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Explorer Geophysical Corner

The September 2021 Geophysical Corner was an article entitled ‘3-D Visualization and Geobody Picking of Amplitude Anomalies in Deepwater Seismic Data,’ in which we reviewed the use of geobody tools to rapidly visualize the extent of geologic features that give rise to a strong seismic amplitude response. For seismically thin reservoirs, the response of a gas-saturated sandstone gives rise to a trough at the top and a peak at the base. In this case, we would need to select two separate geobodies to map the reservoir.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The small town of Cunningham, Kansas lies about 65 miles straight west of Wichita on U.S. Highway 54. It was incorporated in 1887 as a commercial center for farmers and ranchers in that part of south-central Kansas. Hard winter wheat was the main cash crop, while herds of beef and dairy cattle were a close second source of income. This activity characterized the culture of Cunningham into the early years of the 20th century. That is, until a new industry was introduced to Kansas when, in 1915, oil was discovered in the El Dorado field northeast of Wichita.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

How the oil and gas business finds investors is changing. Again. But it may change back. Or not. “The private equity firms that have traditionally funded new hydrocarbon companies are facing new pressure from their investors to stop placing capital in oil and gas, and the desire for quick profit – or even profit at all – has become secondary to a perceived battle against carbon dioxide,” said Don Burdick, who understands how counterintuitive not making a profit sounds. On the surface, it’s a startling development.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Put pressure on the United States to increase oil and natural gas production and the burden mainly falls on unconventional resources. Will operators be up to the challenge? Near-term projections call for U.S. oil output to grow by 1 million barrels per day. A difficult operating environment will make that increase a struggle, but the very nature of unconventionals offers cause for optimism.

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

In February, TotalEnergies announced a significant light oil discovery in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia. Reuters reported a source suggesting that the Venus-X1 well may have found more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. This was the second significant discovery announced in the basin that month. The offshore continues to deliver new oil and natural gas discoveries worldwide. And as this issue hits your inbox, the offshore is the primary topic of discussion in Houston as the 2022 Offshore Technology Conference returns to NRG Park from May 2-5.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Located in the Orange Basin, along the passive west coast of the continental margin that straddles the borders of South Africa, there has been a discovery of an oil province in Namibia – the offshore Graf and Venus fields – that likely contains billions of barrels of oil resources. That’s according to Robin Sutherland, an exploration manager for Monitor Exploration, a UK-based private exploration company involved in oil and gas exploration in Africa. Of equal importance, he said, is the recent drilling by ReconAfrica, which “clearly proves” that the Ovambo Basin, a large pre-Cambrian basin in the far north of Namibia, is oil bearing with very significant potential. “Both of these events represent major changes to our understanding of the potential of Namibia,” said Sutherland.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

These days, more uncertain than the price of gas, especially with the announcement last month from the administration to ban the import of Russian oil and gas, combined with the European Union’s decision to cut imports by 80 percent, is the question of whether the world will get the energy it needs – and who will provide it. To that end, it’s worth considering what conventional oil and gas reservoirs here in America can be drilled and placed online quickly to help fill that need.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Geoscientists and industry leaders throughout the world are preparing for the International Conference and Exhibition Cartagena 2022, AAPG’s flagship international event taking place in Cartagena, Colombia, April 19-22. Held for the last time in Buenos Aires in August 2019, ICE returns to Latin America after a three-year break imposed in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

For Colombia’s National Hydrocarbon Agency and national oil company Ecopetrol, now is the perfect time to seek opportunities in a country providing diverse geological potential, a prepared workforce and contractual stability. They believe that Colombia is that country, and they are prepared to make their case as principal sponsors and hosts of AAPG’s International Conference and Exhibition taking place in Cartagena April 19-22.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Russia’s military action against Ukraine forced the Western world to face some hard truths about that country’s powerful position in world energy markets. In Europe, the invasion produced worry about possible disruptions in vital energy imports. In the United States, it led to calls for a stronger American oil and gas sector with increased government support. Beyond the volatile up-and-down swings in energy prices immediately following the onset of the Ukraine war, concerns emerged that the incursion could have an unbalancing effect on world markets for years to come.

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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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 1 October 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Join AAPG Asia Pacific to hear Agus Ramdahn, PhD to hear about a method of combining Bowers Method with density-sonic cross plots to estimate overpressure in the shelfal area of the Lower Kutai Basin This webinar will be presented via Zoom on Thursday 1 October at 11:00 Singapore Time

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 14 April 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Energy Industry Supply Chains'. Panelists will discuss some of the most prominent advances in supply chain practice, including provenance, authenticity assurance, blockchain, automation, multiple sourcing, and 3D printing. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 14 April 2021.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 20 May 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Matching Capabilities and Capacity With Current and Emerging Demand Areas; Building a Business Plan That Reflects the Realities of Opportunities'. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 20 May 2020. During this webinar we will discuss: Matching technologies and companies Keys to Building a Resilient Early-Stage Business Multi-Industry Technology: Robotics as a Service

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

In the span of a mere few months, the much of the world went from a state of exuberant self-actualization to the most primal level of survival (health, food, shelter) insecurity. Consequently, the world has changed. Shock change due to pandemic-triggered chain reactions, supply / demand and price instability, rapid technological innovation, new plays and changing markets, distributed teams and workforces, the powerful force of social media, shortages of technical expertise, and supply chain issues have come together to create new challenges and opportunities for leadership. We will analyze how the issues relate to the oil and gas business (exploration, development, oilfield services, support services, financial sector) and we will propose solutions for immediate real-world emergencies, together with longer term challenges. In addition, we will evaluate what prominent thinkers and academics have written about leadership and strategic planning.

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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.

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

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)
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)
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)
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)

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