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Explorer Policy Watch

Atmospheric methane continues to rise and the scientific evidence is unclear on whether oil and gas operations are the source of the increase.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The story of how the concept of plate tectonics was born, struggled, won its fight for existence and eventually arrived in the oil industry is multi-faceted, insightful and entertaining.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Raw seismic data are almost always found to be contaminated with coherent or incoherent noise. Concerted efforts are directed at elimination of such noise during processing of the seismic data, so that its interpretation can be carried out accurately.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

How is future innovation going to affect the geoscience career? What are some of the potential new innovations that we can see today?

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG and SPE will be holding the inaugural Africa Energy and Technology Conference this December in Nairobi City.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

There is a veritable “drone boom” afoot in all sectors, from the military to the more mundane, and the oil and gas industry is no exception.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In an industry downturn, companies tend to focus on ways to develop new technologies. Some of these technologies include drones, autonomous underwater vehicles, robotics in operations and advanced analytics.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Can the oil and gas industry innovate its way out of a dismal period for exploration? And just how bad is the global exploration picture?

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG and VWORLD have created the first interactive digital publishing medium to deliver immersive, in-depth training opportunities for geoscientists.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Ben Gadd is one of this year’s winners of AAPG’s Geosciences in the Media Award. He has a love for science and takes the time to share it with others.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Virtual Short Course
Saturday, 7 November Saturday, 28 November 2020, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Artificial Intelligence for Geoscience equips participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge to apply Machine Learning and Deep Learning concepts to the field of geosciences. Upon completion, course graduates will be able to use algorithms learned both to in their research and their professional careers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Netherlands
Tuesday, 9 March Wednesday, 10 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
Tuesday, 26 January Wednesday, 27 January 2021, 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

This two-day virtual conference aims to bring together the industrial and academic sectors to present and develop research strategies and targeted sites that will benefit both sectors in the future. The virtual conference will focus on current techniques, the challenges and future solutions in understanding and developing the Triassic reservoirs across the North Sea.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Monday, 22 February Thursday, 25 February 2021, 12:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Join us for the 2nd edition of the Maximizing Asset Value: Integrating Geoscience with Reservoir Management & Facilities Optimization GTW to be held on 22–23 February 2021 in Muscat, Oman. The objective of the workshop is to drive a further discussion of integration processes between geoscience, engineering, and technology deployment through examining the industry’s case studies across multiple disciplines.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Virtual Short Course
Tuesday, 8 December Thursday, 10 December 2020, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

The lecture content provides a summary of the fundamentals of deep marine systems. The principal goal of the course is to provide subsurface interpreters with a methodology and hands on experience in seismic, logs, and core interpretation of deep-water deposits. 

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Barcelona, Spain
Thursday, 26 November Friday, 27 November 2020, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Trip leader(s): Josep Anton Muñoz, Pablo Granado and Eduard Roca 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 minibasins 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
Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Wednesday, 3 February 2021, 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Date: 3rd February 2021 Time: 7am – 4pm Field Trip Leaders: Mohammed Masrahy and Fawaz Al Khaldi, Saudi Aramco Registration Fee: $95 Registration Deadline: 16th December 2020 Field Trip Description Analogues, especially ancient outcrop and modern analogues, have played a crucial role in improving the understanding of subsurface reservoir architectural elements. They provide important information on subsurface reservoir geobody size, geometry, and potential connectivity, which all contribute to better reservoir characterization, mainly in highly heterogeneous siliciclastic or carbonate reservoirs that require the integration and detailed analysis of petrophysics, facies, diagenesis, geometry, depositional environments and lateral and vertical variability. Subsurface reservoir models are limited by available geological data. Outcrop and modern analogs from comparable systems provide additional input to geological models of the subsurface. This field trip will provide valuable insights into the nature of this complexity. Aims and Objectives The field trip will comprise a field study of a range of continental clastic modern systems and marine carbonate ancient systems, and related sedimentary facies, each of which possesses attributes that are comparable in part to the subsurface deposits. Field trip attendees will gain knowledge about key competencies related to field geology such as measuring vertical sections, describing sedimentary structures and textures, describing sedimentary facies, identifying depositional environments, and linking sedimentological observations to subsurface reservoir modeling. One specific aim of this field trip is to emphasize that integrated reservoir characterization and modeling processes take into account actual depositional trends and the distribution of the sedimentary bodies. Intended Learning Outcomes This field trip will provide explanations and discussions of the following aspects: Basin age, mechanisms of tectonic development, and regional palaeogeographic setting. An introduction to techniques and criteria for the recognition of continental (fluvial and aeolian systems), shallow marine and carbonate related sedimentary facies in outcrop and modern system and discussions of the application of these techniques to the study of subsurface sedimentology and geological modeling. Discussions of the 1D, 2D and 3D facies architecture with particular consideration of the geometry and scale of key stratal bodies that have relevance for understanding subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs. Discussion of the nature of autocyclic (intrinsic) interactions between competing sedimentary processes and consideration of the implications of these in terms of reservoir quality. Discussion of the nature of allocyclic (external) controls on sedimentary processes and consideration of the effects of temporal and spatial changes in these controls on the preserved succession (through introduction of sequence stratigraphic concepts). The significance of accurately determining the preserved geometry of reservoir successions and how to undertake correlations at the interwell scale. How to predict the 3D distribution of net versus non-net reservoir. How best to make region-wide predictions in areas for which palaeogeography is poorly constrained.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Wednesday, 17 March Thursday, 18 March 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 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
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 19 January Friday, 22 January 2021, 3:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for the AAPG Europe Workshop in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). A virtual workshop to be held on 19-22 January 2021. The aim of this conference is to explore how best to develop large scale geostorage of CO₂.

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
Bogota, Colombia
Wednesday, 17 March Thursday, 18 March 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP) invite you join us for GTW Colombia 2021, a specialized workshop bringing leading scientists and industry practitioners to share best practices, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for future collaboration. The 2-day workshop brings together technical experts and industry leaders from Colombia and throughout the Americas to take 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)
Workshop
Ipoh, Malaysia
Wednesday, 11 August Thursday, 12 August 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

Production from unconventional petroleum reservoirs includes petroleum from shale, coal, tight-sand and oil-sand. These reservoirs contain enormous quantities of oil and natural gas but pose a technology challenge to both geoscientists and engineers to produce economically on a commercial scale. These reservoirs store large volumes and are widely distributed at different stratigraphic levels and basin types, offering long-term potential for energy supply. Most of these reservoirs are low permeability and porosity that need enhancement with hydraulic fracture stimulation to maximize fluid drainage. Production from these reservoirs is increasing with continued advancement in geological characterization techniques and technology for well drilling, logging, and completion with drainage enhancement. Currently, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Egypt, USA, and Venezuela are producing natural gas from low permeability reservoirs: tight-sand, shale, and coal (CBM). Canada, Russia, USA, and Venezuela are producing heavy oil from oilsand. USA is leading the development of techniques for exploring, and technology for exploiting unconventional gas resources, which can help to develop potential gas-bearing shales of Thailand. The main focus is on source-reservoir-seal shale petroleum plays. In these tight rocks petroleum resides in the micro-pores as well as adsorbed on and in the organics. Shale has very low matrix permeability (nano-darcies) and has highly layered formations with differences in vertical and horizontal properties, vertically non-homogeneous and horizontally anisotropic with complicate natural fractures. Understanding the rocks is critical in selecting fluid drainage enhancement mechanisms; rock properties such as where shale is clay or silica rich, clay types and maturation , kerogen type and maturation, permeability, porosity, and saturation. Most of these plays require horizontal development with large numbers of wells that require an understanding of formation structure, setting and reservoir character and its lateral extension. The quality of shale-gas resources depend on thickness of net pay (>100 m), adequate porosity (>2%), high reservoir pressure (ideally overpressure), high thermal maturity (>1.5% Ro), high organic richness (>2% TOC), low in clay (<50%), high in brittle minerals (quartz, carbonates, feldspars), and favourable in-situ stress. During the past decade, unconventional shale and tight-sand gas plays have become an important supply of natural gas in the US, and now in shale oil as well. As a consequence, interest to assess and explore these plays is rapidly spreading worldwide. The high production potential of shale petroleum resources has contributed to a comparably favourable outlook for increased future petroleum supplies globally. Application of 2D and 3D seismic for defining reservoirs and micro seismic for monitoring fracturing, measuring rock properties downhole (borehole imaging) and in laboratory (mineralogy, porosity, permeability), horizontal drilling (downhole GPS), and hydraulic fracture stimulation (cross-linked gel, slick-water, nitrogen or nitrogen foam) is key in improving production from these huge resources with low productivity factors.

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Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

In 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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