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Explorer Division Column EMD

I am pleased to serve as president of the Energy Minerals Division for 2018-19. My main goals for this year are to provide frequent, easily accessible, relevant, high-quality technical content, and to improve our member engagement and communication with the regions, local societies and other geological associations.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Director’s Corner

If you attended the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake City this year, you may have noticed additional signs in the hallways and slides shown in the opening and technical sessions that introduced the AAPG Code of Conduct. It’s a new element for ACE and it’s something we care about in our desire to foster an environment that allows our attendees to best realize their professional goals. This month I’d like to share with you how it came to be, and more importantly, why.

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

The petroleum industry plays a critical role in sustainable energy development. Oil and natural gas production underpins the global economy, promotes energy security, enriches communities and enables environmental stewardship.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Exploration and development drilling along the upper region of the Middle Pennsylvanian Red Fork Sandstone has been going on since 1979 in the western part of the Anadarko basin of Oklahoma. Fangyu Li, a postdoctoral research associate in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia, said the latest technology in multispectral coherence is developing to a point where scientists can see more of what’s down there and they can see it more clearly.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Bid rounds, new technologies and the region’s energy future will be topics of discussion at the Energy Opportunities Conference, Exhibition and Business-to-Business Session in Cartagena, Colombia from Aug. 22-23. “We are moving beyond our technical arena to explore regulatory aspects, industry-government collaboration, industry- community relations, plus looking to the future of alternative energy and technologies,” said Victor Vega, Latin America and Caribbean Region immediate past president and general vice chair for Energy Opportunities.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Latin America Blog

Bid rounds, new technologies and the region’s energy future will be topics of discussion at the Energy Opportunities Conference, Exhibition and Business-to-Business Session in Cartagena, Colombia from Aug. 22-23. “We are moving beyond our technical arena to explore regulatory aspects, industry-government collaboration, industry- community relations, plus looking to the future of alternative energy and technologies,” said Victor Vega, Latin America and Caribbean Region immediate past president and general vice chair for Energy Opportunities.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

“Big data” and “data analytics” are the buzzwords these days. In the last decade, our industry grappled not only with ever-larger volumes of data, but also with increased data heterogeneity. Recent developments in data analytic capabilities applied to other industries hold significant promise for those of working in the hydrocarbon exploration and development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Since the early days of petroleum exploration, the industry has met diviners and dowsers who, by using esoteric techniques, simple devices or sophisticated artifacts designed by themselves, have tried to fool companies by claiming they were able to detect oil in the subsurface. In France, during the late 1970s, two eccentric inventors claimed they could directly detect oil in the subsurface from an exceptional device mounted on board an airplane, resulting in one of the most famous frauds in petroleum exploration history.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

If a taint exists on the use of geophysics to evaluate fracturing operations, it is this: ‘T ain’t easy. In fact it’s downright difficult, said Arash Dahi Taleghani, associate professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering in the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State University, whose research areas include studying how natural fractures can affect hydraulic-fracture geometry and using seismic for modeling natural fractures and post-treatment fracture analysis.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

News reports and editorials about human- caused climate change are a daily feature of modern life, as politicians, environmental activists and industry leaders grapple over how to mitigate or avert the expected global catastrophe to ensue. Gregory R. Wrightstone takes a different view.

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

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

Three-dimensional (3D) seismic-reflection surveys provide one of the most important data types for understanding subsurface depositional systems. Quantitative analysis is commonly restricted to geophysical interpretation of elastic properties of rocks in the subsurface. Wide availability of 3D seismic-reflection data and integration provide opportunities for quantitative analysis of subsurface stratigraphic sequences. Here, we integrate traditional seismic-stratigraphic interpretation with quantitative geomorphologic analysis and numerical modeling to explore new insights into submarine-channel evolution.

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Request a visit from Jacob Covault!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

The carbonate sequences that were deposited in the now exhumed Tethyan Ocean influence many aspects of our lives today, either by supplying the energy that warms our homes and the fuel that powers our cars or providing the stunning landscapes for both winter and summer vacations. They also represent some of the most intensely studied rock formations in the world and have provided geoscientists with a fascinating insight into the turbulent nature of 250 Million years of Earth’s history. By combining studies from the full range of geoscience disciplines this presentation will trace the development of these carbonate sequences from their initial formation on the margins of large ancient continental masses to their present day locations in and around the Greater Mediterranean and Near East region. The first order control on growth patterns and carbonate platform development by the regional plate-tectonic setting, underlying basin architecture and fluctuations in sea level will be illustrated. The organisms that contribute to sequence development will be revealed to be treasure troves of forensic information. Finally, these rock sequences will be shown to contain all the ingredients necessary to form and retain hydrocarbons and the manner in which major post-depositional tectonic events led to the formation of some of the largest hydrocarbon accumulations in the world will be demonstrated.

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Request a visit from Keith Gerdes!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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

Around 170 million years ago, the Gulf of Mexico basin flooded catastrophically, and the pre-existing landscape, which had been a very rugged, arid, semi-desert world, was drowned beneath an inland sea of salt water. The drowned landscape was then buried under kilometers of salt, perfectly preserving the older topography. Now, with high-quality 3D seismic data, the salt appears as a transparent layer, and the details of the drowned world can be seen in exquisite detail, providing a unique snapshot of the world on the eve of the flooding event. We can map out hills and valleys, and a system of river gullies and a large, meandering river system. These rivers in turn fed into a deep central lake, whose surface was about 750m below global sea level. This new knowledge also reveals how the Louann Salt was deposited. In contrast to published models, the salt was deposited in a deep water, hypersaline sea. We can estimate the rate of deposition, and it was very fast; we believe that the entire thickness of several kilometers of salt was laid down in a few tens of thousands of years, making it possibly the fastest sustained deposition seen so far in the geological record.

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Request a visit from Frank Peel!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

President Biden has laid out a bold and ambitious goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions in the United States by 2050.  The pathway to that target includes cutting total greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 and eliminating them entirely from the nation’s electricity sector by 2035. The Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management will play an important role in the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by reducing the environmental impacts of fossil energy production and use – and helping decarbonize other hard-to abate sectors.

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Request a visit from Jennifer Wilcox!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

This presentation is a survey of subsurface machine learning concepts that have been formulated for unconventional asset development, described in the literature, and subsequently patented. Operators that utilize similar subsurface machine learning workflows and other data modelling techniques enjoy a competitive advantage at optimizing the development of unconventional plays.

Request a visit from Shane Prochnow!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Why H₂ is generated in subsurface? Which are the reactions and the promising geological setting? Example in countries where H₂ have already been found: Australia, Brazil. Kinetic reactions: i.e., Is the natural H₂ renewable? What we don't know yet about this resource and about the H₂ systems (generation/transport/accumulation). Overview of the current landscape (subsurface law, permitting, E&P activity)

Request a visit from Isabelle Moretti!

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)

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