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DL Abstract

838
 

In overcoming the technical challenges of oil production in the Arctic, are we making the most of a strategic resource or heading for an environmental and political minefield? The vast Arctic region is probably the last remaining unexplored source of hydrocarbons on the planet. Ultimate resources are estimated at 114 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and 2000 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This great prize, in a world of diminishing resources, has stimulated both governmental and industry interest. Harnessing the considerable resources of the ‘Final Frontier’ is going to be fraught with many technical, political and environmental challenges that will engage many minds, both scientific and political over the next half century.

839
 

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.

Environmental Geosciences Article

3421
 
Shales are becoming the most important source of natural gas in North America, and replacement of coal by natural gas is reducing CO2 emissions and improving air quality. Nevertheless, shale gas is facing strong opposition from environmental nongovernmental organizations. Although these organizations have greatly exaggerated the potential negative environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil, methane leakage and contamination of groundwater and surface water by flowback and produced waters are serious concerns. These contamination pathways are not unique to shale gas and shale oil, and they are manageable.

Explorer Article

8473
 

Shale formations can confound even the savviest geoscientist when it comes to determining the inner workings of the rock. After expert evaluation, even the most attractive prospecting deal can be a tough sell. And there’s almost always a new piece to each of these puzzles that requires some sophisticated high-tech explaining.

8055
 

Statoil’s recent discoveries in the Canadian North Atlantic promises a rebirth of the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil industry.

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Discoveries were comparatively sparse, but they persisted steadily throughout the year. Here are some of the more significant discoveries of the past year.

3165
 

A review of major oil and gas discoveries of 2013 shows a down year in terms of quantity—but that’s not the whole story.

1763
 

Edinburgh, Scotland, has a new research center planning to open its doors in 2015. It is the Sir Charles Lyell Centre, named after Britain's 19th century geologist. The uptick of interest in emerging industries of shale oil and gas and deep sea metal mining is just one of the areas of the focus planned for the centre.

Explorer Emphasis

3789
 

The Final Frontier: The Arctic Circle’s vast, untapped treasures of oil and gas resources beckon explorers to boldly go, despite the daunting technical, political and environmental challenges.

Explorer Policy Watch

8066
 

The first seismic surveys of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) since 1988 could happen in the next two years – if the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) finalizes the required environmental impact statement (EIS) in the next few months.

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