Explorer Historical Highlights

A century ago, a gusher helped transform Venezuela from an agricultural country known as an exporter of coffee, cacao and cattle into one of the world’s largest oil producers. It was front-page news on the world’s most important newspapers. The country’s most significant 20th-century discoveries took place in the Maracaibo Basin between 1910 and 1925 and were based on surface geological exploration of concessions held by American and European companies. One of the strikes, the large La Rosa Field, was discovered in 1917 by Venezuelan Oil Concessions, a Royal Dutch Shell affiliate, on a 3,000-square-mile concession.

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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 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)
Workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday, 2 October Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

AAPG and EAGE have teamed up to deliver the upcoming New Discoveries in Mature Basins workshop to be held from 2-3 October 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Save the date! Registration to open soon.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 27 November Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars and save the date to attend the 5th edition of the AAPG Siliciclastic Reservoirs of the Middle East GTW which will be held for the first time in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia from 27-29 November 2023. We look forward to having you on board for the new edition of these popular series.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 13 November Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Exciting announcement for all geoscientists interested in structural styles. The 3rd edition of the AAPG Structural Styles of the Middle East is coming back to Oman from 13-15 November 2023. Come join us to learn all the latest developments on the topic!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 9 October Wednesday, 11 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for the 4th Edition of: "Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East" workshop. The workshop will be hosted by AAPG in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia 9-11 October 2023.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 8 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

“Wait! There is a short cut. Turn right from here”. That’s probably the sound of an electric current bypassing the resistive hydrocarbons, in a maze or network of porous media, when traveling from transmitter to receiver. This workshop will serve the participants need with the up to date advancements in describing and characterizing low resistivity and low contrast pay, and eventually, maximize resources.

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)
Short Course
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, 1 March Thursday, 2 March 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-day, in-person course describes the range and variability in deepwater sedimentary systems and equips participants to build predictive models of subsurface geology for more successful exploration and development. A primary goal of this course is to enable subsurface teams to more effectively characterize and rank deepwater/offshore projects on a regional and global scale.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 16 January Wednesday, 18 January 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The sedimentary basins of the Middle East have been proved to contain vast hydrocarbon reserves, sourced by some of the most prolific petroleum systems in the world. This is the product of a range of factors, not least the long-lived, relative stability of the Arabian Plate and the presence of multiple, prolific organic source rocks. This workshop will address these and other subjects and to discuss the main challenges present in our current understanding of petroleum systems in the Middle East.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lviv, Ukraine
Thursday, 21 September Friday, 22 September 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for a workshop where experts will  explore the Carpathian foreland and the Dnieper-Donetsk rift basins with a focus not only on hydrocarbons, but the utilization of geothermal resources, hydrogen exploration and CCUS.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 21 June Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-day conference brings together diverse experts working on modern and ancient turbidite, MTDs, contourite and hybrid/mixed systems in order to improve the present-day knowledge, models and predictive power.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 10 September 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The goal of this e-symposium is to review an important dimension in the ways geologist can build and update geological models using information from performance data.

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, 9 December 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge.

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, 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
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 Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

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.

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, 29 September 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

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.

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)
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

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

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)
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

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

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

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

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

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)

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