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The West Texas (Permian) Basin is a complexly structured intracratonic (IC) basin with prolific oil and natural gas production. It began as a subsidence basin ('Tobosa Basin') from Middle Ordovician to Devonian time, a response to the Cambrian rifting that separated Gondwana and Laurentia. In the Pennsylvanian to early Permian, it formed part of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains (ARM) orogen. The Texas-New Mexico segment of the ARM contains small to medium basement-cored uplifts, folds, thrust faults and two trends of strike-slip faults, with a pattern that is consistent with SW-NE compression. The largest thrust fault known in the basin is SW-vergent, and faces the deepest part of the Delaware Basin. This direction of compression is similar to that observed in the southern Oklahoma part of the ARM, which shows NE-vergent thrusting and left-lateral faulting.

This SW-NE compressive stress is grossly inconsistent with the northwestward convergence of the Ouachita-Marathon thrust belt southeast of the ARM. The ARM-generating stress may have originated either from the Pacific side (by flat subduction) or from strong continental collision in the Appalachian Orogen. Lines of weakness generated during the Proterozoic and/or Cambrian concentrated stress and created the complex structures.

The West Texas branch of the ARM is buried by over 2.5 km of post-deformational Permian strata -- the Permian Basin. Subsidence began during ARM deformation, then increased in rate and continued to the end of the Permian. Permian subsidence resulted in the maintenance of isolated deep-water marine basins until Late Permian time. The Marathon orogen also subsided, and shed little clastic material into the basin. Despite Mesozoic basin-margin modifications, the Permian isopach pattern suggests a bowl-shaped subsidence centered on the Central Basin axis of uplift. The size and shape of the Permian Basin are similar to other IC basins (Illinois, Michigan, Williston). Similar to some IC basins, the central basin area hosts a 1100-Ma mafic complex, which was subjected to compression in Pennsylvanian time. Sinking of a mafic crust or its subjacent lithosphere, begun during compression, may have been a driving force for Permian subsidence.

Over most of the basin, later Permian subsidence was responsible for putting source rocks into the oil window. Further maturation to gas occurred within the deep basins generated by ARM deformation and Marathon thrust loading.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-thomas-ewing-tectonics-and-subsidence-in-the-west-texas-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Tectonics and Subsidence in the West Texas (Permian) Basin, A Model for Complex Intracratonic Basin Development
 

Comparison of the hydrocarbon systems and geometries of the complex intracratonic West Texas (Permian) Basin and the complex postrift subsidence basins of the Gulf Coast / Gulf of Mexico yield useful insights for basin evolution and play development. The West Texas basin contains source rocks in the Ordovician and Devonian, but much generation comes from the Late Mississippian, Pennsylvanian and Permian basinal sediments. These were deposited in a poorly ventilated remnant basin during compression and strike-slip of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains orogeny, and subsidence of the intracratonic Permian Basin. Maturation resulted from Permian intracratonic subsidence, with hydrocarbons sealed from later leakage by late Permian salt and a fortunate tectonic setting. By contrast, the major Jurassic source rocks of the Gulf basins are at the base of the postrift subsidence, and are matured by further subsidence. Later Cretaceous source rocks (Eagle Ford) are mature in the main Gulf basin, but again lie near the bottom of the thick sedimentary package in the area. The younger part of the succession yields mostly gas formed during outbuilding of the shelf margin by Cenozoic deltaic progradation. No cap is present on the basin (except for subsalt plays), and seepage is widespread.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-thomas-ewing-tale-of-two-basins-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true A Tale of Two Basins: Sources and Timing of Petroleum and Natural Gas Generation in the Mature Gulf Coast/Gulf of Mexico and West Texas (Permian) Basins
 

The Yegua Formation (Late Middle Eocene) is a minor siliciclastic progradation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf margin between the larger Early Eocene and Oligocene shelf-margin progradations. During Yegua time (and unlike the other units of the Middle and Late Eocene), four to eight sea-level fluctuations with a 100-300 ka period alternately pushed marine rocks toward the basin margins and pushed deltaic sedimentation to and past the shelf edge. Because of limited to moderate sand supply and the flat coastal plains, the updip (highstand) depositional complexes are nearly entirely separated from the downdip (lowstand) shelf-edge deltas and slope fans. Maximum flooding surfaces can be mapped over much of the area and correlated along and across the basin. The Yegua is truly a laboratory for sequence stratigraphy. A number of plays in the downdip and 'mid-dip' (incised valley complexes) trends have produced over 4 TCF of gas and condensate, and new discoveries await the return of exploration capital. The Yegua story is significant to all those interested in siliciclastic stratigraphy in passive-margin settings.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-thomas-ewing-yegua-formation-late-middle-eocene-in-gulf-coast-basin-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Yegua Formation (Late Middle Eocene) in the Gulf Coast Basin, as a Type Laboratory for Sequence Stratigraphy in Hydrocarbon Exploration
 

Considering a career in industry? The oil and gas industry? In Exploration? Maybe Production? Perhaps Planning? This presentation of the Top Ten Tips for Working in Industry was developed during my 34 year career working for Mobil and ExxonMobil as a technical professional, supervisor, manager, and researcher. I’ll use examples and stories from my career, working with foreign governments in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, working in Mobil’s Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, being a supervisor and manager in exploration, and working as a senior research associate in ExxonMobil’s Upstream Research Company, recruiting for ExxonMobil at top American Universities interviewing students; and working as the Planning Manager, in Mobil’s Norwegian Affiliate in Stavanger, Norway. All of my experiences over the past 34 years have taught me how to be a successful in these fields, and I enjoy sharing these lessons with others who may be considering careers in the oil and gas industry.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-marsha-french-my-top-ten-tips-for-working-in-industry-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true My Top Ten Tips for Working in Industry: Lessons Learned Over My 30-Plus-Year Career Working in Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Planning and Research
 

Authigenic quartz overgrowths are the most common pore-occluding mineral in deeply buried (>2500 m) quartzose sandstones. But, deeply buried reservoirs of this kind in the North Sea contain more porosity than expected when the influence of authigenic microcrystalline quartz (microquartz, or the good quartz) is ignored. However, we know relatively little about the nature and origin of this porosity-preserving microquartz, which inhibits the bad and ugly quartz overgrowths from growing and occluding pores. Therefore, advanced analytical techniques have been utilized to improve our understanding of the controls on microquartz development in several examples where porosity is preserved in these and similar sandstone reservoirs.

In this study, several advanced analytical techniques were used to evaluate the crystallographic and compositional controls on the formation of microquartz. SEM/Cathodoluminescence (CL) confirms that (bad and ugly) quartz overgrowths have a complex growth history. Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) combined with Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry (WDS) confirmed and elaborated on the complex growth history: the complex banding visible in CL is not due to changes in crystallographic orientation but more likely variations in quartz composition associated with changes in pore fluid composition and/or reservoir conditions. Finally, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis provides oxygen isotope data providing insight into those initial reservoir conditions and temperature of formation of microcrystalline quartz.

Integrating the results from these advanced analytical techniques has developed an understanding of the processes controlling the formation of porosity-preserving microquartz and improved our ability to reconstruct the reservoir diagenetic history of microquartz growth leading to a proposed model for predicting porosity preservation in deep, hot sandstone reservoirs.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-marsha-french-authigenic-quartz-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Authigenic Quartz: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Developing a Model for Preserving Porosity in Deep, Hot Sandstone Reservoirs
 

Scientific drill cores from Lake Malawi provide the first continuous and high-resolution 1.2 million-year terrestrial record of past climates in East Africa. The multi-proxy climate signals extracted from these lake sediments reveal remarkable high-frequency and high-amplitude variability in effective moisture over this major southern hemisphere catchment. The level of Lake Malawi dropped more than 400 m at least 25 times over the past 1.2 million years, substantially impacting endemic organisms in the lake, and implying significant landscape variability over this time interval. This presentation provides an overview of the Lake Malawi Scientific Drilling Project, including basin framework seismic images from this enormous ultra-deep rift lake. This work and subsequent East Africa drilling studies are providing the environmental context for the origin of our own species.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-christopher-scholz-mountains-monsoons-and-migrations-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Mountains, Monsoons and Migrations: Rift Tectonics, Tropical Climates and the Origin of Humans
 

Continental rifts have long been important for hosting lacustrine source rocks in many hydrocarbon provinces, and in recent years rifts have seen accelerated exploration for syn-rift reservoirs. The application of sequence stratigraphy to rift-lake systems requires special consideration, in light of 1) heightened and spatially variable subsidence accompanying normal faulting; and 2) sensitive lake levels driven by climatic shifts over geological time scales. This presentation provides examples of sequence stratigraphy applied to rift-lake systems, especially considering the roles of rift segmentation, magmatism (or lack thereof), and varying continental hydroclimates. The wide geochemical variability of lake systems in rifts is in part driven by the different styles of magmatism observed in different extensional environments, which influences the occurrences of lacustrine carbonates. Predictive models of siliciclastic reservoir facies in extensional basins are grounded in our understanding of structural controls of drainage systems. Stacking patterns and lithofacies variability are commonly complicated by climatic processes. Many tropical lakes are hypersensitive to changing evaporation-precipitation ratios, and therefore lake level changes are amplified through subtle changes in climate. Accordingly, lake level shifts in many tropical basins are dramatic, with documented changes of hundreds of meters over timeframes of a few thousand years. This presentation includes extensive overviews of nested seismic reflection data sets, ranging in scope from high-resolution data to basin- and crustal-scale imagery.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/dl-christopher-scholz-magmatic-versus-amagmatic-continental-extension-hero.jpg?width=100&h=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Magmatic Versus Amagmatic Continental Extension, and the Sedimentary Sequence Architecture of Rifts
 

Exploration activity in lacustrine basins in extensional settings has accelerated in recent years with important discoveries in the South Atlantic Ocean and in East Africa. This presentation reviews reservoir facies in lacustrine-rifts including siliciclastic deposits, mixed siliciclastic-carbonate systems, as well as lacustrine carbonates, as observed in different systems in East Africa. Lacustrine extensional basins are characteristically dominated by siliciclastic deposits, on account of the high-relief on faulted rift margins, and associated deep-basin subsidence. Source rock facies in lake systems are shown to vary dramatically in space and time, based on studies of modern lake basins as well as ancient high-resolution records revealed through scientific drilling. This presentation offers data-intensive perspectives of extant lake basins in both the western and eastern branches of Africa's Great Rift Valley.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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The Ice Age and the Giant Bakken Oil Accumulation

The USGS estimated (2013) that the Late Devonian to Early Mississippian Bakken Formation holds in excess of 7 billion barrels (~1.1 billion m3) of recoverable oil, making it one of the top 50 largest oilfields in the world. Most of the production comes from shallow-marine sandstones of the Middle Bakken Member that are directly over- and underlain by extremely organic-rich shale source rocks (Upper and Lower Bakken Shale members respectively). Although not oil-productive everywhere, the Middle Bakken forms a relatively sheet-like unit that covers an area of over 200,000 square miles (~520,000 km2) of the intracratonic Williston Basin.

The vertical juxtaposition of shallow-marine reservoir and more distal source rocks over such a large area, without intervening transitional facies, is unusual from a stratigraphic perspective. One possible explanation would require global fluctuations of sea level to drive geologically rapid and extensive shoreline movements in this relatively stable basin. Forced regression associated with falling sea level could explain the lack of transitional facies (e.g., inner shelf) between the distal Lower Bakken Shale and the overlying Middle Bakken (a sharp-based shoreface). Subsequent sea-level rise would have caused rapid and extensive transgression, leading to the observed stratigraphic relationships between the Middle and Upper Bakken members. But what could have caused the changes in sea level?

A considerable body of evidence points to a Late Devonian-Early Mississippian ice age that covered portions of Gondwana (e.g., parts of present-day Brazil) that were situated close to the paleo South Pole. This ice age consisted of more than one glacial/interglacial cycle and was probably triggered by massive removal of CO2 from the atmosphere by land plants and organic-rich shales. Some evidence indicates that at least 100 m of sea-level drop took place during one of the Famennian glaciations, which would have effectively drained the Williston Basin and induced major shoreline progradation. Melting of the ice sheets would have caused transgression and reflooding of the basin and deposition of the Upper Bakken Shale. Other basins around the world record similar evidence for glacioeustacy near the Devonian-Mississippian transition. The glacial/interglacial cycles are expressed differently from basin to basin, reflecting the interplay between fluctuations of global sea level and each basin’s history of subsidence and sediment supply.

Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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Five Things Geophysicists Should Know About Shale Plays

The Shale Revolution caught geophysicists off guard. Shales had been studied for a variety of reasons (e.g., relationships between velocity, compaction and pore pressure) but not as low-porosity reservoirs that show vertical heterogeneity at all possible scales. Consequently, many geophysicists have framed shale-play imaging problems using inappropriate tools and paradigms. In this presentation, I present five characteristics of shale plays that should enable improved geophysical analyses.

  1. The term “shale play” has become meaningless. Originally intended to describe gas production from fine-grained source rocks (“source-rock reservoirs”), the term is now applied almost indiscriminately to production from many types of low-permeability rock (e.g., shaly sandstones, carbonates).
  2. Source-rock reservoirs aren’t clay dominated. Hydraulic fracturing is needed to establish commercial production from these rocks. Clays make the rocks ductile and harder to fracture. As such, the clay content of shale plays is generally less than 50%. The remainder of the rock is usually composed of fine-grained calcite and/or quartz, organic matter and other minerals.
  3. Links between VTI anisotropy and clay or organic content are not straightforward in source-rock reservoirs. Scanning electron microscopy often reveals textures that are incompatible with the conceptual models used to develop mathematical models of shales.
  4. HTI anisotropy is complicated by natural fracture geometries. Aligned natural fractures generally combine with bedding to produce systems that are best described as orthorhombic. In some cases, multiple fracture orientations produce systems that are effectively isotropic.
  5. Integration of geophysical and geological data and concepts is needed to significantly advance geophysical research on shale reservoirs. This effort will allow geophysicists to define, for a specific shale, which assumptions are reasonable, which analogs are appropriate, what appropriate ranges of properties are, etc.
Show more American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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In-Person Training
Rio de Janeiro Acre Brazil 22 August, 2017 23 August, 2017 38190 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw-lacr-optimization-of-e-p-projects-integrating-geosciences-and-engineering-from-block-acquisition-through-production-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Development and Operations, Engineering, Infill Drilling, Directional Drilling, Coring, Conventional Drilling, Reservoir Characterization, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Geophysics, Seismic, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Fractured Carbonate Reservoirs, Stratigraphic Traps, Subsalt Traps
 
Rio de Janeiro, Acre, Brazil
22-23 August 2017

AAPG and ABGP invite you to participate in an interactive, multidisciplinary workshop featuring presentations and discussions exploring opportunities to improve companies’ efficiency and effectiveness throughout the E&P cycle, from block acquisition and exploration to development and production.

Marrakech Morocco 01 November, 2017 04 November, 2017 37903 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw-afr-the-paleozoic-hydrocarbon-potential-of-north-africa-past-lessons-and-future-potential-2017-17apr17-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Engineering, Development and Operations, Production, Infill Drilling, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Source Rock, Thermal History, Geophysics, Clastics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Conventional Sandstones, Sequence Stratigraphy, Structure, Compressional Systems, Extensional Systems, Tectonics (General), Deep Basin Gas, Stratigraphic Traps, Structural Traps
 
Marrakech, Morocco
1-4 November 2017

This workshop provides the opportunity to learn and discuss the latest knowledge, techniques & technologies applied to petroleum reservoirs in the Paleozoic of North Africa which can be utilized to explore for and develop these reservoirs. The workshop will provide a set-up for networking, interacting & sharing expertise with fellow petroleum scientists interested in developing and producing hydrocarbon resources within the Paleozoic of North Africa.

Marrakech Morocco 03 November, 2017 04 November, 2017 41272 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw-afr-the-paleozoic-hydrocarbon-potential-of-north-africa-past-lessons-and-future-potential-2017-17apr17-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Geophysics, Engineering, Compressional Systems, Tectonics (General), Extensional Systems, Source Rock, Petroleum Systems, Thermal History, Sequence Stratigraphy, Clastics, Development and Operations, Production, Structural Traps, Deep Basin Gas, Stratigraphic Traps, Conventional Sandstones, Infill Drilling
 
Marrakech, Morocco
3-4 November 2017

Location: Atlas; Anti-Atlas of Marrakech and Ouarzazate areas of Morocco**
Field Trip Leader: Abdallah Aitsalem (ONHYM) & Lahcen Boutib (ONHYM)
Field Trip Fee: USD575 *

* Field trip pricing covers accommodation, feeding and transportation for the duration of the Trip. Seats are limited and will be confirmed on a first come first served basis.

Day 1 Departure from Marrakech to Ouarzazate

The Atlas Mountains of Marrakech extend more than 250 km East-West and 50 km North-South. They record the highest mountainous peaks in North Africa with altitudes exceeding 4,000 meters (Toubkal 4,165m and Ouenkrim 4,089m). Northward and southward, they rise hundreds of meters above the Marrakech plain (Haouz plain) and Imini syncline, respectively. The recently incised mountain valleys, created during the last inversion of the Atlas, form the crossing ways of the massif, as is the case of the main road that connects Marrakech to Ouarzazate passing via the Tizi n'Tichka Pass. They also provide the opportunity to view multiple breathtaking landscapes and contain outcrops that shed light on the geological evolution of the mountain from the Precambrian to the present. Day 1 of the field trip will allow participants to view Paleozoic outcrops through the Tizi n'Tichka Pass, which displays a complete Cambrian to Devonian succession and contains several organic-rich intervals. Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits, which are exposed on the borders of the massif, will also be viewed briefly.

Day 2: Departure from Ouarzazate to Tazzarine and back to Ouarzazate **

Day 2 of the field trip crosses the central Anti-Atlas Paleozoic basin and offers spectacular views of the largest oasis in North Africa, along the Draa River, and its majestic ancient Kasbahs. Participants will examine formations ranging in age from Upper Precambrian to Silurian. Discussions will focus on the evolution of their various depositional environments in relation to sea level changes. The well exposed sandstone formations provide the opportunity to view major Paleozoic reservoirsintervals, as well as the organic-rich "hot shales" that source these reservoirs. Rubble from recent water wells and ingenious sub-cropping irrigation systems (Khattara) provide the chance to sample fresh Ordovician and Silurian organic-rich and fossiliferous black shales. In addition, the participants will have perspective views of gentle folding generated during the Hercynian compression and related regional fractures.

Field trip route map
Field trip route map

**Field trip will end in Ouarzazate. All participants to arrange their own transport from Ouarzazate following the conclusion of the field trip.

To register for the field trip please click here.

Georgetown Barima-Waini Guyana 09 November, 2017 10 November, 2017 38161 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/sc-lacr-reservoir-characterization-of-deep-water-systems-impact-from-exploration-to-production-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Business and Economics, Risk Analysis, Production, Engineering, Primary Recovery, Secondary Recovery, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Clastics, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Conventional Sandstones, Deep Sea / Deepwater, Deepwater Turbidites, Low Stand Deposits, Marine, Regressive Deposits, Slope, Structure, Tectonics (General), Deep Basin Gas, Shale Gas, Stratigraphic Traps, Tight Gas Sands
 
Georgetown, Barima-Waini, Guyana
9-10 November 2017

This course emphasizes key changes in reservoir models that have a major impact in exploration and production of these reservoirs. The course will include lectures, exercises, and observations from cores, well logs and seismic profiles. Participants will learn how to interpret and map environments of deposition (EoD’s) in deep water systems and understand how the different EoD’s and sub-EoD’s behave as reservoirs.

Victoria Island Lagos Nigeria 08 February, 2018 09 February, 2018 38212 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/gtw-ar-enhancing-mature-fields-life-cycles-hero-v2.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Business and Economics, Economics, Reserve Estimation, Risk Analysis, Development and Operations, Engineering, Infill Drilling, Production, Drive Mechanisms, Water Drive, Hydraulic Fracturing, Primary Recovery, Secondary Recovery, Gas Injection, Water Flooding, Tertiary Recovery, Chemical Flooding Processes, Thermal Recovery Processes, Reservoir Characterization, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Clastics, Structure, Extensional Systems, Diagenetic Traps, Stratigraphic Traps, Bitumen/Heavy Oil
 
Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
8-9 February 2018

This workshop provides the opportunity to learn and discuss the latest knowledge, techniques & technologies applied to mature fields. The workshop will provide a set-up for networking, interacting & sharing expertise with fellow petroleum scientists interested in enhancing production from maturing fields in the Niger Delta and similar deltaic settings.

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
 
Request a Visit
 

Production from unconventional petroleum reservoirs includes petroleum from shale, coal, tight-sand and oil-sand. These reservoirs contain enormous quantities of oil and natural gas but pose a technology challenge to both geoscientists and engineers to produce economically on a commercial scale. These reservoirs store large volumes and are widely distributed at different stratigraphic levels and basin types, offering long-term potential for energy supply. Most of these reservoirs are low permeability and porosity that need enhancement with hydraulic fracture stimulation to maximize fluid drainage. Production from these reservoirs is increasing with continued advancement in geological characterization techniques and technology for well drilling, logging, and completion with drainage enhancement. Currently, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Egypt, USA, and Venezuela are producing natural gas from low permeability reservoirs: tight-sand, shale, and coal (CBM). Canada, Russia, USA, and Venezuela are producing heavy oil from oilsand. USA is leading the development of techniques for exploring, and technology for exploiting unconventional gas resources, which can help to develop potential gas-bearing shales of Thailand.

The main focus is on source-reservoir-seal shale petroleum plays. In these tight rocks petroleum resides in the micro-pores as well as adsorbed on and in the organics. Shale has very low matrix permeability (nano-darcies) and has highly layered formations with differences in vertical and horizontal properties, vertically non-homogeneous and horizontally anisotropic with complicate natural fractures. Understanding the rocks is critical in selecting fluid drainage enhancement mechanisms; rock properties such as where shale is clay or silica rich, clay types and maturation , kerogen type and maturation, permeability, porosity, and saturation. Most of these plays require horizontal development with large numbers of wells that require an understanding of formation structure, setting and reservoir character and its lateral extension.

The quality of shale-gas resources depend on thickness of net pay (>100 m), adequate porosity (>2%), high reservoir pressure (ideally overpressure), high thermal maturity (>1.5% Ro), high organic richness (>2% TOC), low in clay (<50%), high in brittle minerals (quartz, carbonates, feldspars), and favourable in-situ stress.

During the past decade, unconventional shale and tight-sand gas plays have become an important supply of natural gas in the US, and now in shale oil as well. As a consequence, interest to assess and explore these plays is rapidly spreading worldwide. The high production potential of shale petroleum resources has contributed to a comparably favourable outlook for increased future petroleum supplies globally.

Application of 2D and 3D seismic for defining reservoirs and micro seismic for monitoring fracturing, measuring rock properties downhole (borehole imaging) and in laboratory (mineralogy, porosity, permeability), horizontal drilling (downhole GPS), and hydraulic fracture stimulation (cross-linked gel, slick-water, nitrogen or nitrogen foam) is key in improving production from these huge resources with low productivity factors.

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