Explorer Article

Just as Alaska was bracing itself for the economic fallout of the Biden administration’s adversarial stance on oil and gas, two recent court decisions are giving the state hope. On June 15, a federal judge lifted the administration’s temporary ban on federal lease sales, clearing the way for a highly anticipated lease sale in the prolific National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska. And, on May 26, a brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice affirmed that the Willow Project, a major discovery in NPRA that has been tied up in environmental-related lawsuits, complies with environmental regulations. While it remains unclear how soon the NPRA lease sale can take place, it is expected that the Willow project, one of the North Slope’s largest projects in recent years, will move forward.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Increasing global concern about climate change and its impact on the environment and society has led to a variety of strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to remove CO₂ from the atmosphere and find places to store it. Many companies are hard at work to perfect methods of carbon capture, use, and storage. Franek Hasiuk, associate scientist at Kansas Geological Survey, said CCUS is the best technology available to reduce emissions produced by the global economy. Hasiuk is part of a team of scientists working on the Integrated Midcontinent Stacked Carbon Storage Hub, a project to investigate subsurface geology in southwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska and demonstrate the viability of injecting CO₂ into underground rock layers.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Whatever the style of faulting, manual interpretation of faults on vertical seismic sections is traditionally a laborious and time-consuming process. Seismic attributes such as coherence, variance and Sobel filters accelerate the fault interpretation process. Fault-sensitive attributes can be further subjected to image enhancement methods such as swarm intelligence, Radon transforms, and smoothing and sharpening filters aligned parallel and perpendicular to the fault attribute anomaly. One such development is the fault likelihood attribute.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Regions and Sections

The overriding principle of AAPG’s special interest groups is to create an environment in which experienced professionals with like-minded views and concerns can come together to discuss, share, commiserate and become familiar with industry trends and Association events. Further, such groups create an environment in which individual members, including those in academia and service companies, as well as those in non-petroleum-based companies, both contribute to and benefit from programs and events of interest. The geoscience community in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was no stranger to the concept. For years, there was a SIG for young professionals, but the thinking was that there also needed to be something tailored for the experienced professional.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Seismic data are usually contaminated with noise, which, stated simply, refers to unwanted signal. Noise in seismic data can originate from various sources but processed seismic data may contain the following types of noise: random noise, steeply dipping coherent noise, aliased coherent noise that may appear to be random, and coherent multiples that are often subparallel to the reflectors of interest.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

New ground-breaking advances are currently being made at the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy using methods borrowed from the oil and gas industry for unconventional hydrocarbon development. Recently, geothermal history was made when Utah FORGE successfully completed the first of two highly deviated deep wells in the hot, hard granite that will form the geothermal reservoir.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Salt tectonics may be “an outlier in this country’s university training in structural geology,” but geologists entering the petroleum industry will almost certainly find themselves dealing with the topic, explained Mark G. Rowan of Rowan Consulting in Boulder, Colo. A growing understanding of how they form – especially since the 1980s – has been helpful in increasing their importance to exploration and production. Rowan discussed “Salt Diapirs – What Are They, How Do They Form and What is Their Role in Hydrocarbon Exploration?” at the recent Visiting Geoscientist Program Super Session organized by AAPG and the AAPG Foundation.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Last month we looked at the reasons why, as geoscientists, we need low frequencies. We also reviewed the sensors used to receive the reflected seismic signals and the recording instruments. This month’s article will address some of the issues of the seismic source. In other words, how do we get the required low frequency energy into the Earth? The two most frequently used sources for land acquisition are vibrators and explosives. We will assess the operational and cost differences between them and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Last year started with promise for the Colombian offshore industry. Shell EP Offshore Ventures Limited and Ecopetrol, S.A. signed an agreement for Shell to acquire an interest in and operate the Fuerte Sur, Purple Angel and Col-5 blocks located in the southern Colombian Caribbean basin. Noble Energy opened an office in Barranquilla and announced plans to drill a prospect at 8,500 feet on the Col-3 block in the Guajira Basin in northern Colombia. Ecopetrol and Petrobras prepared to mature the 2014 Orca discovery on the Tayrona block, also in Guajira. Then COVID-19 came to the Americas in March 2020, and everything changed.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

For many years the geophysical industry has spent considerable time and effort on improving the high-frequency content of recorded seismic data in the pursuit of higher resolution. However, in the last two decades we have seen an increased interest in extending the bandwidth of our data toward lower frequencies as well. In this series of two articles, I will address the reasons we need low-frequency information, the issues related to its acquisition for onshore projects and discuss the equipment and methods being used.

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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

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)
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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