The University of Southampton
Courses

SOES3002 Petroleum Geology and Mineral Resources

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

1. To consider systematically the major geological requirements for the formation and entrapment of oil and gas. 2. To critically examine and evaluate the world's major hydrocarbon provinces. 3. To describe the characteristic morphological, mineralogical, and chemical features of the major types of ore deposits being sought today. 4. To place emphasis on a clear understanding of the various hydrothermal and magmatic processes that contribute to the genesis of ore deposits. 5. To introduce various laboratory techniques that are used to evaluate the conditions of formation of ore deposits. 6. To provide a basic training in the calculation of ore reserves.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Be able to fully understand the place of oil and gas in the world energy scene and to make informed judgements about future exploration.
  • An ability to cross-fertilise ideas, concepts and information from parts of other units with petroleum geology studies (e.g. seismic facies, seismic stratigraphy, wireline log analysis, sedimentary environment models, etc.).
  • An understanding of the key processes responsible for the generation of a wide range of mineral deposit types and the ability to apply that understanding to interpret the origin of new deposits in the field.
  • An appreciation of the techniques used to investigate ore deposits in a research environment and an adequate understanding of exploration and resource-evaluation methodologies to commence a career in mineral exploration.
  • Be conversant with the main geological factors that control the formation and entrapment of hydrocarbon.
  • Be aware of the main methods by which these factors are measured/assessed in subsurface exploration.
  • Have a reasonable knowledge of the wide type of reservoirs and their architecture.
  • Be able to integrate ideas, concepts and information from other courses with petroleum geology studies (e.g. seismic stratigraphy, wireline log analysis, sedimentary facies and models, biostratigraphic data, and structural information).
  • Have a sound grasp of the more important factors governing the transport and precipitation of a wide range of metals and minerals by hydrothermal fluids.
  • Have a detailed knowledge of the geometry, mineralogy, chemistry and geological setting of important types of ore deposits.
  • Practical experience of interpreting well cores, cuttings, wireline logs, seismic and other data.
  • Familiarity with the profusion of literature that exists in the field of petroleum geology.

Syllabus

Laboratory work will involve the investigation of ore minerals from mining localities around the world, ore calculations and stable isotope and fluid inclusion investigations. The petroleum part of the course will focus on hydrocarbon source rock environments, source rock evaluation, migration, sedimentology and diagenesis of reservoirs, geological application of wire-line logs and seismic interpretation, petroleum exploration and hydrocarbon province case studies. The coursework will involve two major integrated projects involving hands-on experience with real industry data. The course will be supported by outside speakers from selected companies.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal Lectures: 22 x 45 minute lectures will provide an introduction to the theory underlying petroleum exploration and mineral resources, including hydrothermal fluids and mineralisation, mineralisation of arcs, stable cratons and sedimentary basins. Petroleum lectures will include lectures on hydrocarbon source rocks and hydrocarbon reservoirs and the Wessex, North Sea and West Africa Basins. Practical sessions: laboratory work will exemplify theory and allow you to develop appropriate practical skills in data analysis and interpretation and detailed examination of hand specimens. Practical sessions on mineral resources will include ore microscopy, fluid inclusions and stable isotopes and a mineral reserve calculation. Practical sessions on petroleum geology will focus on source rocks and petroleum migration wireline logging and a seismic exercise based on the Beatrice field. A wide range of support is available for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

TypeHours
Independent Study90
External visits2
Lecture22
Practical classes and workshops33
Total study time147

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessment Method Theory examination (60%): A 2-hour written examination comprising two sections – one to assess the mineral resources component and one the petroleum geology. Tests Learning Outcomes 1-7. Practical examination (40%): An assessed practical with two components: 1) a wireline logging or seismic exercise. (2) A polished thin section description and interpretation. Taken together the practical will address Learning Outcomes 1-7.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Practical examination 40%
Theory examination  (2 hours) 60%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: SOES2003 OR SOES2004 OR SOES2033

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