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The search for unconventional hydrocarbons is not new. It’s true that almost 100 years separated the early exploration successes in the synclinal valleys of Central Pennsylvania, to the exploitation of Coal-Bed Methane in a number of basins in the U.S. and Canada in the 1980’s. Since the 1980's, however, a quiet revolution began which by today has seen several waves of unconventional resources being pursued with economic success. Coal-bed methane was followed by the search for Center-Basin Gas, Shale Gas and most recently, Liquid-rich Shales (some of which aren't shales).

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When the next email in your inbox may mean a journey through space and time to a completely different petroleum and/or depositional system than the one you were working yesterday you’ve become a regional geologist. This geoscience sub discipline isn’t so much a specialism as the playground for Jacks-of-all-trades. Not necessarily an expert in any given field, you need to know a little about everything and be able to integrate it all to answer for any given basin the question “Are we in or out?” So refresh that geochronology and boot up your Geographic Information System because it’s time to dig deep into corporate data stores, open a map document, and wave our geology hands, Exploration’s on the softphone and they want to know what blocks to pick up next!

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Natural gas hydrates are naturally occurring combinations of water and natural gas (mainly methane) that form under conditions of high pressure and low temperature. They are known to be widespread in permafrost regions and in deepwater sediments of outer continental margins. It is generally accepted that the amount of natural gas contained in the world's hydrate accumulations greatly exceeds the volume of known conventional gas reserves, and can be commercially produced by adapting existing conventional oil and gas production technology. The global resource potential of gas hydrate is in the range of many thousands of trillion cubic feet (Tcf). By comparison, the current annual global demand for natural gas is approximately 117 Tcf. While the current natural gas glut has slowed industry interest in North America, other nations are pressing forward. The 2013 production test in Japan demonstrated the technical feasibility of hydrate production, and commercial production is planned there for 2017. India, South Korea, and China are in close pursuit. The U.S. hydrate program received renewed focus in 2014.

Art Johnson

Hydrate Energy International

Kenner, Louisiana

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The call for abstracts has been issued for the next Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, which will be held July 20-22 in San Antonio.

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The second annual Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, which once again threw a multidiscipline spotlight on new approaches, technology and science being used to develop unconventional plays, attracted more than 5,000 attendees– a 25 percent increase over last year’s inaugural event – to Denver’s Colorado Convention Center in late August.

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Conventional hydrocarbon resources have been associated with pre-Devonian petroleum systems across the globe. Although individual accumulations can be quite significant, the relative importance of pre-Devonian-derived oils is limited compared to the global conventional resource-base. With growing interest in unconventional resources, the relative importance of these systems is expected to increase as plays develop.

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There has been a revival in the interest in hydrocarbon source rock characterization associated with the growing interest in unconventional resources where these fine-grained sediments represent the complete petroleum system. To-date, the primary focus has been on marine unconventional systems. Consider, however, if lacustrine systems may represent future unconventional opportunities in areas where the conventional resource-base is dominated by lacustrine-sourced oil. There are a number of key differences in the nature of these systems that should be considered when assessing.

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This year, URTeC has added an enhanced preview of “Coming Attractions.” In addition to looking at established plays, URTeC will provide significant information about emerging unconventional resource possibilities in North America and around the world.
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Mystery of the deep: No one knows for sure what quantity of gas hydrates awaits discovery deep in the earth, but projections are auspicious.

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In-Person Training
Houston Texas United States 03 October, 2016 04 October, 2016 30929 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/the-petroleum-geochemistry-toolkit-for-petroleum-exploration-and-development-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Petroleum Systems, Source Rock, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Carbonates, Oil and Gas Analysis
 
Houston, Texas, United States
3-4 October 2016
This course will provide sufficient background to better understand basic principles of petroleum geochemistry, how best to use geochemistry in their exploration or development study area, determine the limitations of geochemical data/interpretation, and types of samples and analysis required to evaluate a basin, region, play, or well. 
Houston Texas United States 06 December, 2016 08 December, 2016 13606 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/sc-basic-petroleum-geology-for-the-non-geologist.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true Structure, Geochemistry and Basin Modeling, Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, Geophysics, Engineering, Petrophysics and Well Logs, Basin Modeling, Source Rock, Petroleum Systems, Production
 
Houston, Texas, United States
6-8 December 2016

Here is an introduction to the tools and techniques that geologists and geophysicists use to locate gas and oil, that drillers use to drill the wells and that petroleum engineers use to test and complete the wells and produce the gas and oil. Exercises throughout the course provide practical experience in well log correlation, contouring, interpretation of surface and subsurface, contoured maps, seismic interpretation, well log interpretation, and decline curve analysis.

Online Training
28 April, 2011 28 April, 2011 1471 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-niobrara-petroleum-system-a-major-tight-resource-play.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
28 April 2011

The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.

09 December, 2010 09 December, 2010 1466 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-bakken-petroleum-system-of-the-williston-basin.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
9 December 2010

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.

14 February, 3000 14 February, 3000 7817 Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-es-generic-hero.jpg?width=100&height=100&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=75amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true
 
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