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Memoir 113: Giant Fields of the Decade 2000-2010

Edited by R. K. Merrill and C. A. Sternbach

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Oil and gas fields greater than 500 MMBO equivalent are called giants. They are the world's ultimate prize. Giants drive worldwide economies and human prosperity.

Nearly 50 years ago, Michel T. Halbouty encouraged geoscientists to practice Discovery Thinking and study fields that matter most when he initiated the Giant Fields AAPG Memoir series. Previous Giant Fields Memoirs are: Memoir 14, Memoir 30, Memoir 54, and Memoir 78.

It is exciting that giant fields are still being found today. The decade 2000-2010 was characterized by the rise of the unconventional plays. These are dominated by large regional accumulations in small microscopic pore throats. In addition to the unconventional accumulations, deep-water accumulations continue to have increasing importance in the global hydrocarbon budget.

New technology has enabled us to revisit mature basins with dramatic success. Traditional roles in discovering giant fields over previous decades included the rockers (geologists focused on reservoirs), the trappers (geophysicists mapping geometry of accumulations), and the sealers and sourcers (explorers following source rock and seals). More than ever, successful giant field discovery in the decade 2000 through 2010 was led by the integrators, who brought together all of the varied geoscience disciplines in their work in order to achieve this success.

Basin analysis, geochemistry, cutting-edge seismic imaging, and rock mechanics have become critical additions to the explorer?s skill set and workflows. This Memoir begins by looking at the global characteristics of the giant fields discovered in the decade 2000 through 2010. It then looks at discovery trends and predictions from the current and previous decades, and projects those trends into the decade 2010 through 2020. In the Memoir?s field summaries, the type of trap for each field was documented, followed by a discussion of trap formation; the age of the reservoir rocks; and the source, generation, and migration of the hydrocarbons. Finally, the Memoir looks at the factor(s) that drove the final investment decision and how Discovery Thinking contributed to a field?s discovery.

Looking at the discovery rate of giant fields since the late nineteenth century, at least four factors seem to control the frequency of discovery of giant oil and gas fields. These include concepts (e.g., geological models), technology, price, and access to drilling locations.

The editors of this latest Giant Fields volume, R. K. Merrill and C. A. Sternbach, believe that giant fields will continue to be found with renewed technology, new exploration and production concepts, enhanced imaging, and the boldness to explore in deeper water and more remote geography. AAPG Memoir 113 proudly continues the fifth decade of the Giant Fields series.

About the Editors

Table of Contents

AAPG Memoir 113

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Product Code:1284
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