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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Hydrocarbon Reservoir Quality (EASC10015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will run in Semester 2 weeks 1 ¿ 5
This course examines the science underpinning porosity and permeability in sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. This is particularly relevant for hydrocarbon exploration and production, has importance for CO2 permanent storage, sites of short duration methane and hydrogen storage, and can also help understand deep aquifers within sedimentary basins. Depositional features of a sediment strongly control its porosity and permeability. Subsequently during burial, the mineralogy and physical arrangement of sedimentary grains is changed by compaction, geochemical reactions, and fluid flow. That has a systematic impact on spaces between the grains - porosity holding fluids, and permeability enabling flow of fluids. Course themes are divided into Sandstones and Carbonates. Each theme progresses from depositional and shallow burial effects, to processes during deeper burial. Shallow burial (dis)similarities will be explained as will deep burial contrasts and similarities between sandstones and carbonates.
Course description The topics are unusual in spanning size scales from micro to macro, and in the integration from surface processes and depositional geology ¿ to deep burial geochemistry and long timescale rock mechanics controlled by fluid pressures. Firstly the basin setting and gross depositional and basin architecture, which affects the input detrital mix. Second, the depositional environments produce reservoir scale (in)homogeneities. Thirdly, the cementation and dissolution effects at the pore scale, with integration of geological setting, basin modelling, geochemical measurements fluid flow and (over) pressure, and petrological measurements. The emphasis is on processes during geological timescales, which aims to communicate that the shallow to deep underground is affected by continually changing dynamic processes. Typically one-third of "solid" rock is re-located during the pathway to deep burial. This will help understand how to predict the location and timing of good, or poor, quality porosity and permeability within a sedimentary basin.

Delivery ¿ depends on virus- but is anticipated to be through a series of recorded lectures, which should be viewed in advance of meeting. A weekly tutorial session allows for formative assessment by class dialogue and interaction. This could be two hours timetabled each week. The lecture slides are available on LEARN. Students will be asked to preview these each week in preparation for class meetings. There will be some formative self-paced Q and A on LEARN. It is intended to provide a few essential references on LEARN for fundamental concepts, and some recent reviews. Formal assessment is via a written essay after the end of the lecture course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Sedimentology, or petroleum geoscience, or hydrogeology are useful. Check with organiser if you do not hold any of these at SCQF 9, or 10, or 11
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  80
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Assessment is an essay of maximum length of 3 sides of A4 including diagrams and references as chosen by individual student. Text as 11pt Arial. The aim is to interpret, critically summarise, and link together a selected topic from the lecture courses.
These follow the University of Edinburgh Common Marking Scheme.

Assessment Deadlines
Essay to submit electronically through the course Learn site in week 6 of Semester 2. For further details of the time and date for the submission, please refer to the learn page for this course.
Assessment deadlines
Essay ¿ Semester 2, Week 6. Wednesday, 12noon (Submit online via Turnitin)
Feedback For each lecture, all notes and diagrams used are available as digital versions on LEARN. Feedback is predominantly by in-class Q&A during each tutoral. This is aided by a listing of recommended research-level publications. A short MCQ self-guided assessment is expected to be available, to highlight major topics for each lecture.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To develop a critical understanding of how sandstone and carbonate reservoir porosity and permeability in the subsurface is influenced by sedimentological effects of depositional mineralogy, grainsize, and sorting.
  2. To develop a detailed understanding of the effects, from shallow-to-deep burial of compaction, cementation and dissolution. This knowledge will be integrated with fluid flow understanding of deep groundwater, basin modelling, geochemical measurements and petrological measurements.
  3. To illustrate some of the research and commercial methods, with case examples, by which porous reservoirs can be assessed.
  4. To engage with synthesis and condensation of information, via an open-book assessed critical essay, limited to 3 sides of A4. This will enable students to use research publications to research and showcase their detailed understanding of a specific topic, with linkage to a coherent understanding of overall reservoir quality. The outcome is to achieve professional level interpretations of applied developments. The essay is deliberately short, to develop the generic skill of summarising lots of complex information into short and systematic analytical briefings.
Reading List
Notified during class and by information on LEARN
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Stuart Haszeldine
Tel: (0131 6)50 8549
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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