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Explorer Regions and Sections

Many geologists have earned their field trip stripes in the Guadalupe Mountains in West Texas, but fewer have heard – and braved the dangers – of hiking the mysterious and mineral-rich Franklin Mountains north of El Paso. The Franklin Mountain region is a west-tilting series of horst blocks that became 5,000-7,200-foot tall mountains as a result of the Laramide orogeny. The sheer eastern escarpment exposes rocks dating from the Pennsylvanian down to 1.25-billion-year-old basement granite. It was a “field trip through time” focused on the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian formations, representing more than 100 million years of geologic history.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Readers Forum

Civilization can only exist with energy. Petroleum provides most of the energy and products we need to live environmentally responsible, healthy, sustainable and comfortable lives. Recent events in Europe prove that petroleum continues to be critical. In the first three articles of this series, we discussed the petroleum base “wedge” to various energy sources, the skill sets needed to find petroleum (and the resources offered by AAPG to develop those skills) and the unintended consequences and limits to alternative low-density energy machines. We should also explore why petroleum matters.

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

The AAPG Southwest Section Convention explored a four-dimensional multiverse of geology and reservoirs, combining regional overviews with multi-scale measurements of rocks and sediments, and analyzing rocks in the fourth dimension of geologic time. The result is “Resology,” which general chair Ben Davis defines as “the study of geology and rock reservoirs at big and small scales.” He told conference attendees, “The goal of Resology is effective and efficient hydrocarbon production.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

The September 2021 Geophysical Corner was an article entitled ‘3-D Visualization and Geobody Picking of Amplitude Anomalies in Deepwater Seismic Data,’ in which we reviewed the use of geobody tools to rapidly visualize the extent of geologic features that give rise to a strong seismic amplitude response. For seismically thin reservoirs, the response of a gas-saturated sandstone gives rise to a trough at the top and a peak at the base. In this case, we would need to select two separate geobodies to map the reservoir.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The small town of Cunningham, Kansas lies about 65 miles straight west of Wichita on U.S. Highway 54. It was incorporated in 1887 as a commercial center for farmers and ranchers in that part of south-central Kansas. Hard winter wheat was the main cash crop, while herds of beef and dairy cattle were a close second source of income. This activity characterized the culture of Cunningham into the early years of the 20th century. That is, until a new industry was introduced to Kansas when, in 1915, oil was discovered in the El Dorado field northeast of Wichita.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

How the oil and gas business finds investors is changing. Again. But it may change back. Or not. “The private equity firms that have traditionally funded new hydrocarbon companies are facing new pressure from their investors to stop placing capital in oil and gas, and the desire for quick profit – or even profit at all – has become secondary to a perceived battle against carbon dioxide,” said Don Burdick, who understands how counterintuitive not making a profit sounds. On the surface, it’s a startling development.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

And we’re back. With high oil and gas prices and strong demand driving renewed interest in production, the energy industry is returning to the unconventional resources business in a big way. The upcoming Unconventional Resources Technology Conference is once again an in-person meeting, back in Houston this month, June 20-22, with a major emphasis on practical ways to boost output and introduce efficiencies.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Put pressure on the United States to increase oil and natural gas production and the burden mainly falls on unconventional resources. Will operators be up to the challenge? Near-term projections call for U.S. oil output to grow by 1 million barrels per day. A difficult operating environment will make that increase a struggle, but the very nature of unconventionals offers cause for optimism.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, which AAPG celebrated with a live watch party. Perseverance has since explored the Séítah region and is currently at the delta front of Jezero Crater on Mars using an enhanced autonomous navigation system and under guidance from NASA/JPL controllers. As of May 13, 2022, Sol 436, Perseverance has traveled 11.4 kilometers and drilled eight core samples. The rover has returned more than 249,000 raw images that are publicly available in the mission multimedia catalog.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

With a renewed emphasis on energy security and sustainable, profitable operations, the industry is seeing a surge of powerful new solutions at every stage of energy development. Welcome to an interview with Sean Hervo, First Step Analytics https://www.firststepanalytics.com/ , who discusses the development of a powerful new software that incorporates new machine learning techniques.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 December 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge.

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
Wednesday, 12 January 2022, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

Using global examples and based on 40 years’ experience in mainstream geology and in Petroleum Systems Analysis, Andrew Pepper will discuss how re-thinking some of our paradigms can open up our minds to new Discovery Thinking in any old or new basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 3 June 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Analytics-Based Opportunities in Double Black Swan Times' where we will discuss the steps companies are taking, business considerations in cross-industry analytics -start-ups to majors, analytics agility in a double black swan world, enabling the workforce to utilize and exploit data remotely using the cloud and machine learning. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 3 June 2020.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 12 August 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Space Industry and Energy' where we will discuss a new model of using space and spacial data, analytics and satellite data: new applications, minerals exploration/development/rehab and space. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 12 August 2020.

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)
Online e-Symposium
Friday, 20 January 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas is one of the more exciting shale plays in the United States at the current time.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 30 June 2020, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Juan Pablo Lovecchio reviews general aspects of rifting, rifts and passive margin formation and evolution through time, as well as elements of petroleum system development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 30 July 2020, 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.

Hear panelists’ views on how COVID-19 has affected the legal, financial and technological sectors of the energy industry and what they expect for the future. Topics include energy markets, public policy, infrastructure, transportation, corporate culture, digitalization and the energy transition. Send questions and comments for speakers, then make your voice heard in virtual roundtables opening 10 minutes after the panel discussion. Forum registration is free of charge thanks to support from our sponsors. Forum Registration

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 5 March 2024, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

This AAPG Academy webinar touches on three topics related to evolving energy innovations.

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)
DL Abstract

Why H₂ is generated in subsurface? Which are the reactions and the promising geological setting? Example in countries where H₂ have already been found: Australia, Brazil. Kinetic reactions: i.e., Is the natural H₂ renewable? What we don't know yet about this resource and about the H₂ systems (generation/transport/accumulation). Overview of the current landscape (subsurface law, permitting, E&P activity)

Request a visit from Isabelle Moretti!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Physics is an essential component of geophysics but there is much that physics cannot know or address. 

Request a visit from John Castagna!

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)
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)
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)
DL Abstract

For well over a century there have been conflicting indications of the strength of the crust and of faults and what controls them.  Much of our ignorance comes quite naturally from the general inaccessibility of the crust to measurement--in contrast with our understanding of the atmosphere, which is much more accessible to observation as well as more rapidly changing.  Crustal strength is best understood in deforming sedimentary basins where the petroleum industry has made great contributions, particularly in deforming petroleum basins because of the practical need to predict. In this talk we take a broad look at key issues in crustal strength and deformation and what we can learn from boreholes, earthquakes, active fault systems, and toy models.

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Request a visit from John Suppe!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

Paleozoic North America has experienced multiple mountain building events, from Ordovician to Permian, on all margins of the continent. These have had a profound effect on the resulting complex basins and their associated petroleum systems. Subsequent uplift, erosion and overprinting of these ancient systems impedes the direct observation of their tectonic history. However, the basin sedimentary records are more complete, and provide additional insights into the timing and style of the mountain building events. In this study, we employ ~90 1D basin models, ~30 inverse flexural models, isopachs, and paleogeographic maps to better understand the Paleozoic history of North America.

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Request a visit from Kurt W. Rudolph!

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

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)

Related Interests