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Being an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, from the very first speaking tour in 1941, was always a prestigious achievement and a source of honor and pride for those selected as speakers. It was always recognized and praised as an important vehicle for the profession’s top geoscientists to share the latest in industry insights and advances. It always showcased geologists who truly were distinguished. What it wasn’t always, was easy.
To achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the demand for renewable energy is increasing exponentially, with offshore wind farms as one potential area of investment. Offshore wind farm development requires effective mapping of near subsurface for turbine foundation design and construction, which faces many challenges related to seafloor topography mapping, shallow geohazard detection, structure interpretation and modeling, soil type analysis and geotechnical property estimation, among other considerations.
On Jan. 9, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries concluded the 2022 Onshore and Nearshore Competitive Bid Round. This bid round featured a total of 11 blocks covering more than 115,000 hectares. Blocks offered included Aripero, Buenos Ayres, Charuma, Cipero, Cory D, Cory F, Guayaguayare, South West Peninsula Onshore, St. Mary’s and Tulsa, located in the central to southern onshore Trinidad; and the South West Peninsula Offshore, located off the southern coast of Trinidad. Xavier Moonan, president-elect of AAPG’s Latin America and Caribbean Region and exploration manager of Touchstone Exploration Inc., follows the bid rounds closely.
The successful Mars InSight mission employed a NASA/European Space Agency robotic lander designed to study the interior of Mars. The mission recently ended with last contact as its dust-choked solar panels failed to deliver enough electricity to keep InSight going. InSight had two science goals: Seek to determine the interior structure and composition of Mars and to reveal how a rocky planet forms, and to study the rate of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts.
Seismic impedance is widely used in our industry because it allows an integrated approach to geological interpretation. The transformation of seismic amplitudes to impedance data can be essentially seen as the change from an interface property to a layer property. This stratal interval property (impedance) simplifies the lithologic and stratigraphic identification and can be directly converted into lithologic or reservoir properties such as porosity, fluid fill and net pay. It also allows for direct interpretation of three-dimensional geobodies.
With the increasing size of the seismic data volumes, machine learning applications have been found to accelerate the discrimination of seismic facies used in the identification of geologic patterns, defining stratigraphy and the direct indication of hydrocarbons. Many practitioners have demonstrated the application of dimensionality reduction tools such as principal component analysis and independent component analysis, or clustering techniques. Some of these are available in several commercial interpretation software packages.
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.”
Deepwater turbidite reservoirs hold some of the largest petroleum reservoirs and thus are important exploration targets. By identifying and mapping the diverse architectural elements of the turbidite system and placing them within the correct geologic framework, a skilled interpreter can predict which components of the system are more likely sand or shale prone. Seismic data and seismic attributes also provide insight into the connectivity or compartmentalization of different parts of the reservoir which can be used to estimate the number of wells needed to drain the reservoir.
Consider the geophysics sector of the industry a shrink-to-fit enterprise where misery might be starting to bring its own relief, and business is improving after recent years of financial ups and downs. With, admittedly, more downs than ups. Higher oil and gas prices this year have brought either a spark of enthusiasm or a glimmer of hope to many geophysical companies. And the technical side of geophysics has continued to advance strongly despite the business challenges.
Some aspects of seismic interpretation, such as picking horizons and well-imaged faults, can be easily explained to a new interpreter. Other aspects, such as recognizing carbonate buildups, karst collapse, mass transport processes or volcanic intrusions, require not only an understanding of the underlying geologic processes, but also an understanding of their 3-D seismic data response. Although an experienced interpreter might be adept in using seismic data to map each of these features, they might also be challenged in explaining to the novice interpreter in a quantitative manner how they constructed their map or geobody.
An overview of a new ambient seismic imaging method and applications of the method throughout the lifecycles (exploration through refracing) of unconventional oil and/or gas fields.
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.
Presented by Kevin C. Hill, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
Gravity modelling of Australia's southern margin reveals that the initial rift with Antarctica was beneath the current Ceduna Delta. A regional, high-quality seismic traverse from the coast to oceanic crust across the Bight Basin has been assembled and interpreted in detail, then balanced, restored, decompacted, and replaced at paleo-water depths. The Late Cretaceous Ceduna Delta developed above a Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rift basin in three stages punctuated by significant pulses of uplift and erosion across areas >100 km wide and with up to 1 km of erosion. The Cenomanian White Pointer delta prograded into deepening water and hence underwent gravitational collapse. This was terminated in the Santonian when the Antarctic margin was pulled out from below, thus supplying heat to a remnant thicker outer margin crust, causing doming and erosion. Importantly, this established the saucer-shaped geometry of the Ceduna Delta that persisted throughout its development, so that any hydrocarbons generated in the southern half of the basin would have migrated towards this outer margin high. The Tiger Formation was deposited in shallow water in a full rift basin prior to breakup, which was followed by regional thermal subsidence. The Hammerhead delta developed on the newly formed passive margin but was terminated by another pulse of uplift and erosion, perhaps associated with a change in plate motion at the end of the Cretaceous. The finite element modelling of this proposed tectonic evolution will test its validity and predict hydrocarbon generation and migration through time.
As commodity prices have dropped, many shale plays have become uneconomical as statistical plays and have increasingly become recognized as geological plays demanding new insights from data.
Visiting Geoscientist Susan Morrice shares her personal experience and insight in this talk about opportunities for geoscientists. “Geoscientists have advantages ... They are Time Travellers and have open minds. Bringing this creativity and innovation to your company or starting your own! Challenging times bring silver linings!”
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.
This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.
Join two GIS/geoscience experts Scott Sires and Gerry Bartz as they use information from the Teapot Dome Field in Wyoming (DOE/RMOTC program).
Recognition and Correlation of the Eagle Ford, Austin Formations in South Texas can be enhanced with High Resolution Biostratigraphy, fossil abundance peaks and Maximum Flooding Surfaces correlated to Upper Cretaceous sequence stratigraphic cycle chart after Gradstein, 2010.
Effective hydraulic fracture stimulation is critical for shale development, and microseismic is the only technology able to map the growth of these hydraulic fracture networks.
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.
Request a visit from Frank Peel!
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!
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.
Request a visit from Jacob Covault!
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