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Explorer Regions and Sections

The Southwest Section Convention sizzled in the Fort Worth heat in late June, marking the first in-person section convention since the pandemic, and attracting a larger than anticipated number of geologists and geophysicists. Southwest Section organizers were thrilled with the large number of on-site registrations resulting in sellout ticketed events at the Radisson Fort Worth meeting site.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The future for a petroleum geoscientist might seem more uncertain these days as the transition to cleaner energy begins. Fewer students have their ambitions set on oil and gas careers and industry professionals are beginning to question how their knowledge and skills will fit into a world of new energies. But, as many observers have noted, oil and gas will continue to play a key role in fueling the energy system for decades to come. As well as being needed to explore, geoscientists will be the bedrock for many emerging roles prompted by the transition because of their expertise in the subsurface.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

OPEC+ and the United Arab Emirates appear to have settled their spat over production levels for now, but the “prisoner’s dilemma” of the current oil market remains, and that could have long- term ramifications for the industry.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or IMAGE ’21, the integrated annual event of AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in conjunction with the Society for Sedimentary Geology, is all set to be held online and in Denver, Colo., Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. The event will bring together many of the greatest minds and leaders from multiple disciplines of the geosciences sector, which includes an impressive lineup of keynote speakers that include IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin, Kirsten Siebach of the Mars Perseverance mission and Kirk Johnson of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

“The beauty of the unconventionals is, while they’re expensive, we know where they are.” That’s Carlos Torres-Verdin, Brian James Jennings memorial endowed chair and Zarrow centennial professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, talking about the promise of unconventional energy production in the United States, both from an industry standpoint and with a view to its position in the country’s future energy mix. According to a study by the Harvard University Business School, by 2030, 3.8 million jobs, half of which would be accessible to middle-skilled workers, could potentially be supported by the development of unconventional resources.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Petroleum exploration on the United States’ Outer Continental Shelf has a colorful history, punctuated by the interplay between private enterprise and government oversight. Except for a thin strip near the coast controlled by the adjacent coastal state, the entire area is under federal government jurisdiction. As of 2020, the OCS provides about 15 percent of U.S. domestic oil production and 2 percent of natural gas. The following is a brief history of that government oversight and how the author’s involvement may have saved the industry’s activity in the OCS from being nationalized.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

“Transmission, generally, is a bipartisan issue.” That hopeful note on the national energy grid, specifically the need to fortify, improve and expand it so Americans can efficiently get the energy they need – and in the midst of all the rancor about what the president’s infrastructure bill will or will not ultimately encompass – comes from Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. The reason there seems to be bipartisan support on the grid is in part, he said, because regardless of party affiliation, Americans have come to rely on being able to access the energy we need. Making sure that is always the case, made more complicated by all the new energy sources that will soon travel the grid, was the topic of a recent GE-sponsored Axios event on the transmission of energy, it’s resilience, sustainability – and reinvention.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Just as Alaska was bracing itself for the economic fallout of the Biden administration’s adversarial stance on oil and gas, two recent court decisions are giving the state hope. On June 15, a federal judge lifted the administration’s temporary ban on federal lease sales, clearing the way for a highly anticipated lease sale in the prolific National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. And, on May 26, a brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice affirmed that the Willow Project, a major discovery in NPRA that has been tied up in environmental-related lawsuits, complies with environmental regulations. While it remains unclear how soon the NPRA lease sale can take place, it is expected that the Willow project, one of the North Slope’s largest projects in recent years, will move forward.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Welcome to an interview with Herman Darman, whose career in petroleum geology is now transitioning to geothermal energy, particularly in Indonesia, where there are volcanoes as well as repurposeable oil and gas wells.

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

The petroleum industry has changed and is under attack. Many want to stop production of carbon-based fuels. There is a logic to this if we look to the future. We need to sustain energy production and fill the holes in the current alternative energy industries like solar, wind turbines, geothermal and advanced batteries. This does not mean oil industry jobs will be eliminated. They will just change.

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)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Wind Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for wind energy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 11 November 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium is ideal for geologists, geophysicists, engineers and other geoscientists who are involved in gas shale exploration and production.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The gas transport in organic-rich shales involves different length-scales, from organic and inorganic pores to macro- and macrofractures. In order to upscale the fluid transport from nanoscale (flow through nanopores) to larger scales (to micro- and macrofractures), multicontinuum methodology is planned to be used.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
London, England
Wednesday, 24 February 2021, 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Since the first explorationists discovered the subsurface potential in Tunisia, the country’s institutions took the role of a partner rather than only a regulator. Today, one of ETAP missions is promoting exploration opportunities in Tunisia through both regional and targeted approaches, including sharing knowledge, high-quality data and best practices. ETAP commits to supporting continued drilling activity in mature areas and encouraging/incentivizing exploitation of new and emerging plays.

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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)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 11 February 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Gas hydrates, ice-like substances composed of water and gas molecules (methane, ethane, propane, etc.), occur in permafrost areas and in deep water marine environments.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 14 July 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

The Santos Basin is an excellent example of how much oil is kept in remote sites, just waiting to be found by bold explorationists with the will and resources needed to find them. Join Flávio Feijó to for a presentation of the history and potential for future discoveries in the Santos Basin Webinar will be presented via Zoom on Tuesday 14 July 2020 at 11am CDT (UMT-6). Register Now at Zoom

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 February 2011, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

This presentation is designed for exploration/production geologists and geological managers or reservoir engineers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 30 October 2014, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Cross disciplinary workflows play an important part of successful characterization of shale reservoirs. This course discusses how the artificial kerogen maturity of organic-rich Green River shale affects the petrophysical, micro-structural, geochemical and elastic properties.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 3 December 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Patawarta Diapir, approximately 2-6km2 located in the Central Flinders Ranges, South Australia, has been interpreted as a single allochthonous salt sheet containing Tonian-aged igneous and layered evaporite sedimentary intrasalt inclusions derived from the Callanna Group. In this webinar, Rachelle Kernen describes the diapir as five primarily silty limestone inclusions (0.5-2km2), re-interpreted as Ediacaran-aged Wonoka Formation and Patsy Hill member of the Bonney Sandstone (Wilpena Group). Webinar presented Thursday 3 December 2020 at 11:00 SGT (GMT+8) Singapore time

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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)
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

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 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

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

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)
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)

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