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Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling: Applications for Conventional and Unconventional Petroleum Exploration Risk and Resource Assessments

The short course in Tyumen is cancelled due to low participation.

The technical programme of the conference will include the two-day short course on 22-23 March 2015.

Course Description

The term “Petroleum Systems” and the technology “Basin and Petroleum Systems Modelling” will be introduced by showing applications in areas with critical exploration challenges, including salt basins and thrustbelts. Critical technical breakthroughs in the last 10-15 years have been the extension of the technology from 2D to 3D, and the ability to perform multi-phase petroleum migration modelling using different methods in high resolution geological models. This enables temperature, pressure and petroleum property predictions to be made with higher levels of accuracy and in the most complex geological environments such as in the sub-salt or in thrustbelts. Case studies will be used with live software presentations to illustrate key points. Applications of the technology will range from frontier exploration in which large areas with only sparse data are screened, to detailed assessments of exploration risks in structurally complex areas, to petroleum resource assessments of yet-to-find oil and gas.

Course Objective

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to understand modern petroleum systems modeling methods and their applications, as well as to be aware of their role and value in petroleum exploration and resource assessments.

Course Outline

Opening Session:

  • Industry Challenges and Opportunities
  • Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling (BPSM): History and Definitions

Petroleum Systems Modeling Applications:

  • Introduction Using Salt Basin Case Study: An Example of Standard Exploration Risking Workflows
  • Structural Complexity: From Structural Reconstructions to BPSM
  • Regional Case Studies in Russia

Theoretical Aspects of Basin and Petroleum Systems Modeling:

  • Temperature and Pressure: PT Modeling and Predictions
  • Petroleum Generation and Migration: Petroleum Property Predictions

Challenges and Future Developments:

  • Reservoir in Petroleum Systems Modeling: Scaling from Basin to Prospect and Reservoir
  • Gas Hydrates: From Drilling Hazard to Future Resource
  • Biogenic and Shallow Gas: A Promising New Resource Type

Closing Session: 

  • Petroleum Resource Assessments: Geology Based and Auditable
  • Petroleum Systems Modeling in Context
Participants' Profile

The course is accessible for geoscientists from all disciplines and for students with any level of experience. It is primarily directed at geologists, but the data models and the quality of the results that can be achieved are dependent on geophysical and geochemical input, so all of these disciplines will benefit. The course will create awareness of a technology widely used in the industry, which has been rapidly developed in the last few years and which plays a critical role in exploration risk assessments, as well as in the assessment of yet-to-find hydrocarbon resources. Course attendees will learn that the topic is technically innovative and challenging, and that the application of the technology offers interesting opportunities in the industry and in academia.


A basic knowledge of petroleum geology and an interest in understanding geologic risk factors in petroleum exploration.

About the instructor

Bjorn WygralaDr Bjorn Wygrala graduated from Cologne University in Germany in 1980 and started his professional career as a sedimentologist in minerals exploration for several years in Australia, before moving into the field of petroleum geology. He completed a PhD thesis in petroleum geology in 1989 in a partnership with Eni-Agip in Italy, together with the KFA Research Center and IES Integrated Exploration Systems in Germany.

He then joined IES and has been closely involved in the development and application of petroleum systems modelling, and now has more than 25 years of experience in basin analysis and the application of simulation technologies for exploration risk and resource assessments for petroleum E&P companies in more than 40 countries. Following the acquisition of IES by Schlumberger in 2008, his present position and affiliation is PetroMod Business Development Manager with the Schlumberger Aachen Technology Center (AaTC) in Aachen, Germany.