Explorer Article

It’s natural to think of super basins as highly developed, mature play areas. When a basin has already produced more than 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, there’s an established history of exploration and production. The Santos Basin, especially the basin’s pre-salt play offshore Brazil, is one of the more notable exceptions to that idea. This super basin area is almost all about the future. “There is so much running room, so much remaining potential. We’re going to see new reservoirs developed, new plays developed,” said James Deckelman, vice president of investment and program assurance for ION Geophysical in Houston.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

'Conventional geothermal reservoirs are characterized by a heat source, hydrothermal convection, and sufficient natural permeability to allow for fluid migration. Recognizing the geologically restricted occurrence of natural sites, additional opportunities have been sought. Enhanced geothermal systems are reservoirs in hot rock that lack the natural permeability required for fluid movement. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated a program to test and develop new technologies for characterizing, creating and sustaining EGS reservoirs under natural field conditions. A site approximately 350 kilometers south of Salt Lake City Utah was selected for the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy, or “FORGE” laboratory. '

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

'Sourced in part by the Eagle Ford Group, the Austin Chalk has been a hot spot for operators on and off for a century. The rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing brought a renewed interest in the formation, which has produced new discoveries in Texas and Louisiana. Yet in parts of the Austin Chalk, extracting oil and gas can be extremely tricky. Several years ago, the Carbonate Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory at the University of Texas began a project to analyze approximately 40 cores from the Austin Chalk – the first group to do so. '

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Exploration of the Brookian-age Nanushuk and Torok formations on the North Slope of Alaska is a hot topic these days. The Nanushuk and Torok formations are Cretaceous progradational clastic deposits in the Colville basin of Alaska. These formations offer new opportunities to the oil and gas community because of their shallow depth, vast spatial extent, publicly available data, scope of development and other appealing features.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Josh Rosenfeld highlighted some perspectives on the Paleogene drawdown hypothesis in the Gulf of Mexico in the April 2020 issue of the EXPLORER, a result of suspected isolation from the world ocean during the Cuban arc-Bahamas collision with implications for Wilcox reservoir deposition. In contrast, John Snedden and authors’ portrayed the Wilcox as a period of normal marine deposition, requiring no such drawdown, in the May 2020 issue. Still another concept was presented by Roger Higgs at the South African 2009 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, that marine isolation occurred but that fluvial input exceeded evaporation such that the Gulf became brackish, hence the poor development of Wilcox fauna.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Can predictive data analytics, a cutting-edge tool for exploration, lead to a future boom in new field discoveries and reserve additions? If it does, predictive analytics predicted it.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Coherence and curvature are iconic attributes now commonly available on most interpretation workstations that help characterize small- and large-scale faults, large fractures, pinch-outs, buried channels, reef edges and unconformities. The quality of both these attributes, among other factors, relies on accurate estimates of volumetric dip. Coherence, amplitude gradients and GLCM texture attributes should be computed along structural dip, while curvature is computed from volumetric estimates of structural dip. Due to differences in both resolution and sensitivity to coherent noise, different frequency components might exhibit different dip. Such awareness has led to the development of multispectral coherence that makes use of summation of covariance matrices of individual spectral components, rather than just the covariance matrix computed from broadband seismic data.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Some 257 people gathered at the beautiful new Hilton Hotel in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in the last week of February 2020 to attend the first AAPG/EAGE Papua New Guinea Petroleum Geoscience Conference and Exhibition. The theme for the conference was, “PNG’s Oil and Gas Industry Maturing Through Exploration Development and Production.”

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

The interactive visualization of seismic attributes makes an effective use of color. Any color can be represented in RGB color space, which forms the working model for computer and television monitors. Normally, humans do not think of any color as a mixture of these three colors, but often refer to colors being more- or less-saturated, having different tones, or even one color being brighter than the other. Thus, besides the 3-D RGB color space, other more intuitive 3-D color models such as HSV and HSL have also been developed, with the application of the latter model for co-visualizing two or three different seismic attributes.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Shale resource plays are associated with low permeability, so hydraulic fracturing is required for their stimulation and production. In order to enhance the flow of fluids with hydraulic fracturing, it is vital to understand the stress field distribution. The efficiency and effectiveness of a hydraulic fracture stimulation are predicated on adequate horizontal well placement in the subsurface. For that purpose, the horizontal wells are usually drilled in the direction of minimal horizontal stress so that hydraulic fracturing takes place in the direction of maximal stress that ensures better reservoir contact and production, which also depends on how a complex fracture network is created by induced fractures.

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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

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)

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