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Isolated carbonate buildups (ICBs) are commonly attractive exploration targets. However, identifying ICBs based only on seismic data can be difficult for a variety of reasons. These include poor-quality two-dimensional data and a basic similarity between ICBs and other features such as volcanoes, erosional remnants, and tilted fault blocks. To address these difficulties and develop reliable methods to identify ICBs, 234 seismic images were analyzed. The images included proven ICBs and other features, such as folds, volcanoes, and basement highs, which may appear similar to ICBs when imaged in seismic data. From this analysis, 18 identification criteria were derived to distinguish ICBs from non-ICB features. These criteria can be grouped into four categories: regional constraints, analysis of basic seismic geometries, analysis of geophysical details, and finer-scale seismic geometries. Systematically assessing the criteria is useful because it requires critical evaluation of the evidence present in the available data, working from the large-scale regional geology to the fine details of seismic response. It is also useful to summarize the criteria as a numerical score to facilitate comparison between different examples and different classes of ICBs and non-ICBs. Our analysis of scores of different classes of features suggests that the criteria do have some discriminatory power, but significant challenges remain.
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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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Who’s got the last laugh now? The Uteland Butte once was a sandstone that operators quickly passed through – and often ignored – on their way to other targets. But things are changing in Utah.

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This story is an illustration of how a single geologist working for a major company can develop new exploration concepts in a “mature basin” and turn it into one of that company’s most successful plays in the onshore United States.

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Across the board: The Mississippi Lime play proves that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques can be used for more than just shale production.

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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.

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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.
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This article addresses the controls exerted by sedimentologic and diagenetic factors on the preservation and modification of pore-network characteristics (porosity, pore types, sizes, shapes, and distribution) of carbonates belonging to the Bolognano Formation. This formation, exposed at the Majella Mountain, Italy, is composed of Oligocene–Miocene carbonates deposited in middle- to outer-ramp settings. The carbonates consist of (1) grainstones predominantly composed of either larger benthic foraminifera, especially Lepidocyclina, or bryozoans; (2) grainstones to packstones with abundant echinoid plates and spines; and (3) marly wackestones to mudstones with planktonic foraminifera.

The results of this field- and laboratory-based study are consistent with skeletal grain assemblages, grain sizes, sorting, and shapes, all representing the sedimentologic factors responsible for high values of connected primary macroporosity in grainstones deposited on the high-energy, middle to proximal outer ramp. Cementation, responsible for porosity reduction and overall macropore shape and distribution in grainstones to packstones deposited on the intermediate outer ramp, was mainly dependent on the following factors: (1) amount of echinoid plates and spines, (2) grain size, (3) grain sorting and shapes, and (4) clay amount. Differently, in the wackestones to mudstones, laid down on the low-energy, distal outer ramp, matrix is the key sedimentologic factor responsible for low values of scattered macroporosity and dominance of microporosity. The aforementioned results may be useful to improve the prediction of reservoir quality by means of mapping, simulating, and assessing individual carbonate facies with peculiar pore-network characteristics.

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In-Person Training
Buenos Aires Argentina 11 May, 2015 12 May, 2015 14137 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/extending-mature-fields-life-cycles-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Buenos Aires, Argentina
11-12 May 2015

Join leading scientists and industry practitioners at Extending Mature Fields’ Life Cycles: the Role of New Technologies & Integrated Strategies, a Geoscience Technology Workshop (GTW) organized by the AAPG Latin America Region and the Asociación Argentina de Geólogos y Geofísicos Petroleros (AAGGP).

Denver Colorado United States 30 May, 2015 31 May, 2015 14568 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc07-pttc-rocky-mountain-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Denver, Colorado, United States
30-31 May 2015

This course is intended for industry professionals who desire a firm foundation in carbonate rocks. Most sedimentology and stratigraphy courses focus on siliciclastic rocks while giving only cursory treatments of carbonates. With carbonate reservoirs containing approximately half of the world’s oil and gas, a better understanding of these complex rocks is highly desirable. Participants should have some background in sedimentology and stratigraphy.

Denver Colorado United States 31 May, 2015 31 May, 2015 14608 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ace2015-sc14-Microbialites-hero1.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Denver, Colorado, United States
31 May 2015

This course is designed for geologists who wish to interpret and explore lacustrine microbialites and associated carbonate facies for hydrocarbons, or just want to familiarize themselves with microbialites and lacustrine systems.

Las Negras Spain 08 June, 2015 13 June, 2015 31 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-Play-Concepts-and-Controls-on-Porosity-in-Carbonate-Reservoir-Analogs.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Las Negras, Spain
8-13 June 2015

The field seminar develops and evaluates the sequence stratigraphic framework and controls on location and reservoir character of Upper Miocene-Pliocene carbonate sequences from a variety of carbonate systems within the context of the regional paleogeography.

Casper Wyoming United States 24 August, 2015 28 August, 2015 1513 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-Casper-Fracture-School.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Casper, Wyoming, United States
24-28 August 2015

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn all the aspects related to the understanding and modeling of fractured reservoirs. Attendees will take geologic concepts and use them in reservoir modeling through hands-on sessions devoted to the examination of outcrop, core and log data. They will use that information and a software to create 3D fractured reservoir models. Using actual Teapot Dome (Wyoming, USA) field data from the Tensleep and Niobrara Shale formations and a hands-on approach, the workshop allows the geoscientist to identify fractures and to construct predictive 3D fracture models that can be used to identify productive zones, plan wells and to create fracture porosity and permeability models for reservoir simulation.

Hay River Northwest Territories Canada 31 August, 2015 04 September, 2015 13438 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/devonian-reef-facies-models-hydrothermal-dolomitization-and-tight-carbonate-reservoir-analogues-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada
31 August - 4 September 2015

The Hay River region in the Northwest Territories is one of the best locations in North America for the examination of Devonian carbonates, and the Pine Point mine site is one of the best localities for viewing the fabrics and geometries associated with hydrothermal dolomitization.

Sydney Australia 10 September, 2015 13 September, 2015 18997 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT4-The-Gippsland-Basin-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Sydney, Australia
10-13 September 2015

This trip will visit the breathtaking coastal outcrops of turbidites, carbonate platforms, fluvial sediments and pillow lavas along the cliffs southeast of Melbourne. Come scramble down craggy slopes at Cape Liptrap to view superb outcrop-scale fold and thrust structures in Devonian turbidites, then take a 5 km hike along the adjacent coast where Cambrian ophiolites and exhumed amphibolites, faulted against trilobite-hosting Ordovician marls and Devonian reefal carbonates will be revealed. This will be followed by a trip to a site of Early Cretaceous fluvial rift sediments deposited during the initial separation of Antarctica from Australia to open the Gippsland Basin.

Sydney Australia 11 September, 2015 12 September, 2015 19011 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT5-Tidally-Influenced-Strata-of-the-Hawkesbury-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Sydney, Australia
11-12 September 2015

The Hawkesbury Sandstone is the foundation on which the city of Sydney was built. This trip will allow discussion of the sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of the Hawkesbury Sandstone by examining outcrops around the scenic Sydney Harbour and in spectacular coastal cliffs in National Parks close to the city. The sandstone displays a wide variety of sedimentary structures combined with superb scenery offering many opportunities for photographers.

Melbourne Australia 17 September, 2015 19 September, 2015 19054 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FT7-Geological-Overview-and-CO2-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Melbourne, Australia
17-19 September 2015
The focus of this trip is on the geologic history of the region, its hydrocarbon systems, and its potential for carbon sequestration.
Salt Lake City Utah United States 20 September, 2015 27 September, 2015 151 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/FS-lacustrine-basin-exploration-2014.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
20-27 September 2015

Participants will learn a specific and comprehensive methodology for finding and developing conventional and unconventional oil and gas resources associated with lake deposits. The seminar will start with the Quaternary Bonneville basin in Utah, to build familiarity with lacustrine depositional processes. Participants then examine world-famous exposures of organic-rich mudstone, fluvial sandstone, and carbonate microbialite facies in Wyoming.

Naples Italy 26 September, 2015 02 October, 2015 36 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/fs-carb-complex-carbonate-reservoirs-sedimentation.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Naples, Italy
26 September - 2 October 2015

The main part of the field seminar will focus on the description of the fractured carbonates and the extrapolation from the outcrop observations to the subsurface for building geologically plausible reservoir models.

Houston Texas United States 09 November, 2015 10 November, 2015 17725 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/ec-fec-concepts-models-and-case-studies-of-dolomitization.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
Houston, Texas, United States
9-10 November 2015

This course summarizes the major advances and current controversies in dolomite research.

Online Training
19 March, 2015 19 March, 2015 16283 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/New-Insights-into-the-Stratigraphic-Framework-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
19 March 2015

A detailed biostratigraphic analysis and stratigraphic framework of the Paleocene and Eocene Chicontepec Formation in the Tampico-Misantla basin, onshore eastern Mexico, was conducted using 33 wells.

10 November, 2011 10 November, 2011 1481 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-heterogeneity-in-carbonate-reservoirs.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
10 November 2011

This work investigates how heterogeneity can be defined and how we can quantify this term by describing a range of statistical heterogeneity (e.g. coefficient of variation and the Lorenz coefficient).

30 August, 2012 30 August, 2012 1489 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-mississippian-carbonates-in-kansas.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
30 August 2012

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.

07 June, 2012 07 June, 2012 1488 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-new-production-in-oil-fields.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
7 June 2012

Unger Field, discovered in1955, has produced 8.6 million barrels of oil from a thinly (several ft) bedded, locally cherty dolomite containing vuggy and intercrystalline porosity.

01 January, 2013 01 January, 9999 1459 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-cc-giant-oil-and-gas-fields.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
1 January 2013 - 1 January 9999

There are more approximately 1,000 oil and gas fields in the world that have been classified as "giant," containing more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil and /or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

21 February, 2013 21 February, 2013 1495 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-petrophysics-of-carbonates.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
21 February 2013

The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).

24 October, 2013 24 October, 2013 1499 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-geomechanical-data-from-petrophysical-logs.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
24 October 2013

This e-symposium will be introducing signal processing techniques as a means to maximize extracting geomechanical data from petrophysical logs.

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.

11 November, 2010 11 November, 2010 1465 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-geochemical-evaluation-of-eagle-ford-group-source.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
11 November 2010

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

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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