training specialists to the upstream oil and gas industry

Field Trip - Carbonate Reservoirs in the Field

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Course overview

This four-day course in northwestern Sicily will provide the basics of carbonate reservoir characterization on the field, by means of spectacular exposures, and visits to quarries and seismic scale outcrops. The main aims are to describe and illustrate the peculiar geological and petrophysical control factors occurring in carbonate reservoirs.

The instructor will focus on the main sedimentological characteristics of different carbonate reservoir (pore diagenesis, facies, primary structures, palaeontology, evolution and sequence stratigraphy) coupled with the role of fracturing (vertical and horizontal). Prediction criteria in fractures orientation will be explained, with limits and constrains. The course focuses on the seismic aspects of carbonate reservoir and the correlation with the outcrops. Role of permeability and anisotropy in fluids within the reservoir and relationship between boreholes and fractures will be cover using natural examples. A set of outcrops of shallow water carbonates affected by meso-and-macro volcano-dykes and atollo-type successions will show you some of the risks and critical factors occurring in reservoirs.  At the end of this course you will able to describe carbonate reservoir at different scales, starting from the pore networks and rock textures, to the sedimentary bodies and stratigraphic-structural macro-architectures. A robust part on characterization of fractured reservoir with practical exercises is scheduled. These outcrops provide therefore a natural laboratory to learn and experiment methods for characterizing and modelling properly carbonate reservoirs.

How we build your confidence

  • Clear and impressive field stops allow a visualisation of the different facies typical of Carbonate reservoir.
  • Graphic material on site, correlation with seismic and well dataset will help you to understand the geological control factors typical of reservoir modeling.
  • Practical exercises on geometries, fractures and heterogeneities of the reservoir will be conducted in quarries where a multiple exposure and variable geometries of cliffs permit a 3D visualization of critical surfaces.

The course is designed for

This course is suitable for geologists and geoscientists in general with some years of experience, that want to broaden and deepen their knowledge on carbonate reservoir (properties and control factors on modeling). It assumes basic knowledge in geoscience. It’s designed for reservoir engineers and explorationists wishing to improve their geological knowledge.

Course objectives

By the end of the course you will feel more confident in your understanding of geological key elements in characterization of carbonate reservoir. You will improve the capability to analyze and to assess properly the different control factors influencing a fractured reservoir, starting from petrophysical datasets and exporting to the large-scale reservoir.

Course outline

Day 3

  • Tidal flats, effect of matrix
  • Sedimentary dikes, large faulting, ramp-bounded reservoir
  • Stepped margin, channels, breccias and auto-brecciated reservoir
  • Channels and other discontinuity
  • Correlation with seismic

Maranfusa quarry: an open air laboratory on large fractures and Neptunian dykes affecting a Jurassic carbonate reservoir. Effects of hydraulic barrier. Vertical and horizontal connectivity. Tectonic history and fractures pattern. Effects of flexural stage and compressional stage on the carbonate reservoir.

Gola di Oni: seismic scale outcrop of a carbonate ridge, inverted structures and transpression. Ramp-dominated reservoir. Prediction criteria in the orientation of fractures using a 4D restoration.

Rocca Busambra: panoramic view of flower structure. Effect of channel and major faults. Stepped margin on reservoir. Close up view of the Trapanese succession. Auto-brecciated deposits. Fracture connectivity, impact of matrix and fractures pattern. 

Day 4

  • Large vertical barrier/discontinuity, volcanic dykes
  • Mixed deposits, petrophysical parameter
  • Slope carbonates and calcareous turbidites
  • Prediction criteria, risk and case study

Monte Balatelle: Carbonate reservoir affected by large volcanic dykes. Problems and characteristics. Sealing deposits.

Roccapalumba: atollo-type successions, shape and geometries. Mixed ramp deposits. Facies and unconformities. Permeability and porosity.

Sicani Mountains: slope carbonates and turbidites, lithological control factors. Risks and prediction criteria for exploration.

Discussion and final remarks.

Day 1

  • Introduction on the Carbonate Reservoirs in Sicily
  • Geological and petrophysical characteristics
  • Karst, fractures, jointing and anisotropy
  • Homogeneous vs heterogeneous deposits
  • Correlation with well dataset

Introduction to the main geological settings of carbonate platform in Sicily. - San Vito Peninsula. Typical sedimentary features of peritidal limestones, porosity & permeability, lithological control factors, fractures and anisotropy. What’s happen into the well? A field analogue.

San Vito: homogeneous and heterogeneous deposits, spacing of fractures, jointing, scale effects. Exercises.

Day 2

  • Peritidal cycles and reef complex, characteristics, facies and geometries
  • From outcrop to macro architectures of carbonate reservoir
  • Domino style faulted reservoir
  • Unconformities and sealing
  • Rudistic limestone reservoir, porosity and connectivity

Cozzo di Lupo: a geological transect along a reef complex. From fore reef to reef core and lagoon, characteristic, parameter, geological control factors affecting the platform. Practical exercises.

Monte Gallo: domino-style faulted reservoir, role on unconformities and sealing, vertical variation of porosity and permeability.

Monte Pellegrino: rudistic limestones reservoir. Type of porosity and characteristics. Connectivity. Effects of stratigraphic partition. Evolution of a carbonate platform.


Location Start Date End Date Cost Trainer Book
Sicily Upon request   £2,350  Dr Gabriele Lena  Make enquiry
Note: Price includes local transfers, ground transportation, accommodation, all meals and refreshments throughout the period of the field trip. Safety equipment and guides are also included to ensure the comfort and safety of the participants.

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An amazing experience for learning and travelling in such an historic location.
Sasol Petroleum, United Kingdom


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