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Play Mapping and Exploration Strategy - A Hands-on Approach (GEO34)


    Exploration is a vital part of the oil and gas industry, enabling future production levels to be maintained as fields deplete with time. How then do we explore? This play mapping course provides the hands-on tools for your company’s future explorers. This is a practical foundation course with real world examples, exercises and experience garnered in both clastic and carbonate terrains from around the world.
    This course is designed to develop the participants' knowledge of the various forms of geological data and establish methods to integrate this data and construct play maps. These play maps in addition to simple exploration statistics are then used to develop exploration strategies.

    Course Duration: 3 days

    Course Level: Foundation / Skill
    Instructor: Chris Cubitt

    Designed for you, if you are...

    • A geologist, petrophysicist, geophysicist or reservoir engineer who has some experience in hydrocarbon exploration, but wants to know how GDE-based play mapping is practically done and to see how this technique is linked to exploration strategies

    Some geological knowledge is assumed, however previous experience with oilfield data or interpretation methods is not required.

    How we build your confidence

    • This is a ‘hands-on’ team-based course using real data (well logs, seismic screen grabs well correlations, core etc.) along with ‘real world’ examples
    • Play maps are paired with exploration blocks with teams nominating which blocks would be high graded or downgraded

    The benefits from attending

    By the end of the course you will feel confident in your understanding of:

    • What petroleum systems and play maps are
    • The key elements of the petroleum system, reservoir, source, seal, trap and timing
    • How to identify key reservoir and source depositional environments using core logs and wireline log motifs
    • The hydrocarbon habitat and the stages of exploration, exploration, appraisal and production
    • How the geology and geophysics team decides where to look for hydrocarbons
    • How to organise well data and correlate wells
    • How to construct gross depositional environment (GDE) maps
    • How to make play maps from GDE maps
    • How to make geological common risk segment maps and formulate play maps from GDE maps
    • Prospect, risking and exploration analysis including field size distribution, yet to find and success rate formulation
    • Exploration decision making using a matrix approach
    • Post exploration: appraisal and development geology overview


    • Petroleum systems / play maps
      - Using regional geology to define basin type (review of main basin types), source and reservoir distribution
      - Data preparation and organisation
      - Defining stratigraphy relative to geological data
      - Dry hole analysis
      - Gross Depositional Environment (GDE) mapping
    • Common Risk Segment (CRS) mapping
    • Basic petroleum exploration
      - Play systems
      - Depositional systems
      - Source rock distribution
      - Reservoir quality
    • Well data organisation
      - Well correlation
      - Organise poorly presented and inconsistent data
      - Confirmation formation tops? Are there errors?
      - Where is my play level?
    • Mapping
      - Construct GDE maps in clastic and carbonate settings from organised well data
      - From the GDE maps play and then CRS / play maps are produced
    • Exploration statistics analysis
      - Regional geology and region ranking theory (success rate, FSD, yet to find)
    • Appraisal and development geology
      - What happens after a commercially successful exploration well is drilled?
      - An overview of appraisal and development geology

    Customer Feedback

    "Building maps in a group to reinforce concepts was incredibly useful." - Dept. Manager at OMV

    "Practical, impressing presentation." - Geoscientist at NIOC

    "I liked the interactive activities: cements the concepts and makes everything 'real'." - Geologist at Woodside

    "Chris is an incredible teacher and has given a simple approach which I can apply to play mapping." - Geologist at Woodside

    "Good exercises" - Senior Petrophysicist at Polish Oil & Gas Company

    "Very eye opening to the process of de-risking our exploration efforts" - Geologist at Woodside

    "Really enjoyed this course. GDE Maps don't seem so daunting anymore!" - Geologist at Woodside




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