Outcrop, seismic and stratigraphic forward modelling of shallow-marine carbonate reservoir heterogeneity
Dr Cathy Hollis, Dr Stefan Schroeder and Dr David Hodgetts, University of Manchester
Prof Peter Burgess, Dr David Waltham, Royal Holloway, University of London
Seismic data rarely provide sufficient information to de-risk carbonate reservoir properties due to
the paucity of robust, quantitative outcrop data, limited rock and petrophysical datasets and
stratigraphic and seismic forward models that have failed to reproduce geometries produced by
complex depositional processes. This research will consist of two fully-funded BP sponsored PhD
studentships for UK/EU citizens.
PhD projects aiming to advance seismic stratigraphic interpretation in carbonate strata by
- deriving rock properties and geobody dimensions from carbonate outcrops and
- incorporating these data in new calculations of seismic and stratigraphic forward models tobetter address the fundamental question of the geological and petrophysical significance of carbonate seismic reflections.
framework and a known platform geometry, facies architecture and diagenetic overprint. Data from
these outcrops will be integrated with newly developed methods in seismic and stratigraphic
forward modelling to analyse how outcrop heterogeneity can be upscaled to achieve a
representative seismic response that could be used to enhance prediction of carbonate facies from
Project 1: ‘Analogues for Cenomanian-Turonian shallow marine platform systems’ will be based in
the University of Manchester working with Dr Cathy Hollis, Dr Stefan Schroeder and Dr David
Hodgetts. The project will be focussed on multi-scale carbonate reservoir characterisation, and will
require students to conduct detailed description, correlation and interpretation of field, seismic
core, wireline log and petrographical data as well as geochemical and petrophysical rock property
analysis. Further details can be provided by Dr Cathy Hollis: firstname.lastname@example.org (0161
Project 2: ‘Stratigraphic forward modelling & synthetic seismic images of carbonate strata’ will be
based at Royal Holloway University of London working with Prof. Peter Burgess and Dr Dave
Waltham. This project will focus on developing stratigraphic forward modelling of carbonate strata,
using an existing model CarboCAT as a starting point. It will also develop new methods to calculate
synthetic seismic from stratigraphic forward models taking into account multi-scale heterogeneity.
Further details can be provided by Prof Peter Burgess: Peter.Burgess@rhul.ac.uk (01784 414083)
The two projects will be closely integrated, with the RHUL student helping in outcrop data collection,
and the Manchester student providing data for the stratigraphic and seismic modelling. Regular
communication with BP will also be required. Both projects will provide excellent training for a
future career in the oil and gas industry, and will also allow a skill base to be developed that would
be highly valuable for further academic study.