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PESA WA Short Course – Structural geology and seismic in petroleum exploration and production

Monday, 22 October, 2018 @ 8:45 am - Thursday, 25 October, 2018 @ 5:30 pm

Guest Speaker(s): Dr Kevin Hill

Kevin Hill is a structural and petroleum geologist who provides expert structural consulting to the resources industry, and offers beginners to advanced industry training courses. He has worked on many mountain belts and sedimentary basins around the world resulting in over 60 publications.  Kevin had 5 years with BP based in Canada and England, with their Structural Specialists Group, working on numerous basins around the world.  This was followed by 16 years consulting with many companies (whilst holding a 50% University position) including Murphy Oil Corp., Petronas, Cue Energy, Swift Energy, Santos, Orogen, Woodside, Coparex, Unocal, BHPB, NExT, Kufpec, Cheetah Oil and Gas and others, mainly on Malaysia, Indonesia, PNG, Australia’s NW Shelf, Bass Strait and New Zealand.  Academically he completed a 4 year study of the structure and thermal history of the Papuan Fold Belt, working in association with BP Australia and consulting for Lakes Oil.  Kevin also spent 12 years running petroleum and structural geology research projects at La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne, focused mainly on Bass Strait and New Guinea, working with Pacarc Niugini, Oil Search, MIM Petroleum, Caltex, Esso, British Gas, Freeport, LL&E, Mobil, ARCO, Highlands Gold, BHPP, Union Texas and Woodside, amongst others.  He developed a seismic-structure workstation laboratory with industry-standard 2D and 3D seismic and structural software and organised funding and management of a team of researchers to undertake research projects on time and within budget, with regular reports to sponsors. For the last ten years Kevin has worked for Oil Search Ltd in Sydney constructing regional and detailed balanced sections across the fold belt, detailed 3D structural models of the producing fields and regional 3D structural models of new plays and prospects. This involved integrating regional tectonics, seismic interpretation, 2D and 3D structural modelling, fission track and U-Th-He thermochronology, surface mapping, regional aero-gravity data and 3D experimental analogue models. In 2001 Kevin was the PESA Australia Lecturer, presenting his structural workshop throughout Australia.  Kevin received the Stillwell Medal for his fission track publication on Papua New Guinea. He is now an Honorary A/Prof at the University of Melbourne continuing research into structural geology.

Student place sponsored by:



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Note: Any member currently not employed and wishing to attend is encouraged to email to discuss discounted rates on unsold places.


This course will be run as a hands-on workshop introducing the main structural geometries seen on seismic data and in outcrop in the oil industry.  The emphasis is on developing a workflow to allow exploration and production geologists and geophysicists to assess structural style and produce valid structural interpretations as well as consider alternative interpretations.  The course will introduce the structural styles associated with extension, compression, inversion, strike-slip and salt diapirism.  Examples will be shown from both seismic data and outcrop.   Frequent short exercises, interpreting seismic data and outcrop images, will reinforce the theory presented.

The workshop will concentrate on practical methods to define the relationships between faults, folds, sedimentary packages and regional elevation and how they can be used predictively to validate an interpretation and prospect. Emphasis is placed on the ‘Structural Family’ present in an area, which depends strongly on the basement architecture and tectonic history.  Seismic and field examples are drawn from the Timor Sea, Bass Strait, Borneo, the Gulf of Suez, the Apennines, the Taranaki Basin, New Guinea, Indonesia, Watchet, the Otway Basin, Cape Liptrap, the Pyrenees and the Canadian Rockies amongst others.

There are several long group exercises aimed at interpreting the growth sequences on seismic data in order to determine the sequence of events, in particular timing of deformation versus timing of maximum burial and charge. In a regional sense, the data are interpreted in terms of source, reservoir and seal in order to assess hydrocarbon prospectivity. As well as introducing the ‘basics’ and a workflow, the course also includes lectures illustrating the very latest thinking in terms of hyper-extension, 2D and 3D modelling of structures, particularly compressional structures and the formation and development of salt minibasins.



This course is designed primarily for exploration and development geologists, geophysicists, reservoir engineers, seismic interpreters and technical assistants who wish to learn how to interpret complex geological structures using seismic and outcrop data. There is particular emphasis on understanding structural geometries and their relation to sediment-growth sequences. Attendees should include

  • exploration and development geologists,
  • geophysicists,
  • reservoir engineers,
  • seismic interpreters and
  • technical assistants



A Geoscience/Engineering degree and knowledge of seismic data are both important.




Introduction to structural geology and the principles of geometrical analysis of structures.  This includes a review of the nature of faults and folds, the importance of structural families and the workflow used in structural analysis


  • Planar, domino, listric faults and rollover anticlines.
  • The Chevron construction and growth packages (Exercise)
  • Seismic restoration
  • 3D fault geometries and restoration
  • Lecture on Hyper-extension



  • Definition and examples
  • Seismic interpretation (Exercise)
  • Detailed geometries and evolution
  • Discussion of inversion versus hydrocarbon charge

 DAY 3


  • Ramps, flats, detachments and detachment folds
  • Fault bend folds – ramp anticlines (Exercise) and Fault propagation folds (Exercise)
  • 3D geometries
  • Restored sections from New Guinea and the Po Valley
  • 2D and 3D modelling of compressional structures



  • Definition and examples
  • 2D and 3D geometry
  • Interpretation (Exercise) and oilfield examples

Salt Diapirism

  • Definition, properties and location of salt.
  • Salt, walls, domes, diapirs and turtle structures
  • Development of diapirs
  • Salt sills and collapse structures
  • Development of salt minibasins.


Monday, 22 October, 2018 @ 8:45 am
Thursday, 25 October, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
Event Categories:
  • Venue

    1 Ord Street
    West Perth, Perth

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