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2466
 
Explorer Historical Highlight

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.

2381
 
Explorer Emphasis Article

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

3727
 

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.

3711
 
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.
2317
 
Explorer Article

Industry and academia are teaming up to pump up activity in the Mississippian of the Midcontinent United States.

3706
 

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.

2297
 

“My concept of reservoirs has completely changed.”

3670
 

In their recent discussion of the recognition of late burial dissolution of carbonates, Ehrenberg et al. (2012) use our article (Beavington-Penney et al., 2008) as an example of a study that mistakes late burial (mesogenetic) porosity for pores that formed much earlier in the diagenetic sequence. Commenting on our study of reservoir quality variation in Eocene nummulitic limestones, Ehrenberg et al. (2012, p. 229) note that “hellipthe pores in the photomicrographs shown [our figure 8]hellip appear to be combinations of primary intrachamber (nummulite [sic]) and intergranular macropores, in some cases augmented by molds of possible eogenetic origin.” However, they did not mention the evidence we present (our figure 8G) of dissolution immediately below a stylolite and along apparently stylolite-related fractures. Ehrenberg et al. perhaps feel that one photomicrograph is not unambiguous evidence supporting our conclusion that interparticle vuggy porosity developed in micritic matrix during late burial diagenesis, but we feel that, as part of a balanced discussion, it would at least have been reasonable to acknowledge that we present direct evidence of dissolution that apparently postdates chemical compaction, before dismissing our model.

It is not an original observation that late burial corrosion is commonly hard to identify and prove (e.g., see Mazzullo and Harris, 1992), and it is reasonable that models invoking such processes should be open to challenge. However, it is disappointing that neither authors nor reviewers noticed that the criticism of our article neglected to mention a key piece of evidence in favor of a mesogenetic model. I do not attempt here to question the validity of Ehrenberg et al.'s argument that the identification of such late-stage porosity is commonly mistaken (or to comment on the validity of their criticism of other published articles) but instead to point out that this argument would be better served by an accurate portrayal of the evidence presented in the case studies they choose to criticize.

3661
 

The Sierra Diablo Mountains of west Texas contain world-class exposures of Lower Permian (Leonardian) platform carbonates. As such, these outcrops offer key insights into the products of carbonate deposition in the transitional icehouse to greenhouse setting of the early to middle Permian that are available in few other places. They also afford an excellent basis for examining how styles of facies and sequence development vary between inner and outer platform settings.

We collected detailed data on the facies composition and architecture of lower Leonardian high-frequency cycles and sequences from outcrops that provide more than 2 mi (3 km) of continuous exposure. We used these data to define facies stacking patterns along depositional dip across the platform in both low- and high-accommodation settings and to document how these patterns vary systematically among and within sequences.

Like icehouse and waning icehouse successions elsewhere, Leonardian platform deposits are highly cyclic; cycles dominantly comprise aggradational upward-shallowing facies successions that vary according to accommodation setting. Cycles stack into longer duration high-frequency sequences (HFSs) that exhibit systematic variations in facies and cycle architectures. Unlike cycles, HFSs can comprise symmetrical upward-shallowing or upward-deepening facies stacks. High-frequency sequences are not readily definable from one-dimensional stratigraphic sections but require dip-parallel two-dimensional sections and, in most cases, HFS boundaries are best defined in middle platform settings where facies contrast and offset are greatest. These studies demonstrate that HFSs are the dominant architectural element in many platform systems. As such, the lessons learned from these remarkable outcrops provide a sound basis for understanding and modeling carbonate facies architecture in other carbonate-platform successions, especially those of the middle to upper Permian.

3563
 
Although the linkages among surface sediments, geomorphic forms, and hydrodynamics in Holocene ooid tidal sand shoals have been evaluated recently, how these factors are reflected in the geomorphic evolution and stratigraphic record of shoals is less constrained. Yet, such understanding is essential to developing meaningful predictive conceptual models of three-dimensional architecture of ancient reservoir analogs. Integrating remote-sensing imagery, high-frequency seismic data, and core characterization from Lily Bank, a modern tidally dominated Bahamian ooid shoal in which sedimentologic processes are well documented, reveals the stratigraphic record of geomorphic change. An irregular, gently dipping rocky surface (interpreted as the top Pleistocene) with no pronounced topographic high underlies the Holocene oolitic succession. A 6-m (20-ft)–thick poorly sorted, gravelly muddy sand with few ooids overlies this basal surface. This lower interval is overlain by sand with an upward increase in proportion of ooids, sorting, and grain size. The uppermost unit, present only under active bar forms, is well-sorted oolitic medium sand with accretionary foresets. Sediments vary stratigraphically and geomorphically; the lower unit is finer and less well sorted than the upper units, and in the oolitic upper unit, sediment size and sorting on bar crests are distinct from bar flanks. Collectively, these results suggest that a marked antecedent bump is not necessary for occurrence of ooid shoals and that the stratigraphic record of analogous ooid shoal systems may preserve clues of geomorphic position, as well as geobody size and orientation.
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In-Person Training
Midland Texas United States 14 January, 2015 14 January, 2015 13531
 
Midland, Texas, United States
14 January 2015

The Midland Playmaker Forum is focused on new and emerging plays of interest to sections or regions, with a broad global appeal to explorers in all locations. Its emphasis is the process of turning a prospect into a discovery and therefore complements the existing prospect expos.

Oklahoma City Oklahoma United States 19 February, 2015 19 February, 2015 11378
 
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
19 February 2015

This year’s Mississippian Lime Forum unleashes science, technology, and experience to solve persistent puzzles, and dramatically improve economics. Consider 2015 a breakthrough year as new, sometimes controversial new techniques and technologies are being implemented for the first time.

Houston Texas United States 02 March, 2015 03 March, 2015 1348
 
Houston, Texas, United States
2-3 March 2015

The course starts with patterns of carbonate deposition and moves on to an examination of modern analogs for ancient sediments, diagenesis, and select case histories of Paleozoic and Mesozoic basin reservoirs.

Houston Texas United States 04 March, 2015 04 March, 2015 1354
 
Houston, Texas, United States
4 March 2015

This course will alternate between lectures and practical exercises involving cores, logs and seismic data.

Houston Texas United States 05 March, 2015 06 March, 2015 13406
 
Houston, Texas, United States
5-6 March 2015

This short course is designed to provide information to facilitate exploration for microbial carbonate buildups and associated reservoir facies and to assist with the formulation of development plans for fields producing from microbial carbonates. The course consists of a series of seven lectures supplemented by core samples.

London United Kingdom 09 March, 2015 10 March, 2015 13537
 
London, United Kingdom
9-10 March 2015

The London Playmaker Forum is focused on new and emerging plays of interest to sections or regions, with a broad global appeal to explorers in all locations. Its emphasis is the process of turning a prospect into a discovery and therefore complements the existing prospect expos.

Austin Texas United States 21 April, 2015 23 April, 2015 1518
 
Austin, Texas, United States
21-23 April 2015

The overall goal of this course is to provide tools for efficient and effective re-exploration and development. It uses a two-part approach. First it uses petrophysical analysis to understand all that can be derived from examination of standard open-hole logs. This is followed by integrated approaches to discover key factors controlling oil and gas distribution in carbonate reservoirs in the greater Midcontinent USA. Methodologies and workflows reviewed include geosteering and evaluation of horizontal wells and optimizing carbon storage utilization and management.

Las Negras Spain 08 June, 2015 13 June, 2015 31
 
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
 
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.

Salt Lake City Utah United States 20 September, 2015 27 September, 2015 151
 
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
 
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.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7816
 
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7815
 
14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7812
 
Online Training
24 October, 2013 24 October, 2013 1499
 
24 October 2013

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

10 November, 2011 10 November, 2011 1481
 
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).

07 June, 2012 07 June, 2012 1488
 
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.

30 August, 2012 30 August, 2012 1489
 
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.

01 January, 2013 01 January, 9999 1459
 
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
 
21 February 2013

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

28 April, 2011 28 April, 2011 1471
 
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
 
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
 
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