My Agenda: Doing What We Do Better

During my candidacy and year as president-elect I often was asked about my agenda for AAPG.

My response: It is to help ensure that AAPG provides as much or more benefit to our members throughout their careers as it has for me.

I did not stand for office with any specific agenda relating to membership, governance, products or services. My year as president-elect has been very insightful, however, and provided me with a better understanding of the many challenges facing AAPG as it approaches its centennial.

What are some of these challenges?

Well, simply making sure AAPG is technologically up-to-date in how we manage and communicate our science is a major challenge.

The methods by which organizations and people are connecting and communicating are rapidly changing in response to evolving information technologies. The rate at which data and information are generated also has accelerated, and consideration must be given to making sure we deliver accurate and valuable information in a timely manner.

There also is a lot more competition - from both for-profit organizations as well as non-profit sister societies - in terms of recruiting members, developing products and communicating science.

Doing what we always have done and doing it the way we have done it may have worked great for the first 100 years, but if AAPG doesn't adapt and change to do things in line with today's highly technological and highly competitive world, we may not be around to see another 100 years.

So many things in regard to the way we do business have changed since I went to work in the 1970s. In the '70s petroleum professionals did not work in teams; rather, geologists were organizationally and physically separate from geophysicists - and both were separate from engineers.

Everything was on paper; seismic interpretation, well-log correlation, well data information (How many of you recall "scout tickets?"). Then along came the personal computer and workstations, the "integrated team" concept, widespread satellite communication, the Internet, cell phones and, more recently, smart phones.

Everything now is "real time." Employees are on call 24/7. Everything in our lives, our industry and our society is accelerating exponentially.

AAPG must be able to nimbly and efficiently anticipate as well as respond to this changing landscape, so that we are poised to take advantage of new opportunities that arise and discard outdated strategies, technologies, products and services.

One of the initiatives developed by my predecessor, President Lee Krystinik, to help AAPG thrive is the "Three-Year Business Plan," the purpose of which is to ensure that the activities of all aspects of AAPG - including Divisions, committees, Regions, Sections, subsidiaries and headquarters - are focused on streamlining and focusing AAPG's efforts to achieve its strategic and tactical objectives.

The implementation of this three-year business plan will ensure more continuity of planning and business operations from one EC to the next, as well as provide better financial stability for AAPG.

The Advisory Council (AC), our strategic planning body, also put forth a number of proposals last year aimed at discussing and evaluating options to help AAPG morph into an organization that is able and ready to take on the various scientific, technological and business opportunities the future holds.

These proposals include evaluating:

  • AAPG's organizational structure and governance.
  • The terms of office for AAPG officers and the whole election process.
  • How to best develop and incorporate TIGS and SIGS into AAPG.

Implementation of the three-year business plan and evaluation of the various AC proposals are just some of the things the EC will address over the course of the year.

Below is a quote that is often incorrectly attributed to Charles Darwin, but is actually a summation of Darwin's work by a management professor at LSU in the early 1960s.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.

This year, we're going to do our best to make sure AAPG is ready for the future. Changes are not only on the way, they're already here.

Doing what we do better is our first step toward tomorrow.

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President's Column

President's Column - Randi Martinsen

Randi Martinsen, AAPG President (2014-15), is principal with Hydrocarbon InSight in Laramie, Wyo.

President's Column

AAPG Presidents offer thoughts and information about their experiences for the Association. 


See Also: Bulletin Article

Diagenesis significantly impacts mudstone lithofacies. Processes operating to control diagenetic pathways in mudstones are poorly known compared to analogous processes occurring in other sedimentary rocks. Selected organic-carbon-rich mudstones, from the Kimmeridge Clay and Monterey Formations, have been investigated to determine how varying starting compositions influence diagenesis.

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Transfer zones in rift basins are classified into convergent, divergent, and synthetic, based on the relative dip directions of adjacent faults within the transfer zone. Experimental models were constructed to determine the geometry, evolution, and fault patterns associated with each of these transfer zones. In addition, basement faults with initially approaching, laterally offset, and overlapping geometries were modeled. The models consisted of two layers, with stiff clay representing basement and soft clay representing the sedimentary cover. Laser scanning and three-dimensional surface modeling were used to determine the map geometry to compare the models with examples of natural structures. The experimental models showed many similarities with conceptual models but also showed more details and a few significant differences. Typically, divergent transfer zones are narrower than convergent transfer zones, for the same initial spacing between basement faults. The differences between the different initial fault configurations (approaching, laterally offset, or overlapping) are the degree of interaction of the secondary faults, the amount of overlap between the fault zones, and in some cases, the width of the transfer zone. The main faults propagate laterally and upward and curve in the direction of dip of the faults, so that the faults curve toward each other in convergent transfer zones, away from each other in divergent transfer zones, and in the same direction in synthetic transfer zones. A primary difference with schematic models is the significant component of extensional fault propagation folding (drape folding), accompanied by secondary faulting within the sedimentary cover, especially in the early stages of fault propagation. Therefore, all three types of transfer zones are characterized by significant folding and related variations in the shapes of structures. The transfer zones are marked by a progressive change in relief from the footwall to the hanging wall, resulting in a saddle-shaped geometry. The hanging walls of the faults are marked by a gentle flexure or rollover into the fault, with the amount of flexure increasing with fault throw away from the fault tip. The geometries and fault patterns of the experimental structures match some of the observations in natural structures and also provide predictive analogs for interpretation of surface and subsurface structures and the delineation of structural traps in rift basins.
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Experimental-models-of-transfer-zones-in-rift.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3723 Bulletin Article

The Sierra Diablo Mountains of west Texas contain world-class exposures of Lower Permian (Leonardian) platform carbonates. As such, these outcrops offer key insights into the products of carbonate deposition in the transitional icehouse to greenhouse setting of the early to middle Permian that are available in few other places. They also afford an excellent basis for examining how styles of facies and sequence development vary between inner and outer platform settings.

We collected detailed data on the facies composition and architecture of lower Leonardian high-frequency cycles and sequences from outcrops that provide more than 2 mi (3 km) of continuous exposure. We used these data to define facies stacking patterns along depositional dip across the platform in both low- and high-accommodation settings and to document how these patterns vary systematically among and within sequences.

Like icehouse and waning icehouse successions elsewhere, Leonardian platform deposits are highly cyclic; cycles dominantly comprise aggradational upward-shallowing facies successions that vary according to accommodation setting. Cycles stack into longer duration high-frequency sequences (HFSs) that exhibit systematic variations in facies and cycle architectures. Unlike cycles, HFSs can comprise symmetrical upward-shallowing or upward-deepening facies stacks. High-frequency sequences are not readily definable from one-dimensional stratigraphic sections but require dip-parallel two-dimensional sections and, in most cases, HFS boundaries are best defined in middle platform settings where facies contrast and offset are greatest. These studies demonstrate that HFSs are the dominant architectural element in many platform systems. As such, the lessons learned from these remarkable outcrops provide a sound basis for understanding and modeling carbonate facies architecture in other carbonate-platform successions, especially those of the middle to upper Permian.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/outcrop-based-characterization-leonardian.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3661 Bulletin Article

Size fractions (<4 and 0.4–1.0 μ) of Brent Group sandstones from the northern North Sea contain mostly illite-smectite mixed layers with kaolinite, whereas the same size fractions of Fulmar Formation sandstones from the south-central North Sea consist of illite-smectite mixed layers with minor chlorite. Transmission electron microscope observations show elongated illite laths or agglomerates consisting of small laths when larger individual laths are lacking.

The K-Ar data of the fractions less than 0.4 μm of Brent Group samples plot on two arrays in a 40Ar/36Ar vs. 40K/36Ar diagram that have isochron characteristics with ages of 76.5 ± 4.2 and 40.0 ± 1.5 Ma, and initial 40Ar/36Ar ratios of 253 ± 16 and 301 ± 18, respectively. For the Fulmar Formation samples, the data points of the fractions less than 0.2 and less than 0.4 μ also fit two isochrons with ages of 76.6 ± 1.4 and 47.9 ± 0.5 Ma and initial 40Ar/36Ar ratios of 359 ± 52 and 304 ± 2, respectively. Some of the coarser 0.4–1.0-μ fractions also plot on the two isochrons, but most plot above indicating the presence of detrital components more than 0.4 μ. The almost identical ages obtained from illite-type crystals of sandstones with different deposition ages that are located about 600 km (373 mi) apart record two simultaneous illitization episodes. These events were not induced by local burial conditions, but are related to episodic pressure and/or temperature increases in the studied reservoirs, probably induced by hydrocarbon injection. This interpretation is indirectly supported by notably different K-Ar illite ages from cores of a nearby reservoir at hydrostatic pressure.

Illite is not as well crystallized as expected for potential crystallization temperatures above 160°C measured by fluid-inclusion determinations. In both the northern and south-central North Sea, the two illite generations remain unaffected after crystallization despite continued burial, suggesting notably higher crystallization temperatures than those estimated from geothermal gradients. No recent illite crystallization or alteration is recorded in the K-Ar ages, despite a dramatic regional acceleration of the subsidence in the southern North Sea. ±

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/episodic-and-simultanneous-illitization-in-oil.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 5724 Bulletin Article
This article concentrates on the question, Which parameters govern recovery factor (RF) behavior in channelized turbidite reservoirs? The objective is to provide guidelines for the static and dynamic modeling of coarse reservoir-scale models by providing a ranking of the investigated geologic and reservoir engineering parameters based on their relative impact on RF. Once high-importance (H) parameters are understood, then one can incorporate them into static and dynamic models by placing them explicitly into the geologic model. Alternatively, one can choose to represent their effects using effective properties (e.g., pseudorelative permeabilities). More than 1700 flow simulations were performed on geologically realistic three-dimensional sector models at outcrop-scale resolution. Waterflooding, gas injection, and depletion scenarios were simulated for each geologic realization. Geologic and reservoir engineering parameters are grouped based on their impact on RF into H, intermediate-importance (M), and low-importance (L) categories. The results show that, in turbidite channel reservoirs, dynamic performance is governed by architectural parameters such as channel width, net-to-gross, and degree of amalgamation, and parameters that describe the distribution of shale drapes, particularly along the base of channel elements. The conclusions of our study are restricted to light oils and relatively high-permeability channelized turbidite reservoirs. The knowledge developed in our extensive simulation study enables the development of a geologically consistent and efficient dynamic modeling approach. We briefly describe a methodology for generating effective properties at multiple geologic scales, incorporating the effect of channel architecture and reservoir connectivity into fast simulation models.
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/the-impact-of-fine-scale-turbidite-channel-architecture.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3664 Bulletin Article