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The assessment of the natural temporal variability of source rock units is critical for the understanding of petroleum systems as changes in mineral matrix, organic matter (OM) concentration, and composition can significantly affect expulsion efficiency, primary and secondary migration processes, hydrocarbon quality as well as oil source rock correlation. Already small-scaled fluctuations within sediment successions can critically influence migration efficiency. High-resolution investigation of a well-preserved Lower Jurassic drill core (Toarcian Posidonia Shale) revealed seven discrete and systematic intervals of deviating source rock quality. These were composed of homogenized, non-laminated marls of light grey color, opposed to laminated dark grey background sedimentation. Both lithotypes differentiate not only in mineral composition, but particularly in OM content and quality. An average TOC content of app. 3.9 wt.% reached by the grey marl, is faced by an average TOC content of app. 7.8 wt.% measured for the laminated dark grey marls. Average hydrogen index for grey non-laminated marls was app. 550 mg HC/g TOC, whereas much higher source rock quality with 780 mg HC/g TOC was attained in the dark laminated marls. The marls lower OM concentration and inferior OM quality generates important domains for preferential migration of products, originated from the dark grey layers, or hydrocarbon cluster in case of limited migration into adjacent reservoirs. To assess the potential for preferential intake of hydrocarbons by the coarser-grained light marls and their qualification as migration avenues, artificial maturation experiments were performed with both lithotypes. Hydrocarbon generation was simulated by hydrous pyrolysis in two successive temperature steps 330 °C and 360 °C, covering an early maturity stage, as well as the end of the oil window. Both lithologies show striking differences, not only for the extract yield, but also for the timing of generation. OM quality differences were reflected by variable n-alkane distributions and molecular maturity parameters. High-resolution continuous data produced by non-destructive techniques allows to draw conclusions on i) source rock potential, ii) expulsion and migration processes , and iii) on prediction of petroleum accumulation within the sediment succession. High-resolution investigation in combination with artificial maturation experiments represent an easy-to-use tool in petroleum system analysis.

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The driving forces for conventional accumulations (structural or stratigraphic traps) are Forces of Buoyancy which are due to differences in densities of hydrocarbons and water. In contrast, the driving forces for unconventional tight accumulations are Forces of Expulsion which are produced by high pressures. That is an enormous difference and creates unconventional petroleum systems that are characterized by very different and distinctive characteristics. The Force of Expulsion pressures are created by the significant increase in volume when any of the three main kerogen types are converted to hydrocarbons. At those conversion times in the burial history, the rocks are already sufficiently tight so the large volumes of generated hydrocarbons cannot efficiently escape through the existing tight pore system, thus creating a permeability bottleneck that produces an overpressured compartment over a large area corresponding to the proper thermal oil and gas maturities for that basin. The forces initially created in these source rocks can only go limited distances into adjacent tight reservoirs (clastics or carbonates) above or below the source. The exact distance will vary depending on the pressure increase, matrix permeability, and fractures of that specific tight reservoir system. In general, the distances are small, in the orders of 10s to 100s of feet for oil and larger for more mobile gas systems. Those exact distance numbers are subject to ongoing investigations.  

A plot of the pressure data versus elevation for a given formation is critical in determining whether an accumulation is conventional or unconventional. Conventional accumulations will have hydrocarbon columns of 10s to 100s of feet with the pressure in the hydrocarbons and that in the water equal at the bottom of the accumulation (at the HC-water contact). In contrast, the unconventional accumulations will show HC column heights of 1000s of feet with the pressure in the hydrocarbon phase and the water phase being the same at the top of the accumulation (at the updip transition zone). Those significant differences are critical for understanding and differentiating these two play types. Because the system is a pore throat bottleneck with very little or minimum lateral migration, the type of hydrocarbon s are closely tied to the thermal maturity required to generate those hydrocarbons. Thus the play concept begins with two important geochemical considerations: (1) where are the source rocks and what are the kerogen types and organic richness (TOC), and (2 ) where are they mature in the basin for oil, condensate, and gas in the basin. These parameters will very quickly define the fairway for the play. Then one has to add the critical information on the reservoirs themselves: composition (brittleness), thickness, and reservoir quality (matrix porosity and permeability). In summary, these tight unconventional petroleum systems (1) are dynamic , and (2) create a regionally inverted petroleum system with water over oil over condensate over gas for source rocks wit h Type I or II kerogen types.

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The AAPG European Regional Conference, “Hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean: revisiting mature plays and understanding new and emerging ideas,” will be held Jan. 18-19 in Larnaca, Cyprus.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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To explore and develop unconventional petroleum resources, our focus should be on improving Knowledge, Technology, and a deeper comprehension of the natural processes controlling their existence.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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The Petroleum Geochemistry Toolkit for Petroleum Exploration and Development 2-day course, is designed to provide the geologist, geophysicist, and engineer with a general understanding of applied petroleum geochemistry and how it can be used in petroleum exploration and development. The petroleum systems analysis examines geological elements and processes that are essential for the petroleum accumulation.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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Where is the oil? How much is there? and What is the best strategy for recovery?

These are a few of the questions that we'll answer at the Making Money with Mature Fields - Geosciences Technology Workshop, October 5-6, 2016, Houston, TX. The goal of this workshop is to review mature fields and to identify the amount and nature of oil that can be recovered, and to evaluate competing strategies for economically producing the remaining reserves. In addition to looking closely at fields, we will review new and improved technologies that may help revitalize reservoirs and overcome problems such as low pressure, paraffin, corrosion, and more.

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In-Person Training
Yangon Myanmar 25 February, 2017 28 February, 2017 34027 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/AAPG-EAGE-MGS-Myanmar-Geosciences-Conference-Hero-v2.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Business and Economics, Engineering, Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Oil and Gas Analysis, Maturation, Clastics, Carbonates, Evaporites, Economics, Reservoir Characterization, Development and Operations, Production
 
Yangon, Myanmar
25-28 February 2017

Due to low registrations, the optional Field Trip is cancelled. Organizers (Myanmar Geosciences Society) will correspond directly with those who have indicated interest.

The Myanmar Geosciences Society will offer a 4-day/3-night field trip to the Kalaw Basin to visit Mesozoic sediments of Kialaw Basin and view conspicuous surface geologic expressions of Sagaing Strike Slip Fault and Shan Boundary fault (Suture Zone), as well as various Paleozoic to Tertiary outcrops along the road sections.

Houston Texas United States 01 April, 2017 02 April, 2017 34988 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/managing-uncertainty-with-next-gen-modeling-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Conventions, Short Courses, Pre-Convention, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Source Rock, Maturation
 
Houston, Texas, United States
1-2 April 2017

In Conjunction with AAPG 2017 Annual Convention & Exhibition (ACE)
This course provides an introduction to Petroleum Systems Modeling (PSM) in Exploration, with both conventional and unconventional examples.

Houston Texas United States 01 April, 2017 02 April, 2017 34989 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Oil-and-Gas-Analysis-Discussion-Group-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Conventions, Short Courses, Pre-Convention, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Isotopes, Maturation, Migration, Oil and Gas Analysis, Petroleum Systems
 
Houston, Texas, United States
1-2 April 2017

In Conjunction with AAPG 2017 Annual Convention & Exhibition (ACE)
The course content will cover both the basics of biomarker interpretation and application and advanced geochemical technologies.

Houston Texas United States 02 April, 2017 02 April, 2017 35013 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace17-sc13-Petroleum-Geochemistry-for-Basin-Evaluation-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Conventions, Short Courses, Pre-Convention, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Maturation, Source Rock, Petroleum Systems, Migration, Basin Modeling
 
Houston, Texas, United States
2 April 2017

In Conjunction with AAPG 2017 Annual Convention & Exhibition (ACE)
This course will provide an overview of concepts, tools, and methods commonly used for assessment of exploration risks associated with hydrocarbon charge, with emphasis on geochemical methods and applications.

Durham United Kingdom 25 April, 2017 26 April, 2017 32280 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/geothermal-cross-over-technology-workshop.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Geophysics, Seismic, Tertiary Recovery, Production, Engineering, Thermal Recovery Processes, Hydraulic Fracturing
 
Durham, United Kingdom
25-26 April 2017

Save the date!

AAPG Europe are delighted to bring you a Geothermal Cross Over Technology Workshop, hosted at Durham University on 25th - 27th April 2016.

Bogota Colombia 17 May, 2017 18 May, 2017 37292 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ws-optimizing-geoscience-and-engineering-to-explore-and-produce-in-a-low-price-environment-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Business and Economics, Economics, Reserve Estimation, Resource Estimates, Risk Analysis, Development and Operations, Engineering, Conventional Drilling, Coring, Directional Drilling, Production, Secondary Recovery, Tertiary Recovery, Reservoir Characterization, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Geophysics, Seismic, Clastics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Conventional Sandstones, Diagenetic Traps, Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs
 
Bogota, Colombia
17-18 May 2017

Optimizing Geoscience and Engineering to Explore and Produce in a Low-Price Environment, a Geosciences Technology workshop hosted by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP)

Online Training
28 April, 2011 28 April, 2011 1471 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-niobrara-petroleum-system-a-major-tight-resource-play.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
28 April 2011

The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.

09 December, 2010 09 December, 2010 1466 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-bakken-petroleum-system-of-the-williston-basin.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
9 December 2010

The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge.

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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The search for unconventional hydrocarbons is not new. It’s true that almost 100 years separated the early exploration successes in the synclinal valleys of Central Pennsylvania, to the exploitation of Coal-Bed Methane in a number of basins in the U.S. and Canada in the 1980’s. Since the 1980's, however, a quiet revolution began which by today has seen several waves of unconventional resources being pursued with economic success. Coal-bed methane was followed by the search for Center-Basin Gas, Shale Gas and most recently, Liquid-rich Shales (some of which aren't shales).

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Request a visit from Larry Garmezy!

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