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John Warren

Hello

I'm the evaporite expert in the SaltWork Consultancy Adelaide. In terms of a home address, I split my time between the coastal region of Adelaide and downtown Bangkok. I have spent more than 30 years consulting to petroleum and minerals industries, as well as training some of the people who now work in these industries. I hold a doctorate from Flinders University of South Australia and am also a graduate of the University of Adelaide,

SaltWork Consultants 

Senior executive: 2012 - present

I am a senior executive in the SaltWork Consultancy, where my focus is on training and mentoring across various but inter-related technical aspects of saline geosystems. I also work as an on-site consultant, dealing directly with various problems in evaporites, saline geosystems, reservoir and mine geology.

Home base for SaltWork is Kingston Park, where the sunsets can be spectacular.

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Chulalongkorn University

Professor, Petroleum Geoscience
2008-present

Most of my time at Chula is spent in postgraduate teaching or research in rock-based analysis of well-logs and seismic, in rock property geology, and in applied aspects of modern and ancient carbonate and evaporite geosystems.

The rest of my time in Thailand is spent enjoying the traffic of Bangkok.

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Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Professor, Shell Chair
2006-2008

A very enjoyable two years helping design a Petroleum Geology program for the university. In my spare time I enjoyed experiencing the geology and rich culture of Oman.

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Earlier in my career

1980-2005

Before 2006, I was a contract Professor at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. In the mid 1990s in a former life as a full-time bureaucrat, I was Professor of Petroleum Geology and Director of the Key Centre for Resource Exploration in the School of Applied Geology at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. In the 1980s and early 90s, I was a faculty member of the University of Texas at Austin and the National Centre of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics in Adelaide.

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Downtown Perth, Australia

Technical expertise

Both saline hydrocarbon and metal systems are characterised by interwoven associations of fluid crossflows, salt alteration and carbonate porosity evolution. These subsurface overprints are generally less intense in siliciclastic sediments, but productive geometries in a sandstone reservoir can be complicated, especially if tied to the coming and going of saline cements. Much reservoir or ore quality in these systems is not a response to depositional geometries but to the timing of multistage diagenetic overprints. 

Skills

Rock properties

95%

Both saline hydrocarbon and metal systems are characterised by interwoven associations of fluid crossflows, salt alteration and carbonate porosity evolution. These subsurface overprints are generally less intense in siliciclastic sediments, but productive geometries in a sandstone reservoir can be complicated, especially if tied to the coming and going of saline cements.

Much reservoir or ore quality in these systems is not a response to depositional geometries, but to timing of multistage diagenetic overprints. Understanding of this complexity requires more than a basic knowledge of depositional setting, sequence stratigraphy, or primary geometries.

Wireline

91%

In a sealing salt unit, we are dealing mostly with intervals that are mono- or bimineralic and so interpreting wireline response in evaporite seals is relatively straightforward. A porosity effect is rare in the log signatures of salt masses. Interpreting the impact of the evolving porosities in the associated carbonate reservoir is much less so. Total gamma values are often poor differentiators of rock type in saline geosystems.

Reliably interpreting a density, neutron or sonic log for porosity (storage) prediction or understanding the volumetrics of fluid distribution responses in electric logs and reliably applying Archies Law requires an understanding of the interwoven associations of fluid crossflows, salt alteration and carbonate porosity evolution.

Seismic

90%

The unique drawdown nature of thick evaporite deposition requires a hydrology where there is no surface connection to the ocean. This modifies many of the underlying assumptions of seismic stratigraphic interpretation.

Once deposited in a plate-tectonically defined position in earth-space, many giant salt masses flow, and as they flow construct a predictable series of evolving stratigraphic and structural traps. In many cases, this requires seismic interpretation of diagenetic overprints on depositional geometries.

Understanding aquifer evolution across time while the sediment is in the subsurface, as well as its structural evolution, are necessary skills.

Fear of large cats

20%

Notice in the photo that I am not sitting at the business end of this beautiful two year-old male tiger.

Trainer

Evaporite systems

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All the course modules are designed to give the participants an understanding of how various subsurface salts, carbonates and brines are useful predictive tools that, when correctly applied, give a better focus to exploration and development efforts.

Carbonate Reservoir Systems

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The course focuses on reservoir quality and its subsurface prediction. To understand the unique nature of wireline indicators in various carbonates the participant must first gain a rock-based understanding of depositional and diagenetic evolution, within a tectonic and climatic framework.


Some of the fine folks I’ve met along the way