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Explorer Emphasis Article

Sidney Powers Memorial Award: Celebrating the career of Larry Meckel.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Grand Canyon is often “Exhibit A” in the case made by Young Earth Creationists, but AAPG Member Ken Wolgemuth, among others, begs to differ.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Drones and other automata will be more commonplace in the oil field of tomorrow, but they have some obstacles to clear first.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The oil and gas industry is facing a tidal wave of retirements as the Great Crew Change occurs, but the challenges of replacing technical professionals might not be as difficult as you think. On the other hand, they might be considerably worse.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Spheres of Influence Article

Reliable access to safe, clean drinking water is something most people in the United States take for granted. We turn on our tap and out comes clean water! We brush our teeth, wash our clothes, cook our meals and bathe our children. In the United States, it’s abundant, reliable and relatively cheap. Even kings of the past didn’t have such luxury.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Spheres of Influence Article

Environmental issues are a worldwide concern - the Division of Environmental Geosciences has an obligation to provide science-based opinions of these issues to educate the public, government officials and other petroleum industry professionals.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Search and Discovery Article

Subsurface electromagnetic (EM) measurements, namely galvanic resistivity, EM induction, EM propagation, and dielectric dispersion, exhibit frequency dependence due to the interfacial polarization (IP) of clay minerals, clay-sized particles, and conductive minerals. Existing oil-in-place estimation methods based on subsurface EM measurements do not account for dielectric permittivity, dielectric dispersion, and dielectric permittivity anisotropy arising from the IP effects. The conventional interpretation methods generate inaccurate oil-in-place estimates in clay- and pyrite-bearing shales because they separately interpret the multi-frequency effective conductivity and permittivity using empirical models.  We introduce a new inversion-based method for accurate oil-in-place estimation in clay- and pyrite-bearing shales. The inversion algorithm is coupled with an electrochemical model that accounts for the frequency dispersion in effective conductivity and permittivity due to the above-mentioned IP effects. The proposed method jointly processes the multi-frequency effective conductivity and permittivity values computed from the subsurface EM measurements. The proposed method assumes negligible invasion, negligible borehole rugosity, and lateral and vert ical homogeneity effects.  The successful application of the new interpretation method is documented with synthetic cases and field data. Water saturation estimates in shale formations obtained with the new interpretation method are compared to those obtained with conventional methods and laboratory measurements. Conventional interpretation of multi-frequency effective conductivity and permittivity well logs in a clay- and pyrite-rich shale formation generated water saturation estimates that varied up to 0. 5 saturation units, as a function of the operating frequency of the EM measurement, at each depth along the formation interval. A joint interpretation of multifrequency conductivity and permittivity is necessary to compute the oil-in-place estimates in such formations. Estimated values of water saturation, average grain size, and surface conductance of clays in that formation are in the range of 0.4 to 0.7, 0.5 micro meter to 5 micrometer, and 5×10 - 7 S to 9×10 - 7 S, respectively. The proposed method is a novel technique to integrate effective conductivity and permittivity at various frequencies. In doing so, the method generates frequency-independent oil-in-place estimates, prevents under-estimation of hydrocarbon saturation, and identifies by-passed zones in shales.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Search and Discovery Article

Relative permeability in shales is an important petrophysical parameter for purposes of accurate estimation of production rate and recovery factor, efficient secondary recovery, and effective water management. We present a method to estimate saturation-dependent relative permeability in shales based on the interpretation of the low-pressure nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherm measurements. Relative permeability were determined for 30 samples from the gas — and oil — window of Eagle Ford and Wolfcamp shale formations. These sample have low-pressure helium porosity (LPHP) in the range of 0.04 to 0.09 and total organic content (TOC) in the range of 0.02 to 0.06. The samples were ashed to study the effects of removal of organic matter on the pore size distribution, pore connectivity, and relative permeability. The estimated irreducible water saturation and residual hydrocarbon saturation are directly proportional to the TOC and LPHP, and exhibit 15% variation over the entire range. Pore connectivity, in terms of average coordination number, decreases by 33% with the increase in TOC from 0.02 to 0.06. The estimated fractal dimension is close to 2.7 for all the samples. The estimated relative permeability of aqueous phase and that of hydrocarbon phase at a given saturation is inversely proportional to the TOC. Relative permeability curves of the hydrocarbon phase for geological samples from various depths in a 100-feet interval indicate that the hydrocarbon production rate will vary drastically over the entire interval and these variations will increase as the hydrocarbon saturations reduce in the formation. In contrast, relative permeability curves of the aqueous phase suggest limited variation in water production rate over the entire interval. Further, based on the relative permeability curves, the hydrocarbon production is predicted to be negligible for hydrocarbon saturations below 50% and the water production is expected to be negligible for water saturations below than 80%. Efforts are ongoing to use the laboratory-based estimates to predict field-scale production and recovery rates.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Search and Discovery Article

Measurements of fluid wetting characteristic are made routinely on rock samples. However, there are no published petrophysical models to differentiate between oil-wet and water-wet fractions of a reservoir sequence using commonly available log suites. This presentation builds on our previous publication that describes the unconventional reservoir petrophysical model we have developed (Holmes, 2014). Essentially, we define four porosity components, namely total organic carbon, clay porosity, effective porosity, and “free shale porosity.” This last component is an indirect calculation if the first three components do not sum to total porosity.  Porosity/resistivity plots can be constructed for the total porosity and interpreted in a standard fashion. These will mostly indicate a water-wet system where the effective porosity fraction is examined. A second porosity/resistivity plot compares resistivity with “free shale porosity,” and is clearly interpreted to indicate Archie saturation exponents of much larger than 2 — frequently in excess of 3 — indicating the oil-wet fraction of the reservoir system. Additionally, the plots suggest low to very low values of cementation exponent, ranging from 1.0 to 1.5.   Examples from the Bakken of Montana and North Dakota, the Niobrara of Colorado, and the Wolfcamp and Spraberry of Texas are presented showing quantitative distinction of water-wet vs. oil-wet reservoir components.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Search and Discovery Article

Interpretations of thermal maturation provide critical data needed for both conventional and unconventional resource assessments. The absence of true vitrinite in pre-Devonian sediments eliminates one of the most commonly measured geothermometers used for thermal maturity determination. Programmed pyrolysis parameters like Tmax can be of limited utility given the maturity regime. However, other organic macerals are potentially available to constrain thermal maturity. The current organic petrology study has been undertaken to provide a very detailed comparison of reflectance measurements on pyrobitumens, “vitrinite-like” material and graptolites.  In the Appalachian Basin of North America, Cambrian-aged source rocks were deposited in shallow water mixed carbonate-siliciclastic depositional environments. Solid pyrobitumen material is found to occur in both lenticular lens/layer morphology as well as distinct pore-filling angular varieties. Published formulas to calculate Equivalent Reflectance (Eq. Ro) from solid bitumens have been applied to these discrete morphological populations. In addition, a newly developed formula to calculate Eq. Ro from angular pyrobitumen (VRc=0.866*BRo ang + 0.0274) is introduced based upon statistical evaluation of reflectance readings from a global dataset. “Vitrinite-like” organic macerals were found in rare abundance within these potential source rocks, but their occurrence enables an independent comparison to pyrobitumen Eq. Ro values. Graptolites are another organic maceral that can be evaluated via organic petrology, but caution should be utilized since these tend to show a high degree of anisotropy. The results of this investigation provide additional geochemical guidance to assist geologists in more accurately interpreting thermal maturity in the Rome Trough region of the Appalachian Basin.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Virtual Short Course
Tuesday, 18 May Wednesday, 19 May 2021, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Hydrocarbons have been discovered in basement reservoirs with good production around the world over the past decades. The potential of fractured basement reservoirs is still significant, but often overlooked by explorers. This short course aims to address the major needs in fracture evaluation of basement reservoirs in the different phases of a field’s life.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Virtual Short Course
Tuesday, 16 March 2021, 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

This half-day virtual masterclass reviews results from recent mapping campaigns in three continents and equips participants to build predictive models of subsurface geology and improve oil and gas exploration and development success.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Virtual Short Course
Tuesday, 13 April Wednesday, 14 April 2021, 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Modern outcrops and subsurface data sets provide a mapping opportunity to characterize deep-water depositional systems from shelf edge to basin plain. This includes observations of the grain- to basin-scale framework and key stratigraphic surfaces that subdivide the basin-fill. This presentation incorporates observations from passive margins including faulted slopes and ponded mini-basins, and active margins including foreland, forearc, back-arc, strike-slip, intracratonic and hybrid basins.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 13 April 2021, 8:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.

This one-day, high impact virtual event includes panel discussions and Q&A with operators and special presentations by Mexico’s National Hydrocarbon Commission (CNH Mexico) and the Mexican Hydrocarbon Association (Amexhi).

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 9 March Thursday, 11 March 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The workshop will offer an open forum to integrate two geo-energy communities where technical, environmental, social and business aspects associated with geo-energy exploration, development and production activities will be presented and discussed. The workshop will evolve around a two day program where on the first day a series of key-notes on all themes will provide the basis for in depth discussions, and where on the second day the community will share their knowledge and experiences through presentations and posters to explore the synergies in smaller groups. All with the purpose of coming to a final take-away: which opportunities should be redeemed, which synergies should be nurtured and which bridges are still to be build?

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Wednesday, 17 March Thursday, 18 March 2021, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

This workshop will focus on advances made in petroleum systems analysis as a predictor of hydrocarbon presence, new technology and applications, and future directions of this important geological tool.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Tuesday, 25 May Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 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
Tuesday, 7 September Wednesday, 8 September 2021, 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
Salzburg, Austria
Wednesday, 14 April Thursday, 15 April 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us in Salzburg, the “castle of salt” and cradle of Mozart and Doppler, for a meeting aimed at bringing together different perspectives in the science of evaporite basins: from their formation to their deformation, from description and characterization to modelling. Exploratory success in evaporite-rich basins worldwide has depended on the role of evaporites as a deformable substrate, as a seal, or even as a good thermal conductor. The aim of this workshop is to improve our understanding and predictive ability by addressing evaporite systems in an integrated manner, all the way from precipitation to structuration, and exploring the multiple properties of evaporite sequences. The pre- and post-meeting field trips will also explore the salt mining heritage of the region, first exploited by the Celts 3500 years ago, and the salt-related structures of the Northern Calcareous Alps.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Wednesday, 17 March Thursday, 18 March 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

The AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP) invite you to join us for Colombia 2021 Technical Symposium, a specialized virtual event bringing leading scientists and industry practitioners together to share best practices, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for future collaboration. The symposium features presentations and interactive discussions with technical experts and industry leaders from Colombia and throughout the Americas and provides a multidisciplinary look at future opportunities for exploration and development of Southern Caribbean Frontier Basins.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Ipoh, Malaysia
Thursday, 25 November 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Date: 25 November, 2021 Time: To be determined View Information On CO2 Laboratory Further details to come.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Ipoh, Malaysia
Thursday, 25 November 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Date: 15 November 2021 Time: To be determined Organized by: Southeast Asia Carbonate Research Laboratory, SEACARL, The Department of Geosciences, Faculty Fundamental Sciences, Information system Technology, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS. While AAPG and EAGE welcome this Field Trip in conjunction with our 2-day Geosciences Technology Workshop, all management and attending responsibilities will be taken care of by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS. Further details to come.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 23 November Wednesday, 24 November 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

High CO2 fields and marginal fields (due to high levels of contaminants) are some of the challenges that are prevalent in the Asia Pacific petroleum industry. Join AAPG Asia Pacific for a 2-day workshop focused on best practices, risk-based planning and the role geoscientists and engineers will play in these changing times.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Sunday, 28 March – Thursday, 1 April 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for the 3rd Edition of Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East which will be taking place virtually from 28 March – 1 April 2021. The online Geosciences Technology Workshop (GTW) aims to build on the success of the previous two workshops the AAPG hosted on stratigraphic traps of the Middle East GTW in Muscat Oman in 2014 and 2017.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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

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Request a visit from Noelle Joy Purcell!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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

Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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

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

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

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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.

Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!

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

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)

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