GIS-UDRIL – A Useful Acronym

This is always a crazy time of year at AAPG – getting ready for the annual meeting and budget review. It is a crazy time for me personally, as welI – getting ready for a new job and also working to complete projects before I leave.

On top of that, I currently am coaching girls’ indoor soccer and basketball, plus we are starting practice and games for outdoor soccer. Obviously, I have trouble saying “no.”

My daughter, Zoe, age 11 now, is our goalie (with an attitude), and after one unusually rough game she asked me in the car on the way home, “Where do referees come from?”

I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s a loaded question!”

I tactfully explained to her that referees were people, too, and they were interested in sports and usually were paid a small amount for their efforts.

“Paid!?” she replied disgustedly. “I thought they were doing community service … like those guys pickin’ up trash along the highway!”

We sometimes do not understand certain things due to the lack of information.

Last year we conducted a few polls on AAPG programs and we realized that many members are not familiar with all of AAPG’s digital programs. For example, AAPG has three primary digital information programs with Datapages – the Archives, Search and Discovery and GIS-UDRIL .

Many of you probably just said, “GIS … what!?”

The GIS-UDRIL- project was started 10 years ago to capture much of the geo-referenced information in the Datapages library and other resources. GIS-UDRIL is an acronym for Geographic Information Systems – Upstream Digital Reference Information Library.

It is an expansive project that provides digital products and services to the upstream petroleum companies by preparation of GIS-linked databases and atlases of geo-references maps and other images. That’s the official definition.

In other words, we are taking maps and datasets out of the BULLETIN, Special Publications and other society publications and placing them into an easy-to-use and easy-to-retrieve system like ArcGIS or Google Maps.

The following are a few examples of maps and datasets contained in GIS-UDRIL:

  • Black Shales Atlas (390 maps).
  • Salt Dome/Salt Structures Atlast (1,700 salt structures).
  • Coalbed Methane Atlas (60 maps).
  • South Atlantic Margins Atlas (204 maps).
  • Gulf Coast/Gulf of Mexico Atlas (332 maps).
  • State atlases – Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming (146 maps).
  • Western Canada Atlas (140 maps).
  • Deep Water Deposits Atlas (112 case studies).
  • Incised Valley Atlas (25 case studies).
  • Arabian Plate Atlas (90 Maps).

There also are many detailed collections. For example, the GIS-UDRIL Oil and Gas Fields Database contains almost 2,000 global oil and gas fields with hyperlinks to illustrations, maps, images, discovery history plus an Excel database with drilling, completion, production, reservoirs and source rock data.

The GIS-UDRIL Seismic Atlas contains nearly 3,000 seismic lines from around the world.

Many new map projects are in development through the AAPG GIS Publications Committee. In addition, new collections are being developed through the AAPG-OSU Geoscience GIS Consortium, a partnership between AAPG and Oklahoma State University. This partnership was created in 2008 when the AAPG Foundation received a generous gift of nearly $10 million from Boone Pickens.

I carefully explained to Zoe that referees were not from a work-release program. She seemed satisfied and felt better about the situation once she knew the facts. I think she knew I was serious because I finally stopped laughing.

If you want more facts on GIS-UDRIL you can see it online at, or you can come by the headquarters/Datapages booth at the upcoming annual convention in Houston for a demo.

The GIS-UDRIL project has just scratched the surface of available geo-referenced data in AAPG, its affiliated/associated societies and in industry. In the future it will be one of the key delivery systems from AAPG to its members and industry.

“One cannot know everything,” Horace once said – but now you know a little more about AAPG.

Comments (0)


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.

View column archives

See Also: Bulletin Article

We reviewed the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Jurassic–Cenozoic collision between the North American and the Caribbean plate using more than 30,000 km (18,641 mi) of regional two-dimensional (2-D) academic seismic lines and Deep Sea Drilling Project wells of Leg 77. The main objective is to perform one-dimensional subsidence analysis and 2-D flexural modeling to better understand how the Caribbean collision may have controlled the stratigraphic evolution of the offshore Cuba region.

Five main tectonic phases previously proposed were recognized: (1) Late Triassic–Jurassic rifting between South and North America that led to the formation of the proto-Caribbean plate; this event is interpreted as half grabens controlled by fault family 1 as the east-northeast–south-southwest–striking faults; (2) Middle–Late Jurassic anticlockwise rotation of the Yucatan block and formation of the Gulf of Mexico; this event resulted in north-northwest–south-southeast–striking faults of fault family 2 controlling half-graben structures; (3) Early Cretaceous passive margin development characterized by carbonate sedimentation; sedimentation was controlled by normal subsidence and eustatic changes, and because of high eustatic seas during the Late Cretaceous, the carbonate platform drowned; (4) Late Cretaceous–Paleogene collision between the Caribbean plate, resulting in the Cuban fold and thrust belt province, the foreland basin province, and the platform margin province; the platform margin province represents the submerged paleoforebulge, which was formed as a flexural response to the tectonic load of the Great Arc of the Caribbean during initial Late Cretaceous–Paleocene collision and foreland basin development that was subsequently submerged during the Eocene to the present water depths as the arc tectonic load reached the maximum collision; and (5) Late Cenozoic large deep-sea erosional features and constructional sediment drifts related to the formation of the Oligocene–Holocene Loop Current–Gulf Stream that flows from the northern Caribbean into the Straits of Florida and to the north Atlantic.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Subsidence-controls-on-foreland-basin.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3526 Bulletin Article

See Also: CD DVD

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 4317 CD-DVD
Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 4449 CD-DVD

See Also: DL Abstract

Offshore Angola has to date delivered recoverable reserves in excess of 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent. This has been encountered in two distinct play systems: the Upper Cretaceous Pinda carbonates sourced by Lower Creatceous lacustrine mudstones and Tertiary deepwater slope turbidite sands sourced by underlying Upper Cretaceous marine mudstones. An extension of the Girassol play into Block 18 to the south will be used to describe how high quality 3D seismic data coupled with a detailed analysis of rock properties led to an unprecedented 6 successes out of 6 wells in the block, including the giant Plutonio discovery. Industry is turning once more to the carbonate play potential - this time in deepwater. It would seem that the Angola offshore success story is set to continue for some time to come.

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 839 DL Abstract

See Also: Short Course

This course is designed for geologists who wish to interpret and explore lacustrine microbialites and associated carbonate facies for hydrocarbons, or just want to familiarize themselves with microbialites and lacustrine systems.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc14-Microbialites-hero1.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 14608 Short Course