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If you remember from my last column, this is a three-part series on my thoughts on science, membership and budget. I talked about budget last time … we are still working on it, so let’s talk science. The reason most professionals join AAPG is for access to science. That’s not just my opinion – it’s what members tell us. AAPG is very good about disseminating the work of our members and other professionals around the world. That’s our mission.
As discussed in part 1 of this article, when it comes to the attributes used in equation 1 for seismically determining shale capacity, it is difficult to make a manual choice for the cut off values. To alleviate such a problem, application of machine learning techniques could be useful and thus worth exploring.
The goal of reservoir characterization work carried out for a shale play is to enhance hydrocarbon production by identifying the favorable drilling targets. The drilling operators have the perception that in organic-rich shale formations, horizontal wells can be drilled anywhere, in any direction, and hydraulic fracturing at regular intervals along the length of the laterals can then lead to better production. Given that this understanding holds true, all fracturing stages are expected to contribute impartially to the production. However, studies have shown that only 50 percent of the fracturing stages contribute to overall production. This suggests that repetitive drilling of wells and their completions without attention to their placement must be avoided, and smart drilling needs to be followed by operators.
Challenges related to the energy transition have led scientists to seek the ways and means to sequester carbon dioxide. Use of CO2 injection to enhance oil recovery from existing fields and CO2 storage in depleted oil and gas fields provide obvious opportunities for CO2 sequestration. As well as the interest in existing fields, there has been a significant drive to identify potential storage sites in recent years, as well as in the larger saline aquifers in which they are situated.
Considering that success or failure of unconventional exploration is largely dependent on drilling horizontal wells in the right area and fracturing efficiently, and considering also that geomechanical modeling facilitates these processes, it is easy to see that when industry professionals have a better perspective of the subsurface mechanics, the better chance they have for increased production. That is the point of geomechanical modeling: safer drilling and increased production.
We have been through a month of lockdown due to the coronavirus, and in that time, we have seen oil prices go into negative numbers. This is paper barrels! The commodity market has a place in our business and it’s helpful to understand the history and how the commodity market has changed our industry.
Shale resource plays are associated with low permeability, so hydraulic fracturing is required for their stimulation and production. In order to enhance the flow of fluids with hydraulic fracturing, it is vital to understand the stress field distribution. The efficiency and effectiveness of a hydraulic fracture stimulation are predicated on adequate horizontal well placement in the subsurface. For that purpose, the horizontal wells are usually drilled in the direction of minimal horizontal stress so that hydraulic fracturing takes place in the direction of maximal stress that ensures better reservoir contact and production, which also depends on how a complex fracture network is created by induced fractures.
The maturing carbon market is a major driver for carbon capture, utilization and storage projects. Both the subsurface technical knowledge and related data sets of the petroleum industry are major inputs required for the world to successfully move toward a carbon-neutral and sustainable energy future. To that end, one of the goals of the Division of Environmental Geosciences in representing AAPG is to promote what petroleum geologists can offer during an evolving energy future.
Proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing in the United States have drawn a wide range of responses from analysts, with projected effects ranging from cataclysmic to trifling. Legislation to phase out fracturing was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this year. That turned up the heat on the controversy, as did the emergence of Sen. Bernie Sanders as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders and Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a bill titled the “Ban Fracking Act” in January.
As basins such as the Permian have crushed the concept of “peak oil” by doubling past production rates using new ideas and technology, their newly dubbed “super basin” status is inspiring operators on practically every continent to do the same.
Date: 3rd February 2021
Time: 7am – 4pm
Field Trip Leaders: Mohammed Masrahy and Fawaz Al Khaldi, Saudi Aramco
Registration Fee: $95
Registration Deadline: 16th December 2020
Field Trip Description
Analogues, especially ancient outcrop and modern analogues, have played a crucial role in improving the understanding of subsurface reservoir architectural elements. They provide important information on subsurface reservoir geobody size, geometry, and potential connectivity, which all contribute to better reservoir characterization, mainly in highly heterogeneous siliciclastic or carbonate reservoirs that require the integration and detailed analysis of petrophysics, facies, diagenesis, geometry, depositional environments and lateral and vertical variability.
Subsurface reservoir models are limited by available geological data. Outcrop and modern analogs from comparable systems provide additional input to geological models of the subsurface. This field trip will provide valuable insights into the nature of this complexity.
Aims and Objectives
The field trip will comprise a field study of a range of continental clastic modern systems and marine carbonate ancient systems, and related sedimentary facies, each of which possesses attributes that are comparable in part to the subsurface deposits.
Field trip attendees will gain knowledge about key competencies related to field geology such as measuring vertical sections, describing sedimentary structures and textures, describing sedimentary facies, identifying depositional environments, and linking sedimentological observations to subsurface reservoir modeling.
One specific aim of this field trip is to emphasize that integrated reservoir characterization and modeling processes take into account actual depositional trends and the distribution of the sedimentary bodies.
Intended Learning Outcomes
This field trip will provide explanations and discussions of the following aspects:
Basin age, mechanisms of tectonic development, and regional palaeogeographic setting.
An introduction to techniques and criteria for the recognition of continental (fluvial and aeolian systems), shallow marine and carbonate related sedimentary facies in outcrop and modern system and discussions of the application of these techniques to the study of subsurface sedimentology and geological modeling.
Discussions of the 1D, 2D and 3D facies architecture with particular consideration of the geometry and scale of key stratal bodies that have relevance for understanding subsurface hydrocarbon reservoirs.
Discussion of the nature of autocyclic (intrinsic) interactions between competing sedimentary processes and consideration of the implications of these in terms of reservoir quality.
Discussion of the nature of allocyclic (external) controls on sedimentary processes and consideration of the effects of temporal and spatial changes in these controls on the preserved succession (through introduction of sequence stratigraphic concepts).
The significance of accurately determining the preserved geometry of reservoir successions and how to undertake correlations at the interwell scale.
How to predict the 3D distribution of net versus non-net reservoir.
How best to make region-wide predictions in areas for which palaeogeography is poorly constrained.
Join us in Salzburg, the “castle of salt” and cradle of Mozart and Doppler, for a meeting aimed at bringing together different perspectives in the science of evaporite basins: from their formation to their deformation, from description and characterization to modelling. Exploratory success in evaporite-rich basins worldwide has depended on the role of evaporites as a deformable substrate, as a seal, or even as a good thermal conductor. The aim of this workshop is to improve our understanding and predictive ability by addressing evaporite systems in an integrated manner, all the way from precipitation to structuration, and exploring the multiple properties of evaporite sequences. The pre- and post-meeting field trips will also explore the salt mining heritage of the region, first exploited by the Celts 3500 years ago, and the salt-related structures of the Northern Calcareous Alps.
This study will focus in the combination of λρ – μρ inversion with clustering analysis techniques in order to discriminate brittle zones in the Barnett Shale.
There are approximately 1,000 oil and gas fields in the world that have been classified as 'giant,' containing more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil and /or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.
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.
Biomass Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for biopower and biofuel.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to describe geomechanics in shale reservoirs and discuss differences between plays.
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.
Panelists will discuss current unconventional resource activities in North America, including key plays that remain competitive and potential for future growth. They also will address the key challenges for unconventional resources to stay competitive in the global market: maintaining cashflow, reducing expenditures, improving capital and production efficiencies and managing resources.
Virtual Forum to be presented via Zoom.
The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.
This presentation will show where there are cases of missing sections, but none of them can be attributed to normal faulting.
This course introduces the learner to the fundamentals of shale gas, including current theories that explain its origin, and how to determine which reservoirs are commercially viable.
This is a less-technical education topic. It can be condensed to an hour or given as 2 two-hour sessions. It stresses selected controversial aspects of fracking that touch some combination of environment and economics and includes a short video of how fracking is done.
Request a visit from David Weinberg!
Hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades. This talk describes some of the first applications of the technology, how it developed over time, and our current understanding of its impacts with some discussion of both water and earthquake hazards.
Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!
Analysis of microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracture stimulation in the Marcellus Shale shows changes in stress state for different zones of failure. During the treatment, shear failure occurs on both the J1 and J2 fracture orientations in response to different maximum stress orientations, indicating localized changes in the orientation during the treatment. Reactivation of a fault near the wellbore is associated with failure mechanisms with a higher volumetric component, indicating possible inflation of faults and fractures by the introduction of the slurry. Quantification of the stress conditions that are associated with inflation could potentially be used to optimize the stimulation by identifying which fractures will preferentially take on slurry volume.
Microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracture stimulation of a horizontal well was mapped with a near-surface buried array. Distinct linear trends of events were not parallel to the direction of fast shear wave polarization measured in the reservoir with a crossed-dipole anisotropy tool. Analysis of core from a nearby well revealed numerous calcite-filled fractures that did not induce shear wave polarization, but did significantly impact the failure behavior of the reservoir rock during the stimulation treatment. Hydraulic fracture simulation with DFN modeling and source mechanism analysis supports the interpretation of reactivated existing fractures rather than the formation of hydraulically-induced tensile fractures.
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