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Salt tectonics may be “an outlier in this country’s university training in structural geology,” but geologists entering the petroleum industry will almost certainly find themselves dealing with the topic, explained Mark G. Rowan of Rowan Consulting in Boulder, Colo. A growing understanding of how they form – especially since the 1980s – has been helpful in increasing their importance to exploration and production. Rowan discussed “Salt Diapirs – What Are They, How Do They Form and What is Their Role in Hydrocarbon Exploration?” at the recent Visiting Geoscientist Program Super Session organized by AAPG and the AAPG Foundation.
During the 1980s, early prospecting in deepwater margins was the simple extension of prolific updip producing basins that were charged. However, the migration of petroleum exploration and development into deepwater was fraught with challenges. For engineers and geologists, one of our biggest challenges was to overcome our collective lack of understanding about the geology of deepwater. We had to revisit everything we thought we knew, one paradigm shift after another.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The second edition of AAPG’s Structural Styles of the Middle East GTW took place from 9-11 December 2019 at the Sundus Rotana Hotel in Muscat, Oman. The workshop attracted 87 attendees from 23 different companies and 11 different countries.
AAPG and the Brazilian Association of Petroleum Geologists invite you to join us for GTW Brazil 2019: Solutions for Appraisal and Development of Onshore and Offshore Fields, a Geosciences Technology Workshop (GTW) to be held at the Hilton Rio de Janeiro in Copacabana on 13-14 June.
The workshop features a series of technical presentations, panels, roundtable discussions and networking opportunities with leaders and experts from Petrobras, Shell, Total, Enauta, and other local and international operators.
Spindletop’s glory days were gone, or so it was believed. That landmark discovery on Jan. 10, 1901 at Spindletop Hill near Beaumont, Texas had defied existing American geological thought and changed the course of history, but had faded into memory by the 1920s. But, a novel geological hypothesis would soon change all that.
AAPG’s historic Distinguished Lecture program has undergone a revolutionary transformation aimed at extending the program’s accessibility, audience and reach.
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.
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.
This e-symposium presents techniques for predicting pore pressure in seals by examining case studies from the Gulf of Mexico and incorporating the relationship between rocks, fluids, stress, and pressure.
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!
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