Petroleum Geosciences Field Methods

ERTH 4156: Petroleum Geoscience Field Methods

Due to internalional travel restrictions, the field methods course did not take place this year. We plan on returning to the course described below once travel restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to do so. 

The Petroleum Field Methods Course is an intensive, senior level course designed to provide practical experience in an active petroleum system. The elements of the petroleum system are examined in detail; source, migration, reservoir, trap and seal. The field course is conducted in Trinidad during study week each year, and is led by Professor Grant Wach.

Trinidad has been an active area for oil, and more recently gas exploration, for over a century. Exposed oil reservoirs, the Pitch Lake, oil seeps, mud volcanoes, analogous outcrop exposures of linked fluvial‐estuarine, shelf margin delta and deepwater depositional systems makes this an extraordinary area to use as a laboratory for students, with direct analogs to the basins offshore Nova Scotia. Access to subsurface datasets from producing onshore and offshore fields provides ample opportunity for students to conduct research into fields and reservoirs. The course comprises over 100 hours of field, laboratory and classroom study. The students meet for several weeks prior to the actual field course, select research topics on the relevant petroleum system elements and write their geologic reports that comprise the background guide for the course. They are also responsible for writing the field safety guide and are field safety officers for their component of the report. The students make formal presentations of the results of their studies.