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Low Resistivity Reservoirs: Path to Explore, Discover and Develop Call for Abstracts
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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.”
The estimated hydrocarbon reserves around the world, when produced, can keep us going for the next several decades. But scientific records and our own experiences are enough evidence that climate change is indeed happening. Addressing it requires energy extraction from non-fossil fuels. One such resource is the natural heat of the Earth, or geothermal energy.
While the COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt in 2020, crisis led to creativity and opportunity in many parts of the world. For four geoscientists in Colombia, the pandemic became the perfect time to serve their country and their profession. In May 2020, two weeks after oil prices dropped below zero, Colombia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation launched a bidding contest allocating nearly $3 million to finance geoscience research projects for the hydrocarbon sector.
Seismic inversion for acoustic impedance is widely used in our industry today, mainly due to the ease and accuracy of interpretation of impedance data, but also because it allows an integrated approach to geological interpretation. In a series of three prior articles of Geophysical Corner, the application of the different methods for transformation of stacked, prestack and multicomponent seismic data into impedance data were described. In this month’s column we revisit one of the methods, namely colored inversion, to describe in detail the methodology entailed and its application to a seismic dataset from Denmark.
As geoscientists, we are predisposed to associative thinking. Trained for pattern recognition by our education and experiences, we have learned to recognize familiar elements in a new dataset and integrate those pieces of information into a subsurface geological model. However, this learning system is usually biased and most of the time we are unaware of it. With the increasingly common use of machine learning in our workflows to bolster human interpretation, we must become increasingly aware of our biases, so that they they can be minimized as we train the algorithms. Herein is a case study and bias discussion from the Ceará Basin in Brazil, where deep convolutional neural networks are used to aid in the petrophysical analysis and volumetric assessment of a potential reservoir.
“The beauty of the unconventionals is, while they’re expensive, we know where they are.” That’s Carlos Torres-Verdin, Brian James Jennings memorial endowed chair and Zarrow centennial professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, talking about the promise of unconventional energy production in the United States, both from an industry standpoint and with a view to its position in the country’s future energy mix. According to a study by the Harvard University Business School, by 2030, 3.8 million jobs, half of which would be accessible to middle-skilled workers, could potentially be supported by the development of unconventional resources.
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.
Unconventional resource development has a remarkable history, combining breakthroughs and advances in both technology and geoscience. The pace of progress might have slowed in recent years, but that history is still being written.
The goal of reservoir characterization work carried out for a shale play is to enhance hydrocarbon production by identifying the favorable drilling targets. The drilling operators have the perception that in organic-rich shale formations, horizontal wells can be drilled anywhere, in any direction, and hydraulic fracturing at regular intervals along the length of the laterals can then lead to better production. Given that this understanding holds true, all fracturing stages are expected to contribute impartially to the production. However, studies have shown that only 50 percent of the fracturing stages contribute to overall production. This suggests that repetitive drilling of wells and their completions without attention to their placement must be avoided, and smart drilling needs to be followed by operators.
“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.
This course can help you gain the ability to describe the complex and highly variable reservoirs, which are typified by complex internal heterogeneity.
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.
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.
This presentation is designed for exploration/production geologists and geological managers or reservoir engineers.
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.
This e-symposium will be introducing signal processing techniques as a means to maximize extracting geomechanical data from petrophysical logs.
This e-symposium provides highlights of the hydraulic fracturing mechanics, analysis, and design, and is derived from a two and one-half (2-1/2) day course which is designed for drilling, completion, production engineers, engineering technicians, geologists, well-site and completion supervisors, and managers, who desire to possess a comprehensive and integral knowledge of Hydraulic Fracturing.
The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).
Visiting Geoscientist Juan Pablo Lovecchio reviews general aspects of rifting, rifts and passive margin formation and evolution through time, as well as elements of petroleum system development.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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