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Petrophysics and Well Logs

Explorer Geophysical Corner

Amplitude variation with offset or angle has been widely used for discriminating hydrocarbons from brine-saturated rocks. Such analyses are based on Zoeppritz equations that describe the partitioning of energy at a rock interface into reflected and refracted energy components. These equations are complicated and, to get an intuitive understanding of their capabilities and limitations, various investigators and researchers have provided approximations by adopting some simplifying assumptions.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

It is a well proven fact that a diverse workforce is good for business and improves the bottom line – but the E&P industry, in common with many others, is not making significant progress in this area. A recent report on gender diversity in the energy industry, for example, found that, at 22 percent, oil and gas has one of the lowest shares of female employees of any major industry – an imbalance that transcends seniority, geography and business segment.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The Casablanca oil field, discovered in 1975 and located on the Mediterranean shelf edge, has been greatly significant in the world’s offshore oil industry activity, besides being by far the biggest oil field in Spain.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The University Centre in Svalbard, in the Norwegian high Arctic archipelago, has created a geoscientific database for high Arctic training and research, a unique approach to the retrieval, coordination and cataloging of data in a less than hospitable area.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

On the surface, the employment outlook for geoscientists in oil and gas looks wonderful. The projected job-growth percentage for geologists remains in double digits, reduced slightly by softer oil prices. That’s still better than most other occupations and impressive for a well-paying profession. But petroleum geologists don’t make their living on the surface. Drill deeper and some mitigating trends become apparent.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Marches. Protests. Sanctions. Power struggles. Thanks to 24-hour broadcasting and social media, news of Venezuela’s political and economic crisis has reached the four corners of the Earth. But how does South America’s petroleum powerhouse affect the geoscientists living within its borders? What goes on in workplaces and classrooms far away from cameras? The EXPLORER talked with students, professors and professionals to find out how the crisis is affecting them.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Matching talent with short-term projects, and giving geoscientists the tools they need to successfully complete the projects is the perfect solution for quickly changing times.  It’s also a perfect solution when the pool of highly specialized technical experts is dispersed throughout the world.  To solve those twin problems and to bring together projects and people, Petrocubic developed an easy-to-use platform, Petrocubic (http://www.petrocubic.com).  Welcome to an interview with Vitaly Meyer, founder of Petrocubic. Petrocubic is growing quickly and will be featured in AAPG’s U-Pitch program at ACE, May 19 - 22. https://ace.aapg.org/2019/networking-and-events/u-pitch and at URTeC, July 22-24.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

The AAPG Regional Variations in Charge Systems and the Impact on Petroleum Fluid Properties in Exploration workshop took place from 11-13 February 2019 at the Steigenberger Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai. This was the first edition of this workshop and we received 33 attendees from 20 different companies and 12 different countries.  

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

The 12th edition of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) will be held 13–15 January 2020 at the Dhahran EXPO in Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with Saudi Aramco serving as the Exclusive Host Organization. IPTC is a collaborative effort among the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

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

Our industry has been through a lot of changes since 2000, due in no small part to the explosive growth in unconventional oil and gas. Petroleum geologists have had to adapt to this change by learning new skills to keep abreast of the technological changes required to explore and develop unconventional oil and gas resources.

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

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

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

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)
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

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)
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

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 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

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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