18 sessions set for Denver

EMD Program Looks to Future

AAPG’S Energy Minerals Division (EMD) will respond to heightened awareness of global energy issues by offering an extensive and diverse selection of sessions, short courses, field trips and forums at the upcoming 2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, set for June 7-10 in Denver.

The core of this year’s technical program, “Image the Present, Imagine the Future” coincides with EMD’s focus on current and future energy mineral sources and technologies including coal, coalbed methane, COsequestration, gas hydrates, gas shales, energy economics, geospatial technology, geothermal resources, oil (tar) sands, oil shales, uranium minerals and astrogeology topics.

Eighteen oral and poster sessions, included under eight separate themes, are highlighted below with short course, field trip and forum opportunities.

EMD Oral and Poster Sessions

Theme II: Hydrocarbon Systems and Basin Analysis

  • Exploration Application of High Resolution Magnetic, Gravity and Remote Sensing Data in Frontier and Mature Basins.
  • Petroleum Systems – Source Rocks.

Theme V: Structural Geology

  • Tectonics and Diagenesis in Shale Basins.

Theme VIII: Tight Gas

  • Pore Network and Fluid Flow in Mudrocks.
  • Petrophysics of Shales and Tight Gas Sands: Converting Resources to Reserves.

Theme IX: Unconventional Reservoirs

  • Gas Shales Reservoirs – Updates and New Insights.
  • Coalbed Hydrocarbons.
  • Hydrates – Sedimentology and Resources.
  • Oil Shales – Reservoir Characterization and Testing.
  • Oil/Tar Sands – New Techniques and Resource Assessments.
  • Core Poster Session: Fractured Shale Reservoirs.

Theme X: Astrogeology

  • Energy Minerals in the Solar System: Resources for the 21st Century.
  • The Impacts of Impacts.
  • Lunar Field Exploration Equipment and Sample Documentation.

Theme XI: Alternative and Renewable Energy

  • Uranium Minerals and Exploration.
  • Geothermal Energy Systems – Their Structure, Stratigraphy and Rock Mechanics.

Theme XIII: Responsible Development, Sustainability, Climate Science

  • Carbon Dioxide Capture and Geologic Sequestration.

Theme XV: New Technologies

  • GIS/Geospatial Map Gallery.
EMD Short Courses

Keeping You at the Top of Your Game

  • Shale Gas I and II: Geochemical and engineering predictions of shale reservoirs; key parameters and data relationships that define productive gas shale’s.
  • Uranium Geology and Logging Techniques for Uranium Exploration.
  • Integrated Structural/Tectonic Studies of HRAM Data for Resource Play Analyses.
  • National Petroleum Reserve Core Workshop – Lower Cretaceous clinoforms with basin floor source rocks through thick, gaseous coalbeds with reservoirs in-between.
EMD Field Trips
  • Gas Shales, Oil Shales, Coalbed Methane and Tight Gas Reservoirs in the Piceance Basin.
  • Coal Bed Methane, Raton Basin, Colorado and New Mexico.
  • Remote Sensing, Climate Change and Planetary Science Facilities.
Forum (EMD, DPA, DEG)
  • Carbon Dioxide Sequestration and Future Energy Sources (Wind, Solar and Nuclear).
EMD Luncheon

Jeffrey S. Kargel, adjunct professor and senior research scientist in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona, will be the speaker for this year’s EMD Luncheon, set for Wednesday, June 10.

Kargel will astonish us and feed our imaginations with a talk titled “Unconventional Far-Out Petroleum and Gas: Hydrocarbons from Mars to Titan and Beyond.”

Kargel will pose the question of whether we are too terracentric in thinking that Earth is the only abode of biogenic petroleum and gas. Today, methane rain pours over Titan’s surface, erodes river valleys and fills lake basins while carbonaceous aerosols drift down from the upper atmosphere. Speculatively, acetylene glaciers may scour Titan’s poles and benzene sand dunes blanket the dry equatorial basins. Volatile hydrocarbons cause comets to jet and split, and help power geysers on Saturn’s tiny moon, Enceladus.

A prolific author of two books and multiple peer-reviewed papers, chapters, articles and abstracts, Kargel believes that hydrocarbons certainly are treasure-troves of scientific information on the history of the solar system.

Please join us for what will be a stimulating and titillating presentation!

This entire EMD program was organized by numerous volunteers: EMD Executive Committee members and past members, EMD commodity chairs and counselors, and all the oral and poster session co-chairs. Thanks to all of you for your diligence and assistance in putting together a program that features the essence of the Energy Minerals Division.

We hope that you will be able to join us in Denver!

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Division Column-EMD

Laura L. Wray is the EMD Annual Meeting Vice Chair.

Division Column-EMD

The Energy Minerals Division (EMD), a division of AAPG, is dedicated to addressing the special concerns of energy resource geologists working with energy resources other than conventional oil and gas, providing a vehicle to keep abreast of the latest developments in the geosciences and associated technology. EMD works in concert with the Division of Environmental Geosciences to serve energy resource and environmental geologists.

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Anomalously high porosities and permeabilities are commonly found in the fluvial channel sandstone facies of the Triassic Skagerrak Formation in the central North Sea at burial depths greater than 3200 m (10,499 ft), from which hydrocarbons are currently being produced. The aim of our study was to improve understanding of sandstone diagenesis in the Skagerrak Formation to help predict whether the facies with high porosity may be found at even greater depths. The Skagerrak sandstones comprise fine to medium-grained arkosic to lithic-arkosic arenites. We have used scanning electron microscopy, petrographic analysis, pressure history modeling, and core analysis to assess the timing of growth and origin of mineral cements, with generation, and the impact of high fluid pressure on reservoir quality. Our interpretation is that the anomalously high porosities in the Skagerrak sandstones were maintained by a history of overpressure generation and maintenance from the Late Triassic onward, in combination with early microquartz cementation and subsequent precipitation of robust chlorite grain coats. Increasing salinity of pore fluids during burial diagenesis led to pore-filling halite cements in sustained phreatic conditions. The halite pore-filling cements removed most of the remaining porosity and limited the precipitation of other diagenetic phases. Fluid flow associated with the migration of hydrocarbons during the Neogene is inferred to have dissolved the halite locally. Dissolution of halite cements in the channel sands has given rise to megapores and porosities of as much as 35% at current production depths.
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Volumetric restoration can provide crucial insights into the structural evolution of three-dimensional (3-D) petroleum systems. A major limitation to its widespread application is the need to include complex architectures and realistic mechanics such as flexural slip. We apply an implicit approach that allows for, including unconformities, thin and/or pinched-out layers in the models but that cannot explicitly localize slip along horizons. To take advantage of this approach while accounting for flexural slip in 3-D restoration, we investigate new geomechanical properties. We consider flexural slip folding as a result of stacked rigid and thin weak layers, which can be modeled using transversely isotropic properties. We compare restorations of an anticline using transversely isotropic properties, isotropic properties, and a stack of rigid isotropic layers with nonfrictional slip between the layers. Our results show that transversely isotropic properties reasonably approximate flexural slip folding. We use these new tools to model the evolution of a complex system located in the Niger Delta toe. The system includes a detachment fold, a fault-bend fold, and a structural wedge formed in series. Growth stratigraphy and erosional surfaces delimit the kinematics of deformation. Regional erosive surfaces, 3-D gradients of fault slip, and vertical variations in mechanical strength motivated the use of our new restoration techniques. Restoring two growth units results not only in reinforcing the interpretation that the area is behaving as a deforming thrust sheet at critical taper, but also in highlighting coeval activity on both the hinterland structures and the toe of the thrust belt.
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