EMD Set for San Antonio Meeting

The Energy Minerals Division (EMD) will be sponsoring an unprecedented number of sessions, forums and short courses at the upcoming 2008 AAPG Annual Convention, which will be held April 20-23 in San Antonio.

With EMD sponsorship of 16 oral and poster sessions, three forums, four short courses/workshops and one field trip, the 2008 convention promises attendees an unusual opportunity to discover more about unconventional hydrocarbons, energy minerals, geothermal energy and geospatial information – the primary focus areas of EMD.

The convention theme will be “Deliver the Conventional: Pursue the Unconventional,” which in itself reflects the growing interest in unconventional energy resources. 

The 16 oral and poster sessions will be included under four themes, as noted below in the list of EMD convention activities.

EMD Oral and Poster Sessions
Hydrocarbons from Shale and Coal 
  • Recent Advances in Coalbed Methane Exploration and Development.
  • Overview of Shale Gas Resources.
  • Geology of Shale/Mudrock Reservoir Systems.
  • Genesis of Unconventional Gases: Coalbed Methane, Shale Gas and Gas Hydrates.
  • Improvements in Shale Gas Drilling and Completion.
  • Recent Advances in Oil Shale Exploration and Technology.
New and Expanded Plays in Domestic and Global Basins
  • Exploration in Ouachita Foreland Basins.
Geospatial Technology and Astrogeology
  • Advances and Applications of GIS and Remote Sensing to Petroleum Exploration and Production.
  • Geospatial Technology – A Map Gallery.
  • GIS and Remote Sensing for Hurricane Monitoring and Environmental Assessment.
  • Return to the Moon: Research, Resources and Rewards.
  • Astrogeology: A Far-Sighted Look at Unconventional Resources.
Alternative Energy
  • Uranium Geology and Associated Ground Water Issues.
  • Geology of Gas Hydrate Deposits.
  • Geothermal Resources.
  • CO2 Sequestration: Geologic Challenges and Successes.
EMD Forums
  • Future of Unconventional Resource Plays.
  • Interactive Forum on Global Climate Change.
  • Economics of Natural Gas and Alternative Energy.
EMD Short Courses
  • Coalbed Methane and Shale Gas Exploration Strategies: Workshop for Sorbed Gas Reservoir Systems (instructors – A.R. Scott, W.A. Ambrose, M. Grigg, M.A. Ilhan, R. Olson, T.J. Pratt, M. Mavor, S.C. Ruppel, A. Marsh and D. Westacott).
  • Fundamentals of Gas Hydrate Resource Evaluation (instructors – A. Johnson and T. Collett).
  • Principles of Geologic Carbon Sequestration (instructors – H.E. Leetaru, J. Kaldi, M. Holtz, J. Pashin, T. Meckel, I. Krapac, S. Greenberg, D. Curtiss and M.L. Coueslan).
  • Fundamentals of ArcGIS for the Petroleum Industry (instructor – J. Harrison).
EMD Field Trip
  • Basin-Margin Bitumen Deposits in the Uvalde Area of Southwest Texas(leader – T. E. Ewing).
EMD Luncheon

The EMD Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 23, and will feature Robert Finkelman, an expert in the emerging field of medical geology, with a talk titled “Will Coal Burn Brightly in the Future?”

With the public focus on the environmental and health effects of coal – especially coal-generated power plants – this talk promises to be both timely and startling in its conclusions.

He also will touch on other relevant topics, including an update on the future of coal based on a National Research Council (NRC) report due out this fall, which examines the coal industry from “cradle to grave” (mining to energy transmission) to answer the question of whether our country will be prepared to meet the demands of energy from coal in the year 2030.


Special thanks are due to Mike Wiley, EMD technical program chair, and to Amy Sullivan, EMD short course and field trip chair, for their diligence in organizing the extensive list of convention offerings. We hope that the stimulating program will encourage AAPG members to “get unconventional” by learning more about the focus of EMD and joining its growing membership.

Note also that the 2008 AAPG convention will be held during the city’s week-long party – Fiesta – so there will be many activities for participants and spouses throughout the week.

We hope to see you in San Antonio.  

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Judges Needed for San Antonio

Donna F. Balin
Donna F. Balin

With such a formidable number of EMD-sponsored sessions set for San Antonio, there clearly is a critical need for securing qualified judges to help assess our technical program.

Creties Jenkins, who is serving as EMD judging chair, would no doubt be grateful for early volunteers.

See Also: Book

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See Also: Bulletin Article

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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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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See Also: CD DVD

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