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.

Show more
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

In 1949 an historic oil field was discovered under the Caspian Sea. The field was named “Neft Dashlari, which in Azerbaijani means “Oil Rocks,” and it was a milestone in the development of the global oil industry. Oil Rocks, an iconic “city in the sea,” pointed the way to modern offshore drilling as we know it today.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Depleted horizontal oil and gas wells could have a second life storing renewable energy, according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Because renewable forms of electricity generation like solar and wind require low-cost energy storage, the NREL researchers propose using depleted hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells to store electrical energy in the form of compressed natural gas to be released to spin an expander/generator when electrical demand is high.

Show more
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently exploring the delta front of Jezero Crater on Mars. It has traveled 7.4 miles and drilled twelve core samples. For Katie Stack Morgan, geologist and deputy project scientist for the Perseverance Mars rover, the first close-up image of layered rocks at the base of Jezero Crater’s ancient river delta grabbed her imagination. “These are the layered rocks that we came for!” she said.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Question: If the science of predicting the risks and mitigation of induced seismicity, figuratively speaking, was a glass of hydraulic fracturing injection fluid, would it be half full or half empty? The answer is . . . yes. One on hand, geoscientists are getting better about predicting the when and where of seismicity; on the other, there is a lot more seismicity in a lot more places that have to be predicted.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Geosteering innovations continue to have dramatic breakthroughs in accuracy, efficiency, and real-time monitoring capabilities, thanks to pioneering work in analytics with new algorithms and approaches to machine learning. Welcome to an interview with Hugh Winkler, who will also be presenting at AAPG's U-Pitch New Technology Showcase, at IMAGE.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Approximately 80 percent of today’s global energy supply comes from fossils fuels, 54 percent of which is supplied by oil and gas. Global society’s goal for the near future is to enjoy the same or better quality of life, but with zero carbon emitted. This presents a set of challenging questions of particular relevance to AAPG members. How will energy demand evolve? How difficult is it to remove oil and gas from the global energy mix? And if they remain part of the mix, what kind of hydrocarbons are we looking for? How important will geological carbon storage be in assisting efforts to reach net zero? These questions were investigated in a recent paper by the authors entitled, “Demand for ‘advantaged’ hydrocarbons during the 21st century energy transition,” and published in the journal Energy Reports. The results are summarized here.

Show more
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

People familiar with the energy business know that most existing vertical wells produce little oil or gas. They might be surprised how many horizontal wells fall into the same category. Under the right circumstances, this growing number of wells in decline could represent an investment opportunity. Or, it might become a giant abandonment headache for the oil industry.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

An interview with Monte Swan developer of the magma-metal series classification and 7-layered Earth model.

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

Hello Division of Professional Affairs and AAPG members, I’d like to welcome you to the first DPA column in my term as DPA president 2022-23. As I begin this appointment, I’ve been reflecting on the events of recent years and considering the challenges and changes we’ve faced through the pandemic – personally and professionally, as an industry and as members of a global community.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Friday, 27 March 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Join two GIS/geoscience experts Scott Sires and Gerry Bartz as they use information from the Teapot Dome Field in Wyoming (DOE/RMOTC program).

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, 16 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation describes a proven workflow that uses a standard narrow azimuth 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and core data to build five key reservoir properties required for an optimal development of shale plays.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 January 2016, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

An overview of a new ambient seismic imaging method and applications of the method throughout the lifecycles (exploration through refracing) of unconventional oil and/or gas fields.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 January 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This 1-hour web-cast will arm the G&G asset team professionals with a core-competency understanding of these critical field realities, with direct reference to recent documented field experience and learnings

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 8 November 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This talk will present a brief overview of proppants followed by a comprehensive discussion of the major considerations that are driving proppant selection in these plays.

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, 17 March 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.

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)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 2 October 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

This course is ideal for individuals involved in Midland Basin exploration and development. Successful development of Wolfcamp shale oil relies on complex inter-relationships (ultimately interdependencies) within and between a wide variety of scientific disciplines, financial entities, and company partnerships. 

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.

Show more

Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!

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

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.

Show more

Request a visit from Tao Sun!

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.

Show more

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)
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.

Show more

Request a visit from Keith Gerdes!

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

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.

Show more

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)
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.

Show more

Request a visit from Jacob Covault!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Related Interests

See Also ...