working in the Permian Basin. At the en

This is a six-day field course in west Texas and SE New Mexico, USA. There will be field activities in the mornings and classroom lectures and exercises in the afternoons, with long days (typically 10 hours).

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

    1. Analyze exposures of carbonate shelf and ramp to siliciclastic basinal systems in order to relate depositional facies to seismic scale geometries and sequence stratigraphy.
    2. Examine seismic scale outcrop geometries, document outcrop facies, and demonstrate similarities to productive intervals in the Permian Basin.
    3. Understand how subaerial exposure, marine diagenesis, and early near-surface dolomitization can affect ultimate reservoir porosity and permeability and overall reservoir geometry in subsurface.
    4. Assess changes in carbonate facies and relate these changes to depositional environments.
    5. Apply Walter’s Law and chronostratigraphic principles in core, well-log and seismic interpretation, and relate to prediction of play elements and best productive intervals for unconventional resources.
    6. Analyze sequence stratigraphy for carbonates and mixed carbonate-clastic depositional systems.
    7. Interpret carbonate sequence stratigraphic patterns from outcrop, well log, and seismic data.

Travel Day 

  • Arrive in El Paso, Texas. Meet and greet session at the hotel conference at 4:00 PM.
  • Discussion of safety procedures and basics of Sequence Stratigraphy.

Day 1

  • 8:00 AM – Meet at conference room to discuss about safety procedures for the day and discussion about Permian Basin. 10:00 AM leave for Carlsbad from El Paso.
  • First stop at Salt Flat Graben to provide overview of Guadalupe Mountains.
  • Lunch at El Capitan followed by a sequence stratigraphy exercise.
  • Arrive no later than 6:00 PM in Carlsbad.

Day 2

  • 8:00 AM - Meet at conference room to discuss safety procedures for the day.
  • 10:00 AM - Leave for McKittric Canyon from El Paso.
  • Lunch at the park.
  • 2:00 PM - Leave the park to arrive at the hotel in Carlsbad.
  • 4 PM - Meet at the conference room at for lectures and exercises on seismic stratigraphy.

Day 3

  • 8:00 AM – Meet at conference room to discuss about safety procedures for the day and discussion of field visit.
  • Stop at the Walnut Canyon for an overview of the Permian reef builders and main depositional facies of the platform.
  • 4 PM - Meet at the conference room for lectures and exercises on stratigraphic hierarchy.


Day 4

  • 8:00 AM – Meet at conference room to discuss safety procedures for the day and discussion of field visit.
  • Outcrop and a sequence stratigraphy exercise at Last Chance Canyon.
  • 4:00 PM - Arrive at the hotel to discuss the Guadalupe Mountains impact for unconventional resources.

Day 5

  • 8:30 AM - Check out from the hotel ready to leave. Leave for Slaughter Canyon.
  • Sequence Stratigraphy exercise, and a core-log correlation exercise.
  • Arrive at West Face – to conclude the field course with a sequence stratigraphy exercise of the Guadalupe Mountains. A reservoir engineer will accompany the group to provide enhanced insights between outcrop-scale depositional facies and production performance.
  • 1:00 PM - Leave for El Paso
This course is intended for geoscientists, petrophysicists, engineers, and managers who are seeking a comprehensive introduction to the seismic stratigraphy of the Permian Basin.

Vitor Abreu

Vitor Abreu has 28 years of experience in the oil industry in petroleum exploration, development production and research, with a proven record in evaluating, risking and/or drilling in 22 countries and 31 sedimentary basins in the 6 continents. His areas of expertise include projects in exploration, development and production of deep water reservoirs, regional studies to define the petroleum system elements and key plays in frontier exploration, tectono-stratigraphic evolution of basins in different tectonic settings, maturing opportunities to drillable status, and play to prospect risking assessment. His experience in development and production includes several field studies in different depositional environments, with high-resolution stratigraphic interpretation integrated to engineering data to define reservoir connectivity and main baffles and barriers for effective field development plans. On research, Vitor is considered one of the world leaders on reservoir characterization of deep water systems, proposing new deep water models with strong impact in development and production.

Vitor has been an Adjunct Professor at Rice University since 1999, where he took responsibility for the course on Sequence Stratigraphy after Peter Vail’s retirement. He was the recipient of the Jules Braunstein Memorial Award (best poster presenta-tion, 2002 AAPG Annual Meeting) and was appointed AAPG’s inaugural international Distinguished Instructor in 2006. He is the current President-Elect of SEPM and has been organizing and chairing technical sessions at annual meetings for both AAPG and SEPM. More than 1000 students globally have taken his short course on “Sequence Stratigraphy for Graduate Students” since 2000. This course has been taught at annual meetings, international meetings, universities, and companies around the world. Vitor is the chief editor of SEPM’s “Sequence Stratigraphy of Siliciclastic Systems”, which has sold more than 3000 copies since publication in 2010.

Affiliations and Accreditation
PhD Rice University - Geology & Geophysics
MSc Federal University of Rio Grande - Geology
BA Federal University of Rio Grande - Geology

Courses Taught

N410: Sequence Stratigraphy Applied to Exploration and Production
N442: Reservoir Architecture of Deep Water Systems (California, USA)
N468: Deep Water Reservoirs – Exploration Risking and Development Characterisation (Distance Learning)
N517: Well Log Sequence Stratigraphy for Exploration and Production (Distance Learning)
N518: Seismic Sequence Stratigraphy for Exploration and Production (Distance Learning)
N526: Sequence Stratigraphic Controls on Deep-Water Reservoirs Architecture: Brushy Canyon Formation,Permian Basin (West Texas and New Mexico, USA)

CEU: 4.0 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.