Explorer Director’s Corner

Last month Houston hosted the 23rd World Petroleum Congress with more than 5,000 attendees from 70 countries. After a one-year postponement due to the global pandemic, energy leaders from across the globe gathered to discuss the future of energy. And the tone of the discussion was sobering. Following on the heels of November’s COP26 meeting in Glasgow, there was recognition that political and societal pressures are shifting the energy sector and the industries in it. But there was widespread concern that the expectations underlying these pressures for change were unrealistic. That those pushing hardest for change lacked a fundamental understanding of what transforming the global energy sector truly entailed, what it would look like when it was complete and the dangers looming from getting it wrong.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Before unconventional resources became prevalent in the global petroleum supply, deepwater exploration and development was a significant focus for many larger companies. For deepwater activities to succeed, the petroleum industry was forced to merge its above-ground concerns with the below-ground geoscience and engineering disciplines.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Producers finally got some relief in 2021. Oil and gas prices recovered from their pandemic lows and remained at high levels through most of the year, as increased production could not keep pace with a global demand recovery. It was a year when higher prices helped energy producers strengthen their balance sheets and improve their bottom lines.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

While the COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt in 2020, crisis led to creativity and opportunity in many parts of the world. For four geoscientists in Colombia, the pandemic became the perfect time to serve their country and their profession. In May 2020, two weeks after oil prices dropped below zero, Colombia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation launched a bidding contest allocating nearly $3 million to finance geoscience research projects for the hydrocarbon sector.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

One of the more provocative but less publicized initiatives introduced at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is an international effort to end oil and gas exploration and production. The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, created by Denmark and Costa Rica, officially launched its program at COP26.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Considering that geothermal energy can supply power 24/7 for hundreds of years, it can use existing infrastructure from retired coal and nuclear plants, it is extremely attractive to investors, and that it creates more jobs than wind and solar energy, the question arises: Why does so much of this clean, natural resource remain in the ground? That was the topic of discussion at the “Geothermal 101” Geosciences Technology Workshop, hosted recently by AAPG and Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Super-giant oil fields, by definition, are those fields containing at least 5 billion barrels of known recoverable crude oil or gas. It is believed they account for up the 40 percent of the world’s petroleum reserves, so their collective health – how much energy is being created at present, as well as how much can be – will play an oversized role in meeting the world’s future energy needs. “The interest in future oil supply waxes and wanes depending on price and supply, and these days climate takes up all the discussion about energy supply,” said Richard S. Bishop, past AAPG president and currently an international oil and gas consultant based in Houston.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

At a session entitled, “From Petroleum Industry to Energy Industry: Global Young Professionals’ Perspectives on a Sustainable Future,” at the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy conference recently held in Denver, speakers representing the World Petroleum Council’s Young Professionals Committee attributed their career decisions to the ongoing need for oil and gas, opportunities to help the industry decarbonize and a growing number of geoscience-related fields that are in need of their skillsets to thrive.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Emphasizing that the oil and gas industry will continue to play an important role in supplying energy to the world for years to come, past AAPG President Charles Sternbach shared what he called “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Energy Geoscientists” at the 20th Michel T. Halbouty Lecture at the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy conference in Denver recently. “We need to be proud of our profession and we need to be proud of what energy and oil and gas do to bring good things to humanity,” said Sternbach.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

When it comes to biomass – and, specifically, the burning of scrap lumber and forest debris – people on both sides of the debate agree that not only do trees release carbon dioxide when burned, but they are also the most effective tool we have at removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The question and disagreement, then, is what the net result is: do trees – the source of biomass for energy – capture the same amount of CO2 (through photosynthesis) while growing? “Almost half of the ‘renewable’ energy that Western Europe credits itself for is biomass of various kinds,” said Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

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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)
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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 3 December 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Patawarta Diapir, approximately 2-6km2 located in the Central Flinders Ranges, South Australia, has been interpreted as a single allochthonous salt sheet containing Tonian-aged igneous and layered evaporite sedimentary intrasalt inclusions derived from the Callanna Group. In this webinar, Rachelle Kernen describes the diapir as five primarily silty limestone inclusions (0.5-2km2), re-interpreted as Ediacaran-aged Wonoka Formation and Patsy Hill member of the Bonney Sandstone (Wilpena Group). Webinar presented Thursday 3 December 2020 at 11:00 SGT (GMT+8) Singapore time

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

Ray Leonard will be talking to us about 'Climate Change, Covid-19 and the Effect on Energy’s Future'. Fossil fuels have led to a profound increase in world living standards but resulting emissions of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere are a primary factor in climate change. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has resulted in a significant decrease in world economic activity, which in turn has led to a major, if temporary, decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2. Join Ray Leonard via Zoom on June 15 at 12:00 GMT+1

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 26 May 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Imaging Technologies'. Panelists will discuss new ways to acquire data that is then processed into interpretable images, and they will discuss the technologies as well as the techniques. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 26 May 2021.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 September 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The presentation will focus on hydraulic fracture geometry in shales, the materials used in the fracturing process, and treatment monitoring via microseismic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 October 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium covers how to conduct an interdisciplinary evaluation of mature fields to determine the best approach to recover remaining reserves.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Monday, 8 June 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

A geophysicist with extensive worldwide experience in exploration, appraisal and development settings gained at BG group, Alan Foum will talk about future energy demand modelling in terms of oil, gas and electricity including renewables with his presentation 'Petroleum Perspectives, Past Present and Future'

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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
Wednesday, 1 January 2014, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Learn to critically evaluate current issues that can impact growth and sustainability of oil and gas ventures.

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)
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)
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)
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

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

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

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)

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