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Energy Group - Core Values: the Role of Core in 21st Century Reservoir Characterisation

04 - 07 May 2021
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Event type:
Conference, Specialist Group, Workshop, Virtual event
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Energy Group
Virtual event
Event status:

Core has traditionally played a key role in the characterisation of conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, from exploration to mature production.  It is the only means by which to observe and make measurements on actual reservoir rock.  However, recent oil industry downturns have driven many to question the value of taking core, due to the associated increased costs and potential risks to well operations.  In tandem, advances in other reservoir visualisation techniques, such as seismic and borehole imaging, have been used to give weight to the argument that coring is an increasingly redundant means of characterising reservoirs.

This multi-themed 4-day virtual conference will aim to redress the balance in this debate by exploring the role core can, or should, play in 21st century exploration, appraisal and production, and the emerging field of carbon storage.  It will ask:

  • Is core critical to sound commercial decision making?
  • What are the challenges and benefits of integrating core-derived understanding across the geological, petrophysical and engineering spectrum?
  • Integration of traditional core characterisation methods with new core, well and reservoir visualisation and mapping technologies - is the sum greater than its parts?
  • How can the extensive network of global legacy core collections be best utilised to maximise their business and research worth?
  • What role does core have in appraising reservoirs for hydrogen and carbon storage?

Dedicated virtual viewings will allow delegates to explore core that has been central to addressing key reservoir issues, under the direct guidance of those responsible for their assessment.

A discussion panel at the end of the conference will debate the future role of core in the lifecycle of a field and consider best practice as the nature and scope of subsurface challenges continues to evolve.

Keynote speakers

Mike Bowman, Manchester University

Patricio Desjardins, Shell UCs, Houston

Haakon Fossen, Bergen University

Mike Howe, BGS

Bruce Levell, Oxford University

Anna Matthews, BP

Richard Porter, Shell

Nordine Sabaou, BHP, Houston


Adrian Neal, Badley Ashton - Chair

Lucy Williams, Rockhopper

Mike Ashton, Ashton Geology

Steve Dee, BP

Cliff Lovelock, Shell

Emma Jude, BP

Anton Padin, Total

Virtual Core Workshop 

Day 1

Iraq vCore demo: Early Cretaceous deltaic deposits of the Zubair Formation: Depositional controls on reservoir performance

Martin Wells, BP

North Sea Core Demo

Henk Kombrick & Kirstie Wright 

Day 2

The Montot-1 Core, Ainsa Basin, Spanish Pyrenees: a deltaic reservoir teaching set with augmented reality         

John Marshall, Jurgen Grötsch, Michael Poppelreiter, Shell

Mondot-1 was cored a combined effort between Shell, Schlumberger and the University of Barcelona, and features in the 2020 EAGE volume “Digital Geology”. It was cut across the Eocene Sobrabe Formation, a fluvial-dominated delta system prograding over a carbonate platform.

We will start with an introduction to the geological setting, followed by a walk-through of the core itself to highlight some of the key features. We shall look at the link between core and open-hole logs, reservoir properties and structural features.

Days 2-4 

Unconventional Reservoir Characterisation

Patricio Desjardins, Shell

Anton Padin, Total

Claudia Ruiz-Graham, Imaged Reality

Learn about recent advances in characterization methods and technologies developed for unconventional reservoirs. Workshop participants will interpret and integrate core photos, thin sections, SEM images, logs and core analyses from Vaca Muerta (Argentina) and Permian Basin (US) reservoirs; delivered using 3DGaia, a multiuser, interactive, remote collaboration platform for geoscience, developed by Imaged Reality.

Discussion will focus on the assessment of key reservoir properties and their impact on hydrocarbon distribution, hydraulic fracture behaviour and producibility.

For more information visit

Places are limited – contact [email protected] to sign up.

Day 3

Late Permian dryland core: applications to sub-surface energy storage assessment

Richard Porter, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V

Martin Grecula, Shell

Sub-surface energy and carbon storage is expected to make an important contribution in the transition to a lower-carbon world. To assist in enabling ongoing and future projects, core and other geological samples will play a crucial role in de-risking potential reservoirs and seals. This virtual core workshop examines Late Permian Rotliegend core from the Netherlands, with a variety of dryland palaeoenvironments displayed. Key features of the core will be examined and their importance related to de-risking potential storage opportunities addressed.

Day 4

Iraq vCore demo: Late Cretaceous shallow marine carbonates of the Mishrif Formation: depositional and diagenetic controls on reservoir performance

Anna Matthews, BP


Online registration is now closed. 

Please contact [email protected] if you have any queries about registration for this conference. 

Event sponsors