An Introduction to Industrial Biostratigraphy

as part of the PESGB Series of Technical Excellence Workshops

9th May 2019

Course details

An Introduction to Industrial Biostratigraphy

With Dr Matt Wakefield (Lealt Stratigraphic Consultants Limited)

This course is designed to raise awareness of applied biostratigraphy, its applications, limitations and value that its appropriate application brings, in both exploration studies and drilling as well as in reservoir exploitation. The course will demonstrate key disciplines, methodologies and technologies used by biostratigraphers and will illustrate them with case histories and hands-on exercises.

The purpose of this course is not to train participants to be biostratigraphers! You don’t need to know the entire course contents you just need to know someone who does, how to get them to undertake the correct study and how to use those results!

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn about which palaeontological disciplines are employed by industrial biostratigraphers and in what circumstances they are used. They will understand how biostratigraphical studies are devised, what questions should be asked of biostratigraphers and how to read their reports.

Who Should Attend

The course is designed for geoscience staff involved in exploration (new ventures studies through the drilling of prospects) and in both field appraisal and development.

Course Content

  1. Introduction and the principle microfossil groups used in industrial biostratigraphy
  2. Biostratigraphical fundamentals;
    • Study design
    • Biozones, bioevents, range offset and error bars
    • How to read and interpret a biostratigraphy report
  3. Biostratigraphy in exploration studies
  4. Bio-Sequence Stratigraphy
  5. Reservoir exploitation and biostratigraphy
  6. Well-site biostratigraphy;
    • What is it and how is it achieved?
    • “Green” non-acid well-site palynology
    • Routine Well-Site Operations
    • Biosteering

Please note, lunch will not be provided – there are many cafes/restaurants/shops within walking distance, and people are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

Dr Matt Wakefield

Matt undertook a BP/NERC funded Ph.D. at the University of Leicester (1988-92; Ostracoda, Great Estuarine Group, Scotland) and subsequently joined British Gas Technology. There he retrained as an exploration geochemist and undertook 1D & 2D basin modelling studies. In 1995, with Phillip Highton, he helped start a biostratigraphy group within that company. Subsequently, in both British Gas and BG Group, he worked as an applied biostratigrapher across exploration, appraisal and field development studies globally and across the stratigraphical column. He was also involved in several industry funded research projects in the UK, USA, Norway & Brazil, on which he published. After leaving BG Group, following the takeover by Royal Dutch Shell, Matt set up Lealt Stratigraphic Consultants. Matt is a member of the Stratigraphy Commission of the Geological Society, London, is Chair of the Education Fund of the Micropalaeontological Society and lecturers on the Applied Micropalaeontology M.Sc. course at the University of Birmingham.


For anybody who isn’t a member of the PESGB but wishes to attend this workshop or any others in this series, please get in touch with our Membership Manager Laiqah Shah to discuss membership. We are able to register non-members whilst the member application is going through.

With a fee from as little as £55 p/a, visit our member benefits page to see why becoming a member could be right for you –


Venue Information

Venue information

Venue name:

PESGB Offices

Venue address:

3rd Floor, Welby House, 96 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1DW, United Kingdom
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