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Explorer Division Column DEG

The first U.S. oil well was drilled 1859 in Titusville, Penn., and the first commercial gas well was even earlier in 1825 in Fredonia, N.Y. There are two centuries of oil and gas drilling in the United States, and many of the wells in the first 150 years did not have the best plug-and-abandonment methods in place. Some of these wells are in urban areas and can endanger the residents. The number of orphaned and abandoned wells varies greatly depending on their definition. There might be millions of old and improperly plugged oil and gas wells leaking methane or contaminating groundwater in the United States, and plugging them will cost billions.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Why deepwater? In addition to expanding our knowledge on sedimentary systems that cover 70 percent of our planet, deepwater systems host promising resources and energy potential for the future. Their characteristic high-rate productivity also means fewer wells, which is good news for lower carbon emissions. Deepwater systems also benefit from the highest quality offshore 3-D and 4-D seismic. Thus, we see more clearly with ever-improving technology. Deepwater concepts and paradigms are rapidly evolving. The 2022 book “Deepwater Sedimentary Systems” sets a firm and comprehensive foundation.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Readers Forum

I have the honor of leading the executive secretariat of ARPEL, the Association of Oil, Gas and (as of lately) Renewable Energy Companies of Latin America and the Caribbean. ARPEL is a key factor in the development and transformation of the oil and gas sector of our region. We foster cooperation and coordination on strategic and operational aspects among our member companies, and with sister trade and professional associations (such as AAPG), governments, regulators, academia and other stakeholders. ARPEL held its 6th conference in Lima, Peru in November.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Seismic impedance is widely used in our industry because it allows an integrated approach to geological interpretation. The transformation of seismic amplitudes to impedance data can be essentially seen as the change from an interface property to a layer property. This stratal interval property (impedance) simplifies the lithologic and stratigraphic identification and can be directly converted into lithologic or reservoir properties such as porosity, fluid fill and net pay. It also allows for direct interpretation of three-dimensional geobodies.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

A century ago, a gusher helped transform Venezuela from an agricultural country known as an exporter of coffee, cacao and cattle into one of the world’s largest oil producers. It was front-page news on the world’s most important newspapers. The country’s most significant 20th-century discoveries took place in the Maracaibo Basin between 1910 and 1925 and were based on surface geological exploration of concessions held by American and European companies. One of the strikes, the large La Rosa Field, was discovered in 1917 by Venezuelan Oil Concessions, a Royal Dutch Shell affiliate, on a 3,000-square-mile concession.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

As countries seek to transition to cleaner-burning fuel to address environmental concerns, it can also be argued that the need to eliminate energy poverty remains just as crucial. The future energy mix must be wide-ranging and diverse to meet the needs both of the environment and the people living on the planet. New companies have begun to bring geothermal energy to areas that aren’t adjacent to volcanoes or that don’t have access to tectonic settings, which allow for an easy harvesting of the Earth’s heat. Some are embracing the niche operation of repurposing traditional geothermal wells and non-producing oil and gas wells. Others are promoting widespread geothermal energy through deep vertical and multilateral wells that can bring heat and electricity to the masses.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Colombia is a land of contrasts – of tradition and innovation, wealth and poverty, triumphs and tragedy. Newly elected Colombian President Gustavo Petro highlighted Colombia’s contrasts in an address at COP27 recently, delivering an eloquent but confrontational discourse. His political agenda includes accelerating the energy transition. Other leftist leaders in Latin America have supported the national oil companies and continued exploration and production, but Petro’s policies advocate an immediate cessation from dependence on petroleum and coal, which he likens to cocaine addiction.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Human exploration of the Earth and our universe is pushing ever-expanding boundaries. Along with renewed exploration of the moon and ongoing exploration of Mars, we have also probed the outer reaches of the solar system, and beyond. Beginning in 1972, NASA has executed many successful missions to the outer solar system that have exponentially increased our knowledge of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and their myriad of intriguing moons, such as Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons and Juno. These missions have also kindled questions that we did not even know to ask a few decades ago.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In December 1972, geoscientist Harrison Schmitt traveled more than a quarter-million miles, dropped 8.7 nautical miles out of lunar orbit and took a stroll on the moon. That was 50 years ago, and today, with Artemis, NASA envisions a multistage program to return humans to the moon and eventually create a sustainable manned lunar habitat. In Greek mythology, Artemis was a moon goddess and twin sister of Apollo. The Artemis I Space Launch System rocket launched on Nov. 16.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

With the increasing size of the seismic data volumes, machine learning applications have been found to accelerate the discrimination of seismic facies used in the identification of geologic patterns, defining stratigraphy and the direct indication of hydrocarbons. Many practitioners have demonstrated the application of dimensionality reduction tools such as principal component analysis and independent component analysis, or clustering techniques. Some of these are available in several commercial interpretation software packages.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Palermo, Italy
Thursday, 25 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Time: TBC Attendee Limit: Minimum 15 - Maximum 50 People Fee: TBC Registration Deadline: TBC Field Trip Rendezvous Point Hotel nH Palermo This one-day field trip will provide an introduction to a Miocene-Pliocene succession of southern Sicily, which includes outcrops of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC), as well as the Messinian-Zanclean GSSP (Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Point) and Zanclean stratotype. The MSC sedimentary record consists of an evaporitic-carbonate unit at the base (the Basal Limestone), overlain the Lower Gypsum unit, in turn overlain by the Upper Gypsum unit, and sealed by transgressive chalk deposits of the Trubi Fm. The Lower Gypsum unit (massive gypsum with cm-sized selenite crystals) will be visited along the beach of Siculiana Marina (about 15 km NW of Agrigento). Next, we will visit near Capo Rossello (about 10 km NW of Agrigento) an outcrop of the Upper Gypsum unit consisting of clay-gypsum cycles and overlain by the Trubi Fm. The latter, at Scala dei Turchi beach, consists of chalk deposits arranged in a spectacular thick succession (~120 m thick) interpreted as astronomically-controlled depositional cycles. The uppermost interval of the MSC sedimentary record, including the Messinian-Zanclean GSSP, will be observed along the beach of Eraclea Minoa located about 20 km NW of Capo Rossello. Field Trip Leaders Antonio Caruso University of Palermo Attilio Sulli University of Palermo

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Palermo, Italy
Sunday, 21 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Time: TBC Attendee Limit: Minimum 15 - Maximum 45 People Fee: TBC Registration Deadline: TBC This one-day field trip will focus on Mesozoic (Jurassic to Cretaceous) carbonates outcropping in the fold and thrust belt of western Sicily and equivalent to the aquifer complex of the Sciacca Geothermal Field located in the southwestern part of the island. Participants will have the opportunity to visit in the first stop a spectacular “drowned” carbonate-platform succession at Mt. Maranfusa located in an inactive quarry about 50 km SW of Palermo. The succession consists of Lower Jurassic peritidal cycles overlain by Middle Jurassic to Cretaceous pelagic limestone (e.g. ammonitic limestone, “chalk”) and marked by an unconformity with locally hardground. Syn-depositional Mesozoic tectonic is characterized by neptunian dykes and normal faults, whereas reverse faults, strike-slip faults, and joints are related to subsequent Cenozoic deformation. In the second stop, at Mt. San Calogero, adjacent to the picturesque coastal town of Sciacca (about 100 km south of Palermo), we will visit the surface expression of an extensive karst system linked to uprising geothermal fluids. Furthermore, we will discuss main characteristics of the Sciacca Geothermal Field and its connection to deep mantle-derived fluids. Outcrop data will be integrated with both 2D seismic lines and exploration well logs showing the stratigraphy and structure of the deep aquifer. Another topic, given the presence of faults and joints in the outcrops, this field trip can provide the participants with valuable insights into naturally fractured reservoirs at the sub-seismic scale. Field Trip Leaders Gianni Mallarino MOL Group Attilio Sulli University of Palermo

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Banff, Canada
Saturday, 11 May 2024, 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm Fee: $300 AAPG members $350 Nonmembers $200 Academic/AAPG Emeritus Members $50 discount for workshop registrants Fee Includes: Transportation Insurance Field guide Entrance fee to Banff National Park Registration available during workshop registration This field trip will focus on the structural geology of the foothills and Front Ranges of Banff. Participants will be able to view excellent field examples of structures very similar to the producing oil and gas fields in the foothills to the west of Calgary and to learn about the complexities of sub-seismic-scale deformation. The field trip starts with an introduction to the interaction between thrust front with foreland basins and the interaction of basement trends with thrust belt geometries and (conventional) hydrocarbon fields. During the 1-day trip participants will follow a dip transect from the undeformed foreland basin, the eastern edge of the foothills marked by the triangle zone, the Front Ranges boundary and end at the Main Ranges west of Banff. Field Trip Itinerary Depart from Calgary – 8:00 a.m. Stop 1: Cochrane Retreat Road Overlook Trip overview and introduction; safety and logistics comments; interaction of thrust front with foreland basin; interaction of basement trends with thrust belt geometry and (conventional) hydrocarbon field distribution; appreciation of scale for subsurface play fairway. Stop 2: Scott Lake Stop 3: The Stony Nakoda Tim’s Classic stop, with historical importance for understanding the thrust belt and thrust geometry. Part 1 of displacement gradient on a large thrust. Most importantly, toilet stop after all the Tim’s coffee and driving. Review of Mt Yamnuska from a different perspective; preview of drive through McConnell damage zone and change in HW stratigraphy.. Stop 4: Lac des Arcs Imbricate thrust sheets in the Front Ranges and Banff Formation. Stop 5: Canmore T-junction Observe complexities of sub-seismic-scale deformation in mechanically layered rocks in the footwall of a large thrust Stop 6: Canmore strike view of the Rundle thrust Exposed strike view analogous to a cut-away of a giant conventional Foothills hydrocarbon field such as Turner Valley. Cross faults within the thrust sheet offset potential reservoir units at sub-seismic scale. Cross faults are arguably part of a regional trend associated with deeper, basement-rooted NE-SW structures. Stop 7: Mt Norquay Overlook Stop 8: Bow Falls Fracture systems in the Vega Siltstone Mbr of the Triassic Sulphur Mtn Fm. This outcrop of Vega Member siltstone of the Sulphur Mtn Fm is considered equivalent to upper Montney Fm. We will focus on the outcrop adjacent to the steps up to the Falls overlook.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 26 March 2024, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Presenting ExCaliber, a novel approach for fast iterations on basin / earth models so that more time can be spent on the final technical & economic integration. ExCaliber is based on an interactive thermal framework, powered at its core by a ML-based basin simulator which can compute in seconds high-resolution basin-scale temperature and Standard Thermal Stress results.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This course course will explore the design of new plays, optimized for the goals and constraints of CO2 sequestration, and to develop the tools to de-risk and sell those plays to investors and regulators. It will be of particular interest to subsurface geoscientists and engineers with an interest in CO2 storage in saline reservoirs.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The development and application of a fit-for-purpose CO2 injection model is presented in the context of a front-end engineering design for a new Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) project targeting a depleted gas reservoir in the North Sea. This course will provide an understanding of the impact of CO2 impurities on casing and tubing load cases. The course provides the background and results of the Fit-for-Purpose Casing and Tubing Analysis Program that was developed in collaboration with Harbour Energy for the UK Viking CCS Project.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This half-day short course will familiarize attendees with the planning and execution of a whole core project. It's intended for those who plan to take core on CCUS projects including Geologists and drilling engineers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Sunday, 10 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

As part of the international effort to combat global warming, significant attention is being given to ways to sequester (store for the long-term) carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. This one-day course will look at some of the ways in which carbon dioxide can be stored and provide a detailed review of the SRMS framework prepared by the Society of Petroleum Engineers to classify and categorize the storage quantities.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 4 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Trip Leader Saeed Tofaif, Saudi Aramco Pre-Workshop Field Trip Date: 4 March Registration Deadline: 4 February Attendee Limit: 12-Min. / 25-Max. --> Fee: $200 Note: Registration for this field trip is now closed. The Hadrukh Formation of eastern Saudi Arabia was deposited in early Miocene in tidal, restricted lagoon and sabkha settings with fresh water incursions. Deposition in these non-marine, semi-arid coastal plains resulted deposition of varying lithologies in short lateral extent. This field trip to Hadrukh Formation outcrops in Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia offers observation of internal stratigraphy of the Hadrukh Formation and lithological changes in the lateral extent, which is a key component in defining stratigraphic traps in the subsurface.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thursday, 29 February 2024, 7:30 a.m.–8:30 a.m.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Palermo, Italy
Monday, 22 April Wednesday, 24 April 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This Symposium marks a collaborative event that brings together AAPG Europe and AAPG Middle East, with a central focus on carbonates and mixed carbonate systems worldwide, while highlighting their significance within these two regions. The primary objectives are an overview of controls that govern the evolution of these systems in time and space and the characterization and prediction of their properties across scales.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Monday, 27 May Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

In order to support the energy transition, optimizing exploration and production from complex stratigraphic-diagenetic conventional and unconventional plays remains highly important. At the same time, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) poses new technological challenges that will impact both the industry and academia for decades to come. This 2nd edition will present reviews and discuss technology developments in geological process-based forward modeling achieved during the last 2 years. New perspectives for future technology developments and implementation in industry workflows will be discussed and with the additional focus on CO₂ storage and other sustainability-related applications, the scope of the workshop will be considerably extended.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, 5 March Thursday, 7 March 2024, 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 5-7 March 2024.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 29 April 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will focus on the seismic stratigraphic and seismic geomorphologic expression of deep-water deposits, including both reservoir and non-reservoir facies.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 February 2011, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

This presentation is designed for exploration/production geologists and geological managers or reservoir engineers.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Monday, 15 June 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Ray Leonard will be talking to us about 'Climate Change, Covid-19 and the Effect on Energy’s Future'. Fossil fuels have led to a profound increase in world living standards but resulting emissions of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere are a primary factor in climate change. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has resulted in a significant decrease in world economic activity, which in turn has led to a major, if temporary, decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2. Join Ray Leonard via Zoom on June 15 at 12:00 GMT+1

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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
Wednesday, 27 May 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'New Approaches for Start-Up Success' where we will discuss selecting companies to invest in now, the game changers program now, profile of a successful drone and robotics start-up and how we adapted our pitch for the pandemic. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 27 May 2020.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 9:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Join us for November’s AAPG Women's Network 2023 Short-Short Course Series on Wednesday, November 29th from 9-11 am (CT) with Dr. Alicia Kahn to discuss biostratigraphy and micropaleontology, largely as it pertains to oil and gas exploration.

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

While there are many habitats that are associated with the deposition of organic-rich marine and lacustrine source rocks, one important pathway is linked to the onset of increased basin subsidence associated with major tectonic events. A key aspect is that this subsidence is spatially variable, with the uplift of basin flanks contemporaneous with the foundering of the basin center, resulting in a steeper basin profile.

Request a visit from Kurt W. Rudolph!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Climate change is not only happening in the atmosphere but also in the anthroposphere; in some ways the former could drive or exacerbate the latter, with extreme weather excursions and extreme excursions from societal norms occurring all over the earth. Accomplishing geoscience for a common goal – whether that is for successful business activities, resource assessment for public planning, mitigating the impacts of geological hazards, or for the sheer love of furthering knowledge and understanding – can and should be done by a workforce that is equitably developed and supported. Difficulty arises when the value of institutional programs to increase equity and diversity is not realized.

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

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

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

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)
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

Physics is an essential component of geophysics but there is much that physics cannot know or address. 

Request a visit from John Castagna!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

For well over a century there have been conflicting indications of the strength of the crust and of faults and what controls them.  Much of our ignorance comes quite naturally from the general inaccessibility of the crust to measurement--in contrast with our understanding of the atmosphere, which is much more accessible to observation as well as more rapidly changing.  Crustal strength is best understood in deforming sedimentary basins where the petroleum industry has made great contributions, particularly in deforming petroleum basins because of the practical need to predict. In this talk we take a broad look at key issues in crustal strength and deformation and what we can learn from boreholes, earthquakes, active fault systems, and toy models.

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Request a visit from John Suppe!

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)

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