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The Energy and Minerals Division of the AAPG focuses on unconventional hydrocarbon energy resources, such as coalbed methane and gas hydrates and alternative energy resources, such as coal, uranium and geothermal energy. These resources are important to members of AAPG.

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The long-term projections have changed little in the year since this column last reported on the annual International Energy Agency (IEA) “World Energy Outlook,” but the tone is much different. Last year’s report was concerned about finding the investments to meet demand; now the world has surpluses of oil and gas and a booming renewables industry.  
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Have you submitted your abstracts for ‪‎URTeC 2016‬ in San Antonio? You still have time! The abstract submission deadline has been extended to 21 December 2015. What are you waiting for? Don't miss the chance to share your innovations, ideas and experiences at the premier integrated science and technology event for unconventional resources.

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Natural gas hydrate (NGH), a crystalline compound of water and natural gas, has been recognized as a vast potential energy resource for over two decades, but its commerciality has persistently remained beyond the horizon due to technical and economic hurdles.

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While exploration has slowed in many parts of the world in response to the industry’s lagging downturn, India is moving full steam ahead to encourage exploration and production on a domestic and international scale.

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Utah-based professional geologist and AAPG member Gary Player is the inventor and owner of a patent-pending process for extracting commercial quantities of dissolved natural gas from ground water existing in deep, saline aquifers.
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Share your innovations, ideas and experiences at the industry’s leading multidisciplinary unconventional science and technology event. Widely recognized as the premier sharing venue for best practices that define success in unconventional plays, URTeC received a record number of abstracts this year including more geophysical focused papers.

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In the coming year, the Energy Minerals Division is looking to improve and expand its information delivery system. EMD also is seeking volunteers to fill a number of vacant section and region councilor positions.
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Over the past ten years, oil and natural gas production has boomed. At the same time, the public has grown more concerned about the impact of energy production on health, safety and the environment. This presents an especially interesting science policy problem because of the paucity of scientific data regarding the sources, composition and volumes of air and water emissions from oil and gas operations. These data are necessary to guide emission-mitigation technology and regulation.

This presentation will examine two examples of data limitations that affect energy policy.

  • Several years ago, hydraulic fracturing was indicted for causing methane in Appalachian aquifers. However, a careful look at historic data and new geochemical studies show that most of the methane is naturally occurring, and from formations other than the Marcellus. Thus, policies simply banning hydraulic fracturing may do little to solve this problem.
  • Scientists have long known that energy production may be associated with increased seismicity and recently hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal wells have been implicated in the increasing numbers of small, felt earthquakes in the mid-continent. Recent research shows that a small percentage of wastewater injection wells and an even smaller percentage of hydraulic fracturing treatments are inducing earthquakes. In addition, the results of mitigation procedures implemented in Oklahoma will soon be available.
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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.

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