Broad range of topics covered

DEG Gives Value Beyond Meetings

AAPG’s Division of Environmental Geosciences had its largest set of offerings in several years at this year’s AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio.

Oral and poster sessions sponsored or co-sponsored by DEG covered hot topics that included CO2 sequestration, environmental site characterization and remediation, climate change impact on petroleum facilities, as well as an interactive forum on global climate change.

DEG’s luncheon speaker, Eric J. Barron, former dean of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences, demonstrated at the large gathering how the geoscience community and the extensive geologic record of climate change are important elements in this changing debate on global warming. (Editor’s note: The Global Climate Change session presentations are available in video via Search and Discovery, AAPG’s electronic journal.)

Short courses and field trips covered CO2 sequestration, near-surface geophysics, site characterization/ground water modeling, geohydrology and field trip safety. These well-attended events testify to the strength of and level of interest in the environmental science element within AAPG.

Planning for the 2009 convention in Denver is well under way and will continue the trend of offering AAPG members the most up-to-date applied environmental science presentations, forums, short courses and field trips.

So what does DEG do for you, as an AAPG member, the rest of the year?

First, if you are not yet a member of the division you probably are missing the DEG journal published by AAPG, Environmental Geosciences.

Coming in September to member mailboxes is Vol. 15, no. 3 of this quarterly gem – Special Issue 2 on the topic of “Constructed Wetland Treatment Systems (CWTS): Renovation of Impaired Waters for Beneficial Use.”

Both this and the previously published Special Issue 1 (Vol. 15, no. 1) present the state-of-the art in applied scientific research, design and field testing for CWTSs; case studies are presented that demonstrate the application of specifically designed CWTSs to treating highly impaired waters including storm water, flue-gas desulphurization water from coal-fired power plants and water produced from fossil-energy extraction.

Incidentally, articles contained in these two special issues were presented during the 14th annual Hydrogeology Symposium held at Clemson University, South Carolina in March 2006. Clemson professors James W. Castle, an AAPG member, and John H. Rogers Jr. put together the special issues, and note in the introductions to the issues that:

“Waters from manufacturing, energy production and energy extraction can provide important new supplies if these waters can be treated for re-use. Treatment methods are needed that are technically sound, economically viable and environmentally acceptable (Special Issue 1).

“Constructed wetland treatment systems papers are selected to demonstrate design, construction and use of systems for treating flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) waters from thermoelectric power plants and waters produced from natural gas-storage fields. FGD waters and oil and gas produced waters have tremendous potential to help meet increasing water demand if these waters can be efficiently and effectively treated for re-use (Special Issue 2).”

What else have you been missing as a non-member of DEG, your professional link to environmental practitioners on the petroleum industry?

  • Special volumes on Environmental Issues of Petroleum Exploration and Production (Vol. 12, no. 3) and Characterization of Demonstration Projects of CO2 Geological Sequestration (Vol. 13, no. 2 and 3).
  • Articles on “Forensic Investigations of Refined Product and Crude Oil Releases” (Vol. 12, no. 3).
  • Three articles involving the use of geostatistical techniques in environmental geosciences (Vol. 13, no. 4).
  • International contributions, including “Concentrations of Heavy Metals and Hydrocarbons in Groundwater Near Petrol Stations and Mechanic Workshops in Calabar Metropolis, Southeastern Nigeria” (Vol. 14, no. 1) and “High-Resolution Records of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Sediments of Lake Liangzi in Central China During the Last 100 Years” (Vol. 14, no. 3), as well as many others from petroleum environmental geoscientists from Mexico, India, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Moldova.

Petroleum geoscientists have the opportunity through DEG membership to become or stay current on the hot environmental science topics affecting our industry (as well as a broader range of environmental topics, including natural hazards and geohydrology).

Environmental Geosciences connects DEG members within an international network of environmental geoscientists addressing, from an applied perspective, real issues facing our industry.

Join the DEG and join the network! 

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Division Column-DEG

Division Column-DEG Rebecca Dodge

Rebecca Dodge, of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, is DEG President for 2008-09.

Division Column DEG

The Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG), a division of AAPG, is concerned with increasing awareness of the environment and the petroleum industry and providing AAPG with a scientific voice in the public arena. Among its objectives are educating members about important environmental issues, supporting and encouraging research on the effects of exploration and production on the environment, and communicating scientific information to concerned governmental agencies.

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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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