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Learn! Blog

AAPG offers two short courses in conjunction with this year’s Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC). A wealth of information in a short period of time, theses short courses are an effective and efficient way to learn about the industry.

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Explorer Emphasis Article

AAPG member Zell Peterman, U.S. Geological Survey scientist emeritus, is busy with colleagues examining Williston Basin Bakken formation water and the role of shale filtration.

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Explorer Article

Some surprising findings bubbled up in a recent study of methane geochemistry in the Appalachian Basin. The findings could complicate the jobs of investigators trying to determine how stray methane gets into water wells.

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The origin of thermogenic natural gas in the shallow stratigraphy of northeastern Pennsylvania is associated, in part, with interbedded coal identified in numerous outcrops of the Upper Devonian Catskill and Lock Haven Formations. Historically documented and newly identified locations of Upper Devonian coal stringers are shown to be widespread, both laterally across the region and vertically throughout the stratigraphic section of the Catskill and Lock Haven Formations. Coal samples exhibited considerable gas source potential with total organic carbon as high as 44.40% by weight, with a mean of 13.66% for 23 sample locations analyzed. Upper Devonian coal is thermogenically mature; calculated vitrinite reflectances range from 1.25% to 2.89%, with most samples falling within the dry-gas window. Source potential is further supported by gas shows observed while drilling through shallow, identifiable coal horizons, which are at times located within fresh groundwater aquifers. Thermogenic gas detected in area water wells during predrill baseline sampling is determined not only to be naturally occurring, but also common in the region.

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Concepts and technologies developed for liquid-rich unconventional plays in North America are on the verge of being exported worldwide.

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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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Characterization of oil shale kerogen and organic residues remaining in postpyrolysis spent shale is critical to the understanding of the oil generation process and approaches to dealing with issues related to spent shale. The chemical structure of organic matter in raw oil shale and spent shale samples was examined in this study using advanced solid-state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Oil shale was collected from Mahogany zone outcrops in the Piceance Basin. Five samples were analyzed: (1) raw oil shale, (2) isolated kerogen, (3) oil shale extracted with chloroform, (4) oil shale retorted in an open system at 500degC to mimic surface retorting, and (5) oil shale retorted in a closed system at 360degC to simulate in-situ retorting. The NMR methods applied included quantitative direct polarization with magic-angle spinning at 13 kHz, cross polarization with total sideband suppression, dipolar dephasing, CHn selection, 13C chemical shift anisotropy filtering, and 1H-13C long-range recoupled dipolar dephasing. The NMR results showed that, relative to the raw oil shale, (1) bitumen extraction and kerogen isolation by demineralization removed some oxygen-containing and alkyl moieties; (2) unpyrolyzed samples had low aromatic condensation; (3) oil shale pyrolysis removed aliphatic moieties, leaving behind residues enriched in aromatic carbon; and (4) oil shale retorted in an open system at 500degC contained larger aromatic clusters and more protonated aromatic moieties than oil shale retorted in a closed system at 360degC, which contained more total aromatic carbon with a wide range of cluster sizes.
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Explorer Emphasis Article

Scientific knowledge about the origins of oil in the Gulf of Mexico Basin and the resulting impact on oil quality has evolved over a long period of time.

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A multi-disciplinary team of geoscientists has developed a new framework for the north Red Sea region – and their findings may cause a new reassessment of the area’s resource potential.

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Explorer Article

A Fairway to paradise? Nova Scotia’s offshore energy industry is in the global spotlight after an enticing assessment of resources in the Scotian Basin.

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In-Person Training
Houston Texas United States 06 March, 2015 06 March, 2015 13408
 
Houston, Texas, United States
6 March 2015

This one day course will include background material on hydrocarbon-bearing shales, methods of evaluation, and case studies of both gas and oil bearing shales.

San Antonio Texas United States 19 July, 2015 19 July, 2015 10167
 
San Antonio, Texas, United States
19 July 2015

The course is a practical and applied introduction to geochemical techniques routinely employed in shale-gas condensate and tight-oil reservoir assessment with an emphasis on tools and techniques. Participants should have a solid background in petroleum geology.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7816
 
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7815
 
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7812
 
Online Training
10 May, 2012 10 May, 2012 1486
 
10 May 2012

Recognition and Correlation of the Eagle Ford, Austin Formations in South Texas can be enhanced with High Resolution Biostratigraphy, fossil abundance peaks and Maximum Flooding Surfaces correlated to Upper Cretaceous sequence stratigraphic cycle chart after Gradstein, 2010.

26 September, 2013 26 September, 2013 1497
 
26 September 2013

The presentation will discuss key reservoir information and how to develop a predictive pressure model.

31 October, 2012 31 October, 2012 1492
 
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.

19 May, 2011 19 May, 2011 1474
 
19 May 2011

This e-symposium presents and discusses the results of laboratory tests and research relating to determining shale prospectivity in general, and specifically in the Black Warrior Basin, Alabama.

14 December, 2010 14 December, 2010 1467
 
14 December 2010

Recent interest in unconventional gas resources has attracted several oil and gas explorers to sedimentary basins in Southern Quebec.

11 November, 2010 11 November, 2010 1465
 
11 November 2010

This e-symposium is ideal for geologists, geophysicists, engineers and other geoscientists who are involved in gas shale exploration and production.

16 August, 2011 16 August, 2011 1436
 
16 August 2011

The geochemistry of formation fluids (water and hydrocarbon gases) in the Uinta Basin, Utah, is evaluated at the regional scale based on fluid sampling and compilation of past records.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817
 
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