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Petrophysics and Well Logs

Explorer Geophysical Corner

Seismic data are usually contaminated with two common types of noise, namely random and coherence. Such noise, if not tackled appropriately, prevents their accurate imaging. Small-scale geologic features such as thin channels, or subtle faults, etc. might not be seen clearly in the presence of noise. Similarly, seismic attributes generated on noise-contaminated data are seen as compromised on their quality, and hence their interpretation. Noise reduction techniques have been developed for poststack and prestack seismic data and are implemented wherever appropriate for enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio and achieving the goals set for reservoir characterization exercises.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

From high-altitude, windswept prairies in southwestern Wyoming, the span of the powerful Wind River and Wyoming Ranges can be seen in the distance. This is home to the Pinedale Anticline Project and the Jonah Field, located in Sublette County, Wyo. In 2000, this was the site of one of the most productive gas fields in the continental United States. Gas reserves were estimated at up to 40 trillion cubic feet. That was enough to serve the nation’s entire natural gas demand for 22 months.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Each year, AAPG's Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division recognizes what the membership considers the best recent and seminal publications in the field. This year's Best Seminal Publication award recognizes Tod Harding and Jim Lowell for their 1979 paper, 'Structural styles, their plate-tectonic habitats, and hydrocarbon traps in petroleum provinces,” published in the AAPG Bulletin 63. Division Chair Bob Krantz praised the work as 'truly foundational.'

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

During these times of global economic uncertainty, political turmoil and climate change discussions, some, both inside and outside the energy industry, question the value of investing in oil and gas exploration. At the same time, new discoveries, technological advances and collaborative partnerships make exploration more exciting than ever. ExxonMobil Exploration Company President Stephen Greenlee addressed these parallel perspectives during “The Future of Oil and Gas Exploration,” the annual Michel T. Halbouty Lecture he delivered at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio in May.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

The shale revolution was made possible because there was technology that allowed developers to drill and complete wells capable of producing oil and gas affordably. Through the years, industry, because of that technology, successfully focused on drilling longer wells, pumping more sand and increasing the number of fracturing stages per well. The question facing industry experts these days is: What will the next breakthrough be that will produce even more efficient and affordable oil and gas?

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Over the past 10 years, tight oil boosted the United States back to world prominence in crude oil production. Today’s projections tie future U.S. production levels to continued strength in tight oil output, especially from the Permian Basin. Considering the importance of unconventional oil plays in the overall U.S. production picture, it’s useful to examine the outlook for tight oil. And in the Permian Basin, that outlook isn’t as bright as previously thought.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Latin America Blog

Geoscientists and engineers from seven countries gathered to discuss opportunities at the multidisciplinary workshop in Rio

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

The Siliciclastic Reservoirs of the Middle East GTW is now offering two optional field trips designed for attendees to learn more about the geology in the Muscat area. Discover the Al Khawd Formation on the 27th October or sign up for the Cambrian-Ordovician Amdeh Formation Field Trip taking place on the 31st October.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Asia Pacific Blog

AAPG and EAGE are proud to jointly present the first Geosciences conference in Papua New Guinea in two decades. Endorsed by Department of Energy, PNG and supported by the PNG Chamber of Mines & SEAPEX, the conference will review the petroleum geology of Papua New Guinea in its tectonic setting as host to petroliferous marginal Phanerozoic basins on the northeast margin of the Australian continent.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column DEG

Brené Brown, the well-known social science researcher from the University of Houston, has a new special on Netflix where she speaks to the differences between “belonging” versus “fitting in.” I heard AAPG and Division of Environmental Geosciences in that talk, both the good and the bad. According to Brown, we advance when we are part of something greater and connect to others, but not at the cost of losing who we are or what we value as individuals. One only has to consider many institutions with rigid and tired identities who struggle with membership as their group ages to see how this is true.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 8 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

“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.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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!

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

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!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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.

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Request a visit from Keith Gerdes!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

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.

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Request a visit from Tao Sun!

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)
DL Abstract

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.

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Request a visit from Jennifer Wilcox!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

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.

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Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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