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Reservoir Characterisation

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Petroleum geologists need to adapt permanently to modern developments in the application of analytical techniques besides the standard geophysical, structural and stratigraphic methods used in the normal workflow. This course will introduce various methods used in petroleum geology which are aimed to understand source, reservoir and seal rocks of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The student will be introduced to the principles of state-of-the-art methods and theory behind these.

Learning outcome

After completing this course the student should be able to evaluate the significance and usefulness of different modern methods on the understanding of hydrocarbon reservoirs. This will be achieved by introducing examples of applications to hydrocarbon reservoirs on a global scale.
  • Understand the theory and the application of classic and state-of-the-art analytical methods for their applications in Earth Sciences including reservoir characterisation
  • Evaluate the significance of "classic" and state-of-the-art analytical methods for a specific (research) project in the field of geosciences and renewable energies

  • Use quantitative data to understand the rock composition of a reservoir, or rock related to a petroleum play or any other rock formation
  • Assess quantitative data from state-of-the-art methods for a specific geological scenario
  • Select the ideal analytical method for a geological scenario and evaluate the impact of the data
  • Evaluate the quality of quantitative data in geological contexts

General competence:
  • Quantitative methods using geochemical and isotope geochemical data besides petrographic ones are THE tool in nowadays to understand reservoirs and a paramount for modelling purposes - they also are THE major tool to interpret correlation and stratigraphy. Modelling and subsurface studies are dependent on the quantitative results when possible to gain as a comparative tool or THE basic information source. Ideal is a combination of sub-surface and quantitative data to evaluate rock successions for a wide area of expertise including geothermal energy and other renewable energy forms.


Essential topics to be addressed in the course are:
  • Geochemical applications for hydrocarbons, reservoir, host and seal rocks.
  • Isotope geochemical applications for hydrocarbons, reservoir, host and seal rocks.
  • Diagenesis and movement of hydrocarbons in rocks.
  • Biostratigraphy: methods and analytical techniques.
  • Non-standard correlation techniques (chemostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy, others).
  • Modern fieldwork methods.
  • State-of-the-art quantification methods of geological material.
  • Others.
  • short excursions in the region

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge

GEO500 Depositional Systems and Sequence Stratigraphy, GEO510 Structural Styles, MPG160 Structural styles and basin analysis, MPG210 Depositional systems and sequence stratigraphy


Weight Duration Marks Aid
Portfolio evaluation1/1 A - F
Portfolio assessment consists of:
  • Assignments and reports which makes up 50% of total grade
  • Laboratory tasks which makes up 50% of the total grade.

All items in the folder must be passed to pass the course. Teacher sets the final grade in emnet. If a student fails the course or wish to improve their grade, he / she must take the course again.
The course teacher will hand out a detailed activity plan at the start of the course.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Udo Zimmermann
Head of Department
Alejandro Escalona Varela

Method of work

Lectures and laboratory exercises, homework, fieldwork and short tests.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Applied geosciences methods (MPG220_1) 10

Open to

Single Course Admission to PhD-courses
Petroleum Geosciences Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme

Course assessment

Standard UiS procedure


Link to reading list

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 11.08.2020