BSRG petrophysics short course (5-6th December 2015)

This December members of the European Petrophysics Consortium (EPC) lead a petrophysics short course for BSRG postgraduates and postdocs. The course was hosted in the Geology Department at the University of Leicester and kindly sponsored by the London Petrophysical Society (LPS) and the UK-International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). The aim of this short course was to introduce students to petrophysics and Schlumberger’s Techlog using IODP data from expeditions 307, 308, 337 and 346. The course was hugely popular and oversubscribed, but we were able to invite 14 participants from universities across the country, from Aberdeen in the north to Bristol in the south, to take part in the weekend course. This BSRG course was designed and taught by members of the EPC: Sarah Davies, Sophie Harland, Erwan Le Ber, Laurence Philpott (all Leicester) and Johanna Lofi (Montpellier).

The group; course attendees and leaders.

The course started on the Saturday morning with an introduction to the IODP by Professor Sarah Davies. The day spent the day working through a series of introductory lectures and paper-based practical sessions using downhole log and physical properties data from expeditions that investigated a range of sedimentary successions, including deep-water turbidites, clay-rich, biogenic-rich continental margin sediments, carbonate mud mounds, and coal-bearing formations. These sessions were led by Sarah with input from EPC members. Many of the attendees had not worked with or interpreted petrophysical data before this course and it introduced a whole new way of approaching data. We worked in small groups or pairs through exercises that not only made us think differently about the sedimentary world but also the processes involved in the data collection.

Saturday’s paper-based Paper based practical sessions.

Many of us are long out of the habit of spending the day in lectures and classes so feeling like a well-deserved break had been earned we ended the day with a meal at a local Nepalese restraint, where there was plenty of festive spirit, despite the early morning seen by many. Topped off with a cocktail or two, we then hit the hay and met early again the next morning.

Day two was primarily focused on an introduction to Schlumberger’s Techlog. We were shown the tricks of the trade by Erwan and Sophie. I think it is fair to say that the course opened many people's eyes to the vast amount of information that can be gained from petrophysical data sets. This brief introduction to such a complex programme was hugely beneficial in getting people started but also realising the benefits of such techniques. Again we looked at a real IODP dataset from Expedition 346, Johanna was the Logging Staff Scientist and lead the discussion of the dataset providing an insight into the operational conditions as well as the science, demonstrating the broad range of research covered by IODP.

Sunday’s Techlog sessions.

We would firstly like to thank all of the IODP team at Leicester and Montpellier for their time spent producing the course material and their enthusiasm and knowledge over the weekend. Thank you to our sponsors, UK-IODP and LPS who enabled students from universities around the country to attend and provided printed workbooks and lunches over the weekend. A final thank you goes to the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology for allowing the use of their facilities and to participants for their engagement and enthusiasm throughout.