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Business and Economics

Explorer Director’s Corner

Last month the world’s political and industrial leaders gathered in Egypt for COP27. This annual event convened by the United Nations is an opportunity to engage in dialogue on the topic of climate change and to discuss a coordinated global response. If you’ve been paying attention for any length of time, you know that the topic of climate change and meetings like COP divide AAPG members. An individual member may or may not agree with the proposed policies or the concerns expressed at COP. But for many of our members worldwide, the topic of climate change and its impact on our industry and profession is existential – it has or will directly impact their careers and ability to practice their profession. That is why we must discuss this topic.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Readers Forum

I have the honor of leading the executive secretariat of ARPEL, the Association of Oil, Gas and (as of lately) Renewable Energy Companies of Latin America and the Caribbean. ARPEL is a key factor in the development and transformation of the oil and gas sector of our region. We foster cooperation and coordination on strategic and operational aspects among our member companies, and with sister trade and professional associations (such as AAPG), governments, regulators, academia and other stakeholders. ARPEL held its 6th conference in Lima, Peru in November.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

As countries seek to transition to cleaner-burning fuel to address environmental concerns, it can also be argued that the need to eliminate energy poverty remains just as crucial. The future energy mix must be wide-ranging and diverse to meet the needs both of the environment and the people living on the planet. New companies have begun to bring geothermal energy to areas that aren’t adjacent to volcanoes or that don’t have access to tectonic settings, which allow for an easy harvesting of the Earth’s heat. Some are embracing the niche operation of repurposing traditional geothermal wells and non-producing oil and gas wells. Others are promoting widespread geothermal energy through deep vertical and multilateral wells that can bring heat and electricity to the masses.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the world of oil and gas, an increasing number of plays in stratigraphic traps are being made – in large part due to ever-evolving seismic technology. The Discovery Thinking forum at the annual IMAGE conference in August served to highlight some of these plays in offshore frontier basins and the role that geophysics played in their discovery. “We are seeing more giant stratigraphic fields, and seismic is the key,” said past AAPG President Charles A. Sternbach, chair of the Discovery Thinking forum. “And, we are seeing more oil found at greater depths. Unconventional plays are migrating outside of the Western Hemisphere.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The war between Russia and Ukraine has seen several phases since the initial invasion in February. A series of advances by the Ukraine armed forces in the Eastern part of the country in early September created the impression that the conflict might be near an end. Russian annexation of four provinces at the end of the month convinced others that the war is far from over. What is not debatable, however, are the devastating effects that the war continues to have, particularly on Ukrainian refugees who fled hundreds or thousands of miles to escape the turmoil and seek safety for themselves and their families. This is the second in a two-part series about Ukrainian geologist refugees who fled their homeland and received assistance from colleagues living around the world, which shares the stories of other geoscientists who benefitted greatly from the funding but still struggle to find stability after having their world turned upside-down.

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

In my first column, I discussed some of the challenges facing our industry, AAPG, and DPA and introduced my theme for my term: “Renew and Engage.” I’m pleased to hear this resonated with so many of you and look forward to sharing the latest plans for the coming months. We are committed to deliver programs that appeal to our members, entice new members and reconnect our community.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

People often associate Utah with spectacular canyons cut into the Colorado Plateau, the state’s five national parks, incredible skiing in the beautiful mountains, the opportunity to wade around in the briny water of Great Salt Lake or hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Visitors to the state, as well as most of its citizens, don’t think of Utah as a major producer of oil and gas. However, Utah has consistently ranked among the highest oil and gas producers in the United States.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

This debate began decades ago: How much of the planet's natural gas is abiotic – made up of methane with nonbiological origins? At times, the scientific back-and-forth argument has resembled a slow-motion tennis match, with a new volley coming every few years. Now, Daniel Xia thinks he has helped deliver a winning smash across the net. His findings were most clearly laid out in a recent article “Validity of geochemical signatures of abiotic hydrocarbon gases on Earth,” by Xia and coauthor Yongli Gao, published in the Journal of the Geological Society.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Embracing the exploration spirit so often embodied in the annual Halbouty Lecture, Cindy Yeilding, retired senior vice president of BP America, rallied and encouraged her audience at the August 2022 IMAGE conference to repurpose their geoscience knowledge and skillsets for the energy transition. As the world searches for viable ways to decarbonize, it will not be uncommon to hear people say, “That technology will never work at scale, or it might work but it’s never going to make any money,” Yeilding said. “Those are all parts of the energy transition conversation, which tells us that using our exploration mindset is right for new exploration opportunities.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Consider the geophysics sector of the industry a shrink-to-fit enterprise where misery might be starting to bring its own relief, and business is improving after recent years of financial ups and downs. With, admittedly, more downs than ups. Higher oil and gas prices this year have brought either a spark of enthusiasm or a glimmer of hope to many geophysical companies. And the technical side of geophysics has continued to advance strongly despite the business challenges.

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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
Tuesday, 30 June 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

El geocientífico visitante Juan Pablo Lovecchio revisa aspectos generales de la ruptura, grietas y formación pasiva de márgenes y evolución a través del tiempo, así como elementos del desarrollo del sistema petrolero.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Friday, 11 December 2020, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

In a world moving to net-zero emissions during the COVID-driven oil price collapse, there remain important scientific and business opportunities for geoscientists, particularly those with expertise in stratigraphy, sedimentology, reservoir geology and hydrocarbon production. In this webinar, Dr. Julio Friedmann, senior research scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University discusses the challenges this community faces which are not scientific or technical, but rather involve shifts in business model, policy and global market trends. Webinar presented via Zoom on 11 December 2020 at 11:30 am CST (UTC-6).

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 30 July 2020, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Hear panelists’ views on how COVID-19 has affected the legal, financial and technological sectors of the energy industry and what they expect for the future. Topics include energy markets, public policy, infrastructure, transportation, corporate culture, digitalization and the energy transition. Send questions and comments for speakers, then make your voice heard in virtual roundtables opening 10 minutes after the panel discussion. Forum registration is free of charge thanks to support from our sponsors. Forum Registration

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Risk and Recovery in 2021'. Panelists discuss how they now approach risk assessment and opportunity evaluation after the dramatic changes due to economic stresses (crises) and a global pandemic. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 31 March 2021.

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

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

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, 28 July 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation discusses one operator’s approach to fully integrate data captured in the Marcellus Shale in order to optimize horizontal well performance.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Gil Machado is a Petroleum Exploration Geologist with a Ph.D in stratigraphy and source rock characterization. Gil's presentation 'Reducing Uncertainty and Increasing Chances of Success Using Biostratigraphy', will explore the role of biostratigraphy in the exploration workflow. Several success cases from around the World will be detailed, showing the uses of this discipline for sedimentation age determination, paleoenvironmental interpretation and source rock characterization. Join Gil Machado via Zoom on June 10 at 12:00 GMT+1

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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)
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)
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

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

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

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)
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

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

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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