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E-130 - Tight Sand & Shale Plays - In Unconventional Settings

E-130 - Tight Sand & Shale Plays - In Unconventional Settings

5 days
This course is not scheduled.
Who should attend?


  • Foundation
  • This course provides a general introduction to unconventional hydrocarbon systems, mainly focused on geological and geochemical data interpretation to define potential producible Oil & Gas intervals. Emphasize is put on tight sand and shale plays.
Learning Objectives
  • At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
  • integrate both geological and geochemical data to identify potential targets in unconventional petroleum systems,
  • acquire a global knowledge of existing unconventional resources, mainly tight sands and shale plays,
  • understand the exploration implications in this recent domain and future potential impacts.
Course Content


1 day

  • Definition of petroleum systems: Conventional vs. Unconventional.
  • Characterization of these two systems in terms of elements, processes, timing, Oil & Gas composition.
  • Origin, composition, preservation and types of sedimentary organic matter: defining a typical source rock.
  • Oil & Gas generation, retention, expulsion and migration processes from source to reservoir rocks.
  • Introduction to Petroleum System Models: classical source rocks vs. unconventional source-reservoir rocks.


1.5 days

  • Tight sands at the basin scale: geological distribution and geochemical characterization.
  • Depositional settings, diagenesis and stratigraphy framework.
  • Definition of tight sand plays (tight gas) in a petroleum system perspective.
  • Characteristics: regional extent, diffuse boundaries, heterogeneities, low matrix permeability.
  • Porosity networks and their impact on fluid flow.


2 days

  • Definition of shale plays (shale gas, condensate, oil) in a petroleum system perspective.
  • Key geological parameters.
  • Integration of applied geochemical data (organic richness, Rock-Eval pyrolysis, estimating original TOC, vitrinite reflectance measurements, biomarkers, isotopes) and basin models (input, calibration and output) as a tool for defining “sweet spots” in existing plays (lecture, discussion and exercises).
  • Porosity system (organic and inorganic porosity) and impact on fluid flow.
  • Types of shale plays (tight, hybrid, fractured), impact on production (lecture and exercises).


0.5 day

  • Confirmed North American plays: Barnett, Bakken, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Montney.
  • Other potential worldwide plays: Vaca Muerta, Bazhenov, North Africa, Posidonia.
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Ways & Means
  • Interactive courses and exercises.
  • Examples with the most known unconventional reservoirs in the world.