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We have an unprecedented ability to realistically depict the spatial distributions of lithofacies in the subsurface thanks to developments in sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology, structural geology, geostatistics, and geophysics. As important as these developments have been, however, they in themselves have a limited ability to accurately predict rock properties–particularly in regions with high thermal exposures and restricted well control. We are developing a next-generation modeling platform that rigorously simulates processes in 3D at the grain scale. This 3D approach has the potential to provide unique predictive models of pore network geometries and grain contact properties for rocks in undrilled areas.

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Reservoir characterization is an exercise in constraining uncertainty that arises from sparse sampling of the subsurface by widely spaced wells at lengthscales below seismic resolution. Outcrop analogs are an invaluable complement to well and seismic data in this context, because they provide qualitative concepts and quantitative spatial data to guide interpretations of lithology distribution in inter-well volumes. However, analog-driven interpretations of reservoir architecture are not straightforward to compare with dynamic data that describe fluid flow during production – the acid test of any interpretation of reservoir geology. The value of outcrop reservoir analogs is most fully realized when they are used to construct outcrop-based reservoir models that enable explicit predictions of flow patterns in a form that can be compared with routine reservoir-monitoring data.

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I would like to suggest that far too much of the technical work purporting to guide exploration for petroleum is trivial, redundant and has little of use to offer toward finding new oil and gas accumulations. All geology is interesting; some geologic work is novel; damn little of the work we see is useful in finding new oil and gas fields!

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A crucial aspect of these fluid inclusions… is that they endure in the geologic record although the parent fluids move on. As a result, a given sample contains the fluid history of the area. In other words, despite being microscopic they’re jam-packed with information.

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Using diverse geologic and geophysical data from recent exploration and development, and experimental results of analysis of gas content, gas capacity, and gas composition, this article discusses how geologic, structural, and hydrological factors determine the heterogeneous distribution of gas in the Weibei coalbed methane (CBM) field.

The coal rank of the Pennsylvanian no. 5 coal seam is mainly low-volatile bituminous and semianthracite. The total gas content is 2.69 to 16.15 m3/t (95.00–570.33 scf/t), and gas saturation is 26.0% to 93.2%. Burial coalification followed by tectonically driven hydrothermal activity controls not only thermal maturity, but also the quality and quantity of thermogenic gas generated from the coal.

Gas composition indicates that the CBM is dry and of dominantly thermogenic origin. The thermogenic gases have been altered by fractionation that may be related to subsurface water movement in the southern part of the study area.

Three gas accumulation models are identified: (1) gas diffusion and long-distance migration of thermogenic gases to no-flow boundaries for sorption and minor conventional trapping, (2) hydrodynamic trapping of gas in structural lows, and (3) gas loss by hydrodynamic flushing. The first two models are applicable for the formation of two CBM enrichment areas in blocks B3 and B4, whereas the last model explains extremely low gas content and gas saturation in block B5. The variable gas content, saturation, and accumulation characteristics are mainly controlled by these gas accumulation models.

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West Edmond field, located in central Oklahoma, is one of the largest oil accumulations in the Silurian–Devonian Hunton Group in this part of the Anadarko Basin. Production from all stratigraphic units in the field exceeds 170 million barrels of oil (MMBO) and 400 billion cubic feet of gas (BCFG), of which approximately 60 MMBO and 100 BCFG have been produced from the Hunton Group. Oil and gas are stratigraphically trapped to the east against the Nemaha uplift, to the north by a regional wedge-out of Hunton strata, and by intraformational diagenetic traps. Hunton Group reservoirs are the Bois d'Arc and Frisco Limestones, with lesser production from the Chimneyhill subgroup, Haragan Shale, and Henryhouse Formation.

Hunton Group cores from three wells that were examined petrographically indicate that complex diagenetic relations influence permeability and reservoir quality. Greatest porosity and permeability are associated with secondary dissolution in packstones and grainstones, forming hydrocarbon reservoirs. The overlying Devonian–Mississippian Woodford Shale is the major petroleum source rock for the Hunton Group in the field, based on one-dimensional and four-dimensional petroleum system models that were calibrated to well temperature and Woodford Shale vitrinite reflectance data. The source rock is marginally mature to mature for oil generation in the area of the West Edmond field, and migration of Woodford oil and gas from deeper parts of the basin also contributed to hydrocarbon accumulation.

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Jurassic deposition in the Maghrebian tethys was governed by eustasy and rifting. Two periods were delineated: (1) a carbonate shelf (Rhaetian–early Pliensbachian) and (2) a platform-basin complex (early Pliensbachian–Callovian). The carbonate shelf evolved in four stages, generating three sedimentary sequences, J1 to J3, separated by boundary sea level falls, drawdown, exposure, and local erosion. Sediment facies bear evidence of sea level rises and falls. Lateral changes in lithofacies indicate shoaling and deepening upward during the Sinemurian. A major pulse of rifting with an abrupt transition from carbonate shelf to pelagic basin environments of deposition marks the upper boundary of the lower Pliensbachian carbonate shelf deposits. This rifting episode with brittle fractures broke up the Rhaetian–early Pliensbachian carbonate shelf and has created a network of grabens, half grabens, horsts, and stacked ramps. Following this episode, a relative sea level rise led to pelagic sedimentation in the rift basins with local anoxic environments that also received debris shed from uplifted ramp crests. Another major episode spanning the whole early Pliensbachian–Bajocian is suggested by early brecciation, mass flows, slumps, olistolites, erosion, pinch-outs, and sedimentary prisms. A later increase in the rates of drifting marked a progress toward rift cessation during the Late Jurassic. These Jurassic carbonates with detrital deposits and black shales as the source rocks in northeastern Tunisia may define interesting petroleum plays (pinch-out flanking ramps, onlaps, and structurally upraised blocks sealed inside grabens). Source rock maturation and hydrocarbon migration began early in the Cretaceous and reached a maximum during the late Tortonian–Pliocene Atlassic orogeny.
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A three-dimensional seismic data set and published data from exploration wells were used to reconstruct the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Mandal High area, southern North Sea, Norway. The Mandal High is an elongated southeast-northwest–trending horst. Three fault families in the Lower Permian sequence, inherited from the basement structural grain of Caledonian origin, are interpreted: (1) a north-northwest–south-southeast–striking fault family, (2) a northeast-southwest–striking fault family, and (3) a near east-west–striking fault family. In addition, an east-southeast–west-northwest–striking fault family (4) that formed during Late Jurassic rifting and was reverse reactivated in the Late Cretaceous is interpreted. We suggest that inversion occurred because of small dextral motion along fault family 1. A final fault family (5) displays various strike orientations and is associated with salt movements.

Seven chronostratigraphic sequences defined by well data and recognized on three-dimensional seismic data are interpreted and mapped: Early Permian rifting in a continental environment; Late Permian deposition of the Zechstein salt and flooding; Triassic continental rifting; uplift and erosion in the Middle Jurassic with deposition of shallow-marine and deltaic sediments; rifting and transgression in a deep-marine environment during the Late Jurassic; a post-rift phase in a marine environment during the Early Cretaceous; and flooding and deposition of the Chalk Group in the Late Cretaceous. An eighth sequence was interpreted—Paleogene–Neogene—but has not been studied in detail. This sequence is dominated by progradation from the east and basin subsidence. Well and seismic data over the Mandal High reveal that large parts of the high were subaerially exposed from Late Permian to Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous, providing a local source of sediments for adjacent basins.

Similar to the Utsira High, where several large hydrocarbon discoveries have been recently seen, the Mandal High might consist of a set of petroleum plays, including fractured crystalline basement and shallow-marine systems along the flanks of the high, thereby opening up future exploration opportunities.

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In-Person Training
Denver Colorado United States 30 May, 2015 30 May, 2015 14555 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc04-mudstones-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true ACE 2015, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Sequence Stratigraphy, Clastics, Oil Sands, Oil Shale, Shale Gas, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Geophysics, Seismic, Geology, Sequence Stratigraphy Applications, Migration, Short Courses, Conventions, Pre-Convention
 
Denver, Colorado, United States
30 May 2015

This workshop combines interactive lectures and exercises addressing the expression of depositional sequences in mudstones on seismic, well-log, core and outcrop data. Examples include in the course will include the Marcellus Shale, New Albany Shale, Barnett Shale, Shublik Formation, Kimmeridge Clay Formation, Kingak Formation, Hue Shale, Mowry Shale, and Monterey Formation.

Denver Colorado United States 04 June, 2015 04 June, 2015 14646 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc18-mudrock-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true ACE 2015, SEPM, Oil Sands, Shale Gas, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Migration, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Short Courses, Conventions, Post-Convention
 
Denver, Colorado, United States
4 June 2015

This one-day course will review state-of-the-art techniques for characterizing mudrock reservoirs at the pore scale. Shale/mudrock structure and pore systems will be emphasized. It will conclude with applications of shale reservoir characterization using pore-scale imaging.

Online Training
23 April, 2015 23 April, 2015 16809 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/an-analytical-model-for-shale-gas-permeability-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
23 April 2015
Recent laboratory studies have revealed previously unknown behaviors in shale gas which unlock secrets of permeability and sweet spots in shale gas reservoirs. The presentation presents the findings and also goes into detail about how the new information can be applied in order to potentially improve recovery in reservoirs.
02 December, 2014 02 December, 2014 11967 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/esymp-multiscale-modeling-of-gas-transport-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
2 December 2014

The gas transport in organic-rich shales involves different length-scales, from organic and inorganic pores to macro- and macrofractures. In order to upscale the fluid transport from nanoscale (flow through nanopores) to larger scales (to micro- and macrofractures), multicontinuum methodology is planned to be used.

31 October, 2012 31 October, 2012 1492 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-3-dimensional-approach-t-hydrocarbon-mapping.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
31 October 2012

This e-symposium will focus on how surface geochemical surveys and Downhole Geochemical Imaging technologies can be utilized jointly to directly characterize the composition of hydrocarbons vertically through the prospect section.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-generic-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
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