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Integrated Deepwater Depositional and Petroleum Systems
Bradford E. Prather

INSTRUCTOR: Bradford E. Prather
DISCIPLINE: Geoscience
CEUS: 4.0
AVAILABILITY: Public & In-House

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WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Geologists, geophysicists, petroleum engineers, supervisors, managers, and technical support staff who are interested in learning the fundamentals of deepwater (turbidite) petroleum systems for application to frontier exploration.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The play based exploration approach is extensively used in the oil industry and relies on developing a thorough understanding of the evolution of key sedimentary sequences through time using Gross Depositional Environment (GDE) Maps. This course provides the knowledge needed to make GDE maps of deepwater stratigraphy and their use in making Common Risk Segment (CRS) maps, leading eventually to the development of a final Yet-to-Find (YTF) analysis of a deepwater play segment. The course is designed around a well-established industry approach (play based exploration). Exercise objectives are to identify and assess a portfolio of prospects from an existing deepwater play.


  • Hands-on experience building and using gross depositional environments (GDE) maps to assign risks to a portfolio of prospects.
  • Understand the methodologies for construction of Common Risk Segment (CRS) maps.
  • Experience assembling a portfolio of deepwater prospects.
  • Gain an appreciation of the factors that control the distribution or reservoir, seal and source rocks
  • Learn how to risk a prospect inventory
  • Risk reservoir, seal, charge and structure of an individual prospect.



  • Seismic resolution of deepwater depositional stratigraphy
  • Basic slope depositional processe
  • Classification of gross depositional environments
  • Deepwater Gross Depositional Environment (GDE) mapping
  • Techniques for the classification and mapping of seismic facies
  • Slope sediment partitioning
  • Construction of CRS maps of reservoir, seal and source rock.
  • Identification of a portfolio of prospect/leads
  • Identification of the “flagship” prospect
  • Assignment risks, volumetric inputs and distribution types
  • Generation of a probabilistic volume distribution for “flagship” prospect
  • Assessment of play scale reservoir, source, seal and structure risks.