Basic Subsurface Interpretation Methods (GEO220)

The course provides an introduction for techniques of well and seismic interpretation for energy exploration and geological storage. Special focus is given to the subsurface geology of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Course description for study year 2023-2024


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction



  • Introduction to the subsurface interpretation software
  • Introduction to the subsurface geology of the Norwegian Continental Shelf
  • Seismic and well data interpretation
  • Synthetic seismogram
  • Basic mapping of reservoirs
  • Generation of deliverables for report and presentation
  • Techniques for fault interpretation
  • Subsurface geology for the energy transition
  • Depth conversion
  • Reservoir model

Note: A two-day intensive software course (e.g. Petrel) is offered at the beginning of the semester. Participation in the two-day course is highly recommended as all following activties during the semster will be done using the software.

Learning outcome

This course is based on the application of concepts that have been provided in previous courses in the area of petroleum geology, structural geology, stratigraphy and geophysics through the use of specialized interpretation software.


  • Fundamental background on how to build a subsurface 3D model
  • Knowledge on basic well correlation and time intervals in sedimentary basins
  • Knowledge on the geological significance of subsurface mapping and importance for energy exploration and production and geological storage


  • Be able to built a subsurface earth model using leading edge software tools.
  • Be able to integrate geological and geophysical data in order to build a subsurface model.
  • Be able to to correlate well and seismic data using time/depth relationships and syntethic seismograms.
  • Be able to make oral presentations in order to provide an overview of the geological model and provide guidelines for exploration and production.

General competence:

  • Have fundamental skills on integration of different types of subsurface geophysical and geological data and provide the understanding for other engineering activities such as drilling and reservoir.
  • To communicate and make technical presentations in the area of expertise.

Required prerequisite knowledge

One of the following alternatives:
GEO100 Earth, Energy and Climate, GEO210 Structural Geology, PET110 Geophysics and Well Logging
GEO100 Earth, Energy and Climate, GEO130 Geophysics, GEO210 Structural Geology

Recommended prerequisites

It is recommneded to have basic knowledge in general and petroleum geology, sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology and geophysics


Folder evaluation, oral presentation and written exam

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Folder evaluation 40/100 Letter grades
Oral presentations (2) 40/100 20 Minutes Letter grades Power-point
Written exam 20/100 2 Hours Letter grades All

The course has a continuous assessment with a final written exam. All assessment parts must be passed in order to obtain a final grade in the course. Resit opportunities for the presentations follow the regular course offering. A continuitation exam is offered the following semester for students who fail the written exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher:

Lothar Schulte

Course coordinator:

Alejandro Escalona Varela

Course teacher:

Xiaoan Zhong

Study Program Director:

Lisa Jean Watson

Study Adviser:

Karina Sanni

Head of Department:

Alejandro Escalona Varela

Method of work

Course participation is highly recommended as of the training of computer/software skills and application of exercises in the laboratory.

Four hours a week of lectures (theory and computer program introduction) and at least four hours a week of laboratory practicals to develop the course project.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Basic subsurface interpretation methods (BPG140_1) 5

Open for

Geosciences and Energy Resources - Bachelor in Engineering
Admission to Single Courses at the Faculty of Science and Technology
Petroleum Geosciences Engineering - Master of Science Degree Programme
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto