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Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Explorer Division Column DEG

After the past year as president of the Division of Environmental Geosciences, my three big takeaways are that the world needs energy, all forms of energy are in transition, and geoscientists are needed to explore for and develop energy – now and in the future. In every future energy scenario, oil and gas will be needed for decades at various levels to contribute to the global energy mix.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Regions and Sections

Many geologists have earned their field trip stripes in the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas, but fewer have heard – and braved the dangers – of hiking the mysterious and mineral-rich Franklin Mountains north of El Paso. The Franklin Mountain region is a west-tilting series of horst blocks that became 5,000-7,200-foot tall mountains as a result of the Laramide orogeny. The sheer eastern escarpment exposes rocks dating from the Pennsylvanian down to 1.25-billion-year-old basement granite. It was a “field trip through time” focused on the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian formations, representing more than 100 million years of geologic history.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Regions and Sections

The AAPG Southwest Section Convention explored a four-dimensional multiverse of geology and reservoirs, combining regional overviews with multi-scale measurements of rocks and sediments, and analyzing rocks in the fourth dimension of geologic time. The result is “Resology,” which general chair Ben Davis defines as “the study of geology and rock reservoirs at big and small scales.” He told conference attendees, “The goal of Resology is effective and efficient hydrocarbon production.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The small town of Cunningham, Kansas lies about 65 miles straight west of Wichita on U.S. Highway 54. It was incorporated in 1887 as a commercial center for farmers and ranchers in that part of south-central Kansas. Hard winter wheat was the main cash crop, while herds of beef and dairy cattle were a close second source of income. This activity characterized the culture of Cunningham into the early years of the 20th century. That is, until a new industry was introduced to Kansas when, in 1915, oil was discovered in the El Dorado field northeast of Wichita.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, which AAPG celebrated with a live watch party. Perseverance has since explored the Séítah region and is currently at the delta front of Jezero Crater on Mars using an enhanced autonomous navigation system and under guidance from NASA/JPL controllers. As of May 13, 2022, Sol 436, Perseverance has traveled 11.4 kilometers and drilled eight core samples. The rover has returned more than 249,000 raw images that are publicly available in the mission multimedia catalog.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Director’s Corner

In February, TotalEnergies announced a significant light oil discovery in the Orange Basin, offshore Namibia. Reuters reported a source suggesting that the Venus-X1 well may have found more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. This was the second significant discovery announced in the basin that month. The offshore continues to deliver new oil and natural gas discoveries worldwide. And as this issue hits your inbox, the offshore is the primary topic of discussion in Houston as the 2022 Offshore Technology Conference returns to NRG Park from May 2-5.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

There are two main oil and gas producing sedimentary areas in France: the Paris Basin and the Aquitaine Basin. The presence of oil seeps and bitumen deposits has been known since ancient times in the western part of the Aquitaine basin, a 35,000-square-kilometer triangular polygon bordered to the north by the city of Bordeaux, to the east by Toulouse and to the south by the Pyrenees Mountain chain separating France from Spain. These hydrocarbon shows were observed close to surface anticlinal structures such as the Sainte-Suzanne dome, southwest of Pau or in the caprocks of salt diapirs at Salies de Bearn and Dax to the north.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

There are times when national and local forces combine in such a way that the entire hydrocarbon value chain is realized in a frontier area over the course of only a few years. Such was the case for the natural gas fields in southwestern Wyoming over the decades of the 1920s to the ‘40s.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Phase decomposition is an interesting technique that can decompose a composite seismic signal into different phase components, and which in turn can help with the characterization of thin target sandstone or carbonate reservoirs. Here we discuss the application of phase decomposition as a reservoir management tool, with the odd phase component (sum of plus 90 degrees and minus 90 degrees phase components) showing better correlation with the wells that control the injection and withdrawal of a natural gas storage reservoir in Denmark.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Here’s one sign of change in university- level geoscience education: This year, for the first time, both recipients of AAPG’s Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award are female geology professors. Their careers have followed different paths and include contrasting professional interests, but the stories of their respective educational histories share several common links. That story starts with James Taylor. And chocolate chip cookies.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Tunis, Tunisia
Monday, 12 September 2022, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

This short course will comprise lectures, short exercises and discussion sessions. The course will focus on a number of case studies that link outcrop and subsurface geology and have relevance to petroleum exploration and production. Case studies range from Silurian to Miocene in age and come from North African and Mediterranean Basins. The course builds on basic knowledge of sedimentary geology but does not require specialist skills from participants.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Thursday, 18 May Friday, 19 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Gil Machado is a Petroleum Exploration Geologist with a Ph.D in stratigraphy and source rock characterization. Gil's presentation 'Reducing Uncertainty and Increasing Chances of Success Using Biostratigraphy', will explore the role of biostratigraphy in the exploration workflow. Several success cases from around the World will be detailed, showing the uses of this discipline for sedimentation age determination, paleoenvironmental interpretation and source rock characterization. Join Gil Machado via Zoom on June 10 at 12:00 GMT+1

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Monday, 19 October 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

In this webinar, Stephen Ehrenberg will present a review of the various processes that interact to determine the wide variations in porosity found in carbonate strata containing petroleum reserves. Presentation is via Zoom on Monday 19 October at 12:00 London time.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 February 2011, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

This presentation is designed for exploration/production geologists and geological managers or reservoir engineers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 10 November 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This work investigates how heterogeneity can be defined and how we can quantify this term by describing a range of statistical heterogeneity (e.g. coefficient of variation and the Lorenz coefficient).

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 3 December 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Patawarta Diapir, approximately 2-6km2 located in the Central Flinders Ranges, South Australia, has been interpreted as a single allochthonous salt sheet containing Tonian-aged igneous and layered evaporite sedimentary intrasalt inclusions derived from the Callanna Group. In this webinar, Rachelle Kernen describes the diapir as five primarily silty limestone inclusions (0.5-2km2), re-interpreted as Ediacaran-aged Wonoka Formation and Patsy Hill member of the Bonney Sandstone (Wilpena Group). Webinar presented Thursday 3 December 2020 at 11:00 SGT (GMT+8) Singapore time

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 14 April 2020, 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

La Formación Smackover del Jurásico Superior (Oxfordiano) es una de las productoras de petróleo y gas más prolíficas de la llanura costera del noreste del Golfo de México, depositada en una rampa de carbonato proximal. Este estudio es una caracterización integral del ambiente de depositación de la Formación Smackover basada en datos sísmicos 3D y de pozos en los campos Vocation y Appleton situados en las subcuencas de Conecuh y Manila, en el suroeste de Alabama.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 5 May 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Sequence stratigraphy is a method for stratigraphic interpretation, pioneered by Vail and colleagues in the mid 70’s, which explains the complex geometries that sediments create as they fill accommodation in response to changes in rates of sedimentation, subsidence, uplift and eustasy. This method was developed based on observations and concepts developed as early as in the 1800’s. Based on this strong scientific foundation, pioneer work from Caster, Sloss, Wheeler, Campbell, and Asquith established the basis for the methodology. These researchers established a new way to correlate stratigraphic units, demonstrating the time-transgressive nature of lithostratigraphic formations.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 March 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

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.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 9 September 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Water cut is a big factor in gauging the success of horizontal drilling in the Mississippi Lime Play (MLP). The contributing factors are related in part to the spectrum of producing lithofacies and reservoir quality encountered that varies laterally and vertically, sometimes dramatically. 

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 8 December 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium focuses on methods for predicting connectivity within clastic fluvial systems.

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)
VG Abstract

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!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
VG Abstract

This lecture will discuss the differences between carbonates and siliciclastics from their chemical composition through their distributions in time and space. Building on these fundamental differences, we will explore the challenges carbonates pose to petroleum geologists in terms of seismic interpretation, reservoir quality prediction, field development, etc. Peppered with humorous personal stories, still raging academic debates, and the heartfelt frustrations of real industry professionals, the aim is to inspire students and young professionals to rise to the occasion and embrace the reservoir rocks that petroleum geologists love to hate.

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Request a visit from Noelle Joy Purcell!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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