Natural Resources seminar series – Hilary Term 2015


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

04/02, Prof Bruce Levell: Oil, Glaciation and Salt dissolution : Oman and Michigan

11/02, Prof Bruce Levell: Oil from the Ediacaran of Oman

18/02, Prof Guy Plint: Dynamic linkages between subsidence, stratal geometry, facies distributions and Cordilleran deformation: Cretaceous of Western Canada Foreland Basin.

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 Mike Daly: tbc

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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News and Events

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


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