top of page


noun | re·search | ri-ˈsərch,ˈrē-ˌsərch |

"a detailed study of a subject, especially in order to establish facts, discover (new) information, reach a (new) understanding and (new) conclusions"

we deeply believe that a correct integration of surface and subsurface datasets gives value to E&P projects

Our research is aimed at finding surface analogues to integrate subsurface data with the knowledge deriving from the direct contact with rocks

Surface-analogue studies provide an efficient and cost-effective way of obtaining genuine geological data that can maximise our understanding on heterogeneities in carbonate systems, reducing uncertainties associated with a play and with the presence and effectiveness of source rock, reservoir, seal.

Our surface-analogue studies are designed to integrate numerical, analytical and descriptive data into effective databases for benchmarking purposes or for use in reservoir modelling workflows during exploration, appraisal and development stages.

SGR staff has published more than 100 papers on carbonate systems of the Mediterranean area. 

Our research starts from the selection of surface case studies that meet the following requirements:

  • represent potential analogues to hydrocarbon reservoirs hosted in carbonate rocks;

  • present seismic-scale exposures;

  • allow the construction of GDE maps and the geometric reconstruction of geobodies;

  • combine traditional and advanced fieldwork techniques to promote the transformation of data into numerical parameters;

  • acquire a large number of data in order to allow data-processing in quantitative models;

  • have extensive data coverage to prevent the reservoir-scale prediction of facies distribution from being biased by poorly constrained interpretation of lateral facies changes;

  • provide a basis for the application of innovative investigation techniques, such as digital outcrop modelling, spectral analysis and synthetic seismic modelling.

Surface analogues are combined and compared with:

  • subsurface datasets when available, allowing a better definition of uncertainties associated with geological parameters, such as tectonic setting, trap configuration, depositional system and environment of reservoir rocks and reservoir properties;

  • existing oil & gas fields, providing a valuable comparison between an investment opportunity and the results achieved from analogous exploration plays.

SGR provides a comprehensive, valuable insight on geoscience data and knowledge, via:

  • access to several field-based databases, storing original hard and soft data derived from more than 20 years of fieldwork studies, detailed analytical and interpretation programs on Meso-Cenozoic carbonates of the Central and Eastern Mediterranean;

  • experience in researching and characterizing new surface analogues, or revitalize poorly defined ones, in order to optimize resources for a proper evaluation of opportunities.


Heterogeneities in Cretaceous rudist-bearing margin facies  

Cretaceous, rudist-bearing margin facies represent important reservoirs in the Middle East, Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean. A common issue of this type of reservoirs is the prediction of facies distribution. Outcrops provide valid case studies to face this issue when not biased by poorly constrained interpretation of lateral facies changes. A reservoir-scale quantitative study on the distribution of mid-Cretaceous rudist-bearing facies is carried out on the Parnassos Mt. in the external Hellenides (Greece), providing an effective quantitative database and allowing both regional correlations and the improvement of reservoir modelling accuracy on Cretaceous rudist-bearing margin facies. This outcrop-based study includes a database, a gis project and a facies atlas.

Characterization and 3D spatial distribution of porous dolomite bodies

Dolomitized carbonates represent underexplored hydrocarbon plays in the Mediterranean area; in the slope facies of the Adriatic offshore, the porous dolomitized layers, draping paleohighs, form a structural-stratigraphic trap, which resulted in a successful play concept. The study investigates the characteristics and the spatial distribution of porous dolomite bodies in the Gargano Promontory (Southern Italy), through a detailed fieldwork and spectral analysis from satellite images. The approach and results used in this study provide insights on issues associated to dolomitized geobodies during both exploration and production activities. The study includes a report, a gis project, a 3D databes, spectral analysis of satellite images and a facies atlas.

Architecture and sediment dispersal of a slope sand apron

Carbonate slope aprons are genetically related to the development of accretionary platform margins. Their associated gravity flow deposits represent proven and potential oil and gas bearing volumes in the Mediterranean. This study investigates the internal architecture of an Upper Jurassic slope apron in the Central Apennines (Italy), in order to explore, with a quantitative approach, the pattern of basinward dispersal of gravity flows deposits associated with accretionary platform margins. The study includes a report with sedimentological, quantitative compositional facies analysis, lithostratigraphic logs, sequence stratigraphy interpretation and a facies atlas.

3D reconstruction of a base-of-slope system

Breccias and megabreccias typify toe of slope settings, and represent significant reservoirs in the geologic record around the world. The geometry, volume and distribution of breccia bodies, associated with the erosion of a carbonate platform margin, are defined on a 3D  reconstruction, to improve the prediction of the stratigraphic occurrence and spatial distribution of resedimented deposits in a base-of-slope system. The study is carried out in the Maiella Mt. in the Central Apennines (Italy) and includes a report, a geological map and a 3D database. 

bottom of page