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Explorer Historical Highlights

The search for new sources of helium is of paramount importance as a combination of declining production and increasing demand have made helium prices soar. This follows a century in which the United States had a near monopoly on helium reserves and U.S. production met global demand. Although most of the helium production story has taken place in the United States, there are other nations that have produced and are producing helium.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

About 1 billion people in the world live without electricity. In 2015, the United Nations announced an ambitious agenda to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Two years on, several multinational energy companies have become involved, or increased efforts already under way, with initiatives aimed at bringing Goal 7 to reality for about 200 million people, mostly in least-developed counties.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Energy Minerals Division celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2002. The Division emphasized to the AAPG membership that it was AAPG’s center of activity on energy minerals and unconventional energy resources. EMD originally focused primarily on coal, uranium, geothermal energy, oil shales and tar sands. However, its focus expanded and in 2002, EMD’s most active unconventional resource areas were coalbed methane, gas hydrates, and unconventional energy economics.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In 2017, AAPG celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding in Tulsa, Okla. This same year was also the 40th anniversary of the establishment the AAPG Energy Minerals Division. The EMD has evolved as an organization over the past 40 years to reflect the changes in the mix of resources fueling the world’s ever-increasing energy demand.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
EMD Blog

Natural gas hydrate resources potentially exceed all other conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources in our world; however, little is known about the ultimate viability of this untapped energy resource. How will natural gas shape our energy future? Make plans to attend the workshop “Gas Hydrates – From Potential Geohazard to Carbon-Efficient Fuel?” in Auckland, New Zealand, 15-17 April 2019.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column EMD

The Energy Minerals Division’s total membership remains healthy with more than 3,000 members. Rather than focusing on a pure numbers game, EMD’s focus this year will be on servant leadership. Our challenge is to identify members who are willing to participate in one of our many committees and serve as new leaders to replace the current committee chairs and officers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Director’s Corner

Notwithstanding the increases in oil prices we’ve seen in recent years, the cost controls put in place in response to the downturn persist. And it’s not just E&P companies looking to the future and tightening their belts. The major oil and gas producing economies are, too.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

“When you think about the future of energy in the year 2025, seven years from now, I see ______?” This was one of the digital interactive questions asked at the Energy Transitions Forum in Amsterdam last month. The answers from a room of energy professionals were telling: diversity, renewables, energy, change, hybrid, oil, gas. The Forum addressed how companies and geoscientists can broaden their roles for energy transitions that can include a lower-carbon future.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column EMD

I am pleased to serve as president of the Energy Minerals Division for 2018-19. My main goals for this year are to provide frequent, easily accessible, relevant, high-quality technical content, and to improve our member engagement and communication with the regions, local societies and other geological associations.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Latin America Blog

Bid rounds, new technologies and the region’s energy future will be topics of discussion at the Energy Opportunities Conference, Exhibition and Business-to-Business Session in Cartagena, Colombia from Aug. 22-23. “We are moving beyond our technical arena to explore regulatory aspects, industry-government collaboration, industry- community relations, plus looking to the future of alternative energy and technologies,” said Victor Vega, Latin America and Caribbean Region immediate past president and general vice chair for Energy Opportunities.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 21 June Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Secure energy supply and energy immediate availability are key subject for a peaceful and sustainable growth in developed countries and in particular in Europe. This workshop will bring together professionals working in industry and in academia to share experiences, present-day work and future visions related to all geo-subjects involving exploration and development of energy sources in the subsurface.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lviv, Ukraine
Thursday, 21 September Friday, 22 September 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for a workshop where experts will  explore the Carpathian foreland and the Dnieper-Donetsk rift basins with a focus not only on hydrocarbons, but the utilization of geothermal resources, hydrogen exploration and CCUS.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Biomass Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for biopower and biofuel.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 February 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

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

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 10 September 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Economic oil and gas fields have been increasingly found in deep-water continental margins for the past decade, where potential prospects record the key tectonic events associated with plate breakup and continental drift. In these regions, the exploitation of economic resources must take into account sustainable practices and environmental concerns of local populations. This talk will present case studies from multiple continental margins to then extrapolate major findings to basins in SE Asia.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Traditional Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

In the span of a mere few months, the much of the world went from a state of exuberant self-actualization to the most primal level of survival (health, food, shelter) insecurity. Consequently, the world has changed. Shock change due to pandemic-triggered chain reactions, supply / demand and price instability, rapid technological innovation, new plays and changing markets, distributed teams and workforces, the powerful force of social media, shortages of technical expertise, and supply chain issues have come together to create new challenges and opportunities for leadership. We will analyze how the issues relate to the oil and gas business (exploration, development, oilfield services, support services, financial sector) and we will propose solutions for immediate real-world emergencies, together with longer term challenges. In addition, we will evaluate what prominent thinkers and academics have written about leadership and strategic planning.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

There are 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.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Virtual Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 November 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will review the results of ongoing carbon storage research in Kentucky by the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) and industry partners.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 8 July 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for this presentation about Innovative Digital Imaging. New approaches and uses for drone-based imaging, augmented reality, monitoring deep, harsh, remote environments, and more. Presentation will be via Zoom 7:00pm - 8:30pm CDT, 15 July 2020

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 14 April 2020, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

The Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Smackover Formation is one of the most prolific oil and gas producers in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain, where it deposited in a proximal carbonate ramp. This study is a comprehensive characterization of the depositional environment of the Smackover based on 3D seismic and well data from wells in the Vocation and Appleton oil fields located in the Conecuh and Manila Sub-basins in southwest Alabama.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 28 October 2021, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.

As an industry we’re constantly challenged to improve our business on a worldwide stage. How do we continue improving the safe delivery of high quality, economical wells and production where understanding of social requirements and the license to operate are rapidly changing? Join us for a conversation with a panel of drilling engineers to gain insight to their understanding of how we can meet these challenges and impact well delivery planning processes and outcomes - from clarity on deliverables, process improvements, advances in technology, to building better business models for modern decision making.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 9 June 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: The New Way to Work'. Panelists will discuss the way that work is done, both in operations and support roles, and discuss specific examples of technologies being used, and how they contribute to a safer, more efficient and profitable endeavor. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 9 June 2021.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The Betic hinterland, in the westernmost Mediterranean, constitutes a unique example of a stack of metamorphic units. Using a three-dimensional model for the crustal structure of the Betics-Rif area this talk will address the role of crustal flow simultaneously to upper-crustal low-angle faulting in the origin and evolution of the topography.

Request a visit from Juan I. Soto!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

In comparison with the known boundary conditions that promote salt deformation and flow in sedimentary basins, the processes involved with the mobilization of clay-rich detrital sediments are far less well established. This talk will use seismic examples in different tectonic settings to document the variety of shale geometries that can be formed under brittle and ductile deformations.

Request a visit from Juan I. Soto!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) seismic-reflection surveys provide one of the most important data types for understanding subsurface depositional systems. Quantitative analysis is commonly restricted to geophysical interpretation of elastic properties of rocks in the subsurface. Wide availability of 3D seismic-reflection data and integration provide opportunities for quantitative analysis of subsurface stratigraphic sequences. Here, we integrate traditional seismic-stratigraphic interpretation with quantitative geomorphologic analysis and numerical modeling to explore new insights into submarine-channel evolution.

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Request a visit from Jacob Covault!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Around 170 million years ago, the Gulf of Mexico basin flooded catastrophically, and the pre-existing landscape, which had been a very rugged, arid, semi-desert world, was drowned beneath an inland sea of salt water. The drowned landscape was then buried under kilometers of salt, perfectly preserving the older topography. Now, with high-quality 3D seismic data, the salt appears as a transparent layer, and the details of the drowned world can be seen in exquisite detail, providing a unique snapshot of the world on the eve of the flooding event. We can map out hills and valleys, and a system of river gullies and a large, meandering river system. These rivers in turn fed into a deep central lake, whose surface was about 750m below global sea level. This new knowledge also reveals how the Louann Salt was deposited. In contrast to published models, the salt was deposited in a deep water, hypersaline sea. We can estimate the rate of deposition, and it was very fast; we believe that the entire thickness of several kilometers of salt was laid down in a few tens of thousands of years, making it possibly the fastest sustained deposition seen so far in the geological record.

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Request a visit from Frank Peel!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

As oil and gas exploration and production occur in deeper basins and more complex geologic settings, accurate characterization and modeling of reservoirs to improve estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) prediction, optimize well placement and maximize recovery become paramount. Existing technologies for reservoir characterization and modeling have proven inadequate for delivering detailed 3D predictions of reservoir architecture, connectivity and rock quality at scales that impact subsurface flow patterns and reservoir performance. Because of the gap between the geophysical and geologic data available (seismic, well logs, cores) and the data needed to model rock heterogeneities at the reservoir scale, constraints from external analog systems are needed. Existing stratigraphic concepts and deposition models are mostly empirical and seldom provide quantitative constraints on fine-scale reservoir heterogeneity. Current reservoir modeling tools are challenged to accurately replicate complex, nonstationary, rock heterogeneity patterns that control connectivity, such as shale layers that serve as flow baffles and barriers.

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Request a visit from Tao Sun!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Local sea-level changes are not simply a function of global ocean volumes but also the interactions between the solid Earth, the Earth’s gravitational field and the loading and unloading of ice sheets. Contrasting behaviors between Antarctica and Scotland highlight how important the geologic structure beneath the former ice sheets is in determining the interactions between ice sheets and relative sea levels.

Request a visit from Alex Simms!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

Production from unconventional petroleum reservoirs includes petroleum from shale, coal, tight-sand and oil-sand. These reservoirs contain enormous quantities of oil and natural gas but pose a technology challenge to both geoscientists and engineers to produce economically on a commercial scale. These reservoirs store large volumes and are widely distributed at different stratigraphic levels and basin types, offering long-term potential for energy supply. Most of these reservoirs are low permeability and porosity that need enhancement with hydraulic fracture stimulation to maximize fluid drainage. Production from these reservoirs is increasing with continued advancement in geological characterization techniques and technology for well drilling, logging, and completion with drainage enhancement. Currently, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Egypt, USA, and Venezuela are producing natural gas from low permeability reservoirs: tight-sand, shale, and coal (CBM). Canada, Russia, USA, and Venezuela are producing heavy oil from oilsand. USA is leading the development of techniques for exploring, and technology for exploiting unconventional gas resources, which can help to develop potential gas-bearing shales of Thailand. The main focus is on source-reservoir-seal shale petroleum plays. In these tight rocks petroleum resides in the micro-pores as well as adsorbed on and in the organics. Shale has very low matrix permeability (nano-darcies) and has highly layered formations with differences in vertical and horizontal properties, vertically non-homogeneous and horizontally anisotropic with complicate natural fractures. Understanding the rocks is critical in selecting fluid drainage enhancement mechanisms; rock properties such as where shale is clay or silica rich, clay types and maturation , kerogen type and maturation, permeability, porosity, and saturation. Most of these plays require horizontal development with large numbers of wells that require an understanding of formation structure, setting and reservoir character and its lateral extension. The quality of shale-gas resources depend on thickness of net pay (>100 m), adequate porosity (>2%), high reservoir pressure (ideally overpressure), high thermal maturity (>1.5% Ro), high organic richness (>2% TOC), low in clay (<50%), high in brittle minerals (quartz, carbonates, feldspars), and favourable in-situ stress. During the past decade, unconventional shale and tight-sand gas plays have become an important supply of natural gas in the US, and now in shale oil as well. As a consequence, interest to assess and explore these plays is rapidly spreading worldwide. The high production potential of shale petroleum resources has contributed to a comparably favourable outlook for increased future petroleum supplies globally. Application of 2D and 3D seismic for defining reservoirs and micro seismic for monitoring fracturing, measuring rock properties downhole (borehole imaging) and in laboratory (mineralogy, porosity, permeability), horizontal drilling (downhole GPS), and hydraulic fracture stimulation (cross-linked gel, slick-water, nitrogen or nitrogen foam) is key in improving production from these huge resources with low productivity factors.

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Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The carbonate sequences that were deposited in the now exhumed Tethyan Ocean influence many aspects of our lives today, either by supplying the energy that warms our homes and the fuel that powers our cars or providing the stunning landscapes for both winter and summer vacations. They also represent some of the most intensely studied rock formations in the world and have provided geoscientists with a fascinating insight into the turbulent nature of 250 Million years of Earth’s history. By combining studies from the full range of geoscience disciplines this presentation will trace the development of these carbonate sequences from their initial formation on the margins of large ancient continental masses to their present day locations in and around the Greater Mediterranean and Near East region. The first order control on growth patterns and carbonate platform development by the regional plate-tectonic setting, underlying basin architecture and fluctuations in sea level will be illustrated. The organisms that contribute to sequence development will be revealed to be treasure troves of forensic information. Finally, these rock sequences will be shown to contain all the ingredients necessary to form and retain hydrocarbons and the manner in which major post-depositional tectonic events led to the formation of some of the largest hydrocarbon accumulations in the world will be demonstrated.

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Request a visit from Keith Gerdes!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

President Biden has laid out a bold and ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050.  The pathway to that target includes cutting total greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and eliminating them entirely from the nation’s electricity sector by 2035. The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management will play an important role in the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by reducing the environmental impacts of fossil energy production and use – and helping decarbonize other hard-to abate sectors.

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Request a visit from Jennifer Wilcox!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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