Unconventionals Will Get Global Showcase at Milan ICE

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

The fast-approaching AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Milan will showcase – in association with EMD – a comprehensive unconventional resources program with global scope, ranging in scale from the nanopore to the petroleum system, exploring the latest in applied geoscience and engineering.

The Milan ICE will be held Oct. 23-26, under the general theme “Following Da Vinci’s Footsteps to Future Resources: Innovations from Outcrops to Assets.”

The unconventional program is the emphasis of ICE Theme VI: “Dynamic World of Uncooperative Reservoirs – The Geoscience of Unconventional Resources,” which will feature a topical, integrated and multidisciplinary treatment of oil and gas shale, tight reservoirs and coal bed methane.

The program will kick-off with an update on coal bed methane exploration and breaking developments in Australia, India, UK and Germany; move on to high-potential tight rock plays in China and Germany; and then introduce an exciting “super-mature” gas play concept in South Africa.

Shales will then increasingly become the oral session focus and start with an examination of rock properties, geomechanics, impact of regional stresses and hydrocarbon maturation on fracturing, the prediction of reservoir pressure from fracture types, and gas generation at very high “can not happen” maturities.

Geophysics is used to improve petrophysical reservoir characterization – which, in turn, is input as a primary driver in the modeling of optimized massive hydraulic fracture stimulations.

Subsurface challenges faced in the development of shale gas reservoirs also will be described, and insights will be shared regarding:

  • The impact of mudstone facies variation on reservoir parameters.
  • The origin and classification of pores.
  • Effect of stress on permeability.
  • The prediction of fluid phases and properties – citing examples from plays including the U.S. Eagle Ford shale, and those in Poland and China.

The unconventional oral sessions will conclude with “Shale Oil and Gas Case Studies: The Toolbox to Assets (I & II)”, in which 16 papers will cover lessons learned, risk assessment techniques and results, and practical exploration and development tips from shale plays across Europe as well as the United States’ Bakken and Niobrara; Canada’s Horn River Basin; Russia’s Bazhenov; and China’s Ordos Basin.

The Theme VI organizing committee set criteria that demanded authors to demonstrate that the paper or poster would be geoscience- or engineering-focused, current in either the research or the concepts being presented, would add to the specific session assigned and, critically, be relevant to industry geoscientists.

“We ended-up with a killer program,” said Paul Basinski, with Ardent Exploration and the EMD ICE co-chair, “with examples from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America, including 40 oral and 24 poster submissions, featuring an outstanding field of industry-leading experts, where cutting-edge insights will be shared that can help unlock these vast but very challenging resources.”

Basinki, who was the driving force behind the three EMD-oriented themes for the 2011 Houston AAPG ACE, observed that the shale-related sessions there had record attendance.

Given the terrific authors, depth and breadth of fresh insights, and differential program that the ICE Theme VI team has worked so hard to create, he believes Milan will represent another “must-attend” event – especially for those focused on the white-hot world of global unconventionals.

Theme VI is just one of the seven technical themes set for Milan (see story, pager 14) – but it definitely will hold its own by bringing in some of the top researchers in the field with the most up-to-date results of their research and field investigations.

That, combined with the committed service providers on the exhibition floor, will give everyone a great opportunity to better acquaint themselves with the leading-edge of these complex and challenging reservoirs.

We know this is a program that will challenge some concepts of unconventional reservoirs, and we look forward to sparking discussions that even Da Vinci would approve of.

We hope to see you in Milano!

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Theme VI co-leaders for the upcoming AAPG ICE in Milan are Paul Basinski, with Ardent Exploration and the EMD ICE co-chair, and Vlastimila Dvorakova, with the Czech Geological Survey and also the AAPG European Region president-elect.

Their organizing team included Neil Fishman, with the U.S. Geological Survey and also the EMD ICE co-chair and EMD Gas Shales Committee chair; Erdem Idiz, Shell; Jeff Aldrich, Greenpark Energy; and Ravi Misra, ONGC – all of whom help solicit, thoroughly screen and organize submissions from around the world.

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