Shale Reservoir Core Workshop: Sedimentologic and Stratigraphic Assessment of Organic-Rich Mudrocks

INSTRUCTORS: Ursula Hammes PhD
Discipline: Unconventional Reservoirs
Course Length (days): 3
CEUs: 2.4
Public/ In-house/ Both: Public & In-House
Who Should Attend:

Geoscientists, reservoir engineers, and managers who desire to develop a better understanding of the geological, mechanical, and chemical character of mudrock systems and how mudrock attributes vary in the context of shale gas/oil reservoir exploitation.

Course Description:

Sample topic from the class:
“Mudrock Sedimentology in Unconventional Shale Reservoirs: Suspension Settling, Gravity Flow, or Current Transport”

This three-day core workshop will comprise classroom sessions, core viewing and core descriptions exercises. The workshop will focus on rock-based interpretation of mudrocks incorporating class room lectures and core examinations. Participants will learn how to apply mudrock depositional, sedimentological, and sequence stratigraphic principles and become gain an overview of geochemical, petrophysical, geomechanical and fracture classification principles to exploration areas and production assets in shale basins. Subsurface data from a variety of oil and gas shale plays will be examined. Day 3 will consist of viewing selected intervals of cores from the Bureau of Economic Geology (ie., Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Bossier, Barnett, Wolfcamp).

PLEASE NOTE: Day 3 is optional for customized in-house training.


  • Characterize mudrock facies and identify facies and sequences in cores and be able to tie those to well-log character.
  • Assess controls on source rock deposition, reservoir heterogeneities, and determine frackable intervals.
  • Recognize and quantify the rock properties that will have an impact on completion success.
  • Learn how to characterize shale reservoirs
Course Content


  • Approaches to understanding the geology of shale-gas/oil plays
  • Overview of organic-rich mudrock systems
    • Carbonate-dominated systems
    • Clastic-dominated systems
    • Mud-dominated systems
    • Examples from different North American resource plays
  • Techniques for characterization of mudrocks (overview)
    • Sedimentology
    • Sequence Stratigraphy
    • Geochemistry
    • Petrophysics
    • Seismic and Geomechanics
    • Fractures
  • Factors determining organic-rich deposits
    • Paleogeography
    • Ocean chemistry
    • Climate
    • Modern examples (Cariaco Basin)


  • Stratigraphic and depositional processes in shale basins:
  • Stratigraphic framework
    • Regional correlations and variations
    • Sequence stratigraphy (shelf to basin correlations)
    • Exercise
  • Interpretation of depositional environments in shale basins:
  • Facies interpretations
    • Calcareous shales (Haynesville, Eagle Ford example)
    • Siliceous shales (Barnett, Bakken example)
    • Clay-rich shales (Tuscaloosa Marine Shale; Tertiary Shale)
  • Mudrock sedimentology
    • Sedimentary structures and depositional processes
  • Inter- and intrabasinal variations – examples from different shale basins (Haynesville, Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Bakken, Wolfcamp)


  • Core viewing: Introduction to selected intervals of cores from the Bureau of Economic Geology
    • Eagle Ford
    • Haynesville
    • Bossier
    • Barnett
    • Wolfcamp