Tabernas Seminar Objectives


On a global basis, hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs composed of deep-water clastics are an important but potentially complex reservoir type. This is particularly true for submarine fan systems developed in small active basins. The objective of this field seminar is to examine outcrops of analogous reservoir types developed in the Tabernas Basin of Spain. On the basis of these observations it is intended to refine both exploration and development strategies and understanding.

Clastic turbidite reservoirs develop under diverse conditions of sediment supply and tectonic setting. In response to these controls, reservoir architecture, geometry, and rock properties can be highly variable and difficult to characterize - let alone predict. The Tabernas Basin in southeast Spain contains excellent exposures of deepwater clastic facies at a variety of scales, and therefore presents an excellent laboratory for understanding the reservoir architecture characteristics of such environments. There are only a few other areas in the world where outcrops are accessible as these. The relatively sparse vegetation permits the examination of these features at the pore to reservoir zone to regional scales. Outcrop-based studies of the sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, and diagenesis of these sequences provide valuable insights to the problems of reliable predicting and maximizing hydrocarbon recovery from the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico and other areas of the world.

This five-day field seminar is an intensive series of outcrop examinations, field-based correlation, reservoir description, and classroom instruction and exercises. It aims to familiarize the student with the stratigraphy, shape, and scale of submarine fan bodies in a small active basin. The value of sequence stratigraphic approaches, paleobathymetric analyses, and structural setting of the basin on predicting the large-scale character of fan deposits will be addressed in an appraisal and development context.  The outcrop studies will illustrate first hand the types of geological heterogeneity that occur in such sequences and show the geological processes responsible for these different hierarchical scales of variability.

Expected learnings are:

  • Seismic to individual bed-scale appreciation of the architecture and elements of a well-exposed deepwater system.
  • Relationships between tectonics and sedimentation.
  • Onlap relationships associated with sandy turbidite systems.
  • Process sedimentology.


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