02 September, 2014

The Future of Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling


The conference aims to bring together professionals from academia, government agencies and industry who are actively involved in pushing the technical limits and application of basin modeling.

Demand for energy is growing rapidly, forcing the oil and gas industry to explore in more challenging environments for higher risk petroleum system plays. To be able to describe, identify and predict these complex plays and new prospects successfully, integration of all risk elements and processes (e.g., reservoir, seal, overburden, source rock, trap formation, generation, migration, accumulation, preservation and timing) is necessary. Integration is more important than ever before due to the increasing complexity of the challenges. One of the best ways to test the potential for a working petroleum system and the interplay of all risk elements and processes is to use numerical Basin and Petroleum System Modeling. BPSM has become an indispensable tool in frontier basins to identify risk, reduce uncertainty, and identify new potential areas. This technology has become more important over time as a result of increased understanding of processes and the rapid development of computing power. Both the hardware and the software are evolving to quantify more complex processes.

Field Trip Information

Field Trip Description & Itinerary
We are offering an all-day excursion to the petroleum system of the Santa Barbara. We will examine all of the essential elements of the petroleum system from source rock to reservoir rock to seal rock to overburden rock. The field trip also highlights basin structuring, outcrop analogs for sandstone reservoir rocks at depth, and outcrop analogs of fractured shale and conventional sandstone reservoir rocks. 

We will leave early in the morning (load buses at 7:30AM) from the Santa Barbara Hyatt and drive to Ventura, where we will tour outcrops of Ventura Avenue Field. This allows us to discuss the seal and reservoir rocks of the petroleum system. We then will travel to Carpinteria State Beach where outcrops provide the first, but limited, glimpse of the Monterey Formation source rock. Beach outcrops of Monterey Formation and the overlying Quaternary terrace are saturated with asphalt throughout the entire length of the beach. Additionally, numerous blebs, lenses, and laminae of phosphate locally interbedded with the organic-shale. We finish our day at Gaviota State Park, located where the Monterey Formation is upturned onshore and nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north and the oil- and gas-producing structures of the Santa Barbara Channel to the south. Impressive outcrops allow us to discuss depositional facies of the Monterey and conflicting models of Monterey paleoenvironment.

Attire and Safety
Hiking boots are not strictly necessary but may be appreciated; all shoes must be closed-toe. Long-sleeved shirt and pants are required. The field trip organizer will provide hardhat, safety glasses, and safety vests.

Field Trip Leaders and Coordinator
Allegra Hosford Scheirer, Stanford University (organizer, field guide author)
Contributions from: Les Magoon, USGS (retired) and Stanford University; Ken Peters, Schlumberger and Stanford University
Jon Schwalbach (Aera)