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The University of Southampton

SOES6059 Basin Analysis

Module Overview

This module aims to increase your research-led analytical skills in the handling of sub-surface data using the tools routinely employed within the hydrocarbon industry. You will find similar software tools used throughout all UK industries be they energy, environment or minerals. The course will emulate work flows commonly employed in the petroleum industry and it represents a valuable opportunity to enhance your employability.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To introduce high level basin analysis skills • To team work in a chosen sub-discipline then work as an ‘expert’ within a multi-disciplinary group • To introduce selected research level concepts in basin formation and thermal histories. • To integrate these concepts into a focussed report on a basin

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • practical lab skills in selected discipline
  • integration of basin resource data with literature
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • team working
  • report writing
  • oral presentations
  • time management
  • Use of industry standard software tools ODM, Genesis and Petrel
Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse basins;
  • Handle disparate data from a number of disciplines;
  • Evaluate this data into a coherent basin model;
  • Evaluate this data for its resource implications;
  • Construct a very succinct executive summary.


Students will use examples and data sets from the Wessex Basin. The student will investigate seismic and well logging data from a related basin such as the Weald, Channel or Bristol Channel Basin (Basin X). There will be three strands within the module. The taught component will involve a series of introductory lectures and labs on log correlation, seismic correlation, reservoirs and source rocks. This will reinforce skills learned earlier in the degree and introduce new skills. You will complete individual based practicals in the following: Geophysical: Use of Petrel for seismic lines, well ties, well logs, petrophysics, basin development & sequence stratigraphy Sedimentological: well logs, well correlation, reservoir environments, petrophysical properties, basin development, extension and reservoirs, isopachyte maps, diagenesis and burial Geochemical: well logs, petrophysical properties, source rock environments, source rock evaluation, oil-source correlations, backstripping and burial history. These strands are not mutually exclusive. Once you have completed the individual practicals you will work on a new dataset with a group. Within the group you are likely to initially work within a discipline specific strand. Following acquisition of specific data you will then integrate it within a multi-disciplinary team to formulate a joint presentation and then an individual written executive summary in the style of a report to an exploration manager. There will be a series of research led lectures and invited speakers from industry. Topics could include: • Resource risk; • Unconventional hydrocarbons and fracking; • Extensional basins, faults and sediment transfer.

Special Features

This module may be available to students on both the final year of four-year undergraduate programmes, and to postgraduate taught master's programmes.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Formal Lectures: 45-minute lectures will provide an introduction to the theory underlying each sub-discipline. Each lecture systematically covers the main concepts and topics by the use of PowerPoint presentations. Where relevant, lecturers’ own research/commercial experience in the appropriate fields is brought into the lecturing sessions. References to relevant journal articles are provided as essential reading for each lecture. Practical sessions: each lecture is supported by a data handling practical so students learn how to apply the methodologies. Field course: to introduce the Wessex Basin and the 'unknown' basin, collect essential field information. Support: is provided by staff and/or technical labs. Presentations: Oral presentation of 15 minutes duration. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Practical classes and workshops41
Independent Study102
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Practical assessment 70%
Presentation  (20 minutes) 30%

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: SOES3002 Petroleum Geology And Mineral Resources 2016-17


To study this module, you will need to have studied the following module(s):

SOES3002Petroleum Geology and Mineral Resources
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