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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Alternative Resources, Coal, Gas Hydrates, Geothermal, Renewable Energy, Bioenergy, Hydroelectric Energy, Hydrogen Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Energy, Uranium (Nuclear), Business and Economics, Economics, Reserve Estimation, Resource Estimates, Risk Analysis, Development and Operations, Engineering, Conventional Drilling, Coring, Directional Drilling, Infill Drilling, Drive Mechanisms, Production, Depletion Drive, Water Drive, Hydraulic Fracturing, Primary Recovery, Secondary Recovery, Gas Injection, Water Flooding, Tertiary Recovery, Chemical Flooding Processes, Microbial Recovery, Miscible Recovery, Thermal Recovery Processes, Reservoir Characterization, Environmental, Ground Water, Hydrology, Monitoring, Natural Resources, Pollution, Reclamation, Remediation, Remote Sensing, Water Resources, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Basin Modeling, Maturation, Migration, Oil and Gas Analysis, Oil Seeps, Petroleum Systems, Source Rock, Thermal History, Geophysics, Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators, Gravity, Magnetic, Seismic, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Carbonates, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, (Carbonate) Shelf Sand Deposits, Carbonate Platforms, Carbonate Reefs, Dolostones, Clastics, Conventional Sandstones, Deep Sea / Deepwater, Deepwater Turbidites, Eolian Sandstones, Estuarine Deposits, Fluvial Deltaic Systems, High Stand Deposits, Incised Valley Deposits, Lacustrine Deposits, Low Stand Deposits, Marine, Regressive Deposits, Sheet Sand Deposits, Shelf Sand Deposits, Slope, Transgressive Deposits, Evaporites, Lacustrine Deposits, Salt, Sebkha, Sequence Stratigraphy, Structure, Compressional Systems, Extensional Systems, Fold and Thrust Belts, Geomechanics and Fracture Analysis, Salt Tectonics, Structural Analysis (Other), Tectonics (General), Coalbed Methane, Deep Basin Gas, Diagenetic Traps, Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs, Oil Sands, Oil Shale, Shale Gas, Stratigraphic Traps, Structural Traps, Subsalt Traps, Tight Gas Sands
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This study documents that Danian-aged sand remobilization of deep-water slope-channel complexes and intrusion of fluidized sand into hydraulically fractured slope mudstones of the Great Valley sequence, California, generated 400-m (1312 ft)–thick reservoir units: unit 1, parent unit channel complexes for shallower sandstone intrusions; unit 2, a moderate net-to-gross interval (0.19 sand) of sills with staggered, stepped, and multilayer geometries with well-developed lateral sandstone-body connectivity; unit 3, a low net-to-gross interval (0.08 sand) of exclusively high-angle dikes with good vertical connectivity; and unit 4, an interval of extrusive sandstone. Unit 2 was formed during a phase of fluidization that emplaced on an average 0.19 km3 (0.046 mi3) of sand per cubic kilometer of host sediment. Probe permeametry data reveal a positive relationship between sill thickness and permeability. Reservoir quality is reduced by the presence of fragments of host strata, such as the incorporation of large rafts of mudstone, which are formed by in-situ hydraulic fracturing during sand injection. Mudstone clasts and clay- and silt-size particles generated by intrusion-induced abrasion of the host strata reduce sandstone permeability in multilayer sills (70 md) when compared to that in staggered and stepped sills (586 and 1225 md, respectively). Post-injection cementation greatly reduces permeability in high-angle dikes (81 md). This architecturally based reservoir zonation and trends in reservoir characteristics in dikes and sills form a basis for quantitative reservoir modeling and can be used to support conceptual interpretations that infer injectite architecture in situations where sands in low net-to-gross intervals are anticipated to have well-developed lateral and vertical connectivity.
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Sandstone pressures follow the hydrostatic gradient in Miocene strata of the Mad Dog field, deep-water Gulf of Mexico, whereas pore pressures in the adjacent mudstones track a trend from well to well that can be approximated by the total vertical stress gradient. The sandstone pressures within these strata are everywhere less than the bounding mudstone pore pressures, and the difference between them is proportional to the total vertical stress. The mudstone pressure is predicted from its porosity with an exponential porosity-versus-vertical effective stress relationship, where porosity is interpreted from wireline velocity. Sonic velocities in mudstones bounding the regional sandstones fall within a narrow range throughout the field from which we interpret their vertical effective stresses can be approximated as constant. We show how to predict sandstone and mudstone pore pressure in any offset well at Mad Dog given knowledge of the local total vertical stress. At Mad Dog, the approach is complicated by the extraordinary lateral changes in total vertical stress that are caused by changing bathymetry and the presence or absence of salt. A similar approach can be used in other subsalt fields. We suggest that pore pressures within mudstones can be systematically different from those of the nearby sandstones, and that this difference can be predicted. Well programs must ensure that the borehole pressure is not too low, which results in borehole closure in the mudstone intervals, and not too high, which can result in lost circulation to the reservoir intervals.

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