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Carbonate Reservoirs- a virtual outcrop study of geometries and architecture - SAFARI

Project Description

The SAFARI Project is a major industry funded JIP which focuses on novel methods for acquiring and studying reservoir analogue data. Over the past 10 years the project has worked extensively with clastic depositional systems and the next phase of the project will include an expansion into Carbonates and Structural Geology, using the workflows and approach developed previously, especially the extensive use of Virtual Outcrop techniques pioneered by the Group.

Carbonate reservoirs containing 50-60% of the world’s remaining oil reserves. There is an extensive volume of knowledge available from a wealth of outcrop and subsurface studies spanning almost a hundred years of research. The goal of this work package is to interrogate a representative subset of that data supplemented with further data collected using virtual outcrop techniques to shed light on the high order controls on carbonate reservoir geometry, heterogeneity and performance. Specific goals will include

1. To define a standard for describing carbonates within the SAFARI framework.
2. To collect c. 100 virtual outcrops from classic carbonate localities around the world to provide an atlas of key localities. Hyperspectral imaging of selected outcrops (Figure 6) using the method, developed by the VOG Group (Kurz et al., 2012) will be applied to a sub set of these.
3. Interpret these virtual outcrops and extract numerical data on facies geometry, architectural elements, dolomite body shape and distribution, the proximity to faults and fractures and the role of stylolites.
4. Study these data to extract relationships and systematic controls on carbonate reservoir architecture
5. Link to studies of modern carbonate systems from publicly available studies

The PhD student will join an active a vibrant research project which is supported by 14 Companies and involves a large group of PhD students and researchers. The study will be undertaken in collaboration with Cambridge Carbonates, an internationally-leading consultancy company who work with carbonate reservoirs globally.

Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent) geology or a related discipline. The candidate should have a keen interest in structural geology and also petroleum geoscience. The ability to work has part of a large multi-disciplinary time is very important.

The project will involve significant amounts of field work so a willingness to travel and spend time out of the UK is necessary. A full driving licence is essential.

The other supervisor on the project is Dr Jo Garland, Cambridge Carbonates.


• Apply for Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geology
• State name of the lead supervisor as the Name of Proposed Supervisor
• State ‘SAFARI’ as Intended Source of Funding
• State the exact project title on the application form

Application closing date is 12:00pm (GMT) on 1 April 2019. Applications received after this time will NOT be considered. Additionally, incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

When applying please ensure all required documents are attached:

• All degree certificates and transcripts (Undergraduate AND Postgraduate MSc-officially translated into English where necessary)
• CV
• 2 References (Academic, where possible - we will not be contacting referees)

Informal inquiries can be made to Professor J Howell () with a copy of your curriculum vitae and cover letter. All general enquiries should be directed to the Postgraduate Research School ()

The start date of the project is 1 October 2019

Funding Notes

A studentship fully funded by SAFARI JIP consortium covering maintenance stipends (£14,777 per annum) and tuition fees will be paid at the UK/EU rate of £4,260 (2018/2019 rates).

Applications from International students can be accepted providing they can meet the difference between UK/EU and International Tuition Fees from their own resources and for the duration of study.



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