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A few years ago the location of channel systems in the subsurface was considered to be the ultimate goal of the exploration geologist and geophysicist. Today it is known that the ability to merely find a channel will not, in itself, assure success. Channel systems may have a complex internal geometry which results in subtle hydrocarbon traps.

The course is directed towards understanding the occurrence and variation of channel fill deposits within the broader context of Mesozoic sedimentary depositional systems in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. Although the focus is on channels, sandstone bodies from equivalents of a number of productive units will be examined including the Swift, Cutbank, Sunburst, Ostracode, Glauconitic, Bow Island and Belly River.

One of the special aims of the field seminar is to integrate the disciplines of geology, geophysics and engineering, and at the same time provide specific information for each area. For the geologist, the emphasis is on the origin, depositional model and the prediction of channel deposits from analysis of the entire depositional system. For the geophysicist, it is the scale of the channels and inferred contrasts in acoustical impedance as a function of lithology. For the engineer, important facets of channels are internal geometry of reservoir units and continuity and homogeneity of reservoirs. For all three disciplines, the course is aimed at finding a common ground for discussion and exchange of ideas in the less formal environment of a field seminar.

Most of the field outcrops examined are in the vicinity of Great Falls, Montana. These outcrops have special significance because they are the only outcrops of the Lower Mannville or its equivalents in the western plains, other than the McMurray heavy oil deposits that lie over a thousand kilometres to the north. In addition, the exposures are superb and offer a three-dimensional view of channels rarely seen anywhere in outcrop.

Course Dates: By Request Only

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For more information contact:

Leslie Sears
Petrel Robertson Consulting Ltd.
500, 736- 8th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
T2P 1H4

Phone: (403) 218-1618
Fax: (403) 262-9135
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