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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.
'Sourced in part by the Eagle Ford Group, the Austin Chalk has been a hot spot for operators on and off for a century. The rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing brought a renewed interest in the formation, which has produced new discoveries in Texas and Louisiana. Yet in parts of the Austin Chalk, extracting oil and gas can be extremely tricky. Several years ago, the Carbonate Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory at the University of Texas began a project to analyze approximately 40 cores from the Austin Chalk – the first group to do so.
Date: 25 September 2022
Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Course Instructor: Alberto Ortiz, Net Zero Carbon Solutions
Registration Fee: $530
Registration Deadline: 25 August 2022
Short Course registration is included as part of the GTW registration process.
The petrophysical characterization of unconventional shale-type reservoirs has been one of the most approached and relevant issues in the oil and gas industry in the last 8 years. This is because after several years, the operating companies comprehended the impact that an appropriate characterization of the reservoir has on their project economics.
Another reason for this were the technical obstacles encountered in the measurement of petrophysical properties such as porosity, saturation and permeability due to the complexity of this type of reservoir. Obstacles and limitations not only relate to laboratory measurements but also to electrical logging tools.
As a consequence of this, nowadays, petrophysical evaluations in this type of reservoir do not have standardized workflows established and accepted worldwide as is the case for conventional reservoirs. This motivates the professionals involved in the study of this type of rocks to dedicate a lot of effort in the validation of the technologies used, and sometimes it is difficult for them to understand the results, the evaluation of uncertainties and the construction of petrophysical models with results and representative parameters of the subsurface conditions.
This course will focus on providing key knowledge for a better characterization of the rock both in the aspects related to the matrix represented by mineralogy and kerogen as well as the fluids present. The approach will be based on the convergence of different technologies that support and give robustness to the results.
The contents that will be provided will include laboratory testing techniques and petrophysical evaluation of electrical well logs for unconventional shale-type reservoirs. The contents provided will cover a variety of studies based on the most diverse physical principles that will include the latest advances and techniques used in the industry such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Spectroscopy, Dielectric, Computed axial tomography and SEM images, among others.
As a result of this, attendees will have tools that allow a more comprehensive understanding of this type of rocks, a better assessment of the uncertainty of the model used and the necessary steps to improve its precision, accelerating the learning curve. The contents provided will also allow knowing the critical parameters that must be taken into account for the definition of areas to be drilled.
Reservoir heterogeneity characterization from outcrops to lab data and electrical logging.
Most relevant unconventional plays of the world. Main characteristics.
The petrophysical model. Components and definitions, construction, uncertainties, strengths and weakness.
Lab studies: porosity, saturation, mineralogy, organic geochemistry and permeability.
Electrical logging response on unconventional shale plays: triple combo, NMR, NMR T1T2, nuclear spectroscopy, spectral GR, dielectric.
The effect of maturity on kerogen.
Challenges on water saturation calculation.
Data integration. Interpretation workflows and core calibration.
Thulisile Sopete explores the sedimentary evolution of the Pletmos Basin. The Pletmos Basin is a sub-basin of the greater Outeniqua Basin, is located off the south coast of South Africa and is bounded by the Bredasdorp Basin to the west, the Gamtoos Basin to the east and the Southern Outeniqua Basin to the south.
The approach applied in the analysis for this study was based on five selected seismic transects which were interpreted using seismic stratigraphy. These interpretations were incorporated along with composite logs analysis for their respective wells to provide the framework in understanding how the Pletmos Basin evolved sedimentologically.
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.
This esymposium takes a close look at workflows associated with resource plays, and analyzes where integration must occur between disciplines, data, and workflows at all phases of the process.
This presentation describes a proven workflow that uses a standard narrow azimuth 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and core data to build five key reservoir properties required for an optimal development of shale plays.
This study will focus in the combination of λρ – μρ inversion with clustering analysis techniques in order to discriminate brittle zones in the Barnett Shale.
Salt welds form due to salt thinning by mechanical (e.g., salt-flow) and/or chemical (e.g., salt-dissolution) processes.
This webinar explores how we use 3-D seismic reflection, borehole, and biostratigraphic data to constrain the thickness and composition of salt welds, and to test the predictions of analytical models for salt welding.
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.
El geocientífico visitante Juan Pablo Lovecchio revisa aspectos generales de la ruptura, grietas y formación pasiva de márgenes y evolución a través del tiempo, así como elementos del desarrollo del sistema petrolero.
The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).
Microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracture stimulation of a horizontal well was mapped with a near-surface buried array. Distinct linear trends of events were not parallel to the direction of fast shear wave polarization measured in the reservoir with a crossed-dipole anisotropy tool. Analysis of core from a nearby well revealed numerous calcite-filled fractures that did not induce shear wave polarization, but did significantly impact the failure behavior of the reservoir rock during the stimulation treatment. Hydraulic fracture simulation with DFN modeling and source mechanism analysis supports the interpretation of reactivated existing fractures rather than the formation of hydraulically-induced tensile fractures.
Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!
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!
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 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 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.
Request a visit from Fred Schroeder!
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.
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.
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.
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