CeREES Petroleum Students starting 2008
Title: - Influences on Passive Margin Evolution: A case study of the Santos Basin, Southeastern Brazil
Research is focused on understanding the influences of the development and evolution of brittle structures during the early transtensional rifting of the Santos basin, offshore Brazil, in particular the role of basement fabrics in the development of faults both onshore and in the offshore basin. I use a variety of techniques to study both onshore and offshore regions at a variety of scales, in order to correlate what I see onshore with processes in the offshore basin. The research has highlighted the role of regional dyke swarms in the early development of the south Atlantic margins in southeast Brazil, and southwest Africa.
Title: Lateral reservoir drainage in overpressured mudrock sequences and their geophysical characteristics.
Prediction of abnormal subsurface pressures is a big challenge in oil exploration in order to reduce drilling costs and to mitigate drilling hazard. Shallow overpressures in Cenozoic basins worldwide are generally caused by disequilibrium compaction, but at greater depths other processes generate overpressure, such as clay diagenesis and gas generation. The overpressure distribution in basins can be greatly affected by lateral reservoir drainage through permeable reservoir layers. The aims of the project are to investigate the different wireline log responses to the different overpressure generating mechanisms, to predict the occurrence of overpressure, and to understand if lateral drainage might be identified on seismic data. The study area is Haltenbanken (offshore mid-Norway) and the first goal of the project is to determine the compaction behaviour of the Mesozoic mudrocks with increasing depth and temperature as the basis for understanding how wireline log responses are affected by overpressure.
Title: Facies, sequence stratigraphy and tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Malta Platform
The project describes the development of an isolated carbonate platform within the context of changing climate and tectonic controls. The aim is to develop a model of carbonate facies and stratigraphic change related to trophic level that can be correlated across the western Tethys.
Supervisors: Dr. Howard Armstrong
Dr. Geoff Abbott
Paolo Giovanni Biffi (ENI S.p.a)
Title: Euxinia and Source Rock Formation in the mid-Silurian of North Africa and Arabia
A multidisciplinary examination (Sedimentology, Biostratigraphy, Inorganic and Organic Geochemistry) of black shale sections from the mid to lower Silurian of Jordan and Tunisia / Libya. This projects intends to identify which of several competing models most likely explains the formation of the black shale intervals present throughout the Early Silurian and whether these individual black shale intervals are ultimately formed via the same or different processes.
Title: Evolution of fluvial systems in the Central Iberian Basin, Spain
The Iberian Ranges in Central Spain host an array of world class Permo-Triassic syn-rift deposits. The fantastic outcrop exposure allows for a thorough examination of how continental systems evolved both spatially and temporally and the controls that led to their development. This research is sponsored by the petroleum industry as these outcrops are important analogues that can be used to help interpret wireline logs and improve 3-D subsurface reservoir models.
Supervisors: Dr Nicola de Paola
Dr Ken McCaffrey
Professor Robert Holdsworth
Title: Quantifying density and connectivity of fracture patterns within fault zones and applications for fluid flow models
Fault zones within carbonate reservoirs are of great economic importance as they can act both as conduits and impermeable seals that trap oil and gas in subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs. Density and connectivity within the fault zones are extremely heterogeneous in three dimensions and control fluid flow. To understand the role of fracture patterns in fault zones we studied normal faults ranging from meter scale displacement to km scale displacements, using 1D, 2D, and 3D methods across a range of scales.
Current research is focused on understanding the deposition of flood basalts from an aerial to a marine environment. During the late Palaeocene, the rifting event that created the North Atlantic produced large volumes of lava that erupted on or close to the Faroe Islands. Some of these lava flows travelled over 100 km and entered the Faroe-Shetland Basin, which resulted in the formation of lava-fed delta systems. These delta systems document the position of the shoreline at the time of deposition and may act as a proxy for recording the evolution of the basin. Analysis is primarily through offshore, geographically overlapping 2D and 3D detailed seismic mapping and comparison to outcrop examples.The application of seismic stratigraphy to the 2D dataset has identified discrete, seismically resolvable units that are interpreted to have stratigraphic importance. Each seismically constrained unit is interpreted to represent a period of active volcanism during which the delta grew. Interpretation of these units has been used to reconstruct the depositional environment in terms of relative sea level, volcanic sediment supply and available accommodation space. 3D analysis is being used to understand the spatial construct of the lava-fed delta front and its morphological features with direct comparison to known lava-fed delta systems such as those seen on Hawaii and Iceland. This research is funded by Statoil UK.