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Petroleum Geoscience

Petroleum Geology CoverThe international journal of geoenergy and applied Earth science

A co-owned journal of the Geological Society of London and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE)

Petroleum Geoscience transcends disciplinary boundaries and publishes a balanced mix of articles covering exploration, exploitation, appraisal, development and enhancement of sub-surface hydrocarbon resources and carbon repositories. The integration of disciplines in an applied context, whether for fluid production, carbon storage or related geoenergy applications, is a particular strength of the journal. Articles on enhancing exploration efficiency, lowering technological and environmental risk, and improving hydrocarbon recovery communicate the latest developments in sub-surface geoscience to a wide readership.

Published by both The Geological Society of London and EAGE, Petroleum Geoscience is a peer-reviewed journal providing a multidisciplinary forum for those engaged in the science and technology of the rock-related sub-surface disciplines. The journal reaches some 8000 individual subscribers, and a further 1100 institutional subscriptions provide global access to readers including geologists, geophysicists, petroleum and reservoir engineers, petrophysicists and geochemists in both academia and industry. The journal aims to share knowledge of reservoir geoscience and to reflect the international nature of its development.

The journal publishes research and review articles, thematic collections and the Energy Geoscience Series.

Chief Editor

Philip Ringrose, Equinor & NTNU, Norway

Online in the Lyell Collection

All journal content is hosted online and accessible via the Lyell Collection (see link above). The journal publishes 4 issues per year.

Print journal

Online only and continuous publication

From 2021, the journal is published online only. Following acceptance, the accepted manuscript version of the article is made available online immediately. After completion of the production process, the final Version of Record is published directly in an issue. All accepted manuscripts and versions of record are hosted and accessible via the Lyell Collection.

The journal is abstracted and/or indexed in:

  • Current Contents
  • GeoArchive
  • Geobase
  • Geological Abstracts
  • GeoRef
  • Mineralogical Abstracts
  • Petroleum Abstracts
  • Science Citation Index

Recent Petroleum Geoscience highlights

Structural constraints on Lower Carboniferous shale gas exploration in the Craven Basin, NW England

By Iain Anderson and John R. Underhill

Detailed interpretation of a 3D seismic data volume reveals the detrimental effect that post-depositional tectonic deformation has had on buried Lower Carboniferous (Dinantian–Namurian) shales and its consequences for shale gas exploration in the SW part (Fylde area) of the Craven Basin in NW England. The structural styles primarily result from Devono-Carboniferous (syn-sedimentary) extension, post-rift subsidence and Variscan inversion, a renewed phase of Permo-Triassic extension, and Cenozoic uplift and basin exhumation. In contrast to the shallow dips and bedding continuity that characterizes productive shale gas plays in other basins (e.g. in the USA and Argentina), our mapping shows that the area is affected by deformation that results in the Bowland Shale Formation targets being folded and dissected into fault-bound compartments defined by SW–NE striking (Lower Carboniferous and Variscan) reverse faults and SSW–NNE to N–S striking (Permo-Triassic) normal faults. The fault networks and the misalignment between the elongate compartments they contain and the present-day minimum horizontal stress orientation limit the length over which long lateral boreholes can remain in a productive horizon, placing an important constraint on optimal well positioning, reducing the size of the shale gas resource and affecting well productivity. Our subsurface mapping using this high-fidelity dataset provides an accurate picture of the Upper Palaeozoic structure and demonstrates that faulting is denser and more complex than apparent from geological mapping of the surface outcrop. That structural complexity has direct and significant consequences for: the location of well pads; the lateral continuity of target shale gas horizons; the evaluation of the risk of inducing seismicity on seismically resolvable (large displacement) fault planes prior to drilling; and the likelihood of faults with small throws (below seismic resolution) being present.

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Fault seal modelling – the influence of fluid properties on fault sealing capacity in hydrocarbon and CO₂ systems

By Rūta Karolytė, Gareth Johnson, Graham Yielding and Stuart M.V. Gilfillan

Fault seal analysis is a key part of understanding the hydrocarbon trapping mechanisms in the petroleum industry. Fault seal research has also been expanded to CO2–brine systems for the application to carbon capture and storage (CCS). The wetting properties of rock-forming minerals in the presence of hydrocarbons or CO2 are a source of uncertainty in the calculations of capillary threshold pressure, which defines the fault sealing capacity. Here, we explore this uncertainty in a comparison study between two fault-sealed fields located in the Otway Basin, SE Australia. The Katnook Field in the Penola Trough is a methane field, while Boggy Creek in Port Campbell contains a high-CO2–methane mixture. Two industry standard fault seal modelling methods, one based on laboratory measurements of fault samples and the other based on a calibration of a global dataset of known sealing faults, are used to discuss their relative strengths and applicability to the CO2 storage context. We identify a range of interfacial tensions and contact angle values in the hydrocarbon–water system under the conditions assumed by the second method. Based on this, the uncertainty related to the spread in fluid properties was determined to be 24% of the calculated threshold capillary pressure value. We propose a methodology of threshold capillary pressure conversion from hydrocarbons–brine to the CO2–brine system, using an input of appropriate interfacial tension and contact angle under reservoir conditions. The method can be used for any fluid system where fluid properties are defined by these two parameters.

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Under-explored plays and frontier basins of the UK continental shelf

Editors: Phil Christie & Jo Prigmore

Oil and gas production from offshore sedimentary basins of the UK has been taking place for over 50 years. However, since reaching its peak in the early 2000’s, there has been a major decline in produced volumes. The UK Regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) was set up in 2016 with a view to extending the life of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) by various means including reinvigorating exploration, asset stewardship and seeking new uses for existing infrastructure (e.g. carbon storage). One initiative they led was to acquire seismic data and promote licensing over Frontier Areas that had not seen much drilling activity since the early days of exploration. The OGA set up a competition in which academic institutions could bid to undertake research studies on the newly acquired seismic from the Mid North Sea, Rockall and Western Approaches areas. The OGA’s instigation and launch of the National Data Repository (NDR) in April 2019 also saw the largest release of data in to the public domain, something that led to research being carried out on underexplored plays in the North Sea and a better understanding of other poorly-documented exploration frontiers. This thematic collection presents the results of the research work undertaken by Aberdeen, Durham and Heriot-Watt Universities under the OGA-sponsored and NDR-facilitated activities, the results of which informed the 31st Offshore Licensing Round and led to new exploration activity. The academic research outcomes not only provide important new insights into the lesser known plays and under-explored petroleum systems of the UKCS, but also highlight generic learnings that can be applied to global counterparts.

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Naturally fractured reservoirs

Guest Editors: Sebastian Geiger, Giovanni Bertotti & Thomas Finkbeiner

Naturally fractured reservoirs not only contain a significant share of the world’s hydrocarbon resources, they are also important to support the transition to a low carbon energy future, for example when producing low- and high-enthalpy geothermal heat or sequestering CO2. At the same time, these reservoirs present some of the most daunting challenges the energy industry is faced with.

This thematic collection addresses some of the complexities associated with naturally fractured reservoirs in detail. Ten papers were selected that cover a wide variety of themes such as structural geology, fracture genesis, network characterization and modeling, rock mechanics, as well as reservoir engineering. Most of these papers were originally presented at the European Association’s of Geoscientist and Engineers 3rd Workshop on Naturally Fractured Reservoirs, held in February 2018 in Oman which focused on calibrating models for naturally fractured reservoirs using static and dynamic data.

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Useful links

PG Online

The Lyell Collection

Access Petroleum Geoscience (PG) in the Lyell Collection


  • Impact Factor: 1.377
  • 5yr IF: 1.871
  • SJR: 0.597
  • SNIP: 0.743

Metrics should be viewed in context here: Metrics