Explorer Director’s Corner

It’s summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere, and with the sun and warm weather, thoughts are shifting to vacation. Packing the kids in the car for a week at the beach or a trip to grandma’s house is a time-honored tradition. But this year, moms and dads are doing so with an eye on surging gas prices – this road trip isn’t going to be cheap. Parents aren’t alone in casting a nervous eye on prices at the pump. The White House is, too.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The AAPG Women’s Network is excited to provide attendees at next month’s International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy with a variety of events throughout the conference. There is something for everyone!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Not wishing to split hairs over which is the world’s first oil well, the majority of oil historians recognize the drilling of the Drake Well as the birth of the modern petroleum industry. What is not so well known is that some seven miles southeast of the Drake Well, in Pithole Creek, lie the remains of a city that came out of nowhere as a new town, enjoyed great splendor, then disappeared in a few years. It is the legendary Pithole City in Venango County of northwestern Pennsylvania.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

With the price of oil hovering well over $100 a barrel, some in the industry are exploring ways to revisit conventional oilfields using technology that emerged during the unconventional oil boom, with a goal of earning a rapid return on investment while prices remain favorable.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Global events of recent years have driven the oil and gas industry to make major changes to its workforce and operations, and the professional and scientific associations that serve the industry have had to evolve and adapt to accommodate those changes, particularly with regard to the programs they offer. The Imperial Barrel Award competition is no exception. An AAPG staple since 2007 and one of the Association’s most prestigious and visible programs, the IBA has undergone multiple changes during the past two years.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Cores and core analyses are more important than ever as we start to use subsurface pore spaces and structure in ways we never dreamed of only a few years ago. Welcome to an interview with Diego Ibáñez from the National University of Bogotá. He goes into detail about the cutting edge National Liloteca, a library of subsurface information from throughout Colombia.

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

Many geologists have earned their field trip stripes in the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas, but fewer have heard – and braved the dangers – of hiking the mysterious and mineral-rich Franklin Mountains north of El Paso. The Franklin Mountain region is a west-tilting series of horst blocks that became 5,000-7,200-foot tall mountains as a result of the Laramide orogeny. The sheer eastern escarpment exposes rocks dating from the Pennsylvanian down to 1.25-billion-year-old basement granite. It was a “field trip through time” focused on the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian formations, representing more than 100 million years of geologic history.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

And we’re back. With high oil and gas prices and strong demand driving renewed interest in production, the energy industry is returning to the unconventional resources business in a big way. The upcoming Unconventional Resources Technology Conference is once again an in-person meeting, back in Houston this month, June 20-22, with a major emphasis on practical ways to boost output and introduce efficiencies.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, which AAPG celebrated with a live watch party. Perseverance has since explored the Séítah region and is currently at the delta front of Jezero Crater on Mars using an enhanced autonomous navigation system and under guidance from NASA/JPL controllers. As of May 13, 2022, Sol 436, Perseverance has traveled 11.4 kilometers and drilled eight core samples. The rover has returned more than 249,000 raw images that are publicly available in the mission multimedia catalog.

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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)
Short Course
Houston, Texas
Thursday, 14 March 2024, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

This half-day short course will familiarize attendees with the planning and execution of a whole core project. It's intended for those who plan to take core on CCUS projects including Geologists and drilling engineers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Friday, 20 January 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas is one of the more exciting shale plays in the United States at the current time.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Projects in several shales will be discussed, including Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Montney, and Barnett, as will several seismically-detectable drivers for success including lithofacies, stress, pre-existing fractures, and pore pressure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 16 April 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The goal of this e-symposium is to provide an overview of the latest trends and technologies for water management for oil and gas drilling, completions, and production.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 August 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will show where there are cases of missing sections, but none of them can be attributed to normal faulting.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 28 October 2021, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.

As an industry we’re constantly challenged to improve our business on a worldwide stage. How do we continue improving the safe delivery of high quality, economical wells and production where understanding of social requirements and the license to operate are rapidly changing? Join us for a conversation with a panel of drilling engineers to gain insight to their understanding of how we can meet these challenges and impact well delivery planning processes and outcomes - from clarity on deliverables, process improvements, advances in technology, to building better business models for modern decision making.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Wednesday, 31 October 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium will focus on how surface geochemical surveys and Downhole Geochemical Imaging technologies can be utilized jointly to directly characterize the composition of hydrocarbons vertically through the prospect section.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 15 March 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium presents techniques for predicting pore pressure in seals by examining case studies from the Gulf of Mexico and incorporating the relationship between rocks, fluids, stress, and pressure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 October 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium covers how to conduct an interdisciplinary evaluation of mature fields to determine the best approach to recover remaining reserves.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 10 November 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This work investigates how heterogeneity can be defined and how we can quantify this term by describing a range of statistical heterogeneity (e.g. coefficient of variation and the Lorenz coefficient).

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 22 July 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe geomechanics in shale reservoirs and discuss differences between plays.

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

Climate change is not only happening in the atmosphere but also in the anthroposphere; in some ways the former could drive or exacerbate the latter, with extreme weather excursions and extreme excursions from societal norms occurring all over the earth. Accomplishing geoscience for a common goal – whether that is for successful business activities, resource assessment for public planning, mitigating the impacts of geological hazards, or for the sheer love of furthering knowledge and understanding – can and should be done by a workforce that is equitably developed and supported. Difficulty arises when the value of institutional programs to increase equity and diversity is not realized.

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

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)
DL Abstract

Paleozoic North America has experienced multiple mountain building events, from Ordovician to Permian, on all margins of the continent. These have had a profound effect on the resulting complex basins and their associated petroleum systems. Subsequent uplift, erosion and overprinting of these ancient systems impedes the direct observation of their tectonic history. However, the basin sedimentary records are more complete, and provide additional insights into the timing and style of the mountain building events. In this study, we employ ~90 1D basin models, ~30 inverse flexural models, isopachs, and paleogeographic maps to better understand the Paleozoic history of North America.

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Request a visit from Kurt W. Rudolph!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

While there are many habitats that are associated with the deposition of organic-rich marine and lacustrine source rocks, one important pathway is linked to the onset of increased basin subsidence associated with major tectonic events. A key aspect is that this subsidence is spatially variable, with the uplift of basin flanks contemporaneous with the foundering of the basin center, resulting in a steeper basin profile.

Request a visit from Kurt W. Rudolph!

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

Physics is an essential component of geophysics but there is much that physics cannot know or address. 

Request a visit from John Castagna!

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

For well over a century there have been conflicting indications of the strength of the crust and of faults and what controls them.  Much of our ignorance comes quite naturally from the general inaccessibility of the crust to measurement--in contrast with our understanding of the atmosphere, which is much more accessible to observation as well as more rapidly changing.  Crustal strength is best understood in deforming sedimentary basins where the petroleum industry has made great contributions, particularly in deforming petroleum basins because of the practical need to predict. In this talk we take a broad look at key issues in crustal strength and deformation and what we can learn from boreholes, earthquakes, active fault systems, and toy models.

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Request a visit from John Suppe!

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)

Related Interests

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