Applied Biostratigraphy

Online course

50 hours / 6 weeks

Dates: 18th May – 29th June

Registration period extended until 1st of June
Standard Unemployed Or Student
250 170


Biostratigraphy is often run as a service in petroleum exploration & development for age and palaeoenvironmental interpretation. It can also provide critical insight of the data generated for detailed sequence analysis including unconformities and sedimentation breaks in addition to the identification of flooding surfaces and condensed sequences. It can also be used to characterize facies (reservoir to non- reservoir).

The integration of biostratigraphical data with seismic interpretation and sedimentological and petrographical data utilizes biostratigraphy’s potential most efficiently. The main fossil groups used in biostratigraphy, their temporal and spatial distribution and the contexts in which they occur will be illustrated with numerous examples.

The pitfalls of the use of biostratigraphical data will be discussed, which often relates to the geological context in which sediments were deposited.

This course will introduce the applied use of biostratigraphy in both an exploration and development
context with working examples and will cover both marine and non-marine sediments.


• To gain knowledge of the different microfossil groups and in which ages and palaeoenvironments they can be utilized
• To explore the concepts and applications of chrono-, litho-, biostratigraphy and geochronology.
• To develop an understanding of how biostratigraphical data can be integrated with other geological data to optimize its use as an interpretative tool
• To interpret palaeoenvironment of deposition by using biostratigraphical assemblages
• To use biostratigraphy as a predictive tool in exploration and development

Limited places.

Week 1
Stratigraphy and an Introduction to Micropaleontology
• The Laws of Stratigraphy
• Age Dating Methods for Sediments and Igneous Rocks
• The Stratigraphical Column and Chronostratigraphy
• The Different Microfossil Groups and Preparation Techniques
• Organic Microfossils (Palynomorphs) including Acritarchs, Chitinozoans, Dinoflagellates, Pollen and Spores
• Inorganic Microfossils including Microforaminifera and Ostracoda
Week 2
• Microfossil evolution through the Stratigraphical Column
• Building stratigraphical range charts
• First downhole occurrence, last downhole occurrence, fossil assemblages
• Numerical methods, abundance increases and maxima
• Index fossils
• Stratigraphical type sections and the relation between Biostratigraphy and Chronostratigraphy
Week 3
Biostratigraphical Correlations and Correlation Techniques
• Pitfalls using biostratigraphical data, downhole caving, reworking, contamination
• Definition of biozones
• Integration of sedimentological and petrographical data
• The integration of geochemical information
• Identification of unconformities / hiatus in the sequences

Week 4
Biostratigraphy, Paleoenvironments and Sequence Stratigraphy
• Using Micropalaeontology for palaeoenvironmental interpretation
• Marine microfossils vs. non-marine microfossils
• Preservation of microfossil groups and different lithologies
• Definition of water depth from the different fossil groups
• The identification of sequence boundaries using biostratigraphical Data
• Using biostratigraphical data to identify condensed sequences and maximum flooding surfaces
• Using biostratigraphical data to identify low stand System and high stand system tracts
Week 5
Play Definition using Play Based Exploration Techniques
• Hydrocarbon Play definition
• Integrated Biostratigraphy and its use in Play based exploration techniques
• The deltaic to marine Cretaceous Alagamar Play in Potiguar Basin, Equatorial Marginal of Brazil
• The Cenozoic deep-water turbidites and associated salt play, Lower Congo Basin, Angola
• The Early Silurian Hot shales of the Arabian plate, source rock characterization

Gil Machado

Gil Machado holds a degree in Geology and a European Doctorate (PhD) in Stratigraphy and Petroleum Geology and has ca. 10 years of experience in the Oil&Gas industry, in exploration projects of Oman, Mozambique, Brazil, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Gabon, Morocco, and other Atlantic basins. He is an experience biostratigrapher, including sediment fairways identification, deep and shallow water sedimentation characterization and sequence stratigraphy. He has worked extensively with well correlation, biostratigraphy, regional prospectivity studies and has managed teams and projects in multiple cultural environments.

He has mentored and supervised Bsc and Msc students, young professionals and taught several short courses and lectures on these subjects.

As part of his career he worked at Petroleum Development Oman as a Stratigrapher where he was responsible for the Precambrian and Lower Paleozoic stratigraphy studies and for the scientific management of the palynology laboratory of the company. He followed multiple wells as operational stratigrapher providing real time advice to the well geologists for casing points, TD calls, etc. He also contributed to the biostratigraphic zonation review of the subsurface of Oman.

He is affiliated with the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, the PESGB and founder and member of the Portuguese Association of Geoscientists and Engineers.

Gil Machado is currently heading a geological consulting company – Chronosurveys – providing services and training in Stratigraphy, source rock evaluation, Petroleum Geology.

Within this virtual platform, students are in continuous contact with professor in a tailored way, solving questions together, and widening knowledge and acquiring new skills. Students can also interact with other students and professors through webinars and forums.

Plenty of content can be found in the Campus: eLearning material, videos, technical articles, manuals, complementary documentation, real examples and exercises.

Previous general background in geology is beneficial for participants. This training course is suitable to a wide range of professionals but will greatly benefit:
• Exploration Geologists
• Geology PhD and Master students
• Final year undergraduate students
• Development Geologists
• Seismic Interpreters
• Sedimentologists
• Petrographers
• Upstream subsurface professionals who are interested in optimally utilizing geological data as a predictive tool in sedimentary basins and for identifying hydrocarbon plays in active petroleum systems

As evidence of knowledge gained throughout the course, a certificate will be issued from the Virtual platform. This certificate is based on the modern technology Blockchain, which increases security, prevents fraud, builds trust and ensures you’re ready for the future.

This course will not turn the participants into biostratigraphers – a Msc or PhD is recommended for that. It will however allow participants to understand and use biostratigraphic information to solve geological problems. As such it will help employability in the following types of institutions:

– Oil & Gas companies engaged in exploration and production
– Geoscience Consulting and Service Companies
– Public natural resource management institutions


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Applied Biostratigraphy

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