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Practical Methods for Mapping and Interpreting Deep-Water Stratigraphy and Reservoirs (GEO53)


    This course is designed to provide participants with a 21st century appreciation of the full spectrum of deep-water clastic reservoirs, their mechanisms of transport and deposition, stratigraphic architecture, predictive characteristics and 3D heterogeneity. This collaborative course dives downslope in a deep-water depositional system and examines reservoirs from feeder systems that link the shelf to submarine canyon, submarine fan or distal basin plain, using many of the most illustrative outcrop, core and seismic examples from a variety of continental margins.
    This course has been re-designed and updated with modern content to give industry professionals an understanding of source-to-sink sedimentary transport processes and depositional products, as well as knowledgeable insight into interpretation methods that provide value and inform business decisions in exploration, appraisal and development drilling campaigns. This course draws from materials presented in field courses to deep-water sedimentary outcrops and petroleum basins worldwide, and features mapping results from recent and extensive field campaigns primarily in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.

    Course Level: Skill
    Duration: 3 days
    Instructor: Jon Rotzien

    Designed for you, if you are...

    • Seeking technical expertise in mapping and interpreting clastic reservoirs and seals in onshore and offshore regions

    How we build your confidence

    This course will alternate between inclusive lectures, hands-on technical demonstrations and collaborative exercises involving practical application of cores, outcrops, logs and seismic data.

    The benefits from attending

    This course will give you an understanding of how to map and interpret deep-water clastic depositional systems. By the end of the course you will be able to:

    • Characterise turbidites, debrites, transitional, slurry- to hybrid-flow type deposits, contourites and reworked deposits and describe their transport and depositional processes, as well as the roles these deposits play in prospective sedimentary basins
    • Map and interpret the different types of deep-water depositional environments (canyon, channel, levee, splay, overbank) and their implications to reservoir architecture and reservoir quality along a variety of passive to active continental margins
    • Integrate seismic, outcrop, core and other industry data to inform decisions in exploration, appraisal and development drilling programs
    • Use modern and ancient depositional systems to provide analogue value for deep-water drilling campaigns
    • Characterise deep-water reservoirs and build relationships with depositional environments using outcrop, core, borehole image logs, FMI and other industry data
    • Understand geologic risk and uncertainty methods in the context of exploration, appraisal and development
    • Use lithofacies and stratigraphic architecture to understand variations in deep-water reservoir properties pertaining to reservoir presence, reservoir quality and seal presence
    • Apply predictive depositional models and first principles to characterise deep-water reservoir properties
    • Explore drilling outcomes and reservoir architecture scenarios using industry data sets
    • Conceptualise and apply source-to-sink transport, sequence stratigraphy and other methods to marine and deep-water sediment delivery as well as the role that mass-transport deposits play in creating new exploration opportunities
    • Understand along-slope processes including contour currents that can modify, rework and potentially improve the reservoir quality of turbidite deposits
    • Apply skills in seismic interpretation, reservoir characterisation, core analysis, geophysical log interpretation, sequence stratigraphy, play fairway mapping, geologic risk and uncertainty analysis, gross depositional environment mapping and oil and gas exploration methods


    • The course starts with an overview of how sediment is transported and deposited from shelf to bathyal depths and focuses on the broad range of sedimentary processes and depositional environments in a variety of passive and active margin settings from around the world
    • Individual and team exercises involving core and outcrop samples allow participants to describe samples and interpret their mechanism of deposition and their range of possible depositional environments and reservoir properties
    • Next, a deeper dive into depositional environments illustrates the types of reservoir facies, as well as depositional and stratigraphic architecture, likely to be found along the axis and periphery of deep-water depositional systems from submarine canyon head to basin plain
    • Collaborative exercises involving core, outcrop and seismic examples highlight the range of deep-water depositional environments and their effect on reservoir architecture and development
    • The skills of core description and integration, reservoir characterisation and sequence stratigraphy are emphasised
    • Core-log-seismic exercises will show modern techniques on how to predict vertical and lateral variations in reservoir architecture in deep-water depositional systems from regions including Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America and the Atlantic margins
    • The course will conclude with a summary discussion of the realistic expectations in clastic petroleum reservoirs, as well as new field- and lab-based research that is changing these paradigms. Modern advancements in the prediction of sedimentary deposits, facies and reservoir development in a variety of different settings – including examples from rift to drift phases of passive margin development, ponded slopes, above-grade to graded slopes, stepped slopes, foreland, forearc, strike-slip, intracratonic and hybrid basins illustrating various degrees of confinement – will be discussed

    Customer Feedback

    "Large amount of up-to-date information" - Geologist at NIS

    "Large variety of different outcrop analogues." - Geologist at Wintershall

    "I liked the course a lot, but also the up-to-date infos." - Sedimentologist at Dea

    "Great overview of the topic, applicable to work." - Geoscientist at Lotos

    "Great overview of deep-water siliciclastic systems and how they are valued in the petroleum industry. Hands-on learning that challenges you to think critically about these systems from an economic standpoint." - AAPG ACE Participant

    "Jon provided a great deal of knowledge and I had a wonderful time soaking all that in. Everything he taught us is highly applicable." - AAPG ACE Participant



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