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Petroleum Geology and Geo-physics 
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Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:38 am
Posts: 1
Post Petroleum Geology and Geo-physics
Whats the difference between Petroleum Geology and Geo-physics? I'm an undergraduate aspiring to become a Petroleum Geologist. Can anyone with right knowledge tell me the difference between those two. And If i want to become a person searching for petrol and oil and gas a.k.a petroleum geologist then what one of the above subjects do i have to specialize in?? Because in university Post Graduate courses you can specialize in anyone of the above courses, and i want it get it right and build an interest in it.Please help me Thank you.


Last edited by andresya on Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:44 am

Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:33 am
Posts: 31
Post Re: Petroleum Geology and Geo-physics
andresya wrote:
Whats the difference between Petroleum Geology and Geo-physics? I'm an undergraduate aspiring to become a Petroleum Geologist. Can anyone with right knowledge tell me the difference between those two. And If i want to become a person searching for petrol and oil and gas a.k.a petroleum geologist then what one of the above subjects do i have to specialize in?? Because in university Post Graduate courses you can specialize in anyone of the above courses, and i want it get it right and build an interest in it.Please help me Thank you.



Ideally as a professional you would build up significant knowledge of both!

In an oil exploration sense geophysics is focussed on interpreting indirect observations of the physical properties of rocks; this means using low frequency sound (seismic), electromagnetic and other techniques (inside the bore hole) to measure rock properties in situ. From that information you then try to understand the rock structure and stratigraphy, as well as the key physical and chemical properties that might indicate that hydrocarbons are present.

Petroleum geology is much more about the pieces of a working petroleum system - source rocks, seals, reservoir rocks, migration pathways; making measurements of rock properties on samples (with microscopes, probes, chemical analysis and so on) and identifying these rocks in outcrop, as well as understanding the overall processes behind the thermal maturation of the source rocks modelling the evolution of the basin is key here.

In practice geophysics tends to involve a significant amount of work with sophisticated software packages, and you need good numerical analytical skills to be able to identify where data may be incorrect, or contain errors, so that your don't reach the wrong conclusions. A good knowledge of sedimentology is a big help in an oil company sense. Geophysical field work tends to involve big teams - vessels over 100m in length, pulling 12 cables each 10+km long, or large surveying teams with vibrator trucks (or even explosives)

Petroleum geology tends to be more about the properties of rocks and rock samples, taking the information that the geophysicists create and trying to figure out if the structures they have identified are going to be "charged" with petroleum. This can mean laboratory or microscope work, for example. Fieldwork tends to be about visiting outcrops that are "analogues" for the sub-surface rocks found in the oilfield, to learn more about what the structures and properties might be, and to identify potential play concepts in new areas.

Ultimately, if you really enjoy working with computers, equations, physics, maths, programming and using equipment in the field then I'd aim at the geophysics side of things. If you prefer lab work, microscope work, field geological mapping, and (geo)chemistry then I'd go with petroleum geology.


Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:55 pm
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