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Explorer Director’s Corner

Last month Houston hosted the 23rd World Petroleum Congress with more than 5,000 attendees from 70 countries. After a one-year postponement due to the global pandemic, energy leaders from across the globe gathered to discuss the future of energy. And the tone of the discussion was sobering. Following on the heels of November’s COP26 meeting in Glasgow, there was recognition that political and societal pressures are shifting the energy sector and the industries in it. But there was widespread concern that the expectations underlying these pressures for change were unrealistic. That those pushing hardest for change lacked a fundamental understanding of what transforming the global energy sector truly entailed, what it would look like when it was complete and the dangers looming from getting it wrong.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

The estimated hydrocarbon reserves around the world, when produced, can keep us going for the next several decades. But scientific records and our own experiences are enough evidence that climate change is indeed happening. Addressing it requires energy extraction from non-fossil fuels. One such resource is the natural heat of the Earth, or geothermal energy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Producers finally got some relief in 2021. Oil and gas prices recovered from their pandemic lows and remained at high levels through most of the year, as increased production could not keep pace with a global demand recovery. It was a year when higher prices helped energy producers strengthen their balance sheets and improve their bottom lines.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

One of the more provocative but less publicized initiatives introduced at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is an international effort to end oil and gas exploration and production. The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, created by Denmark and Costa Rica, officially launched its program at COP26.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Technological advances in the geothermal energy sector are making some geoscientists hopeful about the potential to deliver its energy resources almost anywhere on the planet. The growing need for clean, resilient, baseload energy coupled with recent advancements in oil and gas technology have prompted geoscientists to push the boundaries of geothermal resources. Looking beyond the natural settings of the resource, geoscientists are working to bypass geographic and geologic limits so that geothermal energy can be used around the world.

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

Back in 2015, the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, were adopted by world leaders in a historic UN Summit. Now, in 2021, new pledges have been announced after the first week of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, Conference of the Parties, or COP26.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Natural gas was first commercially discovered in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico in 1921, making this year the Basin’s centennial. The first San Juan Basin natural gas strike occurred one mile south of Aztec, N.M., when the Aztec Oil Syndicate completed their No. 1 State. Production was found at a depth of about 1,000 feet. The gas discovered south of Aztec was piped into town and used domestically throughout most of the 1920s. This was the first commercial use of natural gas in New Mexico or the San Juan Basin. Located in northwest New Mexico and southwest Colorado, the San Juan is one of the largest gas basins in the United States, along with the Marcellus in the Appalachian Basin and the greater Hugoton Field of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Considering that geothermal energy can supply power 24/7 for hundreds of years, it can use existing infrastructure from retired coal and nuclear plants, it is extremely attractive to investors, and that it creates more jobs than wind and solar energy, the question arises: Why does so much of this clean, natural resource remain in the ground? That was the topic of discussion at the “Geothermal 101” Geosciences Technology Workshop, hosted recently by AAPG and Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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

There are many potential changes coming to AAPG and, by association, the Energy Minerals Division, but that doesn’t mean we should be static or complacent. New efforts now will help lay the groundwork for whatever the future holds. Worried EMD won’t exist in the NewOrg? Don’t! Whatever form a combined AAPG-SPE might take, there will certainly be a place for energy geoscientists interested in and working on the energy resources and issues currently addressed under the EMD umbrella. We might be working under a different name, but the need for a forum to discuss the array of resources being studied and developed by energy geoscientists will remain.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The eastern Great Basin of western Utah has long been known as a high heat flow region containing young volcanic rocks and several producing hydrothermal systems. The Utah FORGE Enhanced Geothermal Systems project seeks to advance technology to extract the heat in the huge volumes of hot rock underground, identified or strongly suspected, that do not currently possess adequate permeability. Resolving the underlying mechanisms that have heated such volumes should not only help characterize the magnitude of an individual resource but also create a pathfinder for discovering other systems, both EGS and hydrothermal.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lviv, Ukraine
Tuesday, 31 May – Wednesday, 1 June 2022, 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)
Workshop
Netherlands
Tuesday, 5 April Wednesday, 6 April 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Plan to attend Geothermal Crossover Technology workshop 4 on 5-6 April 2022. The workshop will offer an exciting knowledge sharing and discussion platform where industry experts, country representatives and academia can share their visions and perspectives on how the petroleum and geothermal industries can work together to create new opportunities to make geothermal energy exploration and production a reality.

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

Wind Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for wind energy.

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

Renewable & Non-Renewable Resources is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for renewable energy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Monday, 29 June 2020, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

This talk examines what we are missing the use of in terms of waste heat in both the petroleum industry and long abandoned coal industry of the UK, how we might use that heat and what the collateral benefits of heat use would be in terms of sustainability and the circular economy.

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

The presenters will discuss effective management of wind farm operations and the challenges often encountered. 

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, 11 February 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Gas hydrates, ice-like substances composed of water and gas molecules (methane, ethane, propane, etc.), occur in permafrost areas and in deep water marine environments.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 20 August 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium covers advances in geothermal energy, integration with petroleum operations, and lessons learned in recent cases.

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

You may sign up for these 5 courses as a package at any time, and the courses will begin the first day of the upcoming month.

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

Solar Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for solar energy.

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

Geothermal Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for geothermal energy.

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)
VG Abstract

Analysis of microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracture stimulation in the Marcellus Shale shows changes in stress state for different zones of failure. During the treatment, shear failure occurs on both the J1 and J2 fracture orientations in response to different maximum stress orientations, indicating localized changes in the orientation during the treatment. Reactivation of a fault near the wellbore is associated with failure mechanisms with a higher volumetric component, indicating possible inflation of faults and fractures by the introduction of the slurry. Quantification of the stress conditions that are associated with inflation could potentially be used to optimize the stimulation by identifying which fractures will preferentially take on slurry volume.

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

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

This lecture will discuss the differences between carbonates and siliciclastics from their chemical composition through their distributions in time and space. Building on these fundamental differences, we will explore the challenges carbonates pose to petroleum geologists in terms of seismic interpretation, reservoir quality prediction, field development, etc. Peppered with humorous personal stories, still raging academic debates, and the heartfelt frustrations of real industry professionals, the aim is to inspire students and young professionals to rise to the occasion and embrace the reservoir rocks that petroleum geologists love to hate.

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Request a visit from Noelle Joy Purcell!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The following short course option was developed for geology and geophysics students that have not had much exposure to how geoscience is applied in industry. It can be tailored for undergraduate juniors and seniors or graduate students. The agenda can be modified to meet specific needs and time constraints. Contact the presenter to discuss options.

Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!

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 following short course option was developed for geology and geophysics students that have not had much exposure to how geoscience is applied in industry. It can be tailored for undergraduate juniors and seniors or graduate students. The agenda can be modified to meet specific needs and time constraints. Contact the presenter to discuss options.

Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The following short course option was developed for geology and geophysics students that have not had much exposure to how geoscience is applied in industry. It can be tailored for undergraduate juniors and seniors or graduate students. The agenda can be modified to meet specific needs and time constraints. Contact the presenter to discuss options.

Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

Microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracture stimulation of a horizontal well was mapped with a near-surface buried array. Distinct linear trends of events were not parallel to the direction of fast shear wave polarization measured in the reservoir with a crossed-dipole anisotropy tool. Analysis of core from a nearby well revealed numerous calcite-filled fractures that did not induce shear wave polarization, but did significantly impact the failure behavior of the reservoir rock during the stimulation treatment. Hydraulic fracture simulation with DFN modeling and source mechanism analysis supports the interpretation of reactivated existing fractures rather than the formation of hydraulically-induced tensile fractures.

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades. This talk describes some of the first applications of the technology, how it developed over time, and our current understanding of its impacts with some discussion of both water and earthquake hazards.

Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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