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Term Definition

A sedimentary rock composed primarily of sand sized grains, usually quartz. A common hydrocarbon reservoir rock.


Standard cubic feet. See MSCF


An impermeable rock unit that prevents hydrocarbons from escaping from the reservoir.


Generally, water borne debris that settles out of suspension.

Sediment rock

A type of rock formed by aggregation of sediments.

Seismic reflection

An event observed on seismic data that corresponds to a given rock layer in the subsurface.

Seismic survey

A tool employing an energy source, such as dynamite, and recording devices used to measure the travel time from a rock layer to the surface. The primary tool used to detect hydrocarbon traps.


A very fine grained rock often thinly layered. An important seal rock.


An indication while drilling that hydrocarbons are present in the well.


A rock whose grain size is intermediate between sand and shale.

Source/source rock

An organic rich rock (typically shale) capable of generating hydrocarbons under certain conditions of temperature and pressure.


Stock tank barrel, the volume of a barrel of oil at the earth's surface as opposed to the corresponding volume in the subsurface.


The study of the vertical and horizontal distribution of stratified rocks, with respect to their age, lateral equivalence, and environment of deposition.

Structural trap

Generally, a hydrocarbon trap formed by dipping rock layers and/or faults.


A geological feature usually higher in elevation than the surrounding rock, formed by local deformation of the rock layers.

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