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Israel Stops Issuing New Licenses For Oil Shale Exploration - 19 February, 2020 09:00 AM
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Last month in this space we analyzed the relations of fracture patterns and layer curvature in clay models. This month we examine these relations in a central Oklahoma field developed by Pathfinder Exploration, Norman, Okla.
After decades spent visiting Morocco and neighboring Algeria, an AAPG member who's led countless field trips to some of the earth's most exotic places says the two old countries are evolving into modern times.
This article reviews the mechanisms of shale gas storage and discusses the major risks or uncertainties for shale gas exploration in China. At a given temperature and pressure, the gas sorption capacities of organic-rich shales are primarily controlled by the organic matter richness but may be significantly influenced by the type and maturity of the organic matter, mineral composition (especially clay content), moisture content, pore volume and structure, resulting in different ratios of gas sorption capacity (GSC) to total organic carbon content for different shales. In laboratory experiments, the GSC of organic-rich shales increases with increasing pressure and decreases with increasing temperature. Under geologic conditions (assuming hydrostatic pressure gradient and constant thermal gradient), the GSC increases initially with depth due to the predominating effect of pressure, passes through a maximum, and then decreases because of the influence of increasing temperature at greater depth. This pattern of variation is quite similar to that observed for coals and is of great significance for understanding the changes in GSC of organic-rich shales over geologic time as a function of burial history. At an elevated temperature and pressure and with the presence of moisture, the gas sorption capacities of organic-rich shales are quite low. As a result, adsorption alone cannot protect sufficient gas for high-maturity organic-rich shales to be commercial gas reservoirs. Two models are proposed to predict the variation of GSC and total gas content over geologic time as a function of burial history. High contents of free gas in organic-rich shales can be preserved in relatively closed systems. Loss of free gas during postgeneration uplift and erosion may result in undersaturation (the total gas contents lower than the sorption capacity) and is the major risk for gas exploration in marine organic-rich shales in China.
The fact that velocity models based on seismic reflection surveys commonly do not consider the near-surface geology necessitates filling the gap between the top of a velocity model and the surface of the Earth. In this study, we present a new workflow to build a shallow geologic model based exclusively on borehole data and corroborated by laboratory measurements. The study area is in Chemery (France), located at the southwestern border of the Paris Basin, where a large amount of borehole data is publicly available. The workflow starts with identifying lithologic interfaces in the boreholes and interpolating them between the boreholes. The three-dimensional (3-D) geometry of the lithologies then allows interpretation of the position, orientation, and offset of fault planes. Given the importance of the fault interpretation in the modeling process, a combination of different approaches is used to obtain the most reasonable structural framework. After creating a 3-D grid, the resulting 3-D structural model is populated with upscaled velocity logs from the boreholes, yielding the final near-surface P-wave velocity model. To better constrain the velocity model, we conducted laboratory measurements of P- and S-wave velocities in dry and water-saturated conditions on all lithologies in the model. The laboratory data were used to populate the 3-D near-surface model with VP/VS ratio values. The presented workflow accounts for one-dimensional borehole data and is much more iterative and time-consuming than workflows based on two-dimensional seismic sections. Nevertheless, the workflow results in a robust 3-D near-surface model allowing for structural interpretations and revealing the 3-D seismic velocity field.
Prolific hydrocarbon discoveries in the subsalt, commonly known as the “presalt,” section of Brazil and the conjugate African margin have created a business imperative to predict reservoir quality in lacustrine carbonates. Geothermal convection is a style of groundwater flow known to occur in rift settings, which is capable of diagenetic modification of reservoir quality. We simulated variable density groundwater flow coupled with chemical reactions to evaluate the potential for diagenesis driven by convection in subsalt carbonates.
Rates of calcite diagenesis are critically controlled by temperature gradient and fluid flux following the principles of retrograde solubility. Simulations predict that convection could operate in rift carbonates prior to salt deposition, but with rates of dissolution in the reservoir interval only on the order of 0.01 vol. %/m.y., which is too low to significantly modify reservoir quality. The exception is around permeable fault zones and/or unconformities where flow is focused and dissolution rates are amplified to 1 to 10 vol. %/m.y. and could locally modify reservoir quality. After salt deposition, simulations also predict convection with a critical function for salt rugosity. The greatest potential for dissolution at rates of 0.1 to 1 vol. %/m.y. occurs where salt welds, overlying permeable carbonates thin to 500 m (1640 ft) or less. With tens of million years residence times feasible, convection under these conditions could locally result in reservoir sweet spots with porosity modification of 1% to 10% and potentially an order of magnitude or more in reservoir permeability. Integrating quantitative model–derived predictive diagenetic concepts with traditional subsurface data sets refines exploration to production scale risking of carbonate reservoir presence and quality.
The Heidrun field, located on the Halten Terrace of the mid-Norwegian continental shelf, was one of the first giant oil fields found in the Norwegian Sea. Traditional reservoir intervals in the Heidrun field lie within the Jurassic synrift sequence. Most Norwegian continental shelf fields have been producing from these Jurassic reservoirs for the past 30 yr. Production has since declined in these mature fields, but recently, exploration for new reservoirs has resurged in this region. The Jurassic rifted fault blocks form a narrow continental shelf in Norway, thereby greatly reducing the areal extent for exploration and development within existing fields. As the rift axis is approached farther offshore, these Jurassic reservoirs become very deep, too risky to drill, and uneconomical. This risk has prompted exploration in more recent years of the shallower Cretaceous, postrift stratigraphic succession. Cretaceous turbidites have been found in the Norwegian and North Seas, and the discovery of the Agat field in the Norwegian North Sea confirms the existence of a working petroleum system capable of charging Cretaceous reservoirs. These Cretaceous reservoirs were deposited as slope- and basin-floor fans within a series of underfilled rifted deeps along the Norwegian continental shelf and are thought to be sourced from the localized erosion of Jurassic rifted highs. We use three-dimensional seismic and well data to document the geomorphology of a deep-water, Lower Cretaceous wedge (Cromer Knoll Group) within the hanging wall of a rift-related half graben formed on the Halten Terrace offshore mid-Norway. Seismic attribute extractions taken within this Lower Cretaceous wedge reveal the presence of several lobate to elongated bodies that seem to cascade over fault-bounded terraces associated with rifted structures. These high-amplitude, elongated bodies are interpreted as deep-water sedimentary conduits that are time equivalent to the Cretaceous basin-floor fans in more distal parts of the basin to the west. These half-graben fills have the potential to contain high-quality Cretaceous sandstones that might represent a potential new reservoir interval within the Heidrun field.
Were there enough arguments to champion a firm stand for a Pacific origin of the Caribbean lithosphere, as Kevin Burke, Bruce Malfait and others had suggested?
Fracture zones can be critical to improving or creating sufficient porosity and permeability in hydrocarbon reservoirs – with strain, along with lithology and thickness being the major controls.
Think fast: A new risk-based approach to geomechanics is being used to help solve horizontal drilling problems.
We describe the structure, microstructure, and petrophysical properties of fault rocks from two normal fault zones formed in low-porosity turbiditic arkosic sandstones, in deep diagenesis conditions similar to those of deeply buried reservoirs. These fault rocks are characterized by a foliated fabric and quartz-calcite sealed veins, which formation resulted from the combination of the (1) pressure solution of quartz, (2) intense fracturing sealed by quartz and calcite cements, and (3) neoformation of synkinematic white micas derived from the alteration of feldspars and chlorite. Fluid inclusion microthermometry in quartz and calcite cements demonstrates fault activity at temperatures of 195C to 268C. Permeability measurements on plugs oriented parallel with the principal axes of the finite strain ellipsoid show that the Y axis (parallel with the foliation and veins) is the direction of highest permeability in the foliated sandstone (10–2 md for Y against 10–3 md for X, Z, and the protolith, measured at a confining pressure of 20 bars). Microstructural observations document the localization of the preferential fluid path between the phyllosilicate particles forming the foliation. Hence, the direction of highest permeability in these fault rocks would be parallel with the fault and subhorizontal, that is, perpendicular to the slickenlines representing the local slip direction on the fault surface. We suggest that a similar relationship between kinematic markers and fault rock permeability anisotropy may be found in other fault zone types (reverse or strike-slip) affecting feldspar-rich lithologies in deep diagenesis conditions.
In 2020, AAPG will launch its first GTW (Geosciences Technology Workshop) in Mozambique, partnering with ENH (Mozambique National Oil and Gas Company) with a focus on deepwater reservoirs and LNG. The goal will be to build scientific knowledge, discover innovations, and network with peers. AAPG has established the GTWs as the primary vehicle for scientific and technological knowledge exchange throughout the world.
Join us in Salzburg, the “castle of salt” and cradle of Mozart and Doppler, for a meeting aimed at bringing together different perspectives in the science of evaporite basins: from their formation to their deformation, from description and characterization to modelling. Exploratory success in evaporite-rich basins worldwide has depended on the role of evaporites as a deformable substrate, as a seal, or even as a good thermal conductor. The aim of this workshop is to improve our understanding and predictive ability by addressing evaporite systems in an integrated manner, all the way from precipitation to structuration, and exploring the multiple properties of evaporite sequences. The pre- and post-meeting field trips will also explore the salt mining heritage of the region, first exploited by the Celts 3500 years ago, and the salt-related structures of the Northern Calcareous Alps.
Date: 28 February 2020 (8:00 am - 1:00 pm) -->
The University of Papua New Guinea is organizing a Field Trip on 28 February 2020 (08.00 – 13.00).
More details to come.
This Field Trip is organized independently by the University.
Registrations will be accepted on-site, on 24 February at the Hilton Hotel, Conference Hall 1; 3.00-6.00 pm. University staff will also be present on 27 February 10.00 am-1.00 pm.
The Field Trip as outlined above is organized by the University of Papua New Guinea and not by AAPG/EAGE. By signing up for the 'UPNG Field Trip', Attendees accept and agree to indemnify and hold harmless AAPG & EAGE and its governing board, officers, employees, and representatives from any liability, including but not limited to injury or death of said Attendee, or any person(s) and damage to property that may result from participation in the described activity.
View Geology of Port Moresby
Date: 28 February 2020 (Half Day)
PNG LNG is an integrated development that is commercializing the gas resources of Papua New Guinea. Our operations are producing over 8 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) each year which is exported to four major customers in the Asia region.
The site tour will offer attendees an exclusive look at world class integrated development that includes gas production and processing facilities that extend form Hela, Southern Highlands, Western and Gulf provinces to Port Moresby in Central Province.
Registration is free of charge. Limited to 25 pax on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration Information can be found at https://eage.eventsair.com/1st-aapgeage-png/registration-
7.00am - 7:20am (20min)
Registration of conference delegates at Hilton Hotel (Photo ID mandatory)
7:30am - 8: 15am (45min)
Travel to PNG LNG Plant from Hilton Hotel
8:15am – 8:30am (15min)
Security screening at Gate 1 and board BCI bus
8:30am – 9:15am (45min)
Drive up to Viewing Deck & Overview by ExxonMobil PNG team
9:15am – 10:45am (1.5hr)
Areas to visit
• Central Control Room
• Utilities & Marine Terminal
• Park at Marine Terminal
• Return from Marine through Utilities to Gate 1
10:45am – 11:00am (15min)
Go through security screening and board bus
11:00am – 11:45am (45min)
Return from PNG LNG Plant to Hilton Hotel
The ExxonMobil LNG Plant Tour is organised by ExxonMobil; not by AAPG/EAGE. By signing up for the ExxonMobil LNG Plant Tour, Attendees accept and agree to indemnify and hold harmless AAPG & EAGE and its governing board, officers, employees, and representatives from any liability, including but not limited to injury or death of said Attendee or any person(s) and damage to property that may result from participation in the described activity.
Date: Friday 28 – Saturday 29 February 2020 (2 days)
Instructor: Ken McClay, Professor of Structural Geology
This 2 day short course will focus firstly on the development of extensional basins, rifts and passive margins followed by inversion of these systems and the formation of thick and thin-skinned thrust belts. Extensional fault geometries, segmentation and linkages will be analysed as well as the architectures of extensional basins illustrated with field examples from the Gulf of Suez and Northern Red Sea as well as seismic examples from rift basins and passive margins. Inversion systems will be discussed in the context of how basement rift fault systems influence and control inversion geometries. Thick and thin-skinned orogenic systems will be examined in the context of inverted basins and thin-skinned thrust systems using examples from PNG, the Pyrenees, the Zagros fold and thrust belt and other systems. Characteristic structural styles and hydrocarbon systems in these terranes will be will be copiously illustrated using field, seismic, physical sand box and numerical models.
Who should attend:
Final year Geoscience students; starting geoscientists in the petroleum industry as well as mid- senior level geoscientists needing modern concepts of structural geology for the petroleum industry.
Participants to bring a notebook.
Start - Lectures
10:30 am - 10:45 am
10:45 am - 12:30 pm
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 1:15 pm
1:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Lectures and Exercises
End Day 1
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Start - Lectures
10:00 am - 10:15 am
10:15 am - 12:30 pm
Lectures and Exercises
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
3:00 pm - 3:15 pm
3:15 pm - 5:00 pm
Lecture and Exercises
End of Course
Ken McClay, Professor of Structural Geology, - BSc Honours degree in Economic Geology from Adelaide University, - MSc in Structural Geology & Rock Mechanics and PhD in Structural Geology from Imperial College, University of London, and DSc from Adelaide University: Emeritus Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London and an Adjunct Professor in the Australian School of Petroleum at Adelaide University.
From 1991 until December 2018 he was Professor of Structural Geology and Director of the Fault Dynamics Research Group at Royal Holloway University of London. He carried out wide-ranging research on all aspects of applied structural geology. This has involved field research in NW Scotland, the Spanish Pyrenees, Indonesia, Yemen, Iran, Australia, Canada, USA, Chile, Argentina, Greenland, Norway, Turkey, Ethiopia and Gulf of Suez and Red Sea Egypt. His research interests include extensional, strike-slip, thrust and inversion terranes. He ran a large experimental analogue modelling laboratory for the simulation of fault structures and sedimentary architectures at Royal Holloway. He has written a book for mapping structures in the field, edited five major volumes on thrust tectonics, and has published widely on structural geology and tectonics and he is a consultant for the international petroleum industry and has given many short courses for the industry.
Ken focuses on field analogues for geological structures to illustrate structural styles and mechanical stratigraphy, on analogue modelling of faults and fold systems and on seismic interpretation of sub-surface structures. Current major research projects include tectonic evolution of the Northern Chilean Andes, fold and thrust belts in accretionary terranes, tectonic evolution of deep-water fold belts as well as extensional tectonics and structural evolution of the NW Shelf of Australia.
The AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP) invite you join us for GTW Colombia 2020, a specialized workshop bringing leading scientists and industry practitioners to share best practices, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for future collaboration.
The 2-day workshop brings together technical experts and industry leaders from Colombia and throughout the Americas to take a multidisciplinary look at future opportunities for exploration and development of Southern Caribbean Frontier Basins.
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!
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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