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3765
 
The shrinkage or swelling of coal as a result of gas desorption or adsorption is a well-accepted phenomenon. Its impact on permeability changes has also been recognized for two decades. Its importance has increased significantly because of the potential of coals that are not likely to be mined and depleted or nearly depleted coalbed methane reservoirs to serve as CO2 repositories. This article proposes a new theoretical technique to model the volumetric changes in the coal matrix during gas desorption or adsorption using the elastic properties, sorption parameters, and physical properties of coal. The proposed model is based on the theory of changes in surface energy as a result of sorption. The results show that the proposed model is in excellent agreement with the laboratory volumetric strain data presented in the literature during the last 50 yr. Furthermore, the proposed model can be extended to describe mixed-gas sorption behavior, which can be applied to enhanced coalbed methane and CO2 sequestration operations.
2513
 

This will be my last column in the EXPLORER as president for DEG. In June I will turn over the reins to Doug Wyatt, and I wish him well.

2400
 
Explorer Emphasis Article

New data presents a new picture of health and safety issues in plays involving the Marcellus Shale.

2462
 

Author Seamus McGraw sees both the upside and downside for the landowner in the development of the Marcellus shale.

3727
 

Considerable effort has been devoted to the development of simulation algorithms for facies modeling, whereas a discussion of how to combine those techniques has not existed. The integration of multiple geologic data into a three-dimensional model, which requires the combination of simulation techniques, is yet a current challenge for reservoir modeling. This article presents a thought process that guides the acquisition and modeling of geologic data at various scales. Our work is based on outcrop data collected from a Jurassic carbonate ramp located in the High Atlas mountain range of Morocco. The study window is 1 km (0.6 mi) wide and 100 m (328.1 ft) thick. We describe and model the spatial and hierarchical arrangement of carbonate bodies spanning from largest to smallest: (1) stacking pattern of high-frequency depositional sequences, (2) facies association, and (3) lithofacies. Five sequence boundaries were modeled using differential global position system mapping and light detection and ranging data. The surface-based model shows a low-angle profile with modest paleotopographic relief at the inner-to-middle ramp transition. Facies associations were populated using truncated Gaussian simulation to preserve ordered trends between the inner, middle, and outer ramps. At the lithofacies scale, field observations and statistical analysis show a mosaiclike distribution that was simulated using a fully stochastic approach with sequential indicator simulation.

This study observes that the use of one single simulation technique is unlikely to correctly model the natural patterns and variability of carbonate rocks. The selection and implementation of different techniques customized for each level of the stratigraphic hierarchy will provide the essential computing flexibility to model carbonate settings. This study demonstrates that a scale-dependent modeling approach should be a common procedure when building subsurface and outcrop models.

2374
 
Explorer Policy Watch

Regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions are now common – 33 countries and 18 sub-national jurisdictions will have a price on carbon in 2012 – but the topic is contentious in the United States and other countries as carbon emissions regulations take hold.

3714
 
Emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil-fueled power generation stations contributes to global climate change. Capture of CO2 from such stationary sources and storage within the pores of geologic strata (geologic carbon storage) is one approach to mitigating anthropogenic climate change. The large storage volume needed for this approach to be effective requires injection into pore space saturated with saline water in reservoir strata overlain by cap rocks. One of the main concerns regarding storage in such rocks is leakage via faults. Such leakage requires, first, that the CO2 plume encounter a fault and, second, that the properties of the fault allow CO2 to flow upward. Considering only the first step of encounter, fault population statistics suggest an approach to calculate the probability of a plume encountering a fault, particularly in the early site-selection stage when site-specific characterization data may be lacking. The resulting fault encounter probability approach is applied to a case study in the southern part of the San Joaquin Basin, California. The CO2 plume from a previously planned injection was calculated to have a 4.1% chance of encountering a fully seal offsetting fault and a 9% chance of encountering a fault with a throw half the seal thickness. Subsequently available information indicated the presence of a half-seal offsetting fault at a location 2.8 km (1.7 mi) northeast of the injection site. The encounter probability for a plume large enough to encounter a fault with this throw at this distance from the injection site is 25%, providing a single before and after test of the encounter probability estimation method.
3711
 
A joint AAPG–Society of Petroleum Engineers–Society of Exploration Geophysicists Hedberg Research Conference was held in Saint-Cyr sur Mer, France, on July 8 to 13, 2012, to review current research and explore future research directions related to improved production from carbonate reservoirs. Eighty-seven scientists from academia and industry (split roughly equally) attended for five days. A primary objective for the conference was to explore novel connections among different disciplines (primarily within geoscience and reservoir engineering) as a way to define new research opportunities. Research areas represented included carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology, geomechanics, hydrology, reactive transport modeling, seismic imaging (including four-dimensional seismic, tomography, and seismic forward modeling), geologic modeling and forward modeling of geologic processes, petrophysics, statistical methods, numerical methods for simulation, reservoir engineering, pore-scale processes, in-situ flow experiments (e.g., x-ray computed tomography), visualization, and methods for data interaction.
2314
 
Explorer Article

An AAPG member is asked to provide a study on fractures and seismicity in New York, putting him at the epicenter of the state's debate over the use of hydraulic fracturing.

2291
 
Explorer Article

A new study is providing data for the debate: Hydraulic fracturing versus surface coal mining – which one is safe for the enviornment?

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The entire Middle Pennsylvanian–to–top Precambrian basement (500 m) interval was cored in early 2011 in the BEREXCO Wellington KGS #1-32 well in Wellington Field, Sumner County, KS.

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