This third edition of Elements of Petroleum Geology is completely updated and revised to reflect the vast changes in the years since publication of the First Edition. This book is a useful primer for geophysicists, geologists, and petroleum engineers in the oil industry who wish to expand their knowledge beyond their specialized area. It is also an excellent introductory text for a university course in petroleum geoscience.

Elements of Petroleum Geology begins with an account of the physical and chemical properties of petroleum, reviewing methods of petroleum exploration and production. These methods include drilling, geophysical exploration techniques, wireline logging, and subsurface geological mapping. After describing the temperatures and pressures of the subsurface environment and the hydrodynamics of connate fluids, Selley examines the generation and migration of petroleum, reservoir rocks and trapping mechanisms, and the habit of petroleum in sedimentary basins. The book contains an account of the composition and formation of tar sands and oil shales, and concludes with a brief review of prospect risk analysis, reserve estimation, and other economic topics.

Key Features

  • Updates the first edition completely
  • Reviews the concepts and methodology of petroleum exploration and production
  • Written by a preeminent petroleum geologist and sedimentologist with 30 years of petroleum exploration in remote corners of the world
  • Contains information pertinent to geophysicists, geologists, and petroleum reservoir engineers


Undergraduate and graduate students in geology, geophysics, and basin analysis; petroleum geologists in industry.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Historical Review of Petroleum Exploration. Petroleum from Noah to OPEC. Evolution of Petroleum Exploration Concepts and Techniques. The Context of Petroleum Geology. Relationship of Petroleum Geology to Science. Relationship of Petroleum Geology to Petroleum Exploration and Production. The Physical and Chemical Properties of Petroleum: Natural Gases. Hydrocarbon Gases. Nonhydrocarbon Gases. Gas Hydrates. Composition and Occurrence. Identification andEconomic Significance. Crude Oil. Chemistry. Classification. Methods of Exploration: Well Drilling and Completion. Cable Tool Drilling. Rotary Drilling. Various Types of Drilling Unit. Various Types of Production Unit. Formation Evaluation. ElectricLogs. Quantitative Calculation of Hydrocarbon Saturation. Radioactivity Logs. The Sonic, or Acoustic, Log. Porosity Logs in Combination. Dipmeter Log and Borehole Imaging. Uses of Logs in Petrophysical Analysis Summary. Applications of Logs in Facies Analysis. Geophysical Methods of Exploration. Magnetic Surveying. Gravity Surveying. Magnetic and Gravity Surveys Summary. Seismic Surveying. Borehole Geophysics and 4D Seismic. The vertical Seismic Profile (VSP). 4D Seismic. Subsurface Geology. Geological Cross-Sections. Subsurface Geological Maps. Remote Sensing. Visual Remote Sensing. Radar. Multispectral Scanning. Conclusions. The Subsurface Environment: Subsurface Waters. Analysis. Genesis. Chemistry of Subsurface Waters. Subsurface Temperatures.Basic Principles. Local Thermal Variations. Regional Thermal Variations. Subsurface Pressures. Measurement. Basic Principles. Supernormal Pressures. Subnormal Pressures. Subsurface Fluid Dynamics. Pressure-Temperature Relationships. Secondary Migration of Petroleum. Fluid Dynamics of Young and Senile Basins Summary. Generation and Migration of Petroleum: Origin of Petroleum: Organic of Inorganic. Hydrocarbons from the Mantle. Genesis of


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© 1998
Academic Press
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About the author

Richard Selley

Richard Selley é pesquisador sênior associado e professor emérito de Geologia do Petróleo na Imperial College, Londres.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Royal School of Mines, Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London, UK


@qu:"...this book is extremely well written and easy to read...I would highly recommend this book as an excellent introduction to the field in university courses, to those new in petroleum industry, to nongeoscientists working with geologists, and those interested in a review of petroleum geology. I recommend Selley's text for its easy and clear text and 332 illustrations, especially for college students and those interested in concise review. This text will carry forward aspects of petroleum geology into the XXI century." @source:--Marcio R. Mello, Center of Excellence of Geochemistry @qu:"This comprehensive, stimulating book conveys information with intelligence, clear illustrations, and marvelous wit. The author writes with clarity and authority and with a grasp of the subject matter that is lightly presented." @source:--Fouad Michael, Western Geophysical, Houston, Texas, THE LEADING EDGE @qu:" authoritative piece of work written by an author with over 30 years experience. If you require an overview of petroleum geoscience, I recommend you buy the Elements of Petroleum Geology." @source:--Giancario Rizzi, Core Carbonates, PESGB REVIEW @qu:"Works well as a college-level introductory text and as a reference for informed nongeologists, such as geophysicists or petroleum engineers." @source:--AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PETROLEUM GEOLOGISTS @qu:"An excellent [and] very readable text for final year undergraduates." @source:--NATURE @qu:"An excellent book, ideal for the inexperienced, and a good review for those who have been around for a while." @source:--SOCIETY OF EXPLORATION GEOPHYSICISTS @qu:"An introductory text for university courses in petroleum goescience, also useful as a reference for professional petroleum geoscientists and engineers. Emphasis is on petroleum geology, with addition