Conventional hydrocarbons such as oil and gas have been, and continue to be, the major supplier of energy and raw materials to the world’s population and are projected to increase in further importance as the World’s populations grows.
Although large structures continue to be sought, there is an overall trend towards increasingly more subtle and complex prospects. Consequently, it is important that the science behind exploration for these resources adapts and continues to discover innovative ways to explore.
The Lyell Centre research theme in Conventional Exploration will have the equipment and research space to facilitate investigation into all components of the hydrocarbon system including the source, reservoir and seal. Source rocks are the primary ingredient to any hydrocarbon system and studies of their characteristics, geochemistry and maturity (often as part of an investigation into basin modelling/geothermal gradient) are important for any conventional exploration.
Reservoir analysis and characterisation can include discerning provenance and reservoir quality from mineralogy as well as understanding non-clastic reservoirs such as carbonates. Diagenesis is an additionally important factor for reservoir rocks and for seal rocks which can become increasingly brittle with depth.
However, seal rocks also include evaporites and chemical sediments, an understanding of which is vital for understanding subsurface geometries and as raw materials for industrial and domestic salts. Finally, ores and mineral resources are also important raw materials and the Lyell Centre is well equipped to study these under the umbrella of Conventional Resources.