Petroleum Geology

School  Natural Sciences
Academic Unit
 Geology Department
Level of Studies
Course Code
Εξάμηνο σπουδών  8ο
Course Title
 Petroleum  Geology
Independent Teaching Activities
 Lectures, seminars, laboratory work and field trip exercises
Weekly Teaching Hours
 2 (lect.), 1 (lab.), 3 days field trip
Credits  5
Course Type
 Scientific area and the development of skills
Prerequisite Courses
 Sedimentary Basin Analysis
Language of Instruction & Examinations
 Greek. Teaching may be however performed in English in case foreign students attend the course.
Is the Course offered to Erasmus Students
 If necessary Yes
Course Web-Page (URL)
Learning Outcomes
  • At the end of this course the student will be able to recognize structures through seismic sections, and with the knowledge of the evolution of a sedimentary basin to propose places with hydrocarbon fields development in a basin.
  • In particular, the collection of geological information through underground seismic sections, like the thickness of sediments, existing structures (faults, unconformities, change of grain size and organization of sediments) in conjunction with the geochemistry of sediments will give them the opportunity to recognize/predict the source, reservoir and sealing rocks, migration processes and trapping of potential produced hydrocarbons.
General Competences

Search, analysis and synthesis of data and information, using the necessary technologies

  • Adaptation to new situations.
  • Autonomous decision.
  • Preparing – organizing work either alone or in as teamwork.
  • Production of new research ideas.
  • Design and project management.

In the end in this course the student will have to further develop the following skills:

  1. Ability to use the model of evolution of a basin in the direction of recognition of potential hydrocarbon fields.
  2. Ability to "read" seismic sections.
  3. Ability to recognize potential source rocks.
  4. 4. Ability to recognize possible reservoir and hydrocarbon traps.

The content of the course is divided into three sections:

  1. Theory of Petroleum Geology. Includes all processes for developing hydrocarbon fields, from the development processes of source rocks, reservoirs, sealing rocks, trapping, hydrocarbon migration and examples from around the world for hydrocarbons fields in different tectonic regimes and different times of their development.
  2. Study and interpretation of seismic sections, sequence stratigraphy.
The application of theory to the Mesohellenic piggy-back basin in central Greece for which there are available seismic sections. Reporting and evaluation is also done in other basins that studied in the previous course of sedimentary basin analysis. 
  1. Teaching using power point presentations, workshops with exemplary study and interpretation of seismic sections.
  2. 2. Field-trip exercises in areas of Western Greece and in Mesohellenic piggy-back basin in Central Greece.
Use of Information & Communication Technology
 Students are informed of all new developments in the application of methodologies for sedimentary basin analysis, in the interpretation and evaluation of seismic data, and have the ability to search through electronic sources into equivalent basins around the world aimed to compare the evolutionary models of sedimentation with what they are taught. Through the platform of e-class where it is posted all the presentations of courses is done and communicating with students to resolve on a daily basis problem.  
Teaching Methods
Activity Semester workload
Lectures - seminars  2 Χ 13 = 26
Laboratory Exercise  1 Χ 13 = 13 
Field trip exercises  3 days X 8 hours = 24 
Reference study and analysis 3 X 13 hours = 26
Writing work 36
 Total number of hours for the Course 125 
 Student Performance Evaluation
  1. The students are divided into groups of 2-3 people and undertake the drafting work on the same basin. They present their work to their colleagues with power point, is examining with questions and answers from both the instructor and between groups.
  2. Written examination on general knowledge in petroleum geology
  3. Right to participate in the written exam are those who have authored and presented the work assigned.
  4. Minimum pass grade: 5.
    The language of assessment is in Greek
Attached Bibliography

Mesohellenic Piggy-back basin in Central Greece:

  1. Avramidis, P., Zelilidis, A. 2007: Potential source rocks, organic geochemistry and thermal maturation in the southern depocenter (Kipourio-Grevena) of the Mesohellenic Basin, central Greece. - International Journal of Coal Geology, 71 (4), pp. 554-567.
  2. Zelilidis, A., Piper, D.J.W. & Kontopoulos, N. 2002: Sedimentation and basin evolution of the Oligocene - Miocene Mesohellenic basin, Greece. – American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 86 (1), 161-182.
  3. Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 1996: Significance of fan deltas without toe-sets within rift and piggy-back basins: examples from the Corinth graben and the Mesohellenic trough, Central Greece. - Sedimentology, 43, 253-262.
  4. Doutsos, T., Koukouvelas, I., Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 1994: Intracontinental wedging and post-orogenic collapse in Mesohellenic Trough. - Geol.Rundsch., 83, 257-275.

Pindos Foreland in western Greece:

  1. Zelilidis, A., Maravelis, A.G., Tserolas, P. & Konstantopoulos, P.A. 2015: An overview of the Petroleum systems in the Ionian zone, onshore NW Greece and Albania. Journal of Petroleum Geology, vol. 38 (3), 331-348.
  2. Maravelis, A., Koukounya, A., Tserolas, P., Pasadakis, N. & Zelilidis, A. 2015: Geochemistry of Upper Miocene-Lower Pliocene source rocks in the Hellenic Fold and Thrust Belt, Zakynthos Island, Ionian Sea, western Greece. Marine and Petroleum Geology 66, 217-230.
  3. Maravelis, A., Makrodimitras, G. & Zelilidis, A. 2014: Stratigraphic evolution and source rock potential of a Late Oligocene-Early/Middle Miocene continental slope system, Diapondia Islands, Ionian Sea, NW Greece. Geological Magazine, 151(3):394-413.
  4. Konstantopoulos, P. & Zelilidis, A., 2013: Sedimentation of submarine fan deposits in the Pindos foreland basin, from late Eocene to early Oligocene, west Peloponnesus peninsula, SW Greece. Geological journal, 48(4), 335-362.
  5. Konstantopoulos, P. & Zelilidis, A., 2013: Provenance analysis of Eocene-Oligocene turbidite deposits in Pindos foreland basin, fold and thrust belt of SW Greece: Constraints from framework petrography and bulk-rock geochemistry. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 6(12), 4671-4700.
  6. Konstantopoulos, P., Maravelis, A. & Zelilidis, A., 2013: The implication of transfer faults in foreland basin evolution: Application on Pindos Foreland Basin, West Peloponnesus, Greece. Terra Nova Konstantopoulos, P. & Zelilidis, A. 2012: The geodynamic setting of Pindos foreland basin in SW Greece: Tectonic and sedimentary evolution. Episodes, v.35, no4, 501-512
  7. Avramidis, P., Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 2000: Thrust dissection control of deep-water clastic dispersal patterns in the Klematia-Paramythia foreland basin, Western Greece. -Geol.Mag., 137, 667-685.
  8. Zelilidis, A. 2003: The geometry of fan-deltas and related turbidites in narrow linear basins. Geological Journal, 38, 31-46.
  9. Kokinou, Ε., Kamberis, Ε., Vafidis, Α., Monopolis, D., Ananiadis, G. & Zelilidis, Α. 2005: Deep seismic reflection data from offshore western Greece: a new crustal model for the Ionian Sea. – Journal of Petroleum Geology, 28, 81-98.
  10. Avramidis, P., Zelilidis, A. 2001: The nature of deep-marine sedimentation and palaeocurrent trends as an evidence of Pindos foreland basin fill conditions. Episodes, 24, No4, 252-256.
  11. Avramidis, P., Zelilidis, A., Vakalas, I. & Kontopoulos, N. 2002: “Interaction between tectonic activity and eustatic sea-level changes in the Pindos and Mesohellenic Basins, NW Greece: basin evolution and hydrocarbon potential. -Journal of Petroleum Geology, 25 (1), 53-82.

Patras-Corinth extensional basin:

  1. Vakalas, I., Zelilidis, A., Barkooky, A., Darwish, M. & Tewfik, N. 2015: Comparison between fan deltas in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt, and in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 8:3603-3613.
  2. Zelilidis, A. 2003: The geometry of fan-deltas and related turbidites in narrow linear basins. Geological Journal, 38, 31-46.
  3. Kontopoulos, N. & Zelilidis, A. 1997: Depositional environments of the coarse-grained lower Pleistocene deposits in the Rio-Antirio basin, Greece. - In: Engineering Geology and the Environment (Eds. by Marinos,P.G., Koukis,G.C., Tsiambaos,G.C. and G.C.Stournaras). Proceedings of Intern. Symp.Engin.Geol.Envir., 199-204.
  4. Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 1996: Significance of fan deltas without toe-sets within rift and piggy-back basins: examples from the Corinth graben and the Mesohellenic trough, Central Greece. - Sedimentology, 43, 253-262.
  5. Poulimenos, G., Zelilidis, A., Kontopoulos, N. & Doutsos, T. 1993: Geometry of trapezoidal fan deltas and their relationship to extensional faulting along the south-western active margins of the Corinth rift. -Basin Research, 5, 179-192.
  6. Kontopoulos,N. & Zelilidis,A.1992: Upper Pliocene lacustrine environments in the intramontane Rio graben basin, NW Peloponnesus, Greece.  Jb. Palaont. Mh., 2, 102 114. 
  7. Zelilidis,A., Koukouvelas,I. & Doutsos,T.1988: Neogene paleostress changes behind the forearc fold belt in the Patraikos Gulf areas Western Greece.  Jb. Geol. Palaont. Mh., 5: 311 325

The Complex (foreland and piggy-back) Zakynthos basin - Ionian Foreland Basin:

  1. Zelilidis, A., Papatheodorou, G., Maravelis, A., Christodoulou, D., Tserolas, P., Fakiris, E., Dimas, X., Georgiou, N. & Ferentinos, G., 2016: Interplay of thrust, back-thrust, strike-slip and salt tectonics in a Fold and Thrust Belt system: an example from Zakynthos Island, Greece. Intr.J.Earth Sciences. 105: 2111-2132.
  2. Maravelis, A., Makrodimitras, G. & Zelilidis, A. 2012: Hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Apulian platform and Ionian zone, in relation to strike-slip fault zones, foreland and back-thrust basins of Ionian thrust, in Greece. - Oil and Gas European Magazine, 38, 2, 64-89
  3. Zelilidis, A., Kontopoulos, N., Piper, D.J.W. & Avramidis, P. 1998: Tectonic and sedimentological evolution of the Pliocene-Quaternary basins of Zakynthos island, Greece: Case study of the transition from compressional to extensional tectonics. - Basin Research, 10, 393-408.
  4. Κontopoulos, N., Zelilidis, A., Piper, D.J.W. & Mudie, P.J. 1997: Messinian evaporites in Zakynthos, Greece. -Palaeog., palaeocl., palaeoec, 129, 361-367.

Kalamata Extensional Basin:

  1. Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 1999: Plio-Pleistocene architecture in marginal extensional narrow sub-basins: examples from Southwest Geeece. - Geol.Mag., 136(3), 241-262.
  2. Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 1994: Pliocene-Pleistocene fluvial/wave dominated deltaic sedimentation: the Pamisos delta in SW Peloponnesus, GREECE. -Geol.Mag.,131,653-668.
  3. Zelilidis, A. & Kontopoulos, N. 2001: Post-Miocene sedimentary evolution of south Peloponnesus, Greece. –GAIA, No 16 (1-2), 1-12.

Extensional basins in NW Crete Island (Platanos-Kasteli-Maleme sub-basins) - Mediterranean Ridge:

  1. Zelilidis, A., Tserolas, P., Chamilaki, Ε., Pasadakis, N., Kostopoulou, S. & Maravelis, A.G., 2015. Hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Hellenic trench system: organic geochemistry and source rock potential of upper Miocene-lower Pliocene successions in the eastern Crete Island, Greece. Intr.J.Earth Sciences, 105: 1859-1878.
  2. Maravelis, A., Manutsoglou, E., Konstantopoulos, P., Pantopoulos, G., Makrodimitras, G., Zoumpoulis, E. & Zelilidis, A. 2015: Hydrocarbon plays and prospectivity of the Mediterranean ridge. - Energy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization, and Environmental Effects, 37:347–355.
  3. Maravelis, A., Panagopoulos, G., Piliotis, I., Pasadakis, N., Manutsoglou, E. & Zelilidis, A., 2016: Pre-Messinian (sub-Salt) Source-rock potential on Back-stop Basins of the Hellenic Trench system (Messara Basin, Central Crete, Greece). Oil and Gas Science and Technology-Rev.IFP Energies nouvelles 71, 6. (DOI: 10.2516/ogst/2013130).
  4. Kontopoulos, N. & Zelilidis, A. 1997: Depositional processes in outer arc marginal sub-basins during the Messinian. Examples from the western Crete Island, Greece. -Geologica Balcanica, 27, 1-2, 91-100.
  5. Kontopoulos, N., Zelilidis,A. & Frydas,D. 1996: Late Neogene sedimentary and tectonostratigraphic evolution of southwestern Crete island, Greece. - N. Jb. Geol.Palaont. Abh., 202, 287-311.