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Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

Explorer Article

Joshua Rosenfeld’s article in the April EXPLORER issue’s Historical Highlights provides an interesting compilation of observations selected to support an unproven hypothesis: that the large influx of Paleogene Wilcox sandstones in the Gulf of Mexico can be linked to a major evaporative drawdown of the basin, loosely aligned with and possibly triggering the Paleocene-Eocene thermal event. We offer our observations based on decades of oil industry experience working the Wilcox play, more than 55 peer- reviewed academic papers and one book on Gulf of Mexico sedimentary basin.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Asia Pacific Blog

A report on a field trip taken by the UPES AAPG Student Chapter on 1 February 2020 along the Raipur - Maldevta Section of the eastern Doon Valley

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Rocky Mountain Section of AAPG is pleased to announce the winners of its Presentation Awards for the section’s 2019 Annual Conference which was held in Cheyenne, Wyo. The Presentation Awards are given to those who present the best technical papers at the annual meeting. Authors gave more than 125 oral and poster presentations on the geology of the Rocky Mountain region at the Cheyenne meeting. Judging on technical merit and presentation determined the winners.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

It all started in 2002, when Unocal revealed that its Trident-1 well had found 400 meters of 70-percent net Lower Wilcox Formation sand in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, about 400 kilometers beyond the contemporaneous shelf break offshore south Texas. Art Berman and I gazed at a GOM activity map and pondered how that amount of sand could have been deposited so far out into the basin. Our working hypothesis was that this sand deposit was due to a drop in base level, but we also knew that the worldwide sea level was not in decline at that time. A log of the nearby Shell Great White well shows that this sand deposition began suddenly and ended suddenly. This was also puzzling, since we were trained to expect gradational coarsening-upward bedding during regression and fining-upward during transgression, rather than the sharp contacts we were seeing. Sudden avulsion of a major river in a deltaic environment could produce something like this, but how could it happen far beyond the shelf edge?

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The history of the Permian Basin reads like a detective novel in reverse. Geoscientists know how the story turns out. They’re trying to determine exactly how it started. Robert Stern, a professor of geosciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, thinks he and a group of fellow scientists have solved one important part of the mystery. Stern. “We know oil is limited by the nutrients. Oil just doesn’t suddenly appear,” he said. That raises the question, “How did all those nutrients get there?”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Latin America Blog

The Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Circum-Gulf of Mexico Pre-Salt Section convened 101 participants came from 9 countries from 52 companies and organizations

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Energy sustainability and environmental responsibility are major pillars for the future of the energy industry. They will also be important themes for the upcoming Pacific Section Annual Meeting April 4-8 in Oxnard, Calif. The meeting’s overall theme is “2020 Vision: Producing the Future.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG Honorary Member and University of Oklahoma geoscience professor Roger Slatt speaks to the vital yet dwindling role of research consortia in advancing education and scientific advancement.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

It is one of the most remote places on the planet and home to the largest sand desert in the world. Virtually uninhabited and underexplored, the Rub’ al Khali basin, known as “the Empty Quarter” in Arabic, covers more than a fourth of the southeastern part of the Saudi Arabian peninsula. While the area has been explored in the past, perhaps most notably by Max Steineke, the American geologist known for making the first oil discovery in Saudi Arabia in 1938, and then publicly again in the early 2000s by international oil companies, the basin appears to be of increasing interest once more.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

After two successful editions, the AAPG Carbonate Reservoirs of the Middle East GTW came back the region for a third round. The event took place from 28-29 January 2020 at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa. The workshop attracted 94 attendees from 30 different companies and 10 different countries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Naples, Italy
Friday, 24 June Saturday, 25 June 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Field Trip Leaders: Jean Borgomano – CEREGE, Aix-Marseille Université, France Michele Morsilli – University of Ferrara, Italy Themes The Gargano Promontory (southern Italy) offers the opportunity to investigate a complete carbonate facies transect from inner platform to basin and to reconstruct the various events that shaped and controlled the evolution of the Apulia Carbonate Platform during the Cretaceous and Paleogene. This area can be considered a wonderful outcrop analog to better understand and visualize facies, depositional geometries, stratigraphic relationships and to compare them with other carbonate platforms. The exposed carbonate rocks show well-preserved original reservoir properties and form relevant analogues of subsurface reservoirs located in different structural settings; e.g. inner platform palaeokarst (Ombrina Mare, Rospo Mare oil fields), subthrust setting (Monte Alpi, Tempa Rossa), slope, base-of-slope resedimented carbonate facies (Elsa, Miglianico, Aquila, Rovesti), as well as relevant for the comparison with the specular Adriatic Carbonate Platform (AdCP) or other Tethyan carbonate systems. Main goals of this field trip are the observation of the facies and stratigraphic architecture of the inner platform and of slope and base-of-slope units deposited during the Early - Late Cretaceous and Eocene, as well as the carbonate production and exporting/resedimentation processes. The Apulia Carbonate Platform represents a well-known case study of a carbonate platform with different evolution through time. Facies distribution from inner platform to base-of-slope, stratigraphic architecture and depositional geometries, together with retreat and drowning of the platform or margin collapses, and seismic-scale outcrops, in a relatively poorly deformed context, constitute a text book examples of a Cretaceous Carbonate System. Itinerary and Stops Day 1 Naples (or Bari airport) to Apricena by bus (travel about 3 h) Stop 1.1 - Apricena quarries district: stop on peritidal cycles of Lower Cretaceous, fractured and karst reservoir (outcrop analog of the Rospo Mare oil field). Lunch Stop 1.2 - Belvedere di Ruggiano: stop on scalloped/faulted platform margin of mid-Cretaceous and base of slope to basin facies associations. Night in Monte Sant’Angelo Day 2 Stop 2.1 ft-e: slope to basin facies of the Lower Cretaceous and facies observation of the resedimented succession of the Upper Cretaceous. Lunch Stop 2.2 Monte Sant’Angelo to Manfredonia road – Upper Cretaceous slope to base of slope facies and architecture of the systems. Stop 2.3 (optional) - Monte Saraceno-Mattinata: panoramic view of the Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous sequence and Valanginian retreating/drowning of the Apulia Platform and depositional geometries of the Eocene clinoforms. End of the Excursion (travel to Naples or Bari airport)

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Naples, Italy
Tuesday, 21 June 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Field Trip Leaders: Alessandro Iannace Stefano Tavani Mariano Parente (University of Naples Federico II, Italy) Themes The Cretaceous platform carbonates of the Sorrento Peninsula offer wonderful outcrop analogues for the reservoirs of the Monte Alpi and Tempa Rossa oil fields of subsurface Basilicata and for fractured carbonate reservoirs of other Tethyan carbonate systems. During this 1-day field trip we will see how the facies, diagenetic characters and stacking patterns of cyclical Barremian-Albian inner platform carbonates controls mechanical stratigraphy and fracture distribution. We will look at the fracture network at different scales, from stratabound fractures to reservoir-scale fracture corridors, combining panoramic observations of subvertical cliffs of the Mt. Faito ridge, exposing a >300m thick stratigraphic interval, with detailed observations of the same beds along roadcuts. Then, we will move to a road cut near Positano where we will observe a small-scale intraplatform basin, developed in Aptian-Albian carbonates, focusing on soft-sediment deformation, organic-rich dolostones, fault-zone architecture and breccia bodies. Itinerary and Stops Transfer from Naples to Mt Faito by minibuses (about 1h drive) Stop 1 – Ticciano village: general introduction to the geology of the southern Apennines and to the Apennine Carbonate Platform; panorama of the Mesozoic platform carbonates of the Monte Faito ridge Stop 2 – Croce dell’Eremita roadcut: facies and fracture distribution of Barremian-Albian inner platform interbedded dolostones-limestones Lunch Stop 3 – Santa Maria del Castello: panoramic view of Monte Conocchia cliff: distribution and arrest of vertical through-going joints and fracture corridors in a seismic scale carbonate platform exposure Stop 4 – roadcut north of Positano: middle Cretaceous synsedimentary tectonics, soft sediment deformation, organic-rich dolostones and breccia bodies in a small intraplatform trough. Driving back to Naples (about 90min drive)

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Virtual Workshop
Tuesday, 8 March Wednesday, 9 March 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This two-day virtual conference aims to bring together industrial and academic persons to present, explore and develop approaches that will benefit both sectors in the future. The virtual conference will focus on current techniques, the challenges and future solutions in understanding the Triassic stratigraphy of the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, West of Shetland, Atlantic margins, and northern Europe.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Naples, Italy
Wednesday, 22 June Thursday, 23 June 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Modelling carbonate sequences and reservoirs has always been a challenging task. Carbonate rocks are generated and subsequently modified by a large variety of biological, physical and chemical processes that start at the time of deposition and end today. To unravel the geological evolution and history of carbonate sequences is fundamental not only for understanding their hydrocarbons potential but also for their role as potential reservoirs for renewable energy (geothermal) or geological gas storage (CO2 and hydrogen). Several science disciplines are often involved to fully understand the characteristics of carbonate rocks and old approaches and new technologies and tools are nowadays applied in these types of sequences. The objective of this meeting is to allow scientists and engineers working on carbonate rocks in academia and industry to share their most recent experience, work, approaches and use of innovative technologies to increase the understanding of the very complex world of carbonates.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Barcelona, Spain
Wednesday, 30 March Thursday, 31 March 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Trip leader(s): Josep Anton Muñoz, Pablo Granado and Eduard Roca Limit: 20 Participants The aim of this 2-day field trip is the recognition of the key structural features of a fold and thrust belt detached on salt that has resulted from the inversion of a previous passive margin. To achieve this objective, some of the key and most spectacular localities of the southern Pyrenees have been selected along the ECORS-Pyrenees transect. This is a reference cross-section provided that for many years a huge amount of geological and geophysical data sets has been collected and integrating into a kinematic model of the South-Pyrenean fold and thrust belt. Subsurface data (well logs and seismic sections) will be combined with field observations. One of the main characteristics of the southern Pyrenees is the preservation of the synorogenic sediments since the earlier stages of deformation, which not only provide time constraints but also allow us discussion of kinematics of fault-related folds and thrust systems. Finally, the mild contractional deformation permits deciphering the initial geometry of the rift system and the salt structures that configure the structural grain of the passive margin before the inversion, allowing discussion of the role that these structures play during the fold and thrust belt development. Itinerary: (day by day details of the trip) Day 1 Stop 1.1: The South-Pyrenean thrust front. Sant Llorenç de Montgai Structure of a frontal thrust system and related unconformities. Out of sequence thrusts and synorogenic sediments. The frontal thrust system of the South-central Pyrenees has been detached into the Triassic evaporites and involves a thin Mesozoic succession. It is characterized by an emergent thrust system during the sedimentation of upper Eocene and lower Oligocene continental sediments. Frontal thrusts were progressively buried by conglomerates, triggering a break-back thrusting sequence and the development of out-of-sequence thrusts bringing together strongly different Mesozoic successions, such as the Montroig thrust in the picture. Stop 1.2: The Ager basin and the Montsec thrust sheet. Fontllonga The Ager basin in the footwall of the Montsec thrust. The Montsec thrust sheet developed from the Paleocene to the Early Eocene as recorded by continental to shallow marine sediments deposited in its footwall (Ager basin) as well as in the Tremp-Graus piggy-back basin. The lower Eocene sediments of these basins grade westward into the slope succession filling the Ainsa basin at the footwall of the Montsec thrust. Stop 1.3: The frontal structure of the Montsec thrust sheet. Ametlla (optional: Montrebei) Fault-propagation fold related with the inversion of Early Cretaceous extensional faults and growth deltaic sediments in the footwall syncline. The Montsec thrust sheet involves the northern part of the Upper Cretaceous foreland basin characterised by a strong subsident turbiditic trough at the footwall of the Bóixols thrust. These turbidites grade southward into a carbonatic platform that constitutes the backbone of the Montsec Range (main ridge and cliff of the pictures). Underneath the Upper Cretaceous carbonates, some Early Cretaceous extensional faults are preserved in the hanging wall of the Montsec thrust, but others have controlled the development of a hanging wall frontal anticline. The geometry of this anticline as well as the structure of the growth sediments in the footwall Ager syncline are visible in the field. The subthrust geometry will be discussed integrating surface observations and the available seismic and well data. Overnight in Tremp Day 2 Stop 2.1: The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline Inversion of the rift margin The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline is the most prominent frontal structure of the Bóixols thrust sheet in the central Pyrenees. This fold trends east–west and crops out for greater than 40 km along strike. The Sant Corneli-Bóixols anticline involves a thick Mesozoic succession detached on top of Triassic evaporites. The prefolding sequence consists of up to 5 km of prerift, synrift, and postrift carbonates ranging in age from Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous. Synfolding Upper Cretaceous sediments start with the upper Santonian carbonates and continue with a succession of Campanian and Maastrichtian marls and turbidites. The Sant Corneli–Bóixols anticline is an example of an inversion fold developed along the rift margin of the Lower Cretaceous basin. Its geometry is related with the inverted extensional system. In particular, the three-dimensional geometry, including the saddles between culminations, is inherited from the previous transfer faults of the segmented rift margin. Available seismic data and 3 exploratory wells constrain the geometry at depth. Stop 2.2: The synororgenic Paleogene conglomerates Inverted Lower Cretaceous basin and Eocene-Oligocene synorogenic conglomerates at Collegats gorge. Stop 2.3 (optional): The Sopeira and Aulet minibasins. Sopeira Minibasins developed by extensional collapse and salt evacuation during the thermal subsidence at the southern Pyrenean rift margin. Inversion of these mini-basins at the early stages of Pyrenean contractional deformation during Late Cretaceous. Additional logistic information Transportation Transportation will be with a small bus, assisted by minivans to have access to some of the outcrops. Physical demand, equipment and safety This is an easy field trip with very easy and limited hikes to get to the outcrops. Outcrops will be from main sealed roads. Safety vests will be available, to be used by everybody of the group wherever required and asked to. There will be First Aid Kits available in each car during fieldwork. Climate The climate during mid-end November in the fieldwork area can be cold and rainy, although dry and sunny days may occur as well. The temperature for November in Tremp can range between 30C and 170C. Participants should be prepared in case we should encounter bad weather and you should bring warm and waterproof clothes and suitable hiking boots. -->

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 18 May Thursday, 19 May 2022, 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)
Field Seminar
Lisbon, Portugal
Monday, 16 May Tuesday, 17 May 2022, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Come along on this 2-day field seminar and tour outcrops in the Serra de Montejunto, just north of Lisbon and on the coast from Porto Novo to Paimogo. Instructors: Ricardo Pereira, (PARTEX Oil and Gas & Instituto Dom Luiz) Gil Machado (ChronSurveys Lda & Instituto Dom Luiz) Fees: To be determined Includes: Hotel Ground Transporation Snacks and Refreshments Lunch and Dinner Guidebook Departure Time/Location 16 May 2020 8:30am SANA Metropolitan Hotel Note:Transportation to start point is not included in the costs of this trip. Please bring clothing for hot day time temperatures (sun hat/ sun glasses/ sun cream etc.). Participants must wear suitable and comfortable light trekking shoes. Aims To gain or increase an understanding of the tectono-sedimentary processes of continental extension and rifting supported by outcrop observations, with focus on deep-depositional marine systems. Discuss implications for prospective petroleum systems. Promote debate and nourish new insights between attendants. About the Field Trip The Lusitanian Basin records the proximal events of syn- to post rift evolution of the hyper-extended West Iberian Margin, showing some outstanding examples of the combined tectono-stratigraphic depositional systems. Here, the Late Jurassic reveals diverse aspects of mixed marine depositional systems including not only submarine fans and turbidites, but also the build-up of carbonate reefs and shoreface to fluvial clastic sequences. Throughout the fieldtrip the different depositional aspects can be observed in detail to demonstrate how such depositional systems can vary in time and space. Observation of these outcrops allows a better understanding on how deep-water depositional systems can change within a sub-basin and help improving the understanding of reservoir properties. Itinerary Day 1 (16th May 2022) Stop # Location Relevant Aspects 1 Vila Franca de Xira Intro-Overview 2 Castanheira Coarse grain proximal depositional systems; Fault slope deposits 3 Arruda Marine shales and interbedded clastic deposits 4 Ota Late Jurassic marine reefs 5 Montejunto-Vila Verde Marine shales and interbedded clastic deposits 6 Wrap-up at the Hotel   Day 2 (17th May 2022) 1 Consolação-São Bernardino Shaly marine deposits of the Abadia Fm. (Kimm.) 2 Paimogo Shoreface to fluvial deposits Late Jurassic 3 Porto Novo Shoreface to fluvial deposits Late Jurassic 4 Santa Cruz Late Jurassic turbidites

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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 Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Renewable & Non-Renewable Resources is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for renewable energy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Wind Energy Basics is an online course that enables participants to review, analyze, and evaluate opportunities in the rapidly expanding market for wind energy.

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

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. 

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)
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)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 23 July 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

As commodity prices have dropped, many shale plays have become uneconomical as statistical plays and have increasingly become recognized as geological plays demanding new insights from data.

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)
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)
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)

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