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Explorer Director’s Corner

Mapping the collapse of globalization. Seriously, that’s the subject of the book you’ve been reading?” I had a chance to connect with Vaughn Thompson, long-time friend and past president of the AAPG Pacific Section, at IMAGE’22. We have known each other since I was a youngish professional and he a graduate student at the University of Utah. And every time we catch up, one of us asks the question: What have you been reading lately? Vaughn’s recommendation to me this time was Peter Zeihan’s new book, “The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

People often associate Utah with spectacular canyons cut into the Colorado Plateau, the state’s five national parks, incredible skiing in the beautiful mountains, the opportunity to wade around in the briny water of Great Salt Lake or hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Visitors to the state, as well as most of its citizens, don’t think of Utah as a major producer of oil and gas. However, Utah has consistently ranked among the highest oil and gas producers in the United States.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Deepwater turbidite reservoirs hold some of the largest petroleum reservoirs and thus are important exploration targets. By identifying and mapping the diverse architectural elements of the turbidite system and placing them within the correct geologic framework, a skilled interpreter can predict which components of the system are more likely sand or shale prone. Seismic data and seismic attributes also provide insight into the connectivity or compartmentalization of different parts of the reservoir which can be used to estimate the number of wells needed to drain the reservoir.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

This debate began decades ago: How much of the planet's natural gas is abiotic – made up of methane with nonbiological origins? At times, the scientific back-and-forth argument has resembled a slow-motion tennis match, with a new volley coming every few years. Now, Daniel Xia thinks he has helped deliver a winning smash across the net. His findings were most clearly laid out in a recent article “Validity of geochemical signatures of abiotic hydrocarbon gases on Earth,” by Xia and coauthor Yongli Gao, published in the Journal of the Geological Society.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Embracing the exploration spirit so often embodied in the annual Halbouty Lecture, Cindy Yeilding, retired senior vice president of BP America, rallied and encouraged her audience at the August 2022 IMAGE conference to repurpose their geoscience knowledge and skillsets for the energy transition. As the world searches for viable ways to decarbonize, it will not be uncommon to hear people say, “That technology will never work at scale, or it might work but it’s never going to make any money,” Yeilding said. “Those are all parts of the energy transition conversation, which tells us that using our exploration mindset is right for new exploration opportunities.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

“We’re probably at least 10 times larger. I mean, it just dwarfs any other project in North America.” That’s Vincent Ramirez, CEO of 3PL Operating, Inc., talking about a large and valuable lithium discovery his company has made in Railroad Valley, Nev. As lithium will play a vital role in the world’s changing energy landscape, generally, and because much of the known lithium deposits are in Chile, Australia, Argentina and China, specifically, 3PL’s find in central Nevada is potentially a very big deal.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Consider the geophysics sector of the industry a shrink-to-fit enterprise where misery might be starting to bring its own relief, and business is improving after recent years of financial ups and downs. With, admittedly, more downs than ups. Higher oil and gas prices this year have brought either a spark of enthusiasm or a glimmer of hope to many geophysical companies. And the technical side of geophysics has continued to advance strongly despite the business challenges.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

A hard winter combined with a natural gas supply shortage could mean some difficult choices for Europe over the coming months. The looming cold-weather crisis may cost European governments and industries a staggering amount of money to subsidize energy availability and household utility payments, while also derailing climate action commitments. And even then, there’s no guarantee that Europe will get to next spring without grim consequences.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Because petroleum figures so prominently in our lives today, petroleum geologists play a vital role in raising public awareness of the relationship between Earth science and sustainability. That’s why you are invited to bring your education, experience and expertise to the 25th annual Earth Science Week, which celebrates the theme of “Earth Science for a Sustainable World.” Earth Science Week 2022 is Oct. 10-16.

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

The goal of the DEG this year is to increase the visibility of the Division in the areas of not only CCUS but also natural gas storage, hydrogen storage, compressed air energy storage and geothermal storage. Petroleum professionals are uniquely qualified to evaluate the risk and uncertainty of subsurface storage methods. We evaluate both containment risk, such as seal integrity and presence of faults, but also the impact of reservoir heterogeneities and reservoir properties on storage capacity.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Bangkok, Thailand
Tuesday, 28 February 2023, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This course is for geologists, environmental scientists, and geological regulators, policy makers and investors who are interested in carbon capture and storage. The course will cover: the role of CCS within decarbonisation as an aspect of earth system science; why CCS is necessary; how CO₂ is captured in industrial processes and how it can be used industrially; the factors affecting geological storage; how CO₂ stores are monitored for leakage; how CCS will be regulated; how CCS will pay for itself; and the social licence for CCS. The course will be delivered in simple non-technical language suitable for non-specialists.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tuesday, 21 February Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This workshop will be held Feb 21-22 in Oklahoma City, and will bring together industry practitioners, government and state agencies, nonprofit and academic institutions in a first of its kind event that will spark new ideas, motivate interdisciplinary and multi institutional collaboration and support the establishment of best practices for cleaning up and repurposing wells across the nation.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday, 2 October Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

AAPG and EAGE have teamed up to deliver the upcoming New Discoveries in Mature Basins workshop to be held from 2-3 October 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Save the date! Registration to open soon.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 27 November Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars and save the date to attend the 5th edition of the AAPG Siliciclastic Reservoirs of the Middle East GTW which will be held for the first time in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia from 27-29 November 2023. We look forward to having you on board for the new edition of these popular series.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 13 November Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Exciting announcement for all geoscientists interested in structural styles. The 3rd edition of the AAPG Structural Styles of the Middle East is coming back to Oman from 13-15 November 2023. Come join us to learn all the latest developments on the topic!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 9 October Wednesday, 11 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for the 4th Edition of: "Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East" workshop. The workshop will be hosted by AAPG in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia 9-11 October 2023.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 8 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

“Wait! There is a short cut. Turn right from here”. That’s probably the sound of an electric current bypassing the resistive hydrocarbons, in a maze or network of porous media, when traveling from transmitter to receiver. This workshop will serve the participants need with the up to date advancements in describing and characterizing low resistivity and low contrast pay, and eventually, maximize resources.

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
Paramaribo, Suriname
Thursday, 2 November Friday, 3 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Barranquilla, Colombia
Wednesday, 8 February Thursday, 9 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Join technical experts, industry leaders and government representatives for an interactive in-person workshop highlighting onshore and offshore E&P opportunities, new technologies and sustainable development strategies working in Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tuesday, 9 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working to help Brazil maintain its E&P capacity while transitioning to a decarbonized economy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, 1 March Thursday, 2 March 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-day, in-person course describes the range and variability in deepwater sedimentary systems and equips participants to build predictive models of subsurface geology for more successful exploration and development. A primary goal of this course is to enable subsurface teams to more effectively characterize and rank deepwater/offshore projects on a regional and global scale.

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)
Field Seminar
Lisbon, Portugal
Tuesday, 20 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Come along on this 1-day field seminar and tour outcrops in the Serra de Montejunto, just north of Lisbon and on the coast from Porto Novo to Paimogo. Instructors: Ricardo Pereira, PARTEX Oil and Gas & Instituto Dom Luiz Gil Machado, ChronSurveys Lda & Instituto Dom Luiz Fees: To be determined Limit: 20 Participants Includes: Hotel Ground Transportation Snacks and Refreshments Lunch and Dinner Guidebook Departure Time/Location 20 June 2023 8:30am SANA Metropolitan Hotel Note:Transportation to start point is not included in the costs of this trip. Please bring clothing for hot day time temperatures (sun hat/ sun glasses/ sun cream etc.). Participants must wear suitable and comfortable light trekking shoes. Aims To gain or increase an understanding of the tectono-sedimentary processes of continental extension and rifting supported by outcrop observations, with focus on deep-depositional marine systems. Discuss implications for prospective petroleum systems. Promote debate and nourish new insights between attendants. About the Field Trip The Lusitanian Basin records the proximal events of syn- to post rift evolution of the hyper-extended West Iberian Margin, showing some outstanding examples of the combined tectono-stratigraphic depositional systems. Here, the Late Jurassic reveals diverse aspects of mixed marine depositional systems including not only submarine fans and turbidites, but also the build-up of carbonate reefs and shoreface to fluvial clastic sequences. Throughout the field trip the different depositional aspects can be observed in detail to demonstrate how such depositional systems can vary in time and space. Observation of these outcrops allows a better understanding on how deep-water depositional systems can change within a sub-basin and help improving the understanding of reservoir properties.

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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.

This 3-day conference brings together diverse experts working on modern and ancient turbidite, MTDs, contourite and hybrid/mixed systems in order to improve the present-day knowledge, models and predictive power.

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)
Online e-Symposium
Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Explore three of the great wonders of the geological world. Take a guided tour of classic geological sites on the Colorado Plateau.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 23 July 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

As commodity prices have dropped, many shale plays have become uneconomical as statistical plays and have increasingly become recognized as geological plays demanding new insights from data.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 9 September 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Water cut is a big factor in gauging the success of horizontal drilling in the Mississippi Lime Play (MLP). The contributing factors are related in part to the spectrum of producing lithofacies and reservoir quality encountered that varies laterally and vertically, sometimes dramatically. 

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 25 March 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The presentation describes a well established fracture modeling workflow that uses a standard 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and data from one core to build predictive 3D fracture models that are validated with blind wells.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

A Bacia de Santos é um excelente exemplo de quanto petróleo é mantido em locais remotos, apenas esperando ser encontrado por exploradores ousados com a vontade e os recursos necessários para encontrá-los. Junte-se a Flávio Feijó para uma apresentação da história e do potencial para futuras descobertas na Bacia de Santos O webinar será apresentado via Zoom na terça-feira, 14 de julho de 2020, às 15:00 CDT (UMT-6). Register Now at Zoom

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 14 December 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Recent interest in unconventional gas resources has attracted several oil and gas explorers to sedimentary basins in Southern Quebec.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Friday, 27 March 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Join two GIS/geoscience experts Scott Sires and Gerry Bartz as they use information from the Teapot Dome Field in Wyoming (DOE/RMOTC program).

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 e-Symposium
Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The gas transport in organic-rich shales involves different length-scales, from organic and inorganic pores to macro- and macrofractures. In order to upscale the fluid transport from nanoscale (flow through nanopores) to larger scales (to micro- and macrofractures), multicontinuum methodology is planned to be used.

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)
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)
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)
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)
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

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

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)
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

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)

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