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The driving forces for conventional accumulations (structural or stratigraphic traps) are Forces of Buoyancy which are due to
densities of hydrocarbons and water. In contrast, the driving forces for unconventional tight accumulations are Forces of Expulsion which are
produced by high pressures. That is an enormous difference and creates unconventional petroleum systems that are characterized by very
different and distinctive characteristics. The Force of Expulsion pressures are created by the
significant increase in volume when any of the
three main kerogen types are converted to hydrocarbons. At those conversion times in the burial history, the rocks are already sufficiently tight
so the large volumes of generated hydrocarbons cannot efficiently escape through the existing tight pore system,
thus creating a permeability
bottleneck that produces an overpressured compartment over a large area corresponding to the proper thermal oil and gas maturities for that
basin. The forces initially created
in these source rocks can only go limited distances into adjacent tight reservoirs (clastics or carbonates)
above or below the source. The exact distance will vary depending on the pressure increase, matrix permeability, and fractures of that specific
tight reservoir system. In general, the distances are small, in the orders of 10s to 100s of feet for oil and larger for more mobile gas systems.
Those exact distance numbers are subject to ongoing investigations.
A plot of the pressure data versus elevation
for a given formation is critical in determining whether an accumulation is conventional or
unconventional. Conventional accumulations will have hydrocarbon columns of 10s to 100s of feet with the pressure in the hydrocarbons and
that in the water equal at the bottom of the accumulation (at the HC-water contact). In contrast, the unconventional accumulations will show
HC column heights of 1000s of feet with the pressure in the hydrocarbon phase and the water phase being the same at the top of the
accumulation (at the updip transition zone). Those significant differences are critical for understanding and differentiating these two play types.
Because the system is a pore throat bottleneck with very little or minimum lateral migration, the type of hydrocarbon
s are closely tied to the
thermal maturity required to generate those hydrocarbons. Thus the play concept begins with two important geochemical considerations: (1)
where are the source rocks and what are the kerogen types and organic richness (TOC), and (2
) where are they mature in the basin for oil,
condensate, and gas in the basin. These parameters will very quickly define the fairway for the play. Then one has to add the
information on the reservoirs themselves: composition (brittleness), thickness, and reservoir quality (matrix porosity and permeability). In
summary, these tight unconventional petroleum systems (1) are dynamic
and (2) create a regionally inverted petroleum system with water over
oil over condensate over gas for source rocks wit
h Type I or II kerogen types.
The study of gas hydrates in nature has been ongoing for over 40 years. Significant strides have been made in our understanding of the occurrence, distribution, and characteristics of marine and permafrost associated gas hydrates.
The Indian National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 02 (NGHP-02) was conducted from 3-March-2015 to 28-July-2015 off the eastern coast of India. The primary goal of this expedition was the exploration and discovery of highly saturated gas hydrate occurrences in sand reservoirs that would be targets of future production testing.
It has been suggested that gas hydrates may represent an important future source of energy; however, much remains to be learned about their characteristics and occurrence in nature. This lecture reviews recent successes in exploration and production of natural gas from gas hydrate accumulations.
This lecture presents the findings of recent international gas hydrate exploration efforts that are using new advanced technologies to identify and characterize the properties of gas hydrate prospects. Case studies from the Alaska North Slope, Gulf of Mexico, Japan and India demonstrate how standard oilfield technologies are helping to identify and evaluate gas hydrate accumulations.
The Arctic Ocean occupies a unique tectonic setting as a small, confined ocean between two much larger oceans - the subducting Pacific margin and the opening North Atlantic. Unlike many of the world's oceans, evidence on both timing and geometry is poor, and major elements of the plate tectonic evolution are still "up for grabs". The Arctic has experienced significant plate motion from Cretaceous to present, and because of the ambiguities in the oceanic signature, resolving the most likely kinematic history is critical in understanding paleogeography and hence reservoir and source distribution. I will show a 3-stage kinematic model which, while not a unique solution, seems to best satisfy the known constraints.
The search for unconventional hydrocarbons is not new. It’s true that almost 100 years separated the early exploration successes in the synclinal valleys of Central Pennsylvania, to the exploitation of Coal-Bed Methane in a number of basins in the U.S. and Canada in the 1980’s. Since the 1980's, however, a quiet revolution began which by today has seen several waves of unconventional resources being pursued with economic success. Coal-bed methane was followed by the search for Center-Basin Gas, Shale Gas and most recently, Liquid-rich Shales (some of which aren't shales).
The AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP) invite you join us for GTW Colombia 2020, 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.
Recognition and Correlation of the Eagle Ford, Austin Formations in South Texas can be enhanced with High Resolution Biostratigraphy, fossil abundance peaks and Maximum Flooding Surfaces correlated to Upper Cretaceous sequence stratigraphic cycle chart after Gradstein, 2010.
This e-symposium is ideal for geologists, geophysicists, engineers and other geoscientists who are involved in gas shale exploration and production.
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