School of Earth and Environment

Simon Oldfield

Teaching Fellow

Email address:
Room: 9.145

Affiliation: Institute of Applied Geoscience


Working in the Basin Structure Group of the Institute of Applied Geoscience at Leeds, my principal research interest is geological controls on fluid movement in the subsurface. Having previous worked in mining and hydrocarbons, these fields often features in my research.

Graduating from an undergraduate Masters in Geology in 2007 I joined Capita Symonds, supporting geoscience work for the Department of Communities and Local Government (then the ODPM). We reveiwed mineral planning policy in the UK (MPS1), specifically with respect the the aggregates industry. After several months I moved to East Africa to work in gold exploration.

In 2010, I commenced an MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics at the University of Leeds. I was recruited onto the BG Group Graduate Development programme in 2010, completing my MSc thesis with them on stress analysis and elastic dislocation modelling in the Santos Basin. Joining them in 2011, I undertook the two-year graduate develoment programme working in Exploration in the South China Sea, the Integrated Reservoir Modelling Team, US Lower 48 Unconventionals Resources Exploration and as a wellsite and operations geologist with the Knarr Development, Norwegian North Sea.

Outside of work, I enjoy running and multi-day long-distance cycling trips, my latest was Oslo to Leeds via Hamburg and Rotterdam.

LinkedIn, Github, OrcID


  • MGeol Geology
  • MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics


  • GSL (Fellow)
  • AAPG (Member & Former Chapter President)
  • EAGE (Member)
  • PESGB (Member)
  • SEG (Member)

Research Interests

  • Structural geology and geomechanics
  • Controls on fluid flow in the subsurface
  • Seismic forward modelling of complex geometries
  • Fracture analysis and prediction
  • Hydrocarbon exploration, appraisal and production
  • Petroleum geology

Teaching Interests

Produced and delivered lectures to students the MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics and MSc Exploration Geophysics courses, as part of the Geomechanics and Fault modelling module, coordinated by Geoffrey Lloyd, titled:

  • Drilling and geomechanics
  • Geomechanics in unconventional resources

And, the sequence stratigraphy and hydrocarbon implications module, coordinated by Richard Collier and Estelle Mortimer, titled:

  • Introduction to reservoir modelling
  • Introduction to unconventional resources

Demonstrate on various modules, including;

  • Introductory Geology for BSc Petroleum Engineering
  • Reservoir Engineering for BSc Petroleum Engineering
  • Deformation mechanics and processes for various BSc Geoscience programmes (Geology, Geophysics etc.)
  • Applied Structural Models for MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics
  • Geodynamics for MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics
  • Geomechanics for MSc Structural Geology with Geophysics
  • Sequence Stratigraphy and Hydrocarbon Implications for MSc Exploration Geophysics

Support duties

  • UoL Chapter - AAPG Seminar Series Chair: 2015-2017
  • BSG Seminar Series Chair: 2014-2015, in collaboration with Estelle Mortimer
  • Abstract reviewer for AAPG ACE - 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Technical Judge for AAPG ACE - 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Session chair for AAPG ACE 2017 - Crustal Architecture & Rifting (Poster Session)
  • Session chair for AAPG ACE 2015 - Geomechanics of Unconventionals (Poster Session)
  • Session chair for AAPG ACE 2015 - Structure and Tectonics of Unconventionals (Oral Session)

Project details

Project title

Addressing structural uncertainty through structural and seismic forward modelling.


University of Leeds supervisory team: Prof. Douglas Paton, Dr. Emma Bramham and Dr. Taija Torvela.

Additional collaboration has been arranged with Dr. Isabelle Lecomte, University of Bergen and Dr. Emma Finch, University of Manchester.


This project was funded through collaboration with Ecopetrol AS.

Further funding was secured by Simon from:

  • Tectonic Studies Group - Student Conference/Fieldwork Bursary
  • World Universities Network - Researcher Mobility Fund
  • PDS UK - Consulting on Uncertainty in Strcutural Interpretation


  • Dalton TJS; Paton DA; Oldfield SJ; Needham DT; Wood AM (2017) The importance of missing strain in Deep Water Fold and Thrust Belts, Marine and Petroleum Geology, 82, pp.163-177. doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2017.01.013
  • Oldfield SJ; Paton DA; Bramham EK () Elucidating structural uncertainty using seismic forward modelling., .
  • Oldfield SJ; Finch E; Paton DA; Bramham EK; Torvela T; Mora A () Structural inheritance of fault displacement profiles from continental rifting to thrust fault propagation - from observations to mechanics., .
  • Oldfield SJ; Paton DA; Bramham EK; Torvela T () Fault Length, Connectivity and Reservoir Compartmentalisation - Testing Workflows with Seismic Forward Modelling., .
  • Oldfield SJ; Paton DA; Constantino D; Bramham EK; Torvela T; Mora A () Using seismic forward modelling to risk sub-thrust plays., .
  • Oldfield SJ; Paton DA; Mora A; Alzate JC () Reducing uncertainty in the geological interpretation of complex structural geometries through seismic forward modelling: application to frontal ranges of the Llanos Basin, Colombia., .