Petrophysics Summer School 2016

Physical properties of ocean sediments and basement from downhole logs and core
  • 2-day long mini-course teaching the fundamentals of Schlumberger's Techlog
  • Geotek's Briony Shreeve lecturing on core physical properties
  • Gilles Guerin presenting on the use of acoustics in logging
  • Practical sessions on estimating hydrocarbons in place
  • Professor Sarah Davies at the BGS National Geological Repository
  • Professor Sarah Davies demonstrating how real core features appear through logs
  • Students getting to grips with Schlumberger's Techlog with the aid of BP (UK)'s Sam Matthews


Petrophysics is the study of the physical (and chemical) properties of rocks and their interactions with fluids, and integrates downhole in situ data from logs with core and seismic data. This has significant applications in the hydrocarbon industry in terms of both exploration for, and production of, oil and gas. It is also an important component of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) in helping to answer the many and varied questions posed by ocean research drilling expeditions around the world. The 1st ECORD Summer School in Petrophysics provided a unique workshop bringing together experts from both academia and industry to give training in the theory and practice of petrophysics and, notably its applications across both IODP and industry. There are few opportunities for training, especially for non-industry researchers, and with recent reports indicating significant skills shortages in the hydrocarbon sector, this workshop could attracted and indeed encouraged a variety of participants, including those who might not normally engage with the IODP community. In addition, the summer school aimed to strengthen links between IODP and industry, increase the visibility of IODP, provide essential training to the next generation of petrophysicists and, more importantly, enable future expedition participants to best utilise these data in their investigations of the ocean floor.

ECORD Summer School Information


Downhole logs; physical properties; petrophysics; integration; industry; ocean research drilling

Research topics

Borehole dataThe main focus of the summer school was downhole logging where in situ continuous measurements are made in the borehole, these data were supplemented by continuous and discrete core physical properties, thus enabling integration of datasets to maximise their potential use in addressing scientific problems. This summer school not only focused on the interpretation of these data types acquired during IODP expeditions, but also the rationale behind those measurements, the methodologies associated with their acquisition, and their application beyond IODP, in an industry context.

Downhole logging provides in situ continuous measurements on IODP expeditions that can be used to determine the physical, chemical, and structural properties of the formation penetrated by a borehole. These data can be used to aid interpretation of stratigraphy, lithology and mineralogy as well as providing information about formation stress or drilling-induced deformation. In the event of incomplete core recovery, these continuous datasets may provide the only means of fully characterising the geological formations encountered. Intermediate in scale between core sample measurements and geophysical surveys, downhole logs are particularly useful in the calibration and ground-truthing of geophysical surveys. Downhole measurements therefore play a critical role in understanding physical properties across a range of scales.

A variety of physical properties measurements are undertaken on the core material recovered during IODP projects including, density, velocity, resistivity, magnetic susceptibility, natural gamma radiation, porosity and colour reflectance datasets. These high-resolution, non-destructive measurements are valuable in characterising lithological units and formation properties. They can also be used to facilitate hole-to-hole correlation and in the construction of synthetic seismograms.


ECORD Logging Summer School workshopThis 1st ECORD Summer School in Petrophysics focused on the application of downhole logging and core physical properties data to scientific questions, with case studies from each of the IODP Science Plan themes. The workshop consisted of lectures, discussion groups, and practical exercises on the different elements and data types used in petrophysical analysis. In addition, basic training in industry-standard software packages, including Schlumberger’s Techlog, formed a core part of the summer school. Sessions within the summer school fell into one of three categories:

  • those which explain and describe the principles behind petrophysical measurements;
  • those which demonstrate the methods by which petrophysical measurements are acquired;
  • and those which reveal the ways in which petrophysical data can be used in the pursuit of scientific objectives through integration and interpretation.

Looking at tools used in downhole logging  An off-site excursion centred on downhole logging activities, including the development, testing, calibration and deployment of downhole logging tools was included. In addition, practical exercises including demonstrations of physical properties data acquisition, by way of multi-sensor core loggers. Integration of these core physical properties data and use of them to calibrate the in situ measurements will form a key component of the workshop.

Learning outcomes

The central goal of this Summer School was to equip participants with a working knowledge of downhole logging and core physical properties data acquisition and application, for participation in IODP expeditions and also for use more widely, including within industry. By the end of the workshop participants:

  • Example MagSus dataaqcuired a working knowledge of petrophysics, including a basic understanding backed by a consistent vocabulary that enable good communication between discipline specialists;
  • understand the principles and limitations of the different measurements, and how data are acquired;
  • are aware of the ways in which petrophysical data can be useful in addressing the scientific objectives of a wide variety of projects;
  • honed an understanding of the ways in which industry utilise petrophysical data;
  • understand how a multi-sensor core logger can provide continuous core data;
  • understand how continuous downhole logging data is acquired;
  • are able to use an industry-standard software package, and undertake basic tasks such as data loading and data analysis;
  • are familiar with the concept of core-log integration;
  • understand how to design a logging plan for an expedition.


Location and organisation

The Petrophysics Summer School was hosted in the Department of Geology at the University of Leicester, UK. The European Petrophysics Consortium and its collaborators offered this unique training opportunity for a summer school through the provision of technical and scientific expertise in the fields of downhole logging and core petrophysics.

A list of tutors/speakers follows:


The European Petrophysics Consortium comprising

  • Leicester University (UK)
  • CNRS Montpellier (France)
  • RWTH Aachen (Germany)


  • Sarah Davies, Jenny Inwood, Erwan Le Ber, Laurence Phillpot, Sally Morgan
  • Johanna Lofi
  • Annick Fehr
Aberdeen University (UK)
Sophie Harland
BP (UK) Sam Matthews
Geotek Ltd. (UK) Briony Shreeve
Imperial College London (UK) Peter Fitch
JAMSTEC (Japan) Yoshi Sanada
JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (USA) Trevor Williams
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (USA) Gilles Guerin, Angela Slagle
Schlumberger (UK) Rudi Mathers
Total E&P (UK) Louise Anderson
Weatherford (UK) Terry Mayor


ECORD have awarded 3 Scholarships to Petrophysics Summer School participants.

USSSP have awarded 10 US-based scientists travel awards to support their attendance at the Petrophysics Summer School.

Students at the ECORD Logging workshopContact

European Petrophysics Consortium
Department of Geology
University of Leicester
Leicester, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom
t: +44 116 252 3327
f: +44 116 252 3918



European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling logo

Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society logo

UK International Ocean Discovery Program logo

Marine Studies Group Logo London Petrophysical Society logo




In-kind contributions

Schlumberger logoWeatherford logo



British Geological Survey logo European Petrophysics Consortium logo



US Science Support Program

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