Petroleum Geosciences Field Methods

ERTH 4157/5157: Petroleum Geoscience and Energy Systems Field Methods

The Petroleum Geoscience and Energy Systems Field Methods Course is an intensive, senior level course designed to provide practical experience within the elements of an active petroleum system. The course provides an overview of petroleum and energy systems field methods including basin analysis, source rock evaluation, carbon capture and storage, seismic and well sequence stratigraphy, depositional facies analysis, biostratigraphy, drilling and completions, petrophysics and well log analysis, in addition to other topics. 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, all make 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, and submit a number of industry-relavent exercises and completed observational notebooks from their time in the field. 

Watch the 2024 student group's final presentation!