Blog Post

Getech sponsors Imperial College MSc project investigating Santos Basin prospectivity

By September 26, 2019 No Comments

Getech, the natural resource exploration specialist, continues to support Imperial College students with projects that contribute to their MSc studies.

This year’s Petroleum Geoscience MSc project was undertaken by William Jewell, who was tasked with using play-based exploration assessment techniques to review the hydrocarbon prospectivity of the offshore Brazil Santos Basin.

The starting point for Will’s evaluation was Getech’s geoscience knowledge-base Globe, which provides essential regional-scale exploration data, information and tools for upstream Oil & Gas explorationists.

Globe’s easy-to-use collections of geoscience data layers and interpretations allowed Will to focus on the key evaluation questions relating to which plays were present and how they might be de-risked. By combining state of the art, stage level palaeogeographic reconstructions for key intervals from the base Permian to Present Day with robust palaeoclimate and palaeotide models, he was able to quickly highlight and evaluate three petroleum systems in the Santos Basin and predict weathering processes and their control on reservoir composition and supply.

Globe’s unique palaeosurface geology layers for the Cretaceous of South America and Africa provided greater insights into provenance and a better understanding of the character, quality and distribution of potential reservoirs within his area of interest.

To further qualify his structural interpretation, Will was able to use Getech’s proprietary gravity & magnetic data and integrate it with the Globe data within his ArcGIS projects. In addition, publicly available well data and literature were also easily incorporated to help control aspects of the play element maps (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Turonian Reservoir Pseudo Gross Depositional Environment Map (GDE), derived from Globe and integrated with well data and information from literature.

The resultant play maps from Globe, focusing on individual play element presence and quality, were processed using Exprodat’s Exploration Analyst play-based exploration (PBE) software to create play chance, or ‘Common Risk Segment’ (CRS) maps for the identified plays (Figure 2).

Using Exploration Analyst, CRS maps for each play were validated against the results of the wells already drilled in those plays throughout the basin.

This integrated methodology proved to be a highly efficient and effective way to high-grade prospectivity for each play, identify the best blocks and highlight areas of the basin for further work.

Figure 2: Turonian Reservoir presence play map from Globe processed in Exploration Analyst to create CRS map.

The Santos Basin is thought of as a mature basin. However, by combining regional understanding from Globe’s geoscience knowledgebase with PBE analysis tools with Exploration Analyst, Will was able to demonstrate that significant exploration potential still remains in parts of the basin.

At the end of his three month project, Will completed a thorough piece of work using Getech Group products and data. Globe allowed him to quickly and easily evaluate the petroleum systems in the Santos Basin and integrate his play maps with additional data. Globe’s palaeoclimate and palaeotide models enabled him to make predictions about weathering processes and sediment transport, and Exploration Analyst allowed him to process the data inputs using industry standard PBE techniques and predict locations and volumes for future prospectivity.

Figure 3: William Jewell presenting his poster at Imperial College London

Posted by Sarah-Jane Kelland, Head of Geoscience Services