Explorer Director’s Corner

First there was Peak Oil, the Malthusian fear that the world was running out of oil. This idea has been around for a long time but had its most recent renaissance in the mid- 2000s with a host of books warning that global demand was going to overwhelm the industry’s ability to supply. The expansion of unconventional oil and natural gas production quieted concerns about supply constraints. The world is not running out of hydrocarbons.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

In February 2011, the court in the small Ecuadorian town of Lago Agrio sentenced Chevron Corporation to pay $9.3 billion to a group of about 30,000 Ecuadorian residents of the Amazonian region where Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, had been producing oil for 26 years. The trial was the stuff of which Hollywood movies are made. This legal saga combined fundamental environmental issues, political intrigue, judicial corruption, corporate greed and cliff-hanging courtroom drama. Above all it unveiled the tragedy of a young and brilliant U.S. lawyer who felt he could obtain big money from a giant oil corporation while becoming a hero for the underdogs of this world.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG members throughout the world are proving that geologists can be highly beneficial to the oil and gas companies that employ them in areas beyond just exploration alone. Two of them are Karyna Rodriguez, vice president of global new ventures at Searcher in London, and Eduardo Vallejo, program lead of technologies and subsurface knowledge at YPF Tecnología in Buenos Aires. In interviews with the EXPLORER, both shared stories about their careers and provided advice to the next generation of professionals.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

I went to a talk years ago by a speaker who was introduced as a “futurist” for his ability to predict. I’ve always wanted the title of “futurist,” but I’ve not earned it. I’ve been reading a lot of predictions for 2021 from various magazines, papers and blogs. Now I’m as close to a futurist as I will ever get, so here are a few predictions from the experts (I agree with) and how they may impact AAPG.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Not surprisingly, that idea met with an abundance of caution, and even skepticism, from an industry that experienced the severe downturn of 2014-16 followed by the worldwide COVID pandemic of 2020. Still, “I think there’s plenty to be excited about, especially given the recent upsurge in oil prices,” says one analyst.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

As oil prices continued to rise in early 2021, explorers had to grapple with an unfamiliar and even somewhat bizarre possibility. Is the business outlook for the oil and gas industry going to be better than almost anyone expected?

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

On the island of Nevis in the Caribbean, its 11,000 residents are on the verge of an energy transformation. In about two years, their cost of electricity will no longer fluctuate with market prices, and not even a hurricane will stop it from flowing. In fact, over a 25-year period, residents will save an estimated $100 million in energy costs, based on today’s pricing. How is this possible? It is the result of a strategic conversion to geothermal energy developed by GeoFrame Energy, a newly created partnership between Schlumberger New Energy, AAPG Member Bruce Cutright and business partner Dan Pfeffer. Their goal is to make geothermal energy the most cost-effective and reliable means for providing clean, sustainable power.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Exploration is the heart of the oil and gas industry, and geologists are the heart of exploration. Paradoxically, though geologists are among those most responsible for finding hydrocarbons, data collected by the Brazilian Association of Petroleum Geologists shows that geologists are less likely than their engineering and economist counterparts to be considered for leadership positions in the business and technology areas of oil and gas companies.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

When it comes to the challenges and concerns of how to store the raw material hydrocarbons in the Appalachian Basin, we are at crunch time. According to Dan Billman, it is a conversation that should have already started.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

If you have ever wondered what Robert Southey, who wrote “Goldilocks,” Lewis Carroll, who wrote “Alice in Wonderland,” and W.H. Adams, widely credited with discovering the Permian Basin, have in common – and you would be forgiven if you haven’t – then this month’s AAPG Global Super Basins Leadership Conference will be the occasion to find out. Because someone from Chevron has been thinking about that very comparison – both from the perspective of how the company is working to use the Permian as a template for future exploration and also because it sums up the state of affairs in 2020 about as well as anything.

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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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'New Subsurface Tools and Techniques'. New Subsurface Tools and Techniques and strategies for pivoting for new revenue and diversification in today's times. This webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 15 July 2020.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 9 June 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: The New Way to Work'. Panelists will discuss the way that work is done, both in operations and support roles, and discuss specific examples of technologies being used, and how they contribute to a safer, more efficient and profitable endeavor. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 9 June 2021.

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

Solar Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for solar energy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Traditional Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

In the span of a mere few months, the much of the world went from a state of exuberant self-actualization to the most primal level of survival (health, food, shelter) insecurity. Consequently, the world has changed. Shock change due to pandemic-triggered chain reactions, supply / demand and price instability, rapid technological innovation, new plays and changing markets, distributed teams and workforces, the powerful force of social media, shortages of technical expertise, and supply chain issues have come together to create new challenges and opportunities for leadership. We will analyze how the issues relate to the oil and gas business (exploration, development, oilfield services, support services, financial sector) and we will propose solutions for immediate real-world emergencies, together with longer term challenges. In addition, we will evaluate what prominent thinkers and academics have written about leadership and strategic planning.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

On July 15th, Raffaele Di Cuia and other members ouf the committee for our upcoming Workshop 'Structural Styles and Hydrocarbon Prospectivity in Fold Thrust Belt Settings: A Global Perspective' will be joining the Let's Connect webinar. The call for abstracts for this workshop, to be held in November in Barcelona is open until July 30th. Join this webinar and learn more about how to tackle the issues of Thrust Belt Settings! Register for the webinar and learn more about the face to face GTW!

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 9 February 2022, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

 This talk will provide information to better understand the principles of surface geochemistry (SG), how best to use SG data in exploration or development programs, how to develop a cost effective sampling and analytical program, and will also explore best practices for the interpretation and integration of SG data.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 13 December 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).

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

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

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

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)
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)
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

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)

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