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The fact that velocity models based on seismic reflection surveys commonly do not consider the near-surface geology necessitates filling the gap between the top of a velocity model and the surface of the Earth. In this study, we present a new workflow to build a shallow geologic model based exclusively on borehole data and corroborated by laboratory measurements. The study area is in Chemery (France), located at the southwestern border of the Paris Basin, where a large amount of borehole data is publicly available. The workflow starts with identifying lithologic interfaces in the boreholes and interpolating them between the boreholes. The three-dimensional (3-D) geometry of the lithologies then allows interpretation of the position, orientation, and offset of fault planes. Given the importance of the fault interpretation in the modeling process, a combination of different approaches is used to obtain the most reasonable structural framework. After creating a 3-D grid, the resulting 3-D structural model is populated with upscaled velocity logs from the boreholes, yielding the final near-surface P-wave velocity model. To better constrain the velocity model, we conducted laboratory measurements of P- and S-wave velocities in dry and water-saturated conditions on all lithologies in the model. The laboratory data were used to populate the 3-D near-surface model with VP/VS ratio values. The presented workflow accounts for one-dimensional borehole data and is much more iterative and time-consuming than workflows based on two-dimensional seismic sections. Nevertheless, the workflow results in a robust 3-D near-surface model allowing for structural interpretations and revealing the 3-D seismic velocity field.
Anomalously high porosities and permeabilities are commonly found in the fluvial channel sandstone facies of the Triassic Skagerrak Formation in the central North Sea at burial depths greater than 3200 m (10,499 ft), from which hydrocarbons are currently being produced. The aim of our study was to improve understanding of sandstone diagenesis in the Skagerrak Formation to help predict whether the facies with high porosity may be found at even greater depths. The Skagerrak sandstones comprise fine to medium-grained arkosic to lithic-arkosic arenites. We have used scanning electron microscopy, petrographic analysis, pressure history modeling, and core analysis to assess the timing of growth and origin of mineral cements, with generation, and the impact of high fluid pressure on reservoir quality. Our interpretation is that the anomalously high porosities in the Skagerrak sandstones were maintained by a history of overpressure generation and maintenance from the Late Triassic onward, in combination with early microquartz cementation and subsequent precipitation of robust chlorite grain coats. Increasing salinity of pore fluids during burial diagenesis led to pore-filling halite cements in sustained phreatic conditions. The halite pore-filling cements removed most of the remaining porosity and limited the precipitation of other diagenetic phases. Fluid flow associated with the migration of hydrocarbons during the Neogene is inferred to have dissolved the halite locally. Dissolution of halite cements in the channel sands has given rise to megapores and porosities of as much as 35% at current production depths.
We describe the structure, microstructure, and petrophysical properties of fault rocks from two normal fault zones formed in low-porosity turbiditic arkosic sandstones, in deep diagenesis conditions similar to those of deeply buried reservoirs. These fault rocks are characterized by a foliated fabric and quartz-calcite sealed veins, which formation resulted from the combination of the (1) pressure solution of quartz, (2) intense fracturing sealed by quartz and calcite cements, and (3) neoformation of synkinematic white micas derived from the alteration of feldspars and chlorite. Fluid inclusion microthermometry in quartz and calcite cements demonstrates fault activity at temperatures of 195C to 268C. Permeability measurements on plugs oriented parallel with the principal axes of the finite strain ellipsoid show that the Y axis (parallel with the foliation and veins) is the direction of highest permeability in the foliated sandstone (10–2 md for Y against 10–3 md for X, Z, and the protolith, measured at a confining pressure of 20 bars). Microstructural observations document the localization of the preferential fluid path between the phyllosilicate particles forming the foliation. Hence, the direction of highest permeability in these fault rocks would be parallel with the fault and subhorizontal, that is, perpendicular to the slickenlines representing the local slip direction on the fault surface. We suggest that a similar relationship between kinematic markers and fault rock permeability anisotropy may be found in other fault zone types (reverse or strike-slip) affecting feldspar-rich lithologies in deep diagenesis conditions.
A three-dimensional seismic data set and published data from exploration wells were used to reconstruct the tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Mandal High area, southern North Sea, Norway. The Mandal High is an elongated southeast-northwest–trending horst. Three fault families in the Lower Permian sequence, inherited from the basement structural grain of Caledonian origin, are interpreted: (1) a north-northwest–south-southeast–striking fault family, (2) a northeast-southwest–striking fault family, and (3) a near east-west–striking fault family. In addition, an east-southeast–west-northwest–striking fault family (4) that formed during Late Jurassic rifting and was reverse reactivated in the Late Cretaceous is interpreted. We suggest that inversion occurred because of small dextral motion along fault family 1. A final fault family (5) displays various strike orientations and is associated with salt movements.
Seven chronostratigraphic sequences defined by well data and recognized on three-dimensional seismic data are interpreted and mapped: Early Permian rifting in a continental environment; Late Permian deposition of the Zechstein salt and flooding; Triassic continental rifting; uplift and erosion in the Middle Jurassic with deposition of shallow-marine and deltaic sediments; rifting and transgression in a deep-marine environment during the Late Jurassic; a post-rift phase in a marine environment during the Early Cretaceous; and flooding and deposition of the Chalk Group in the Late Cretaceous. An eighth sequence was interpreted—Paleogene–Neogene—but has not been studied in detail. This sequence is dominated by progradation from the east and basin subsidence. Well and seismic data over the Mandal High reveal that large parts of the high were subaerially exposed from Late Permian to Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous, providing a local source of sediments for adjacent basins.
Similar to the Utsira High, where several large hydrocarbon discoveries have been recently seen, the Mandal High might consist of a set of petroleum plays, including fractured crystalline basement and shallow-marine systems along the flanks of the high, thereby opening up future exploration opportunities.
The geometries of clay smears produced in a series of direct shear experiments on composite blocks containing a clay-rich seal layer sandwiched between sandstone reservoir layers have been analyzed in detail. The geometries of the evolving shear zones and volume clay distributions are related back to the monitored hydraulic response, the deformation conditions, and the clay content and strength of the seal rock. The laboratory experiments were conducted under 4 to 24 MPa (580–3481 psi) fault normal effective stress, equivalent to burial depths spanning from less than approximately 0.8 to 4.2 km (0.5 to 2.6 mi) in a sedimentary basin. The sheared blocks were imaged using medical-type x-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging validated with optical photography of sawn blocks. The interpretation of CT scans was used to construct digital geomodels of clay smears and surrounding volumes from which quantitative information was obtained. The distribution patterns and thickness variations of the clay smears were found to vary considerably according to the level of stress applied during shear and to the brittleness of the seal layer. The stiffest seal layers with the lowest clay percentage formed the most segmented clay smears. Segmentation does not necessarily indicate that the fault seal was breached because wear products may maintain the seal between the individual smear segments as they form. In experiments with the seal layer formed of softer clays, a more uniform smear thickness is observed, but the average thickness of the clay smear tends to be lower than in stiffer clays. Fault drag and tapering of the seal layer are limited to a region close to the fault cutoffs. Therefore, the comparative decrease of sealing potential away from the cutoff zones differs from predictions of clay smear potential type models. Instead of showing a power-law decrease away from the cutoffs toward the midpoint of the shear zone, the clay smear thickness is either uniform, segmented, or undulating, reflecting the accumulated effects of kinematic processes other than drag. Increased normal stress improved fault sealing in the experiments mainly by increasing fault zone thickness, which led to more clay involvement in the fault zone per unit of source layer thickness. The average clay fraction of the fault zone conforms to the prediction of the shale gouge ratio (SGR) model because clay volume is essentially preserved during the deformation process. However, the hydraulic seal performance does not correlate to the clay fraction or SGR but does increase as the net clay volume in the fault zone increases. We introduce a scaled form of SGR called SSGR to account for increased clay involvement in the fault zone caused by higher stress and variable obliquity of the seal layer to the fault zone. The scaled SGR gives an improved correlation to seal performance in our samples compared to the other algorithms.
The continuity of clay smears evolving in sealed direct shear experiments of initially intact sandstone-mudrock sequences was quantified to large displacements up to more than ten times the thickness of the sealing layer. The sample blocks consisted of a preconsolidated clay-rich seal layer, which was embedded and synthetically cemented in quartz sand. The mineralogy and mechanical properties of the clay layer and the reservoir sandstones were varied systematically to mimic a range of natural clastic rock sequences. The fluid-flow response across the fault zone was monitored continuously during deformation using a new type of direct shear cell. The displacement at which seals break down is closely linked to the amount of phyllosilicates in the seal layer. Contrary to expectations, softer seal layers do not seal better than stiff seal layers for a given clay content. In the testing range of normal effective stresses between 4 to 24 MPa (580–3481 psi) covering maximum burial depth conditions of approximately 800 m (2625 ft) to approximately 4 km (2 mi) (assuming normal fault tectonics), a systematic trend is also observed, indicating better smear continuity by increasing the effective normal stress. Predominantly brittle processes such as slicing and wear, and not ductile drag or plastic flow, appear to be responsible for the generation of clay smears. The test results offer the prospect of incorporating critical shale smear factors (i.e., normalized displacement at which seal breakdown occurs) into probabilistic fault seal algorithms that consider important properties that can be measured or estimated, namely, clay content and fault-normal effective stress.
Gas generation is a commonly hypothesized mechanism for the development of high-magnitude overpressure. However, overpressures developed by gas generation have been rarely measured in situ, with the main evidence for such overpressures coming from source rock microfractures, the physical necessity of overpressures for primary migration, laboratory experiments, and numerical modeling. Indeed, previous in-situ observations suggest that gas generation only creates highly localized overpressures within rich source rocks. Pore-fluid pressure data and sonic velocity–vertical effective stress plots from 30 wells reveal that overpressures in the northern Malay Basin are primarily generated by fluid expansion and are located basinwide within the Miocene 2A, 2B, and 2C source rock formations. The overpressures are predominantly associated with gas sampled in more than 83% of overpressure measurements and have a sonic-density response consistent with gas generation. The association of fluid expansion overpressures with gas, combined with the sonic-density response to overpressure and a regional geology that precludes other overpressuring mechanisms, provides convincing in-situ evidence for basinwide gas generation overpressuring. Overpressure magnitude analysis suggests that gas generation accounts for approximately one-half to two-thirds of the measured excess pore pressure in the region, with the remainder being generated by coincident disequilibrium compaction. Thus, the data herein suggest that gas generation, if acting in isolation, is producing a maximum pressure gradient of 15.3 MPa/km (0.676 psi/ft) and not lithostatic magnitudes as commonly hypothesized. The gas generation overpressures in this article are not associated with a significant porosity anomaly and represent a major drilling hazard, with traditional pore-pressure prediction techniques underestimating pressure gradients by 2.3 1.5 MPa/km (0.1 0.07 psi/ft).
We use samples from undeformed and deformed sandstones (single deformation band, deformation band cluster, slip-surface cataclasite, and fault core slip zone) to characterize their petrophysical properties (porosity, permeability, and capillary pressure). Relationships between permeability and porosity are described by power-law regressions where the power-law exponent (D) decreases with the increasing degree of deformation (strain) experienced by the sample from host rock (D, 9) to fault core (D, 5). The approaches introduced in this work will allow geologists to use permeability and/or porosity measurements to estimate the capillary pressures and sealing capacity of different fault-related rocks without requiring direct laboratory measurements of capillary pressure. Results show that fault core slip zones have the highest theoretical sealing capacity (140-m [459-ft] oil column in extreme cases), although our calculations suggest that deformation bands can locally act as efficiently as fault core slip zones in sealing nonwetting fluids (in this study, oil and CO2). Higher interfacial tension between brine and CO2 (because of the sensitivity of CO2 to temperature and pressure) results in higher capillary pressure and sealing capacity in a brine and CO2 system than a brine and oil system for the same samples.
Reservoir properties of Upper Triassic–Middle Jurassic sandstones, Spitsbergen, are studied as part of a CO2 storage pilot project in Longyearbyen. The reservoir formations show large contrasts in sandstone compositions, with unexpected low permeability despite moderate porosity values. Petrographic analyses were performed to investigate the influence and distribution of diagenesis. It is concluded that, because of various compaction, cementation, and dissolution processes, the sandstone porosity is mainly isolated molds and micropores and associated with fibrous illite and chamosite, explaining the low permeability. Diagenesis and the distribution of quartz cement is influenced by lithofacies and detrital compositions. Mineralogically immature sandstones (De Geerdalen Formation) show a homogeneous distribution of quartz cement overgrowths on quartz grains, distributed interstitial to labile grains and other cements (e.g., late calcite). The main silica source was from the dissolution of adjacent feldspar and labile grains as part of the chemical compaction. In contrast, quartz-dominated sandstones (Knorringfjellet Formation) show a heterogeneous patchy distribution of quartz cement influenced by the sedimentary bioturbation pattern, with silica sourced also from dissolution at clay-rich microstylolites. Phosphatic beds at the base and top of the formation are strongly influenced by marine eogenesis and reworking processes and associated with concentration of iron-rich authigenic minerals. The highest porosity appears in sand-supported conglomerate where moldic clay-mineral ooids contributed to reduce quartz cementation. The stratigraphic change from mineralogical immature (Triassic) to mature (uppermost Triassic–Jurassic) sandstone compositions is detected in wide areas of the Barents Shelf and has considerable implications for the distribution of sandstone reservoir properties.
A joint AAPG–Society of Petroleum Engineers–Society of Exploration Geophysicists Hedberg Research Conference was held in Saint-Cyr sur Mer, France, on July 8 to 13, 2012, to review current research and explore future research directions related to improved production from carbonate reservoirs. Eighty-seven scientists from academia and industry (split roughly equally) attended for five days. A primary objective for the conference was to explore novel connections among different disciplines (primarily within geoscience and reservoir engineering) as a way to define new research opportunities. Research areas represented included carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, structural geology, geomechanics, hydrology, reactive transport modeling, seismic imaging (including four-dimensional seismic, tomography, and seismic forward modeling), geologic modeling and forward modeling of geologic processes, petrophysics, statistical methods, numerical methods for simulation, reservoir engineering, pore-scale processes, in-situ flow experiments (e.g., x-ray computed tomography), visualization, and methods for data interaction.
Enroll in this short course to refresh concepts and terminology of sequence stratigraphy and explore more advanced concepts of Sequence Stratigraphy and its impact on Exploration and Production
Stratigraphy remains an essential part of geoscience practices. It provides our conceptual framework for visualizing how layers are arranged and connected in the subsurface. The workshop aims to share, discuss and explore many of the new ideas regarding the stratigraphy of the hydrocarbon-bearing basins throughout Sundaland.
This course covers a unique step-by-step methodology that covers the most important factors to consider when tackling conventional or unconventional carbonate plays. After each step, participants will get to work on real subsurface data from basins across the globe. Consider this course as the “top 10 things an oil finder must know about carbonates.”
Hydrocarbons have been discovered in basement reservoirs with good production around the world over the past decades. The potential of fractured basement reservoirs is still significant, but often overlooked by explorers. This short course aims to address the major needs in fracture evaluation of basement reservoirs in the different phases of a field’s life.
The 2nd edition of the Maximizing Asset Value: Integrating Geoscience with Reservoir Management & Technologies Optimization GTW was held virtually from 22-25 February 2021 and is now available on demand until 25 April 2021 for registered attendees. Registration is still open for those who wish to benefit from the technical talks, breakout sessions and virtual field trip.
Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Learning From Other Industries'. Panelists discuss the newest developments and directions in drones, satellite imagery, and other ways to acquire and process images of the Earth's surface. They discuss the technologies and processes they use, and the costs and overall return on investment with respect to new opportunities and business development.. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 28 April 2021.
Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Opportunities with Earth Imaging Technologies'. Panelists discuss the newest developments and directions in drones, satellite imagery, and other ways to acquire and process images of the Earth's surface.
Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 12 May 2021.
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.
Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: The New Way to Work'. Panelists will discuss the way that work is done, both in operations and support roles, and discuss specific examples of technologies being used, and how they contribute to a safer, more efficient and profitable endeavor.
Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 9 June 2021.
This 2-day conference brings together diverse experts working on modern and ancient turbidite, MTDs, contourite and hybrid/mixed systems in order to improve the present-day knowledge, models and predictive power.
This workshop brings together experts from academia and industry from a range of disciplines to share experiences, new approaches, new data and new ways of integrating information that can help in reducing the uncertainties related to the exploration activities in Thrust Belt Systems.
Join us in Salzburg, the “castle of salt” and cradle of Mozart and Doppler, for a meeting aimed at bringing together different perspectives in the science of evaporite basins: from their formation to their deformation, from description and characterization to modelling. Exploratory success in evaporite-rich basins worldwide has depended on the role of evaporites as a deformable substrate, as a seal, or even as a good thermal conductor. The aim of this workshop is to improve our understanding and predictive ability by addressing evaporite systems in an integrated manner, all the way from precipitation to structuration, and exploring the multiple properties of evaporite sequences. The pre- and post-meeting field trips will also explore the salt mining heritage of the region, first exploited by the Celts 3500 years ago, and the salt-related structures of the Northern Calcareous Alps.
Date: 25 November, 2021
Time: To be determined
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Further details to come.
High CO2 fields and marginal fields (due to high levels of contaminants) are some of the challenges that are prevalent in the Asia Pacific petroleum industry. Join AAPG Asia Pacific for a 2-day workshop focused on best practices, risk-based planning and the role geoscientists and engineers will play in these changing times.
Date: 25 November 2021
Time: To be determined
Organized by: Southeast Asia Carbonate Research Laboratory, SEACARL, The Department of Geosciences, Faculty Fundamental Sciences, Information system Technology, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.
While AAPG and EAGE welcome this Field Trip in conjunction with our 2-day Geosciences Technology Workshop, all management and attending responsibilities will be taken care of by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS.
Further details to come.
The 3rd edition of the Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East GTW was held virtually from 28 March - 1 April 2021 and is now available on demand until 28 May 2021 for registered attendees. Registration is still open for those who wish to benefit from the technical talks, poster presentation and breakout sessions.
Due to the current situation in Myanmar, the organizing committee considers that it is not appropriate to proceed with the conference as planned. We are also monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic situation and restrictions. As and when it is appropriate and safe to proceed, we will inform all interested parties of the new schedule. AAPG and EAGE intend to proceed with this conference when conditions allow.
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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!
The following short course option was developed for geology and geophysics students that have not had much exposure to how geoscience is applied in industry. It can be tailored for undergraduate juniors and seniors or graduate students. The agenda can be modified to meet specific needs and time constraints.
Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!
This is a less-technical education topic. It can be condensed to an hour or given as 2 two-hour sessions. It stresses selected controversial aspects of fracking that touch some combination of environment and economics and includes a short video of how fracking is done.
Request a visit from David Weinberg!
The following short course option was developed for geology and geophysics students that have not had much exposure to how geoscience is applied in industry. It can be tailored for undergraduate juniors and seniors or graduate students. The agenda can be modified to meet specific needs and time constraints. Contact the presenter to discuss options.
Analysis of microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracture stimulation in the Marcellus Shale shows changes in stress state for different zones of failure. During the treatment, shear failure occurs on both the J1 and J2 fracture orientations in response to different maximum stress orientations, indicating localized changes in the orientation during the treatment. Reactivation of a fault near the wellbore is associated with failure mechanisms with a higher volumetric component, indicating possible inflation of faults and fractures by the introduction of the slurry. Quantification of the stress conditions that are associated with inflation could potentially be used to optimize the stimulation by identifying which fractures will preferentially take on slurry volume.
Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!
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!
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!
Hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades. This talk describes some of the first applications of the technology, how it developed over time, and our current understanding of its impacts with some discussion of both water and earthquake hazards.
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