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Explorer Emphasis Article

With oil reaching historic lows, massive layoffs, a growing stigma against fossil fuels, and new fields of science with a futuristic feel, it is understandable why studying the geosciences – particularly for careers in petroleum – might strike a student as a bad idea. Most would agree the oil and gas industry has a major public relations crisis on its hands. To remain relevant, it must demonstrate the growing need for geoscientists in forward-thinking positions where job security is all but a given.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

'Attracting investment capital looked like a challenge for the oil and gas industry heading into this year, as investors put increased emphasis on profitability and steady returns. At first that situation appeared to be an emerging problem. Then prices fell off a cliff, with damaging results for exploration funding. The worldwide spread of the coronavirus gutted oil demand while a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia left both sides threatening to increase crude production. OPEC+ eventually reached a compromise on cutting output, but most analysts felt it was too little, too late, putting oil and gas in a money crunch. '

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

As geoscientists, we have a deep appreciation of the rocks themselves, whether they are in the field or in the lab. We also know that the one constant in geological history is change, and those changes can be both gradual and almost instantaneous (think Chicxulub). Now, COVID-19 is challenging educators to force face-to-face learning environments, including classrooms, laboratories, and field courses to move online. Here is a quick summary of best practices and lessons learned when it comes to transitioning from face-to-face to online learning.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column DPA

It has been said that wise people surround themselves with the smartest people they can find and then listen to them. I am always looking for opportunities to learn something about the future of oil and gas from people in other disciplines. In late February, with that thought in mind, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Unites States Association for Energy Economics at the Federal Reserve building in Houston.

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

What a difference a month makes. I discussed black swan events in last month’s President’s Column. Let me tell you, the AAPG and the oil industry just got hit with three black swan events all at once: the coronavirus, the stock market’s major drop and the oil price plunge. While the drop in the stock market and the drop in demand for oil have a direct tie to the coronavirus, the unwinding of OPEC+ has added to the oil price drop. Understandably, the events of this past month have caused an increased amount of anxiety for many people.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

“Normally one would talk about an event like this in terms of recent discoveries and trends.” That’s Neil Hodgson, AAPG Europe president, talking about what happened – more to the point, what didn’t happen – at the recent APPEX Prospect and Property Expo in London. He has good reason for the non- announcement: recent discoveries and trends in the industry are, he believes, an ongoing occurrence for explorationists – it’s part of their DNA. What is needed right now is a re-focus – a rebirth. Listening to Hodgson, there is a sense that while he sees the clouds on the energy horizon – especially in Europe, he is more excited about the sun peeking through them.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

On Feb. 11, Colombia’s state oil company Ecopetrol signed a joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell granting the company 50-percent working interest in the Fuerte Sur, Purple Angel and Colombia-5 blocks located in the Southern Colombian Caribbean. Shell is not the only company taking note of Colombia’s offshore potential. Noble Energy entered the country in 2018 and obtained its first acreage position with a 40-percent operational stake in the COL-3 and GUA OFF-3 blocks in March 2019. Ian Gordon, Colombia country manager for Noble, said the country has a lot to offer to companies seeking offshore opportunities.

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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 Emphasis Article

In the oil and gas industry, the size of a discovery matters. And these days, so does the environmental footprint of extracting its resources. As the world continues to research sustainable energy sources, one geologist – in a rare twist – is looking to giant deepwater oil and gas fields for solutions. “If we’re looking for efficient sources of energy with manageable environmental footprints, deepwater may be the place to look,” said AAPG Member Henry S. Pettingill, consultant and former geologist for Shell and Noble Energy. While it often seems that environmental strain related to energy consumption is the focus, Pettingill suggests considering the environmental cost of extracting and producing that energy.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The worldwide spread of the coronavirus demonstrates how disruptive a medical pandemic can be for the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry. In addition to presenting a huge health challenge, the crisis also means a substantial decline in world oil demand. The expectation of reduced consumption has already resulted in a sharp drop in crude prices. But for the U.S. exploration and production sector, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic might not be completely negative, according to at least one analyst.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Paramaribo, Suriname
Thursday, 2 November Friday, 3 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Barranquilla, Colombia
Wednesday, 8 February Thursday, 9 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Join technical experts, industry leaders and government representatives for an interactive in-person workshop highlighting onshore and offshore E&P opportunities, new technologies and sustainable development strategies working in Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tuesday, 9 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working to help Brazil maintain its E&P capacity while transitioning to a decarbonized economy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

In comparison with the known boundary conditions that promote salt deformation and flow in sedimentary basins, the processes involved with the mobilization of clay-rich detrital sediments are far less well established. This talk will use seismic examples in different tectonic settings to document the variety of shale geometries that can be formed under brittle and ductile deformations.

Request a visit from Juan I. Soto!

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)
DL Abstract

As oil and gas exploration and production occur in deeper basins and more complex geologic settings, accurate characterization and modeling of reservoirs to improve estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) prediction, optimize well placement and maximize recovery become paramount. Existing technologies for reservoir characterization and modeling have proven inadequate for delivering detailed 3D predictions of reservoir architecture, connectivity and rock quality at scales that impact subsurface flow patterns and reservoir performance. Because of the gap between the geophysical and geologic data available (seismic, well logs, cores) and the data needed to model rock heterogeneities at the reservoir scale, constraints from external analog systems are needed. Existing stratigraphic concepts and deposition models are mostly empirical and seldom provide quantitative constraints on fine-scale reservoir heterogeneity. Current reservoir modeling tools are challenged to accurately replicate complex, nonstationary, rock heterogeneity patterns that control connectivity, such as shale layers that serve as flow baffles and barriers.

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Request a visit from Tao Sun!

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)
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)
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

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

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)

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