Structural Geology in Petroleum Exploration and Development

Start Date End Date Duration Location
Aug. 29, 2021 Sept. 9, 2021 10 cairo


The explosion of 3-D seismic has given us an opportunity to map structures in a more detailed manner than ever before. However, making the most realistic geologic interpretation of these structures is only as good as our ability to recognize the fundamental characteristics of the assemblage in which they occur. Only by recognition of the many facets, variations, differences, and similarities of each assemblage with its associated styles and substyles, can confident interpretations be made. This course provides an overview of all hydrocarbon-bearing structural assemblages from the trap to the plate-tectonic scale. The processes that produce the structures and control their variability are explained in terms of basic rock-mechanical principles and physical-model examples.


To improve understanding and awareness of structural geology in petroleum exploration and development


By the end of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Apply mechanical-stratigraphic concepts to understand and predict trap geometry

  • Use restoration and balance to validate an interpretation and interpret the structural evolution

  • Recognize the structural style or styles of a region from map and cross-sectional expression

  • Distinguish characteristics of each structural style on reflection seismic sections

  • Interpret the mechanics of deformation for each structural style

  • Predict the effects of deformation on reservoir porosity, permeability, and continuity


  • Mechanical principles governing folding and faulting
  • Mechanical stratigraphy
  • Predicting structure from stratigraphy
  • Deformation mechanisms
  • Folding vs. Faulting
  • Palinspastic restoration of cross sections
  • Structural validation criteria
  • Sequential restoration and growth history
  • Structural assemblages: families and styles
  • Fault-related folds
  • Regional arches and domes
  • Compaction, dissolution and impact structures
  • Wrench faults: simple, convergent, and divergent
  • Thin-skinned fold-thrust belts
  • Basement-involved contraction
  • Inversion
  • Thin-skinned extension
  • Basement-involved extension
  • Salt sheets
  • Diapirs
  • Exploration problems for each style
  • Plate-tectonic habitats of structural assemblages
  • Effects of structures in reservoirs: joints, stylolites, faults
  • Deformation that enhances or reduces permeability
  • Predicting the effect of fault zones on fluid flow
  • Tectonic synthesis and exploration project

Who Can Benefit?

Exploration and development geologists, geophysicists, engineers, and geoscience managers