Explorer Historical Highlights

In the early exploration days, petroleum geologists were required to take field trips to inspect, map and collect geological data in remote locations, sometimes inaccessible except by foot, horse, mule or boat. Geological publications and maps of these hard-to-reach regions were almost non-existent, and the first geologists had to start from scratch, without any of the geological information that present-day geologists take for granted. They faced hazardous and unsafe situations, including heavy rains, flash floods, rockfalls, landslides, sunstrokes, mosquito bites, venomous snakes and spiders, attacks from natives and wild animals, and endemic diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Our story here is about a strange encounter with an enigmatic creature during a geological fieldwork expedition for oil exploration in western Venezuela, close to the Colombian border. The encounter was years later revealed to be one of the most notorious scientific frauds.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

India is a land that is rich with geological wonder, but is also beset with social and environmental problems. A group of AAPG members is using their knowledge and love of geology to create opportunity and hope on the subcontinent.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Understanding the role and influence of salt in the subsurface has been the key to many hydrocarbon discoveries and appraisals and more recently carbon & hydrogen capture and storage, and geothermal interests. Now, AAPG has a new Technical Interest Group, co-founded and co-chaired by Clara Abu (Ph.D Candidate Imperial College), Rachelle Kernen Ph.D., Leonardo Muniz Pichel Ph.D., Clara Rodriguez Ph.D., and Tim Shin, MSc. Welcome to an interview with Tim Shin, one of the co-founders.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Fault seal potential is an essential step in determining the potential for fluid migration and assessing risks during hydrocarbon exploration. Multiple assessment tools have been developed and focus on (1) lithological juxtaposition, of permeable and impermeable stratigraphic units, and (2) fault rock sealing, assuming that clay material gets smeared along a fault zone. Most of these tools rely heavily on well log data, whether it is collected and analyzed in 1-D or 3-D settings.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

While the bulk of deepwater oil and gas discoveries in the northern Gulf of Mexico offshore areas lie within Cenozoic sandstones, Mesozoic siliciclastic reservoirs have been somewhat overlooked due to the depth and age of the reservoir section. That began to change with emergence of the Norphlet deepwater play, kicked off by discoveries in Mississippi Canyon and Desoto Canyon protraction blocks in 2010-13 by Shell and partners. The Norphlet reservoirs are aeolian (dryland) reservoirs located in modern abyssal water depths. However, the exploration potential of the younger Cretaceous section remains unknown, with just a handful of meaningful tests in deepwater areas.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The North Sea Rift Basin ranks as one of the world’s most famous and indefatigable super basin areas. Like a pugnacious prize fighter, it’s been counted out again and again, only to rebound and punch back into contention. While some explorers consider the North Sea province highly mature, and even late life, it continues to produce plenty of oil and gas. And discoveries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

If you remember from my last column, this is a three-part series on my thoughts on science, membership and budget. I talked about budget last time … we are still working on it, so let’s talk science. The reason most professionals join AAPG is for access to science. That’s not just my opinion – it’s what members tell us. AAPG is very good about disseminating the work of our members and other professionals around the world. That’s our mission.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

As discussed in part 1 of this article, when it comes to the attributes used in equation 1 for seismically determining shale capacity, it is difficult to make a manual choice for the cut off values. To alleviate such a problem, application of machine learning techniques could be useful and thus worth exploring.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

It’s natural to think of super basins as highly developed, mature play areas. When a basin has already produced more than 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, there’s an established history of exploration and production. The Santos Basin, especially the basin’s pre-salt play offshore Brazil, is one of the more notable exceptions to that idea. This super basin area is almost all about the future. “There is so much running room, so much remaining potential. We’re going to see new reservoirs developed, new plays developed,” said James Deckelman, vice president of investment and program assurance for ION Geophysical in Houston.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

A new AAPG technical interest group is attracting international attention, and the founders hope to continue expanding the group’s influence. The Salt Basins TIG began in May 2020 as a way for geoscientists in industry and academia working on or interested in salt basins to connect, collaborate and share ideas, according to one of the co-founders, Rachelle Kernen of the AAPG Women’s Network.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Barcelona, Spain
Thursday, 26 November Friday, 27 November 2020, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Trip leader(s): Josep Anton Muñoz, Pablo Granado and Eduard Roca 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 minibasins 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
Salzburg, Austria
Wednesday, 14 April Thursday, 15 April 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

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.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Bogota, Colombia
Wednesday, 17 March Thursday, 18 March 2021, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP) invite you join us for GTW Colombia 2021, 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.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Mauricio Guizada provides an overview of general structural geology of the Andes, with a focus on the Central Andes. His talk covers topics related to onshore exploration, G&G methods in exploration and risk analysis. Join Mauricio Guizada via Zoom on June 23 at 4pm CDT.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 21 August 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The goal of this e-symposium is to review the status of the Mexican upstream sector, and to provide a review of the most prolific and prospective areas in Mexico, with a focus on opportunities for international participation, given the upcoming energy reform in Mexico.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 August 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will show where there are cases of missing sections, but none of them can be attributed to normal faulting.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 25 March 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

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.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 9 June 2020, 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Susan Morrice shares her personal experience and insight in this talk about opportunities for geoscientists. “Geoscientists have advantages ... They are Time Travellers and have open minds. Bringing this creativity and innovation to your company or starting your own! Challenging times bring silver linings!”

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 12 July 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation will look at well placement vertically in the pay, well azimuth and well trajectory with explanations of how geology and post-depositional effects can make the difference between a successful well and a failure.

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

There are approximately 1,000 oil and gas fields in the world that have been classified as 'giant,' containing more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil and /or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 25 January 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

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.

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)
Assistant Professor of Geology

The Department of Geology and Geological Engineering invites applications for a tenure track Assistant Professor whose expertise broadly encompasses tectonics and structural geology. Applicants with a teaching approach that provides engaging and field-based learning opportunities combined with an interdisciplinary approach to address outstanding research questions are encouraged to apply.

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)
VG Abstract

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.

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

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)
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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