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 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.

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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.

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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
Thursday, 26 September 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The presentation will discuss key reservoir information and how to develop a predictive pressure model.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 25 January 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This esymposium takes a close look at workflows associated with resource plays, and analyzes where integration must occur between disciplines, data, and workflows at all phases of the process.

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, 21 May 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium introduces you to the practical benefits of thermal profiling for a variety of unconventional oil and gas projects, including tight gas sands, oil shale, low-gravity oil.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 22 October 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This course can help you gain the ability to describe the complex and highly variable reservoirs, which are typified by complex internal heterogeneity.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 4 October 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Effective hydraulic fracture stimulation is critical for shale development, and microseismic is the only technology able to map the growth of these hydraulic fracture networks.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 9 September 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Water cut is a big factor in gauging the success of horizontal drilling in the Mississippi Lime Play (MLP). The contributing factors are related in part to the spectrum of producing lithofacies and reservoir quality encountered that varies laterally and vertically, sometimes dramatically. 

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)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 12 July 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will look at well placement vertically in the pay, well azimuth and well trajectory with explanations of how geology and post-depositional effects can make the difference between a successful well and a failure.

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)
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)
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

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

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

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

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)
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

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

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

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)

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