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Low Resistivity Reservoirs: Path to Explore, Discover and Develop Call for Abstracts
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“We’re probably at least 10 times larger. I mean, it just dwarfs any other project in North America.” That’s Vincent Ramirez, CEO of 3PL Operating, Inc., talking about a large and valuable lithium discovery his company has made in Railroad Valley, Nev. As lithium will play a vital role in the world’s changing energy landscape, generally, and because much of the known lithium deposits are in Chile, Australia, Argentina and China, specifically, 3PL’s find in central Nevada is potentially a very big deal.
This year’s International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, beginning August 28 in Houston, doesn’t have a single, overarching theme. But one concept keeps popping up again and again: Innovation. AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, in conjunction with SEPM, are hosts for the second annual IMAGE meeting. It’s designed as a broad-interest event, with 30 key topic areas ranging – alphabetically – from acquisition and survey design to structure, tectonics and geomechanics. As an AAPG/SEG-sponsored event, IMAGE will include several sessions related to geological analysis, imaging and interpretation.
With the price of oil hovering well over $100 a barrel, some in the industry are exploring ways to revisit conventional oilfields using technology that emerged during the unconventional oil boom, with a goal of earning a rapid return on investment while prices remain favorable.
Global events of recent years have driven the oil and gas industry to make major changes to its workforce and operations, and the professional and scientific associations that serve the industry have had to evolve and adapt to accommodate those changes, particularly with regard to the programs they offer. The Imperial Barrel Award competition is no exception. An AAPG staple since 2007 and one of the Association’s most prestigious and visible programs, the IBA has undergone multiple changes during the past two years.
After the past year as president of the Division of Environmental Geosciences, my three big takeaways are that the world needs energy, all forms of energy are in transition, and geoscientists are needed to explore for and develop energy – now and in the future. In every future energy scenario, oil and gas will be needed for decades at various levels to contribute to the global energy mix.
The small town of Cunningham, Kansas lies about 65 miles straight west of Wichita on U.S. Highway 54. It was incorporated in 1887 as a commercial center for farmers and ranchers in that part of south-central Kansas. Hard winter wheat was the main cash crop, while herds of beef and dairy cattle were a close second source of income. This activity characterized the culture of Cunningham into the early years of the 20th century. That is, until a new industry was introduced to Kansas when, in 1915, oil was discovered in the El Dorado field northeast of Wichita.
The challenges in acquiring quality laboratory flow measurements in very low-permeability reservoir rock samples has furthered the development of image-based rock physics simulations of multiphase transport properties. The concept of “digital rocks” originated 50 years ago and has become more widespread recently with advances in imaging technology, computing power and robust algorithms for representing complex multiphase flow behavior at the pore scale. Simulation results based on high-resolution images have the dual role of complementing laboratory measurements on conventional reservoirs and acting as a stand-alone predictive tool for unconventional reservoirs where the very low permeability values limit what can be measured in the laboratory.
Phase decomposition is an interesting technique that can decompose a composite seismic signal into different phase components, and which in turn can help with the characterization of thin target sandstone or carbonate reservoirs. Here we discuss the application of phase decomposition as a reservoir management tool, with the odd phase component (sum of plus 90 degrees and minus 90 degrees phase components) showing better correlation with the wells that control the injection and withdrawal of a natural gas storage reservoir in Denmark.
When the International Petroleum Technology Conference comes to Saudi Arabia in February, the technical program will include a significant look at both unconventional oil and gas and conventional tight oil in the Middle East. Those are two different concepts in the region and the distinctions are important. The Middle East holds a large conventional tight oil resource, now emerging as a serious focus for development. With so much recent attention devoted to unconventional resources, conventional tight oil could be considered an overlooked sibling.
Thanks to continuing advances in reservoir characterization, technology and innovative thinking, many oil fields around the globe have “grown larger” in recent decades. John Sneider, president of Sneider Exploration Inc., documented examples of mature field growth 20 years ago and recently revisited the topic to focus on mature giant fields. This updated analysis is detailed in chapter 4 of the new AAPG Memoir 125: “Giant Fields of the Decade: 2010 – 2020.”
“Wait! There is a short cut. Turn right from here”. That’s probably the sound of an electric current bypassing the resistive hydrocarbons, in a maze or network of porous media, when traveling from transmitter to receiver. This workshop will serve the participants need with the up to date advancements in describing and characterizing low resistivity and low contrast pay, and eventually, maximize resources.
This course is ideal for individuals involved in Midland Basin exploration and development. Successful development of Wolfcamp shale oil relies on complex inter-relationships (ultimately interdependencies) within and between a wide variety of scientific disciplines, financial entities, and company partnerships.
The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).
Visiting Geoscientist Mauricio Guizada provides an overview of general structural geology of the Andes, with a focus on the Central Andes. His talk covers topics related to onshore exploration, G&G methods in exploration and risk analysis. Join Mauricio Guizada via Zoom on June 23 at 4pm CDT.
Geologic interpretations are the basis of most exploration workflows, whether building a 3-D framework, a geocellular model, or modeling HC basins and estimating HC reserves. All these workflows rely on the most realistic and accurate interpretation in order to produce high-confidence results.
Join us to hear from Catalina Luneburg, founder and director of TerraEx Group and specialist in the validation of HC basins and structural geology modeling.
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.
Water cut is a big factor in gauging the success of horizontal drilling in the Mississippi Lime Play (MLP). The contributing factors are related in part to the spectrum of producing lithofacies and reservoir quality encountered that varies laterally and vertically, sometimes dramatically.
Gas hydrates, ice-like substances composed of water and gas molecules (methane, ethane, propane, etc.), occur in permafrost areas and in deep water marine environments.
This e-symposium presentation places the interpretation of deep-water turbidites discernible in 3-D seismic inversion data within a geological context.
This e-symposium will focus on how surface geochemical surveys and Downhole Geochemical Imaging technologies can be utilized jointly to directly characterize the composition of hydrocarbons vertically through the prospect section.
The presentation describes a well established fracture modeling workflow that uses a standard 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and data from one core to build predictive 3D fracture models that are validated with blind wells.
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!
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.
Request a visit from Tao Sun!
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!
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.
Request a visit from Keith Gerdes!
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.
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!
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.
Request a visit from Jennifer Wilcox!
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!
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.
Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!
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