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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2018-19. The current handbook year is 2019-20

Department: Earth Sciences

GEOL3031: PETROLEUM GEOSCIENCE

Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • A pass at Level 1 GEOL1061 Mathematical Methods in Geosciences or pass at AS Level in Mathematics, grade B or above or the equivalent.

Corequisites

  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.

Aims

  • To introduce students to the key elements of geoscience and related disciplines which underpin petroleum exploration and production.
  • To understand the importance of fluid flow in petroleum exploration and production.
  • To integrate different types of geological, geophysical and petrophysical data in order to reduce exploration risk and enhance petroleum production.

Content

  • Basin formation and seismic interpretation: Rifts and Passive Margins; Foreland and Strike-Slip Basins; Tectonic Inversion
  • Petroleum Systems: Source Rock Deposition; Source Rock Volumetrics; Petroleum Generation; Migration and Trapping
  • Unconventional Hydrocarbons
  • Pore Pressure Prediction
  • Reservoir Quality
  • Petrophysics and Wireline Log Analysis
  • Petroleum Exploration to Production - the Value Chain
  • Production Geoscience: How an Oilfield Works
  • Fluid Flow and Permeability
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand the main ways in which sedimentary basins form and evolve.
  • Be able to undertake an analysis of a petroleum system.
  • Understand the main controls on fluid flow and how these impact petroleum exploration and production.
  • Understand the concept of the value chain in petroleum exploration and production.
  • Understand the main controls on the quality of a petroleum reservoir and how these may be assessed with wireline log data.
  • Ability to integrate data in order to assess how oil and gas production may be optimised.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills necessary to plan, conduct and report on mix of laboratory and field data.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to be understand the importance of uncertainty in geological and petrophysical data.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills to synthesise information/data from a variety of sources.
  • Will have acquired intellectual and practical skills in citation and appropriate use of the literature.
Key Skills:
  • Prepare, process, interpret and present data using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages.
  • Ability to integrate different types of data in order to make interpretations of economic importance.
  • Understand the importance of data quality and uncertainty.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures, practicals, fieldwork and seminars will be used to demonstrate processes and examples which are then to be further examined by extra directed reading.
  • Lectures, practicals fieldwork and seminars will be assessed through summative tests.
  • A common theme through the whole course is extra directed reading and important for a level three module.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 Weekly 1 hour 19
Practicals 19 Weekly 2 hours 38
Fieldwork 2 3 hours 6
Preparation and Reading 137
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Two-hour unseen written examination 100%
Component: Continual Assessment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical Writeup 1: Seismic Interpretation 32%
Practical Writeup 2: Petroleum Systems 34%
Practical Writeup 3: Reservoir Geoscience 34%

Formative Assessment:

Discussions and feedback during practical sessions.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University