Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East

20 – 22 October
| Muscat, Oman

This three-day workshop will be dedicated to sharing knowledge, ideas, and workflows pertaining to exploration for stratigraphically trapped hydrocarbon accumulations in the Middle East. The workshop will emphasize case studies involving both carbonates and clastics — in order to help focus explorationists in their search for these types of traps.

In the Middle East, as in other parts of the world, most simple anticlinal traps have already been discovered. Current exploration activities in the Middle East are increasingly focused on more subtle trapping styles, such as pinchouts, lenses, unconformity traps, and reefs. Worldwide, a significant percentage of hydrocarbon accumulations (including “giant” fields) are associated with stratigraphic traps. Since most known oil and gas fields in the Middle East are of a structural nature, significant hydrocarbon volumes are expected to be discovered in this region in non-structural traps.

Mature sedimentary basins have the highest percentages of known stratigraphic traps. These areas are generally associated with greater well control and more seismic data, resulting in much better understanding of depositional environments and tectonic histories. In underexplored sedimentary basins in which sufficient well and seismic control is lacking, stratigraphic traps are especially difficult to find. Therefore, understanding stratigraphic traps in mature sedimentary basins is key to discovering stratigraphically trapped hydrocarbon accumulations in underexplored sedimentary basins with similar depositional and tectonic settings.

Detailed analysis of lithology between well control depends on the acquisition of high-resolution seismic data, reliable processing of the data, and sound interpretation based on horizon picking, 3D visualization, seismic attribute extraction and analysis, and seismic stratigraphy. With continual improvements in seismic data acquisition and processing — resulting in higher bandwidth, higher signal-to-noise, and seismic resolution of ever-thinner geological units, all coupled with advanced techniques such as 3D AVO and spectral decomposition (to name a few) — the percentage of stratigraphically trapped discoveries in the Middle East will undoubtedly increase.

The case histories will illustrate geological settings and characteristics with maps, cross sections, and appropriate well data. And the real behind-the-scene stories on how they were discovered — concept-led or technology-led deliberate hunting or by serendipity. We will of course be very interested to hear how the follow-up, in-field or exploration, has been executed. Key learnings — from technical to management decision making — will be important to share with the rest of the audience.

Program Committee:

Abdel Fattah M. Bakhiet (Chairman), Saudi Aramco

Ahmed Taher (Co-Chair), ADNOC

Mark Doyle (Co-Chair), PDO

Nawaf Al Salim, KOC

Donald Williams, Saudi Aramco

Friso Veenstra, TNO

Full Day Oman Sea and Beach Trip

As part of the Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East Workshop, the AAPG Middle East has organized a full day Oman ‘Sea & Beach’ trip due to take place on Thursday the 23rd October. Attendees will be able to register for the trip during their on-line registration for the event. The following will be included in the trip:

  • Welcome drinks and breakfast
  • Coastal trip
  • Dolphin watching cruise
  • Snorkeling
  • BBQ lunch
  • Fishing
  • Water sports

All refreshments and snacks included
Cost of trip: $140 per person

2014 Autumn Middle East Distinguished Lecturer Tour

Developed in 1941, the Distinguished Lecture Program continues to be AAPG’s oldest and most prestigious program. Funded in part by the AAPG Foundation, the program offers outstanding lectures by speakers who are respected scientific leaders in their disciplines of petroleum geology. Anyone can attend the lectures, which are hosted by AAPG affiliated geological societies or university departments.

This October, our distinguished speaker, Dr. Terry Engelder, will be touring around five locations in the Middle East. Attendance to these lectures is free of charge – therefore all registered delegates to the workshop are encouraged to attend the lecture, hosted by the Geological Society of Oman, taking place on 19 October at PDO Oil and Gas Center.

Technical Program

  • Session 1: Global Carbonate and Clastic Case Histories
  • Session 2: Role of Petroleum System Analysis, Fairway Mapping and Geologic/Stratigraphic Framework in Stratigraphic Traps Exploration and Development
  • Session 3: Middle East Carbonate Case Histories
  • Session 4: Middle East Clastic Case Histories
  • Session 5: Future Exploration Opportunities
  • Session 6: Enabling Technologies for Stratigraphic Trap Prediction

for a detailed view of the technical program, please click here

Benefits of Attending

The workshop is an opportunity for attendees to receive up-to-date knowledge about stratigraphic trap exploration, exposure to regional and global stratigraphic case studies and to be introduced to state of the art-technologies utilized to detect these difficult to find yet rewarding traps. It is an opportunity to network and share experiences. The participants will receive a summary of the breakout sessions and discussions, lessons learned and a CD with abstracts for papers presented in the workshop.

Who Should Attend

This workshop targets technical experts involved in exploring and developing stratigraphic and subtle traps who are working in national operating and service companies, as well as academic institutions.


To register for this workshop click here


Shangri-La’s Bar Al Jissah Resort & Spa

The deep turquoise blue water of the Sea of Oman is hypnotic, contrasting vividly with the majestic mountains that rise behind the resort. This is the fascination of Oman.

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