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Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Delegates Voice Article

Steve Brachman, HoD chair, examines the House of Delegates with regard to its expenditures, revenue generated, as well as its functions and benefits to AAPG.     

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer ProTracks

Like many of my age cohort, I often listen to podcasts on my daily commute to work. One of my favorites is Motley Fool’s “Rule Breakers,” a stock market-oriented podcast by David Gardner. One of the common refrains he uses to describe his stock-selecting philosophy is that he looks for “dark clouds I can see through.” The premise is simple: if a company has been beaten down for a good reason, but you have line of sight on that issue being resolved, there exists an opportunity to acquire at a good value and profit from the recovery. Can we see through the dark clouds that hang over the industry today, to a brighter future?

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

How are you doing? I was telling a friend recently that I feel like Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa in the boxing ring. We’ve reached the final round, and I’m battered and bruised, my sharp jabs and uppercuts replaced by exhausted flailing. The big question – the only question – is whether this is the first fight of the film where I end up face down on the canvas, or whether it’s the second with the referee lifting my gloved hand into the air as Bill Conti’s film score soars. How about you? As the months of this pandemic drag on, how are you doing? It turns out there’s a name for what many of us are feeling these days.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

The best-case outlook for the future of world energy looks highly positive for the oil and gas industry. In that outlook, energy demand returns to pre-pandemic levels and production increases as the world’s economies recover, giving the industry an opportunity for a strong rebound and years of attractive growth. But other scenarios could put roadblocks in the way of exploration and production, some of them potentially coming from the energy industry itself. OPEC+ definitely holds one key to the future, and the global energy transition appears to have picked up a considerable amount of momentum over the past year and a half.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

“If you care about the climate, elimination is not the way to go. Innovation is,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee, at a forum sponsored by General Electric and hosted by the news website Axios on the eve of President Joe Biden’s global climate summit last month. That the summit was held during Earth Day was not a coincidence. The forum, which also included as guests, Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Fanning, and GE Chairman and CEO Larry Culp, was part of the media company’s “Energy Forward” series, which focuses on politics and policies surrounding sustainability, energy efficiency and new technologies in the coming decades.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

In the quest to reach net-zero emissions of energy-related carbon dioxide by 2050, a longtime goal of the United States, other world governments and energy agencies, no one is even close to achieving it. Despite 2020’s largest decline in emissions as a result of less energy usage during the COVID-19 pandemic, the EIA anticipates “a rapid rebound in energy demand and emissions” this year. Furthermore, they project that by 2050, U.S. energy-related emissions will be 5-percent higher than 2020 levels. Although it looks unlikely, net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is possible, according to at least one notable expert within AAPG, but not without a strong reliance on nuclear energy.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

When the Biden administration effectively canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline as a first order of business in January, environmentalists all over North America celebrated a major victory. “There was no magic to how we beat the Keystone XL Pipeline – it was grit, shared leadership and never forgetting who and what we were fighting for,” said the chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. But did they really know what they were fighting for?

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

The overriding principle of AAPG’s special interest groups is to create an environment in which experienced professionals with like-minded views and concerns can come together to discuss, share, commiserate and become familiar with industry trends and Association events. Further, such groups create an environment in which individual members, including those in academia and service companies, as well as those in non-petroleum-based companies, both contribute to and benefit from programs and events of interest. The geoscience community in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was no stranger to the concept. For years, there was a SIG for young professionals, but the thinking was that there also needed to be something tailored for the experienced professional.

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

Renewable sources of energy will continue to grow in prominence and availability, and hydrocarbons will help us create that reality, even as many of my friends and neighbors feel wounded by the perceived failure of clean energy during recent extreme weather events.

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

As vaccinations roll-out globally and governments inject massive stimuli to fuel economic growth, we’re left wondering and hoping that we’re turning a corner. “This recovery is happening more rapidly than expected,” is how a senior oil and gas executive put it recently as she and I discussed the rebound in oil prices and its impact on our industry. Yet, the uncertainty that has dominated our world for more than a year persists, and the convulsions our industry experienced – that many of our members experienced – leave us looking for guidance, for insight to what the future holds.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Paramaribo, Suriname
Thursday, 2 November Friday, 3 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Barranquilla, Colombia
Wednesday, 8 February Thursday, 9 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Join technical experts, industry leaders and government representatives for an interactive in-person workshop highlighting onshore and offshore E&P opportunities, new technologies and sustainable development strategies working in Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tuesday, 9 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working to help Brazil maintain its E&P capacity while transitioning to a decarbonized economy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 14 April 2021, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Pivoting 2021: Energy Industry Supply Chains'. Panelists will discuss some of the most prominent advances in supply chain practice, including provenance, authenticity assurance, blockchain, automation, multiple sourcing, and 3D printing. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 14 April 2021.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 May 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium introduces you to the practical benefits of thermal profiling for a variety of unconventional oil and gas projects, including tight gas sands, oil shale, low-gravity oil.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 March 2015, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

A detailed biostratigraphic analysis and stratigraphic framework of the Paleocene and Eocene Chicontepec Formation in the Tampico-Misantla basin, onshore eastern Mexico, was conducted using 33 wells.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 October 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium covers how to conduct an interdisciplinary evaluation of mature fields to determine the best approach to recover remaining reserves.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 April 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 27 May 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'New Approaches for Start-Up Success' where we will discuss selecting companies to invest in now, the game changers program now, profile of a successful drone and robotics start-up and how we adapted our pitch for the pandemic. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 27 May 2020.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 2 July 2020, 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Presented by Kevin C. Hill, Associate Professor, University of Melbourne Gravity modelling of Australia's southern margin reveals that the initial rift with Antarctica was beneath the current Ceduna Delta. A regional, high-quality seismic traverse from the coast to oceanic crust across the Bight Basin has been assembled and interpreted in detail, then balanced, restored, decompacted, and replaced at paleo-water depths. The Late Cretaceous Ceduna Delta developed above a Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rift basin in three stages punctuated by significant pulses of uplift and erosion across areas >100 km wide and with up to 1 km of erosion. The Cenomanian White Pointer delta prograded into deepening water and hence underwent gravitational collapse. This was terminated in the Santonian when the Antarctic margin was pulled out from below, thus supplying heat to a remnant thicker outer margin crust, causing doming and erosion. Importantly, this established the saucer-shaped geometry of the Ceduna Delta that persisted throughout its development, so that any hydrocarbons generated in the southern half of the basin would have migrated towards this outer margin high. The Tiger Formation was deposited in shallow water in a full rift basin prior to breakup, which was followed by regional thermal subsidence. The Hammerhead delta developed on the newly formed passive margin but was terminated by another pulse of uplift and erosion, perhaps associated with a change in plate motion at the end of the Cretaceous. The finite element modelling of this proposed tectonic evolution will test its validity and predict hydrocarbon generation and migration through time.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
London, England
Wednesday, 24 February 2021, 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Since the first explorationists discovered the subsurface potential in Tunisia, the country’s institutions took the role of a partner rather than only a regulator. Today, one of ETAP missions is promoting exploration opportunities in Tunisia through both regional and targeted approaches, including sharing knowledge, high-quality data and best practices. ETAP commits to supporting continued drilling activity in mature areas and encouraging/incentivizing exploitation of new and emerging plays.

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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

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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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

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)

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