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Explorer Historical Highlights

Petroleum exploration on the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf has a colorful history, punctuated by the interplay between private enterprise and government oversight. Except for a thin strip near the coast controlled by the adjacent coastal state, the entire area is under federal government jurisdiction. As of 2020, the OCS provides about 15 percent of U.S. domestic oil production and 2 percent of natural gas. The following is a brief history of that government oversight and how the author’s involvement may have saved the industry’s activity in the OCS from being nationalized.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer ProTracks

We are development geologists working the Permian, and from where we are sitting, it feels as though, as an industry, we are just beginning to figure out how to develop large-scale unconventional plays and work as unconventional geologists. We are going through a revolution that will change – not just unconventional development – but all subsurface work. However, resumes of entry-level geoscientists, industry conferences and a general finger-on-the-pulse feel of the current state of the industry lead us to believe that we have a great deal of room to grow. The good news is, it has never been easier to join the movement, and young professionals are well positioned to take the lead.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Blending of seismic attributes with additive primary colors is a standard visualization procedure used by interpreters to integrate the information contained in them and carry out comprehensive interpretation. In the December 2019 and February 2020 installments of Geophysical Corner, we described how color is perceived by the human eye, and how colors are rendered on interpretation workstation monitors. We also described the additive RGB color model which forms the working model for computer monitors, as well as the subtractive CMYK model and the HSV and HSL color models frequently used for covisualizing seismic attributes.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

“Transmission, generally, is a bipartisan issue.” That hopeful note on the national energy grid, specifically the need to fortify, improve and expand it so Americans can efficiently get the energy they need – and in the midst of all the rancor about what the president’s infrastructure bill will or will not ultimately encompass – comes from Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. The reason there seems to be bipartisan support on the grid is in part, he said, because regardless of party affiliation, Americans have come to rely on being able to access the energy we need. Making sure that is always the case, made more complicated by all the new energy sources that will soon travel the grid, was the topic of a recent GE-sponsored Axios event on the transmission of energy, it’s resilience, sustainability – and reinvention.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Analog traps are an important part of any geoscientist’s tool kit, and there is no better source than understanding how giant fields form and have been found by past and current generations of explorers. My sojourn into learning about these big fields was in the mid-1980s at Amoco in Denver, part of a task force charged with understanding how to better explore for big, subtle, stratigraphic and combination traps. Meeting weekly for lunch for several months, a team of us reviewed Amoco’s proprietary “Red Book” – a collection of summaries of giant fields worldwide, which included maps and rock properties, but, more importantly, the strategy used in finding each field. In addition, we pulled heavily from AAPG giant fields publications compiled from hundreds of AAPG volunteers.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Kathryn Ball didn’t move from geology to data engineering on a whim. “It’s called survival. With all the changes in the industry, you have to reinvent yourself,” she said. She called that switch from geoscience “a left turn in my career” and described her formative experiences in data engineering as “a painful time. But I got to learn about systems, about processes, and how data has to be to do analytics.” Computing and data skills are now the number-one, most in-demand skills for industry worldwide, Ball noted, and that needs to be a wake-up call for petroleum geoscientists.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In a famous exchange from the movie “The Graduate,” Mr. McGuire says to the young Benjamin Braddock, “I want to say one word to you. Just one word: Plastics.” If Ben Braddock happened to be a geology student today, Mr. McGuire would no doubt say two words: “Data science.”

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In a world where everything seems to be connected – information, technology, viruses – it only makes sense that geological data should be the same. The reality, however, is different. Geological data collected by individuals, companies and academic institutions across the world over hundreds of years is scattered across the globe and stored in different formats. “At the moment geoscience is really held back in many areas because we haven’t managed to set data free. It’s still in isolated databases, or even worse, in analogue form,” said Michael Stephenson, who is part of a group of scientists spanning three dozen countries who are working to consolidate worldwide data into a searchable platform, Deep-time Digital Earth, described by some as a “geological Google.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Just as Alaska was bracing itself for the economic fallout of the Biden administration’s adversarial stance on oil and gas, two recent court decisions are giving the state hope. On June 15, a federal judge lifted the administration’s temporary ban on federal lease sales, clearing the way for a highly anticipated lease sale in the prolific National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. And, on May 26, a brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice affirmed that the Willow Project, a major discovery in NPRA that has been tied up in environmental-related lawsuits, complies with environmental regulations. While it remains unclear how soon the NPRA lease sale can take place, it is expected that the Willow project, one of the North Slope’s largest projects in recent years, will move forward.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Mars Perseverance rover has achieved many milestones with more than 100 sols of exploration on the Red Planet. Perseverance and its operators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have tested all of the rover’s cameras and instruments. The rover has returned more than 76,000 raw images that are loaded in the mission multimedia catalog available online to everyone. The Ingenuity Mars helicopter has been deployed while Perseverance monitored and relayed all seven successful flights. Now, with three more flight credits, Perseverance and Ingenuity are traveling south exploring Jezero crater together.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Manama, Bahrain
Thursday, 22 September 2022, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Date: 25 September 2022 Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm Course Instructor: Alberto Ortiz, Net Zero Carbon Solutions Registration Fee: $350 Registration Deadline: 25 August 2022 Short Course registration is included as part of the GTW registration process. The petrophysical characterization of unconventional shale-type reservoirs has been one of the most approached and relevant issues in the oil and gas industry in the last 8 years. This is because after several years, the operating companies comprehended the impact that an appropriate characterization of the reservoir has on their project economics. Another reason for this were the technical obstacles encountered in the measurement of petrophysical properties such as porosity, saturation and permeability due to the complexity of this type of reservoir. Obstacles and limitations not only relate to laboratory measurements but also to electrical logging tools. As a consequence of this, nowadays, petrophysical evaluations in this type of reservoir do not have standardized workflows established and accepted worldwide as is the case for conventional reservoirs. This motivates the professionals involved in the study of this type of rocks to dedicate a lot of effort in the validation of the technologies used, and sometimes it is difficult for them to understand the results, the evaluation of uncertainties and the construction of petrophysical models with results and representative parameters of the subsurface conditions. This course will focus on providing key knowledge for a better characterization of the rock both in the aspects related to the matrix represented by mineralogy and kerogen as well as the fluids present. The approach will be based on the convergence of different technologies that support and give robustness to the results. The contents that will be provided will include laboratory testing techniques and petrophysical evaluation of electrical well logs for unconventional shale-type reservoirs. The contents provided will cover a variety of studies based on the most diverse physical principles that will include the latest advances and techniques used in the industry such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Spectroscopy, Dielectric, Computed axial tomography and SEM images, among others. As a result of this, attendees will have tools that allow a more comprehensive understanding of this type of rocks, a better assessment of the uncertainty of the model used and the necessary steps to improve its precision, accelerating the learning curve. The contents provided will also allow knowing the critical parameters that must be taken into account for the definition of areas to be drilled. Course Topics Reservoir heterogeneity characterization from outcrops to lab data and electrical logging. Most relevant unconventional plays of the world. Main characteristics. The petrophysical model. Components and definitions, construction, uncertainties, strengths and weakness. Lab studies: porosity, saturation, mineralogy, organic geochemistry and permeability. Electrical logging response on unconventional shale plays: triple combo, NMR, NMR T1T2, nuclear spectroscopy, spectral GR, dielectric. The effect of maturity on kerogen. Challenges on water saturation calculation. Data integration. Interpretation workflows and core calibration.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Virtual Short Course
Thursday, 9 December Friday, 10 December 2021, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This course aims to help teams characterize and interpret deep-water stratigraphy and reservoirs. The course described here will help corporate teams mature exploration concepts in areas of interest, as well as aid in the development decisions of existing fields.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 25 January Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This two-day virtual conference aims to bring together industrial and academic persons to present, explore and develop approaches that will benefit both sectors in the future. The virtual conference will focus on current techniques, the challenges and future solutions in understanding the Triassic stratigraphy of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, West of Shetland, Atlantic margins, and northern Europe.

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)
Workshop
Sydney, Australia
Wednesday, 6 July Thursday, 7 July 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

As we transition to a new commercial reality for our industries, there has never been a more important time for Earth Scientists to take a seat at the table. This workshop is designed to share our knowledge of the petroleum sector with other branches of the geosciences, while learning from their experiences. Join us for this hybrid online and in-person workshop on 6 July 2022.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Monday, 17 January 2022, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

Politicians around the world are realising that CCS is a critical component in achieving Net Zero. They know in principle what needs to be done but lack insight into which of their many assets is a natural choice for CCS and how to convince stakeholders to commit to financial investment. If it was a horse race, they need to choose the best runners and know how to jump the hurdles to get to the finishing line. In this second AAPG CCS workshop, we'll look deeper into the technologies available and the techniques to make them affordable. The 'Runners' and how to 'get them to the finish line.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Naples, Italy
Wednesday, 22 June Thursday, 23 June 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Modelling carbonate sequences and reservoirs has always been a challenging task. Carbonate rocks are generated and subsequently modified by a large variety of biological, physical and chemical processes that start at the time of deposition and end today. To unravel the geological evolution and history of carbonate sequences is fundamental not only for understanding their hydrocarbons potential but also for their role as potential reservoirs for renewable energy (geothermal) or geological gas storage (CO2 and hydrogen). Several science disciplines are often involved to fully understand the characteristics of carbonate rocks and old approaches and new technologies and tools are nowadays applied in these types of sequences. The objective of this meeting is to allow scientists and engineers working on carbonate rocks in academia and industry to share their most recent experience, work, approaches and use of innovative technologies to increase the understanding of the very complex world of carbonates.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 30 May – Wednesday, 1 June 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Save the date! Join us for the upcoming AAPG Exploration in Mature Basins GTW to be held from 30 May – 1 June 2022 in Muscat, Oman. More information to follow soon.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Barcelona, Spain
Wednesday, 30 March Thursday, 31 March 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Trip leader(s): Josep Anton Muñoz, Pablo Granado and Eduard Roca Limit: 20 Participants The aim of this 2-day field trip is the recognition of the key structural features of a fold and thrust belt detached on salt that has resulted from the inversion of a previous passive margin. To achieve this objective, some of the key and most spectacular localities of the southern Pyrenees have been selected along the ECORS-Pyrenees transect. This is a reference cross-section provided that for many years a huge amount of geological and geophysical data sets has been collected and integrating into a kinematic model of the South-Pyrenean fold and thrust belt. Subsurface data (well logs and seismic sections) will be combined with field observations. One of the main characteristics of the southern Pyrenees is the preservation of the synorogenic sediments since the earlier stages of deformation, which not only provide time constraints but also allow us discussion of kinematics of fault-related folds and thrust systems. Finally, the mild contractional deformation permits deciphering the initial geometry of the rift system and the salt structures that configure the structural grain of the passive margin before the inversion, allowing discussion of the role that these structures play during the fold and thrust belt development. Itinerary: (day by day details of the trip) Day 1 Stop 1.1: The South-Pyrenean thrust front. Sant Llorenç de Montgai Structure of a frontal thrust system and related unconformities. Out of sequence thrusts and synorogenic sediments. The frontal thrust system of the South-central Pyrenees has been detached into the Triassic evaporites and involves a thin Mesozoic succession. It is characterized by an emergent thrust system during the sedimentation of upper Eocene and lower Oligocene continental sediments. Frontal thrusts were progressively buried by conglomerates, triggering a break-back thrusting sequence and the development of out-of-sequence thrusts bringing together strongly different Mesozoic successions, such as the Montroig thrust in the picture. Stop 1.2: The Ager basin and the Montsec thrust sheet. Fontllonga The Ager basin in the footwall of the Montsec thrust. The Montsec thrust sheet developed from the Paleocene to the Early Eocene as recorded by continental to shallow marine sediments deposited in its footwall (Ager basin) as well as in the Tremp-Graus piggy-back basin. The lower Eocene sediments of these basins grade westward into the slope succession filling the Ainsa basin at the footwall of the Montsec thrust. Stop 1.3: The frontal structure of the Montsec thrust sheet. Ametlla (optional: Montrebei) Fault-propagation fold related with the inversion of Early Cretaceous extensional faults and growth deltaic sediments in the footwall syncline. The Montsec thrust sheet involves the northern part of the Upper Cretaceous foreland basin characterised by a strong subsident turbiditic trough at the footwall of the Bóixols thrust. These turbidites grade southward into a carbonatic platform that constitutes the backbone of the Montsec Range (main ridge and cliff of the pictures). Underneath the Upper Cretaceous carbonates, some Early Cretaceous extensional faults are preserved in the hanging wall of the Montsec thrust, but others have controlled the development of a hanging wall frontal anticline. The geometry of this anticline as well as the structure of the growth sediments in the footwall Ager syncline are visible in the field. The subthrust geometry will be discussed integrating surface observations and the available seismic and well data. Overnight in Tremp Day 2 Stop 2.1: The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline Inversion of the rift margin The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline is the most prominent frontal structure of the Bóixols thrust sheet in the central Pyrenees. This fold trends east–west and crops out for greater than 40 km along strike. The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline involves a thick Mesozoic succession detached on top of Triassic evaporites. The prefolding sequence consists of up to 5 km of prerift, synrift, and postrift carbonates ranging in age from Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous. Synfolding Upper Cretaceous sediments start with the upper Santonian carbonates and continue with a succession of Campanian and Maastrichtian marls and turbidites. The Sant Corneli–Bóixols anticline is an example of an inversion fold developed along the rift margin of the Lower Cretaceous basin. Its geometry is related with the inverted extensional system. In particular, the three-dimensional geometry, including the saddles between culminations, is inherited from the previous transfer faults of the segmented rift margin. Available seismic data and 3 exploratory wells constrain the geometry at depth. Stop 2.2: The synororgenic Paleogene conglomerates Inverted Lower Cretaceous basin and Eocene-Oligocene synorogenic conglomerates at Collegats gorge. Stop 2.3 (optional): The Sopeira and Aulet minibasins. Sopeira Minibasins developed by extensional collapse and salt evacuation during the thermal subsidence at the southern Pyrenean rift margin. Inversion of these mini-basins at the early stages of Pyrenean contractional deformation during Late Cretaceous. Additional logistic information Transportation Transportation will be with a small bus, assisted by minivans to have access to some of the outcrops. Physical demand, equipment and safety This is an easy field trip with very easy and limited hikes to get to the outcrops. Outcrops will be from main sealed roads. Safety vests will be available, to be used by everybody of the group wherever required and asked to. There will be First Aid Kits available in each car during fieldwork. Climate The climate during mid-end November in the fieldwork area can be cold and rainy, although dry and sunny days may occur as well. The temperature for November in Tremp can range between 30C and 170C. Participants should be prepared in case we should encounter bad weather and you should bring warm and waterproof clothes and suitable hiking boots. -->

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Lisbon, Portugal
Monday, 16 May Tuesday, 17 May 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Come along on this 2-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 Includes: Hotel Ground Transporation Snacks and Refreshments Lunch and Dinner Guidebook Departure Time/Location 16 May 2020 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 fieldtrip 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. Itinerary Day 1 (16th May 2022) Stop # Location Relevant Aspects 1 Vila Franca de Xira Intro-Overview 2 Castanheira Coarse grain proximal depositional systems; Fault slope deposits 3 Arruda Marine shales and interbedded clastic deposits 4 Ota Late Jurassic marine reefs 5 Montejunto-Vila Verde Marine shales and interbedded clastic deposits 6 Wrap-up at the Hotel   Day 2 (17th May 2022) 1 Consolação-São Bernardino Shaly marine deposits of the Abadia Fm. (Kimm.) 2 Paimogo Shoreface to fluvial deposits Late Jurassic 3 Porto Novo Shoreface to fluvial deposits Late Jurassic 4 Santa Cruz Late Jurassic turbidites

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 18 May Thursday, 19 May 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-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)
Workshop
Barcelona, Spain
Monday, 28 March Tuesday, 29 March 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This workshop brings together experts from academia and industry from a range of disciplines to share experiences, new approaches, new data and new ways of integrating information that can help in reducing the uncertainties related to the exploration activities in Thrust Belt Systems.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Manama, Bahrain
Monday, 26 September Wednesday, 28 September 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The workshop aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the source rocks in the Middle East. The technical program is developed in a way that coves the depositional environments and transport processes, basin modeling and detailed rock characterisation including geochemisty, geomechanics and petrophysics.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 December 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge.

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 e-Symposium
Thursday, 3 June 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe faults and fractures in carbonates, black shales, and coarser clastics as they occur in the northern Appalachian Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Imaging Technologies'. Panelists will discuss new ways to acquire data that is then processed into interpretable images, and they will discuss the technologies as well as the techniques. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 26 May 2021.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 4 October 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Effective hydraulic fracture stimulation is critical for shale development, and microseismic is the only technology able to map the growth of these hydraulic fracture networks.

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
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
Thursday, 13 March 2014, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Technical Writing Triage is a condensed course which identifies the key professional and technical writing in today’s workplace, discusses the most common problems/issues, and provides quick, easy-to-implement solutions for producing high-quality, effective communications.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Projects in several shales will be discussed, including Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Montney, and Barnett, as will several seismically-detectable drivers for success including lithofacies, stress, pre-existing fractures, and pore pressure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 20 May 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Matching Capabilities and Capacity With Current and Emerging Demand Areas; Building a Business Plan That Reflects the Realities of Opportunities'. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 20 May 2020. During this webinar we will discuss: Matching technologies and companies Keys to Building a Resilient Early-Stage Business Multi-Industry Technology: Robotics as a Service

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

In 1991, Gulf Indonesia and its partners discovered South Sumatra Basin’s first major gas field at Dayung in the Corridor PSC. A key feature of this field is that most of the reserves are held within fractured basement rocks of pre-Tertiary age. 

Request a visit from Charles Caughey!

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

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

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

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)
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 is a less-technical education topic. It can be condensed to an hour or given as 2 two-hour sessions. It stresses selected controversial aspects of fracking that touch some combination of environment and economics and includes a short video of how fracking is done.

Request a visit from David Weinberg!

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

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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