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It was a collective sigh of relief heard ‘round the state. Two months ago, Colorado Gov. John W. Hickenlooper managed to pull off what many call the compromise of the season – the political season, that is, in a state that has been dragged into a months-long, messy battle between the oil and gas industry and politicians and activists who oppose drilling on various levels.


Almost like an urban legend, geologists talk of reserves off the Mediterranean coast that contain 850 million barrels of oil and 96 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This forbidden jewel lies untouched due to the political deadlock that exists in Lebanon. Evidence in the form of 2-D and 3-D seismic data has reinforced the rumors, but nothing can be confirmed until licenses are granted to drill in the area.


In the beginning of student expositions – even before the beginning, really – there were two women in an office: a mentor and a student. And one idea.


During my recent 11-country AAPG Distinguished Lecture tour in Europe I had many requests for “The Environmental Realities of Hydraulic Fracturing: Fact versus Fiction,” an analysis of the root causes of the global pushback against hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking.” Central causes of public fear arose in America because of a combination of early mistakes by industry and purposeful disinformation from activists and others seeking to profit from such mistakes.

Emphasis: Geophysical Review


The exploration expeditions in Alaska beginning in the late 1800s trump most other places in the world: The nuances of geology and geophysics required to find oil and gas in America’s last frontier tell the technical side of the journey, but mix in a history of Native Americans and Russians leading explorers to oil seeps, Hollywood investors, sled dog exploration teams, and rigs disassembled and transported by air for the first time – and science inevitably becomes a bit of lore.


When geologist and AAPG member Rocky Reifenstuhl burst onto the scene in Fairbanks in the late 1970s – working for the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS) for 27 years – his passion for extreme sports and adventure naturally spilled over into his profession.


It might be a well-worn saying, but it fits perfectly in today’s industry environment: When the exploration business sneezes, the seismic business gets the flu. Seismic acquisition companies have financial aches and pains this year because of a reduction in capital expenditures for oil and gas exploration work, especially by international oil companies.


Colombian geophysicist Jaime Checa, the current president of AAPG Affiliated Society Asociación Colombiana de Geólogos y Geofísicos del Petróleo (ACGGP), is dedicating his presidency, and much of his free time, to combating misinformation related to seismic acquisition in Colombia.


A geoscience company some have billed as “Silicon Valley meets the oil patch” has undertaken a study over the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. Airborne geophysical datasets newly acquired by NEOS GeoSolutions were combined with existing seismic, well, and public domain datasets to better understand the potential of the Marcellus resource play in a roughly 2,500 square-mile area of investigation.


It wasn’t so long ago that geologists and geophysicists each labored in their own separate universe, so to speak, with little or no direct interaction. In the mid-to-late 1990s, 3-D seismic grew to prominence as a kind of end-all, be-all in the E&P realm, soon creating a synergy between these professions that is considered to be routine today. (PLEASE USE ‘3-D geologic modeling’ FROM ‘FINAL ARTICLES’ FOR THE ONLINE VERSION.)


Coiled tubing (CT) has long been used to meet various needs in the oil and gas industry. In some instances, it is used to actually drill a well.


The newest tool in the geophysical kit may have been born a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Researchers at Canada’s University of British Columbia are using cosmic ray muon measurements to reveal high-density underground deposits.


Location, location, location. In the sales world, it’s the secret to success. You can say the same about exploration – except there have been times in Latin America when finding a location was the secret.

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