Exploring the Rhone delta canyons in Lake Geneva since François-Alphonse Forel

Dr Pablo Corella Aznar of SNRC will be giving a talk on the 10th February 2Pablo Corella Aznar016

Who: Dr Pablo Corella Aznar finished his BSc (2006) and MSc (2008) in Earth Sciences at the University of Zaragoza. He did his PhD in sedimentary geology (2011) at the Spanish National Research Council in collaboration with the German GeoforschungsZentrum (GFZ/ Potsdam), where he spent almost one year, and California State University. His PhD was mostly based on modern carbonates depositional systems. After his PhD, Pablo was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Geneva in Switzerland where he studied the Rhone delta in Lake Geneva (the topic of his talk). Since 2012 he is a sedimentologist working at the Spanish National Research Council where he is conducting research in fluvial, marine and lacustrine quaternary systems.

Summary: click here for a summary of Dr Corella’s talk

When: 4 pm, 10th February 2016

Where: Seminar One, Department or Earth Sciences

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Weimu Xu Awarded Climate Conference Prize

Congratulations to Weimu Xu, DPhil student with the Oxford-Shell Research Lab, who was awarded the prize for best student oral contribution during the Conference “Climates of the past – lessons for the future.” The conference was held from July 5th to July 10th 2015 on Monte Verità in Ascona, Switzerland.

Weimu, pWeimu 2015 prizeictured with her prize certificate above, was nominated for her presentation entitled “Lacustrine expansion and carbon drawdown during the early Toarcian Oceanic Anoxic Event – a case study of the Lower Jurassic Da’anzhai Member, Sichuan Basin, China”

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Natural Resources seminar series – Hilary Term 2015


28/01, Dr Anna Korre: CO2 storage site characterisation, monitoring and risk assessment

04/02, Prof Guy Plint: Dynamic linkages between subsidence, stratal geometry, facies distributions and Cordilleran deformation: Cretaceous of Western Canada Foreland Basin.

11/02, Prof Bruce Levell: Oil, Glaciation and Salt dissolution : Oman and Michigan.

25/02, Dr Mike Simmons: Hydrocarbon Exploration Creativity – Have We Lost our Mojo? And If So, Can We Get It Back?

04/03, Prof Guy Plint: Mudstone is the new sandstone, – and it needs our love!

11/03, Prof Bruce Levell: Oil from the Ediacaran of Oman

For more information click on Natural Resources Seminar Series. Every Wednesday, 4 – 5pm, Seminar Rooms 1-2.

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Field Workshop in Somerset

The group assembled for a one day field worP1060115kshop on the structure and sedimentology of source rocks in early October. P1060090

We were blessed with customary fine weather, and in the morning visiP1060036ted the amazing fibrous gypsum veins in the Mercia Mudstone of Watchet, with Qingfeng giving us his expert opinions on their genesis.

Our delicious local picnic lunch was taken in the car park of the St Audrie’s Bay caravan park, followed by a guided tour of the infamous Triassic-Jurassic boundary section led by Micha and Steve. DSC_0485

Then we finished with a dessert of faults, fractures and carbonate cemented seep mounds at the classic Kilve locality. All in all a superb day on some of the UK’s finest localities.


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CGG Donates Hampson-Russell Software to University of Oxford

CGG GeoSoftware has donated its Hampson-Russell geophysical software suite, covering all aspects of seismic exploration and reservoir characterization, to the University of Oxford in the UK. The donated software suite, worth over $600,000, will enable students to better explore quantitative seismic interpretation in the context of hydrocarbon exploration

The CGS news release quotes Martino Foschi, postdoctoral research associate and co-manager of the Shell Geoscience Laboratory, who commented: “The fundamental questions faced in academic research require top-quality and reliable software designed to provide scientifically rigorous results. The Shell Geoscience Laboratory and the University of Oxford were therefore pleased to secure this Hampson-Russell donation given its standing as one of the most established geophysical software packages in the oil and gas industry and its reputation for delivering high-quality quantitative analysis of seismic data. We are grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with CGG, which will enable our students to develop quantitative research skills that focus their knowledge of the physical and elastic properties of sediments, and their relationship with geofluids. These are valuable transferable skills for their future careers.”

Read the full CGG news release.

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Workshop on seismic characterisation of fluid flow in basins and fractures in mudrocks

19 – 20 November 2014: Workshop on seismic characterisation of fluid flow in basins and fractures in mudrocks took place in Oxford

The following presentations were held

Basin Scale Fluid Flow

Claudia Bertoni: Scope of Fluids Theme, Result Highlights

Martino Foschi: QI of DHIs

Matteo Paganoni: Hydrates Project

James Scaife: NZ case study: Palaeocene source rocks of the GSB/CB

Fracture Analysis

John Hooker: Project Overview

Qingfeng Meng: Fractures in the Mercia Mudstone

Isra’a Abu Mahfouz: An Introduction to the Jordan Fracture Project

Shahab Varkouhi: Time temperature relationships for silica diagenesis


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Dr Erdem Idiz of Shell gave talks at the Department of Earth Sciences

22/10 – 26/11/2014: Dr Erdem Idiz, Shell’s leading technical expert in petroleum geochemistry and basin modelling, gave series of talks on petroleum systems analysis. The following topics were covered:
1. Intro/What is Oil and Gas
What is a Petroleum System – key elements
Basic petroleum chemistry, the organic geochemist’s approach to petroleum GEOchemistry
2. Where do Oil and gas come from? –
Formation of source rocks. How do we characterize, analyze and classify source rocks
3. From Source rocks (Kerogen) to Oil and gas –
Kerogen Conversion, the concept of maturity and kinetics.
The special case of Sulphur/Sulfur
4. Basin Modelling/Modeling
Crustal structure, heatflow, calibration
Maturity, conversion and migration modelling
5. Oil and Gas typing –
Biomass, lithology, maturity, age, in-reservoir processes
6. Exploration integrated case study

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Congratulations to Prof Joe Cartwright

Congratulations to Prof Joe Cartwright, who has just been awarded the 2014 Distinguished Educator Award of the AAPG, in much deserved recognition of his distinguished and outstanding contributions to geological education.

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Joe Cartwright, Shell Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of OxfordShell Oxford RP fieldwork-1

The Shell-Oxford RP in action, exploring the Jurassic coast [L-R]:
Joe Cartwright, Qingfeng Meng (a graduate student at Oxford
funded by the Shell partnership), Bruce Levell (VP Emerging
Technologies and Chief Scientist Geology at Shell), Steve Hesselbo,
Jon Wells (Geological technician funded by the Shell partnership).

Oxford University news release: 9 May 2013
For immediate release

Oxford announces Shell support for energy research

Oxford University has announced that Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. (Shell) has contributed a £5.9m boost to research into natural energy resources at the University’s Department of Earth Sciences through support for a new research collaboration and state-of-the-art laboratory.

This Shell-Oxford Research Partnership is designed to support more effective development of natural resources to meet fast-growing global demand for energy. It will also provide insights into the sequestration of greenhouse gases, which will be critical to the successful development of carbon capture and storage technology both in the UK and globally.

The research programme will build on Oxford’s world leading expertise in geochemistry and will address fundamental challenges relating to the physical and chemical characterisation and origins of mudrocks. These sediments are important as source rocks for conventional hydrocarbons, as reservoirs for unconventional hydrocarbons, and as seals for the geological storage of carbon dioxide.

The new collaboration also underpins the establishment of the Shell Geoscience Laboratory at Oxford where researchers will develop novel techniques for the interpretation of huge geophysical and geochemical databases that are now available to analyse the geological processes that shape sedimentary basins around the world.

This new initiative in natural energy resources, with support from Shell and other partners, will offer opportunities for graduates interested in working in this expanding area through the development of a structured programme of postgraduate training.

‘This new Oxford collaboration with Shell is a huge boost for fundamental geoscience research in the UK,’ said Professor Joe Cartwright, who leads the new Shell Geoscience Laboratory. ‘We see this as an opportunity to shape the direction of the subject and create a centre of expertise that will attract interest from all over the world. Understanding the complex processes at work in sedimentary basins is vital to meeting our future energy needs and could also help in mitigating the impact of climate change.’

‘Shell is pleased to be entering into this collaboration with Oxford’s Earth Sciences department,’ said Alison Goligher, EVP Unconventionals at Shell International Exploration and Production B.V. ‘As the world’s demand for energy grows, energy systems need to continue to meet this demand and also become cleaner and more efficient. Shell invests significant resources into research and development, both through our own work and through partnerships like this. It’s important that companies like Shell make meaningful contributions to understand how our natural resources can continue to be safely and responsibly developed. We are delighted to be working with a world leading university, supporting students at the cutting edge of research.’

For more information contact the University of Oxford Press Office on +44 (0)1865 283877 or email press.office@admin.ox.ac.uk.


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