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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Hydrocarbons and Geophysical Exploration (EASC10093)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryHydrocarbon resources fuel the entire Western-World lifestyle, yet the easily located resources are rapidly depleting, those remaining are in complex and difficult of access settings. Prospecting requires a high degree of understanding of both geological and geophysical aspects of basin exploration, and particularly the interplay between these two disciplines.

This course aims to bridge the gap between geology and geophysics, helping to produce geology graduates with a working knowledge of exploration geophysics, and geophysics graduates with some geological knowledge as applied to the hydrocarbon industry, where many will be employed. The course covers the application of geophysical techniques to exploration and other subsurface problems;and the basic principles of petroleum geology, petroleum geochemistry, subsurface fluids & wireline logging in 11 lectures and accompanying practicals.
Course description The course covers topical issues including: how are hydrocarbons generated in the subsurface to form the accumulations we exploit to fuel our society? Is conventional oil running out and are there alternative fossil fuels (and should we be using them?) How do we find oil and gas using exploration geophysical techniques? Will Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) allow continued use of fossil fuels? These questions form the background to the applied problem of finding sufficient resources to fuel the Western World lifestyle, and the long term sustainability of that society.

Subjects include: Conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources; origin of oil and gas; petroleum geochemistry; seismic attribute analysis; source rocks; maturation and migration; plays, traps and field volumes; drilling and wireline logs; introduction to North Sea geology.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students should have a basic understanding of Geology, as provided by a course such as Introduction to the Geological Record (EASC08017).
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesBasic geological training.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the individual components of a petroleum system
  2. Analyse and understand typical data from petroleum production e.g.produced volumes of hydrocarbons, a traditional suite of wireline logs
  3. Undertake simple basin modelling in 1D
  4. Undertake 2D seismic interpretation, and construct a geological history
  5. Describe both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon plays
Reading List
Recommended Textbooks (*, **, *** indicate relative usefulness)
Consider buying:
*** Selley, R.C., 1998. Elements of Petroleum Geology, 2nd ed. Academic Press.
** Gluyas JG (2004) Petroleum Geoscience. Blackwell. ISBN 0632 03767 9. Good for flow and integration of geology and geophysics applied to hydrocarbon exploration and production.
** Kearey, Brooks and Hill (2003) An Introduction to Geophysical Exploration. Blackwell. ISBN 0 632 04929 4. Good for seismic reflection, magnetics & gravity, wirleline logs.
Also refer to:
Hunt, J. M. 1996 Petroleum Geochemistry and Geology, 2nd edition, Freeman & Co, New York..Rider M 1996 The geological interpretation of well logs, 2nd ed. Whittles Publishing, Caithness. ISBN 1 870325 36 2 .
Glennie, K.W., 1998 Introduction to the Petroleum Geology of the North Sea. 4th ed. Blackwell Science (digital version is available through the Library)
North, F.K., 1985. Petroleum Geology. Allen and Unwin (out of print).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Practical classes encourage data analysis and synthesis of a wide range of geoscience topics
Special Arrangements None
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures Wednesdays at 9:00-9:50, Weeks 1-11.
Laboratory sessions on Wednesdays at 10:00-12:00, Weeks 1-11.
KeywordsHydrocarbons; Geophysical exploration
Course organiserDr Mark Wilkinson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5943
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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