30 April, 2017 Beijing China

Fundamental Controls on Shale Oil Resources and Production

28-30 April 2017
Beijing, China


Conference Description

Studies indicate that petroleum expulsion from petroleum source rocks is a complex function of source rock type, organic carbon and hydrogen richness, and level of thermal maturity. However, only a low percentage of the expelled petroleums have typically charged conventional petroleum traps based on volumetric assessments. An improved rate of success in exploration for these unaccounted for hydrocarbons from under-explored petroleum source kitchens for both conventional and unconventional resources will make a large difference to global hydrocarbon production. This could substantially extend the life of many highly explored petroleum provinces.

Oil and gas producing source rock systems share several unique aspects that are poorly documented and understood including their organic richness, potentially large hydrocarbon retention capacity, as well as tectonic histories that would prevent hydrocarbon leakage through natural fractures. Risk reduction in unconventional petroleum exploration requires an in-depth understanding of the petroleum system elements and processes on various scales in addition to shale/mudstone reservoir character and evolution.

In recent years there have been numerous specialized conferences that have focused on various aspects of shale gas systems, but none that have attempted to address the fundamental linkages and differences between the economically viable shale gas and shale oil systems. The International Workshop on Shale Oil Resources and Exploitation Technologies held in Wuxi, China on April 14-16, 2012, was a seminal event that encouraged shale oil-oriented discussions. This conference will continue that dialogue, by focusing on the integration of studies from shale oil, shale gas and oil and gas from tight sandstone reservoirs. In addition, the comparison of viable marine and lacustrine shale systems, and the definition of key technology gaps and areas for future research related to shale oil exploration and development will be pursued.


This conference aims to stimulate new ideas and joint industry-academic ventures that can accelerate the exploration and development of shale oil resources in mature petroleum source kitchens in petroliferous basins. Such further advances are likely to be among some of the most significant developments for the oil and gas industry in the next decade as conventional petroleum traps become depleted, while unconventional resources –show continual improvement in productivity, but are inefficient in recovery factors. The conference will provide a venue for both industry and academic geoscientists to increase awareness of the needs and interests of each party and focusing on emerging concepts, novel technologies, and global case studies. Among the key goals of the conference is to generate new research opportunities, to try and develop paradigm shifts, and to raise awareness of the cross-disciplinary skill sets that are needed to solve problems related to making shale oil resources environmentally and economically successful.


The conference aims to gather experts from multiple disciplines. Likely participants will include academic and industry scientists with technical backgrounds in petroleum geology, geochemistry, petrophysics, reservoir characterization, fluid flow, basin modeling, seals, reservoir geophysics, and petroleum engineering. New and different perspectives will be sought from researchers in fields that are not traditionally linked. For this reason, the conveners will also strongly encourage applications from researchers in related fields such as hydrogeology, visualization methods and numerical modeling. The conference will be open to students so long as they are able to actively contribute. Participants must be prepared to share original ideas and participate in the discussions.

The conference will be limited to approximately 150 participants.

Registration Fees

Registration fees will be determined by AAPG after final venue is established. Registration will include full board for 3 nights, including meals and refreshment. Reduced fees should be available for students.

Sinopec is willing to pick up the cost for meals and refreshment for all delegates, plus full costs for a limited number of invited speakers. It is believed that additional sponsorship can be obtained from a number of other oil companies in Beijing.

Technical Themes
  1. Petroleum generation, primary expulsion and secondary migration: Kerogen type and generation kinetics; oil and gas geochemistry (fundamentals related to correlation of in situ and migrated hydrocarbons, molecular tracers for expulsion efficiencies), thermal maturity, thermal cracking and oil to gas evolution
  2. Shale/mudrocks as reservoirs: Sedimentology of fine-grained organic rich rocks, diagenetic histories, micro and nano-porosity evolution, small pore PVT, water saturation, relative permeability, the importance of quartz and carbonate minerals, NSO compounds, mechanical and hydraulic properties of shales; hydrocarbon storage and delivery mechanisms
  3. Hydrocarbon enrichment mechanisms in shale/mudrock systems: Shale compaction, TOC by volume and association with other lithofaces, top and bottom seals, hydrocarbon retention and fractionation, the role of kerogen and inorganic/organic CO2 release on processes such as pressure, migration conduits, secondary porosity enhancement involving organic acids, the importance of burial history and timing of structural deformation, the role and challenges of recognizing overpressure zones, multi-episode petroleum charging and seal failure, basin modeling in unconventional plays
  4. Geophysical technologies related to shale oil exploration: Imaging of fractured reservoirs; wireline logging for detecting organic rich beds and shale oil pays; horizontal well logging
  5. Multistage fracturing for shale/mudstone reservoirs: Fracturing and monitoring technologies, number of stages and spacing, advances in proppants and surfactants
  6. Innovation production techniques: Well spacing and design layout, stacked laterals, enhanced recovery from unconventional reservoirs (gas injection)
  7. Production allocation: Identifying zones contributing to production results, leaking seals/barriers
Case Studies

A selection of industry case studies will be solicited to address components within each of the technical themes. These will serve to establish the community’s knowledge baseline so that a common platform for discussion among meeting participants will exist. This common platform will identify gaps in knowledge and provide the foundation for a discussion of potential research paths for each of the technical themes. It will also familiarize the academic community of industry’s focus and key areas of technical concern. Opportunities for further research directed at areas of commercial concern will be suggested. The case studies will focus on shale oil systems that are producing and/or being tested, including both conventional and unconventional systems.


Abstracts will be available at Search and Discovery

Check back for more information


The conference will comprise two days in non-parallel oral and poster presentations (October 22-23, 2016). Registration will begin at 4:00pm on October 21. All presentations will be made in English or Chinese, with simultaneous translation. Short (30-35 minute) talks and panel sessions will be used to introduce and summarize different themes. The conference will place a strong emphasis on group discussions as well as interactions among participants with equal emphasis on poster presentations.

The conference will start with an introductory talk on defining and describing shale oil or tight oil resource systems in a broad general thematic session to capture advances from leading scientists on the nature and character of North American, European and Chinese unconventional petroleum systems, similarities, differences and general problems. This will be followed by sessions dealing with the fundamental elements of shale and tight oil systems and the uniqueness of these systems. It will conclude with a session on the technology advances and needs. Session chairs and conference organizers will facilitate discussions as part of each theme session capturing what is known, new thoughts and ideas, and the issues that warrant further and advanced investigation.

Beijing, China Sinopec Conference Center
Changping District 21
Beijing 102200
Beijing, China Sinopec Conference Center Beijing, China Sinopec Conference Center 24711



Events Coordinator +1 918 560-9431
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/mahan-amy2.jpg?width=75&quality=90&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 29 Amy Mahan
Dr. Maowen Li
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/li-maowen.jpg?width=75&quality=90&encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 26482 Dr. Maowen Li

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The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) does not endorse or recommend any products and services that may be cited, used or discussed in AAPG publications or in presentations at events associated with AAPG.