Books Continue Legacy of AAPG

While checking on potential quotes for my column I was amazed at how many quotes were made about books. For example, Martin Luther said, “Every great book is an action and every great action is a book.”

Then there is a Chinese proverb that says, “A book is like a garden carried in your pocket.” I am not sure exactly what that means but I like it.

My favorite quote on books was by Lord Byron, who said, “A drop of ink will make a million think!”

That fits exactly with AAPG’s goal to disseminate science.

This year you will have a tremendous opportunity to examine a portion of the treasury of knowledge provided by some of the top geoscientists in the world. The following is a list with a brief description of four key special publications that will soon be available:

  • Advances in the Petroleum Geology of Mexico –Editors: Claudio Bartolini and J.R.R. Ramos (co-published with Repsol YPF and PEMEX).
  • This special publication contains 20 chapters covering onshore and offshore Mexican basins of the circum-Gulf of Mexico. Most of the chapters have a multidisciplinary approach, with special emphasis on hydrocarbon exploration and petroleum geology.
  • It is an incredible new look at the geology and petroleum potential of Mexico.
  • Natural Gas Hydrates – Energy Resource Potential and Associated Geologic Hazards– Editors: Tim Collete and Art Johnson, C. Knapp and R. Boswell (co-published with the U.S. Department of Energy, EMD and AAPG Foundation).
  • This title evolved from the results of an AAPG Hedberg conference. It is a comprehensive treatise containing 39 printed extended abstracts and 39 full papers on CD on the geology of gas hydrates, focusing on resource assessment along with other significant papers on gas hydrate related geologic hazards.
  • Oil Field Production Geology– Mike Shepherd.
  • This special publication is written for students, new professionals in oil companies and for anyone with an interest in reservoir geology.
  • Forty chapters explain the background to production geology in the context of oil field subsurface operations. It also gives practical guidelines as to how a production geologist can analyze the reservoir geology and fluid flow characteristics of an oil field with the aim of improving hydrocarbon recovery.
  • CO2 Sequestration in Geological Media – State of the Science– Editors: Matt Grobe, J.C. Pashin and R.L. Dodge (co-published with EMD, DEG, the Bureau of Economic Geology and the AAPG Foundation).
  • This is a comprehensive geological analysis of carbon sequestration. Its 43 chapters present a compilation of state of the science contributions from the international research community on the topic of carbon dioxide sequestration in geological media, also called geosequestration.

AAPG has a rich history of developing special publications. On the bookshelves in my office is a set of every AAPG special publication. The very first special pub is titled “Geology of Salt Dome Oil Fields,” by E. DeGolyer and “Others.” The second is titled “The Theory of Continental Drift,” by W.A.J.M. van Waterschoot van der Gracht, published in 1928! It is the results of an early AAPG “workshop.” Even in our early history our members were thinking outside the box.

The first publication on salt domes has some classic papers and a great forward by Wallace Pratt, who writes:

“Much of the speculation as to the origin of salt domes especially in America, appears to be unsound, and the error results from an inaccurate of distorted conception of the true form and character of our salt domes. It is hoped that with a more accurate, more detailed picture of American salt domes, such as this volume attempts to present, students of salt-dome origin may clarify and bring into accord their several theories.”

In his forward Pratt describes the goal of AAPG in developing special publications: We want to publish more so we ask all members to consider this opportunity to “clarify and bring into accord your several theories.”

Terri Olson is the chair of the Publications Committee, and they are constantly looking for new proposals for special pubs. You can send inquiries to Beverly Molyneux.

I am even getting into the act. Ten years ago the late Dr. James Lee Wilson, a Sidney Powers medalist, and I conspired to develop a comprehensive special publication on the Cambro-Ordovician carbonates of North America. As a memorial to Jim, his many friends, colleagues and students plan to have “The Great American Bank: The Geology and Petroleum Potential of the Cambro-Ordovician Sauk Sequence of Laurentia” to print this fall.


Sir Francis Bacon said, “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Now is the time to take a new look at AAPG special publications – at least for a taste.

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - Rick Fritz
Richard D. “Rick” Fritz, an AAPG member since 1984 and a member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Division of Professional Affairs, served as AAPG Executive Director from 1999 to 2011.

The Director's Corner covers Association news and industry events from the worldview perspective of the AAPG Executive Director.

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See Also: Bulletin Article

The presence of hydrocarbon-bearing sandstones within the Eocene of the Forties area was first documented in 1985, when a Forties field (Paleocene) development well discovered the Brimmond field. Further hydrocarbons in the Eocene were discovered in the adjacent Maule field in 2009. Reservoir geometry derived from three-dimensional seismic data has provided evidence for both a depositional and a sand injectite origin for the Eocene sandstones. The Brimmond field is located in a deep-water channel complex that extends to the southeast, whereas the Maule field sandstones have the geometry of an injection sheet on the updip margin of the Brimmond channel system with a cone-shape feature emanating from the top of the Forties Sandstone Member (Paleocene). The geometry of the Eocene sandstones in the Maule field indicates that they are intrusive and originated by the fluidization and injection of sand during burial. From seismic and borehole data, it is unclear whether the sand that was injected to form the Maule reservoir was derived from depositional Eocene sandstones or from the underlying Forties Sandstone Member. These two alternatives are tested by comparing the heavy mineral and garnet geochemical characteristics of the injectite sandstones in the Maule field with the depositional sandstones of the Brimmond field and the Forties sandstones of the Forties field.

The study revealed significant differences between the sandstones in the Forties field and those of the Maule and Brimmond fields), both in terms of heavy mineral and garnet geochemical data. The Brimmond-Maule and Forties sandstones therefore have different provenances and are genetically unrelated, indicating that the sandstones in the Maule field did not originate by the fluidization of Forties sandstones. By contrast, the provenance characteristics of the depositional Brimmond sandstones are closely comparable with sandstone intrusions in the Maule field. We conclude that the injectites in the Maule field formed by the fluidization of depositional Brimmond sandstones but do not exclude the important function of water from the huge underlying Forties Sandstone Member aquifer as the agent for developing the fluid supply and elevating pore pressure to fluidize and inject the Eocene sand. The study has demonstrated that heavy mineral provenance studies are an effective method of tracing the origin of injected sandstones, which are increasingly being recognized as an important hydrocarbon play.

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See Also: CD DVD

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The goals of this four-day field workshop are to provide participants with a robust exposure to the range of topics required to understand, characterize and predict the mechanical response of reservoir rocks to deformation from either geologic or reservoir stimulation and management processes.  The workshop interweaves fundamental background material from lecture, first-hand field observations, and interactive group exercises to yield a robust and engaging technical discussion.
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This three-day workshop has the primary goal to share knowledge, case studies, techniques and workflows pertaining to the understanding and prediction of hydrocarbon seals for exploration and production in the Middle East. These seals range in age from Pre-Cambrian to Tertiary.    

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