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Explorer Article

Desperate to ship crude oil from the oil-rich province of Alberta to the Irving Oil Refinery on Canada’s east coast, Cenovus Energy took the path of least resistance last summer. It sent oil 710 miles through the Trans Mountain Pipeline to its west coast terminal in British Columbia, loaded it on a tanker, and began a 7,500-mile journey – through the Panama Canal – and up the eastern seaboard to New Brunswick. To an outsider, that statement might seem absurd, when the distance between Alberta’s prolific oil sands and the refinery is 2,600 miles – less than a third of the distance traveled by Cenovus. Yet, it was considered a successful transaction, given the fact that there is no pipeline connecting Alberta, the location of the world’s third largest oil reserves, to Canada’s east coast, the location of the country’s largest refinery.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the best of times, AAPG’s Director of Innovation and Emerging Science/ Technology Susan Nash has to weigh the costs and benefits of “the next big thing” out there for the industry, separating the helpful from the hyperbolic, to see which new advancements will have the greatest impact on how the industry moves forward. But undertaking all that in the middle of a pandemic is a whole new ballgame, for it makes an industry – especially one like the oil and gas industry – to take stock of exactly what the possibilities and ramifications will be when the future landscape has been so transfigured by recent events that it is almost unrecognizable from anything that preceded it

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

Later this month here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ll enjoy the spring equinox and with it the passing of winter to spring. For those of us here in North America, particularly our members in Texas who recently experienced a polar vortex accompanied by snow, ice and freezing temperatures, this transition is welcome. With spring comes new beginnings and that, too, is welcome. The concerns of COVID have not vanished, but as vaccinations roll out across the globe, we glimpse the possibility of recovery. I am hopeful.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Regions and Sections

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change,” said Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Galactic. This is true of many scientific and business ventures buffeted by 2020's economic chaos. “Survive and thrive” describes the efforts of all the AAPG sections and affiliated societies. Our AAPG sections include the nation's most vital and historic geological societies. As the new AAPG vice president of sections, it is an honor to host a monthly virtual teleconference meeting with the section presidents, presidents-elect and society leaders.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Management with the Dynamic Group of Houston are convinced after four years of study that they have identified significant new play potential deep on the west Louisiana shelf, a province largely regarded by industry as mature for exploration. “Most of our industry thinks the U.S. shelf is in late life, and the only remaining opportunities are for low-risk, low volume exploitation targets,” said Rob Pascoe, managing director and chief geologist. “We believe that may not be the whole story. Our studies describe a large-scale new play, with the potential to be liquids rich and high value.” He said new technology and geological insights are the key.

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

I was watching some old movies during a recent snowstorm in Tulsa. One of them was “Back to the Future.” In this case, “the future” was 2015. The movie “Rollerball” was set in 2018, and “Terminator” was supposed to be from 2020-30. Have you ever noticed that the future is not that far away? As you could see from my last column, I’ve had “the future” on my mind. So, in thinking again about the future, I want to discuss governance. This will not be my most exciting column, but it is important.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

People in the oil and gas industry often speak of, and always seek to find, the “sweet spot” of a given play, field or reservoir. Ask anyone in the oil patch, “What is a sweet spot?”, and you will often get an answer long on colorful recollections and short on hard details. Ask a follow-up question about the history of sweet spots and you will probably receive only a baffled look.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Last year started with promise for the Colombian offshore industry. Shell EP Offshore Ventures Limited and Ecopetrol, S.A. signed an agreement for Shell to acquire an interest in and operate the Fuerte Sur, Purple Angel and Col-5 blocks located in the southern Colombian Caribbean basin. Noble Energy opened an office in Barranquilla and announced plans to drill a prospect at 8,500 feet on the Col-3 block in the Guajira Basin in northern Colombia. Ecopetrol and Petrobras prepared to mature the 2014 Orca discovery on the Tayrona block, also in Guajira. Then COVID-19 came to the Americas in March 2020, and everything changed.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

University geoscience programs face a challenging future as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic – one that could have significant and even dire implications for oil and gas. Educators, mostly outside the United States, are already sounding an alarm.

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

First there was Peak Oil, the Malthusian fear that the world was running out of oil. This idea has been around for a long time but had its most recent renaissance in the mid- 2000s with a host of books warning that global demand was going to overwhelm the industry’s ability to supply. The expansion of unconventional oil and natural gas production quieted concerns about supply constraints. The world is not running out of hydrocarbons.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Monday, 15 June 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Ray Leonard will be talking to us about 'Climate Change, Covid-19 and the Effect on Energy’s Future'. Fossil fuels have led to a profound increase in world living standards but resulting emissions of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere are a primary factor in climate change. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has resulted in a significant decrease in world economic activity, which in turn has led to a major, if temporary, decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2. Join Ray Leonard via Zoom on June 15 at 12:00 GMT+1

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Wednesday, 5 March 2014, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Explore three of the great wonders of the geological world. Take a guided tour of classic geological sites on the Colorado Plateau.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

On July 15th, Raffaele Di Cuia and other members ouf the committee for our upcoming Workshop 'Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A Global Perspective' will be joining the Let's Connect webinar. The call for abstracts for this workshop, to be held in November in Barcelona is open until July 30th. Join this webinar and learn more about how to tackle the issues of Thrust Belt Settings! Register for the webinar and learn more about the face to face GTW!

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 7 November 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium presentation places the interpretation of deep-water turbidites discernible in 3-D seismic inversion data within a geological context.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 10 September 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Economic oil and gas fields have been increasingly found in deep-water continental margins for the past decade, where potential prospects record the key tectonic events associated with plate breakup and continental drift. In these regions, the exploitation of economic resources must take into account sustainable practices and environmental concerns of local populations. This talk will present case studies from multiple continental margins to then extrapolate major findings to basins in SE Asia.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 7 June 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Unger Field, discovered in1955, has produced 8.6 million barrels of oil from a thinly (several ft) bedded, locally cherty dolomite containing vuggy and intercrystalline porosity.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Virtual Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 November 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will review the results of ongoing carbon storage research in Kentucky by the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) and industry partners.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 12 May 2020, 5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Both climate change and the most recent coronavirus pandemic have generated multiple impacts on society. Though on the surface the crises appear to be unrelated, they have more similarities than differences. The common elements shared by Covid-19 and climate change promote the development of comprehensive solutions that mitigate both crises simultaneously. This talk examines how actions and strategies developed for the energy transition can help to address the multiple challenges that the world faces today.

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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)
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)
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)
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

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)
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)
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

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

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)
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)

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