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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course introduces students to the key issues surrounding being a geologist in the petroleum industry.  With the changing nature of hydrocarbon exploration and production, both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons are considered.  The key concepts of the origin and generation of hydrocarbons, reservoir rocks and subsurface reservoir structures (traps) are introduced, together with some of the key techniques used within the industry (e.g. reservoir geology, petrophysics and formation evaluation).  Practical issues such as how hydrocarbon wells are drilled and how rocks are sampled in the subsurface are also considered.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Joyce Neilson

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • GL3523 Petroleum Geology and Reservoir Characterization (Studied)
  • GL3524 Petroleum Geology and Reservoir Characterisation (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

  • The origin of petroleum including fundamental processes of organic deposition, thermal maturation, migration of fluids
  • Formation of the different types of traps for reservoired petroleum.
  • Conventional and Unconventional Hydrocarbons.
  • The use of wireline logging for remotely determining rock properties.
  • Exploration strategies and the role of the geologist.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Lecture during University week s 7 - 17
  • 1 Practical during University week s 7 - 17

More Information about Week Numbers

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 ninety minute written examination paper (75%); in-course assessment (25%). Resit: Failed elements of assessment by examination.

Formative Assessment

In-course assessments are started during practical classes and completed in private study time. These are submitted during the period of the course on two occasions with written feedback.


Feedback is given in writing on individual student's work, and group feedback is provided on MyAberdeen and during practical classes.

Course Learning Outcomes


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