Explorer Foundation Update

An historic book is being reopened, and the next chapter in AAPG’s ongoing efforts to recognize, offer and promote geoscience excellence around the world is about to be written. Six diverse and internationally acclaimed geoscientists have been announced for the 2021-22 AAPG-AAPG Foundation Distinguished Lecture season – speaking on a spectacular range of subjects that vary from understanding integrated hydrocarbon systems to utilizing machine learning to recognizing the importance of choices in today’s energy transition.'

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Initially in charge of funding energy research and resource assessments, Houseknecht received a fateful telephone call in 1995 from former USGS Research Geologist Don Gautier, who asked him to participate in a field session in Alaska. Now, 26 years later, David Houseknecht has been awarded the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award for the best AAPG Bulletin article in 2019, which outlines a detailed geological framework of the North Slope to explain the geology of recent discoveries and delineate the potential for future discoveries.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

The moment Leslie B. Magoon was told he had won the 2021 Sidney Powers Memorial Award, he was speechless. Presently a senior research geologist with the United States Geological Survey, Magoon simply never considered himself in the running for such a high honor.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the 1960s and '70s, many oil companies collectively drilled 50 wells in the Chortis plate, an arrow-shaped, large segment of continental crust projecting into the Western Caribbean from onshore Honduras and Nicaragua, 1,000 kilometers east toward Jamaica. Civil unrest and a deteriorating investment climate in Central America halted offshore exploration in the early 1980s and the area remained largely unnoticed while companies focused on Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia. Decades later, the Chortis plate caught the attention of Chris Matchette-Downes, a petroleum geochemist and entrepreneur with a history of finding commercial exploration opportunities in Europe, East Africa and, more recently, the Caribbean.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

We are pleased to announce that AAPG Middle East’s first virtual GTW on Decision Based Integrated Reservoir Modeling was a resounding success with fantastic feedback received from committee members, speakers and attendees. The virtual workshop took place from 1-4 February 2021 and attracted 65 attendees from 14 different companies and 8 different countries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Josh Rosenfeld highlighted some perspectives on the Paleogene drawdown hypothesis in the Gulf of Mexico in the April 2020 issue of the EXPLORER, a result of suspected isolation from the world ocean during the Cuban arc-Bahamas collision with implications for Wilcox reservoir deposition. In contrast, John Snedden and authors’ portrayed the Wilcox as a period of normal marine deposition, requiring no such drawdown, in the May 2020 issue. Still another concept was presented by Roger Higgs at the South African 2009 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, that marine isolation occurred but that fluvial input exceeded evaporation such that the Gulf became brackish, hence the poor development of Wilcox fauna.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

It all started in 2002, when Unocal revealed that its Trident-1 well had found 400 meters of 70-percent net Lower Wilcox Formation sand in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, about 400 kilometers beyond the contemporaneous shelf break offshore south Texas. Art Berman and I gazed at a GOM activity map and pondered how that amount of sand could have been deposited so far out into the basin. Our working hypothesis was that this sand deposit was due to a drop in base level, but we also knew that the worldwide sea level was not in decline at that time. A log of the nearby Shell Great White well shows that this sand deposition began suddenly and ended suddenly. This was also puzzling, since we were trained to expect gradational coarsening-upward bedding during regression and fining-upward during transgression, rather than the sharp contacts we were seeing. Sudden avulsion of a major river in a deltaic environment could produce something like this, but how could it happen far beyond the shelf edge?

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In the wake of a long hiatus from discoveries that nearly made Oman obsolete in the industry, potential is brewing again. This time, it is offshore where Eni recently began drilling the country’s first deepwater well. Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi announced, “The first drilling that we are doing in the region will be in Oman in February. It will be the first (deepwater) offshore drilling in Block 52 in Oman, so it’s quite important.” Block 52 is a vast area of approximately 90,000 square kilometers off the southern and southeastern seaboard of Oman, with water depths up to 3,000 meters. The exploration well was planned just seven months after the completion of seismic data acquisition and is likely to show gas-condensate.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The history of the Permian Basin reads like a detective novel in reverse. Geoscientists know how the story turns out. They’re trying to determine exactly how it started. Robert Stern, a professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, thinks he and a group of fellow scientists have solved one important part of the mystery. Stern. “We know oil is limited by the nutrients. Oil just doesn’t suddenly appear,” he said. That raises the question, “How did all those nutrients get there?”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

AAPG’s Rift Basin Evolution and Exploration: The Global State of the Art and Applicability to the Middle East and Neighboring Regions GTW took place from 3-5 February 2020 at the InterContinental Regency Hotel in Bahrain. We welcomed 52 attendees from 19 different companies and 7 different countries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Ipoh, Malaysia
Friday, 26 November 2021, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

Seri Iskander, Perak, Malaysia Optional Trip Date: 26 November, 2021 Time: To be determined View Information On CO₂ Laboratory Further details to come.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 23 November Thursday, 25 November 2021, 2:00 p.m.–5:45 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)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 14 December 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Recent interest in unconventional gas resources has attracted several oil and gas explorers to sedimentary basins in Southern Quebec.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 2 July 2020, 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Presented by Kevin C. Hill, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne Gravity modelling of Australia's southern margin reveals that the initial rift with Antarctica was beneath the current Ceduna Delta. A regional, high-quality seismic traverse from the coast to oceanic crust across the Bight Basin has been assembled and interpreted in detail, then balanced, restored, decompacted, and replaced at paleo-water depths. The Late Cretaceous Ceduna Delta developed above a Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rift basin in three stages punctuated by significant pulses of uplift and erosion across areas >100 km wide and with up to 1 km of erosion. The Cenomanian White Pointer delta prograded into deepening water and hence underwent gravitational collapse. This was terminated in the Santonian when the Antarctic margin was pulled out from below, thus supplying heat to a remnant thicker outer margin crust, causing doming and erosion. Importantly, this established the saucer-shaped geometry of the Ceduna Delta that persisted throughout its development, so that any hydrocarbons generated in the southern half of the basin would have migrated towards this outer margin high. The Tiger Formation was deposited in shallow water in a full rift basin prior to breakup, which was followed by regional thermal subsidence. The Hammerhead delta developed on the newly formed passive margin but was terminated by another pulse of uplift and erosion, perhaps associated with a change in plate motion at the end of the Cretaceous. The finite element modelling of this proposed tectonic evolution will test its validity and predict hydrocarbon generation and migration through time.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 27 August 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

There are over 300 known active onshore mud volcanoes globally, and many more offshore. Mud volcanoes are subsurface fluid escape features in which high pore pressures drive fluids, gases, and subsurface sediments to the surface. This talk will summarize mud volcanoes around the world and examine mud volcano plumbing systems and their link to petroleum systems.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 13 August 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Geologic interpretations are the basis of most exploration workflows, whether building a 3-D framework, a geocellular model, or modeling HC basins and estimating HC reserves. All these workflows rely on the most realistic and accurate interpretation in order to produce high-confidence results. Join us to hear from Catalina Luneburg, founder and director of TerraEx Group and specialist in the validation of HC basins and structural geology modeling.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 March 2015, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

A detailed biostratigraphic analysis and stratigraphic framework of the Paleocene and Eocene Chicontepec Formation in the Tampico-Misantla basin, onshore eastern Mexico, was conducted using 33 wells.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

There are approximately 1,000 oil and gas fields in the world that have been classified as 'giant,' containing more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil and /or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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