North Sea rejuvenation, onshore unconventional exploration and Eastern Mediterranean exploration have resulted in a growing Young Professional (YP) demographic in Europe.
Geoscience students from the University of Utah took the top prize in this year’s AAPG/AAPG Foundation Imperial Barrel Award competition, beating out 10 other teams from geoscience departments from around the world.
We describe the structure, microstructure, and petrophysical properties of fault rocks from two normal fault zones formed in low-porosity turbiditic arkosic sandstones, in deep diagenesis conditions similar to those of deeply buried reservoirs. These fault rocks are characterized by a foliated fabric and quartz-calcite sealed veins, which formation resulted from the combination of the (1) pressure solution of quartz, (2) intense fracturing sealed by quartz and calcite cements, and (3) neoformation of synkinematic white micas derived from the alteration of feldspars and chlorite. Fluid inclusion microthermometry in quartz and calcite cements demonstrates fault activity at temperatures of 195C to 268C. Permeability measurements on plugs oriented parallel with the principal axes of the finite strain ellipsoid show that the Y axis (parallel with the foliation and veins) is the direction of highest permeability in the foliated sandstone (10–2 md for Y against 10–3 md for X, Z, and the protolith, measured at a confining pressure of 20 bars). Microstructural observations document the localization of the preferential fluid path between the phyllosilicate particles forming the foliation. Hence, the direction of highest permeability in these fault rocks would be parallel with the fault and subhorizontal, that is, perpendicular to the slickenlines representing the local slip direction on the fault surface. We suggest that a similar relationship between kinematic markers and fault rock permeability anisotropy may be found in other fault zone types (reverse or strike-slip) affecting feldspar-rich lithologies in deep diagenesis conditions.
Operation Overlord: An unassuming, extraordinary quiet man keeps a secret about his heroic past in silence throughout his entire life.
A three-dimensional seismic data set and published data from exploration wells were used to reconstruct the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Mandal High area, southern North Sea, Norway. The Mandal High is an elongated southeast-northwest–trending horst. Three fault families in the Lower Permian sequence, inherited from the basement structural grain of Caledonian origin, are interpreted: (1) a north-northwest–south-southeast–striking fault family, (2) a northeast-southwest–striking fault family, and (3) a near east-west–striking fault family. In addition, an east-southeast–west-northwest–striking fault family (4) that formed during Late Jurassic rifting and was reverse reactivated in the Late Cretaceous is interpreted. We suggest that inversion occurred because of small dextral motion along fault family 1. A final fault family (5) displays various strike orientations and is associated with salt movements.
Seven chronostratigraphic sequences defined by well data and recognized on three-dimensional seismic data are interpreted and mapped: Early Permian rifting in a continental environment; Late Permian deposition of the Zechstein salt and flooding; Triassic continental rifting; uplift and erosion in the Middle Jurassic with deposition of shallow-marine and deltaic sediments; rifting and transgression in a deep-marine environment during the Late Jurassic; a post-rift phase in a marine environment during the Early Cretaceous; and flooding and deposition of the Chalk Group in the Late Cretaceous. An eighth sequence was interpreted—Paleogene–Neogene—but has not been studied in detail. This sequence is dominated by progradation from the east and basin subsidence. Well and seismic data over the Mandal High reveal that large parts of the high were subaerially exposed from Late Permian to Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous, providing a local source of sediments for adjacent basins.
Similar to the Utsira High, where several large hydrocarbon discoveries have been recently seen, the Mandal High might consist of a set of petroleum plays, including fractured crystalline basement and shallow-marine systems along the flanks of the high, thereby opening up future exploration opportunities.
AAPG Europe’s annual APPEX Global conference returned to the Business Design Centre in London in March, attracting more than 700 attendees representing independent oil and gas producers, major corporations and national oil companies.
A new technical paper takes a look at the ongoing exploration success that can be found in the eastern Mediterranean's Levant Basin
Regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions are now common – 33 countries and 18 sub-national jurisdictions will have a price on carbon in 2012 – but the topic is contentious in the United States and other countries as carbon emissions regulations take hold.
A recent study has been completed comparing North American and European shale gas and oil resource systems.
Reservoir properties of Upper Triassic–Middle Jurassic sandstones, Spitsbergen, are studied as part of a CO2 storage pilot project in Longyearbyen. The reservoir formations show large contrasts in sandstone compositions, with unexpected low permeability despite moderate porosity values. Petrographic analyses were performed to investigate the influence and distribution of diagenesis. It is concluded that, because of various compaction, cementation, and dissolution processes, the sandstone porosity is mainly isolated molds and micropores and associated with fibrous illite and chamosite, explaining the low permeability. Diagenesis and the distribution of quartz cement is influenced by lithofacies and detrital compositions. Mineralogically immature sandstones (De Geerdalen Formation) show a homogeneous distribution of quartz cement overgrowths on quartz grains, distributed interstitial to labile grains and other cements (e.g., late calcite). The main silica source was from the dissolution of adjacent feldspar and labile grains as part of the chemical compaction. In contrast, quartz-dominated sandstones (Knorringfjellet Formation) show a heterogeneous patchy distribution of quartz cement influenced by the sedimentary bioturbation pattern, with silica sourced also from dissolution at clay-rich microstylolites. Phosphatic beds at the base and top of the formation are strongly influenced by marine eogenesis and reworking processes and associated with concentration of iron-rich authigenic minerals. The highest porosity appears in sand-supported conglomerate where moldic clay-mineral ooids contributed to reduce quartz cementation. The stratigraphic change from mineralogical immature (Triassic) to mature (uppermost Triassic–Jurassic) sandstone compositions is detected in wide areas of the Barents Shelf and has considerable implications for the distribution of sandstone reservoir properties.
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