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E-122 - Structural Geology, Basin Development & Associated Traps

  • Petroleum exploration geoscientists, multidisciplinary team managers.
  • This course provides an in-depth knowledge of key elements which characterize the structural style of a sedimentary basin.
Learning Objectives
  • Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:
  • get familiar with both brittle and ductile deformations identification and analysis, in various types of sedimentary basins, at different scales and under different stress regimes:
  • - at lithosphere scale: plate tectonics and basin formation (rifts, passive margins, active margins and thrust belts); at basin scale: subsidence and inversion, structural traps (tilted blocks, horsts, shale and salt domes, folds),
  • - at field and reservoir scales: behavior of faults (seal or drain), fracturing, cap rock integrity, …,
  • be able to identify the specific structural style of a petroleum area, on outcrop pictures and on seismic profiles,
  • be able to grasp issues linked to tectonic evolution versus petroleum system evolution (in different structural contexts).
  • No prerequisites for this course.
Ways and means
  • Interactive course: lectures illustrated by practical exercises and personal work.

Plate tectonics & structural styles 1.5 days
  • Earth structure, global dynamics and time scales.
  • Structure of continental and oceanic lithospheres: thermicity, rheology, stress and strain.
  • Fundamentals of structural analysis:
  • Extensional regimes: geodynamics and architecture of related basins (rift basins, passive margins).
  • Compressional regimes: geodynamics and architecture of related basins (foreland basins, active margins, thrust belts).
  • Intra-plate basins and tectonic inversion.
Extensional & compressional deformations & structural traps 1.5 days
  • Structural traps in extensional context.
  • Structural traps in compressional context.
  • Wrench faulting and related traps.
  • Salt tectonics and related traps.
  • Relationship between tectonic and sedimentary processes.
  • Case study: the Arabian plate and margins, relations with petroleum systems.
Exploration & development problems associated with structural styles 1.5 days
  • Folding mechanisms and styles, impact on fractures distribution.
  • Conductive or sealing faults.
  • Migration pathways and petroleum systems timing.
  • Seal efficiency and time of residence of hydrocarbons in structural traps.
Summary, synthesis & wrap-up 0.5 day