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Explorer Article

The International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or IMAGE ’21, the integrated annual convention of AAPG and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists in conjunction with the Society for Sedimentary Geology, is all set for its inaugural event to be held online and in-person in Denver, Colo., Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. This gathering of the industry’s top thinkers, leaders and innovators boasts an impressive schedule of special sessions, workshops, field trips and other offerings to expand geoscience and professional skills.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column EMD

I am excited and honored to serve as president of the Energy Minerals Division for the 2021-2022 term. The EMD covers many different energy resources, providing our Members with information and learning opportunities related to those resources. Because of the diverse array of subjects covered by the Division, we are positioned to play a key role within AAPG as the energy transition/revolution continues, and we all navigate the seemingly ever-changing energy landscape.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Director’s Corner

Today we take for granted that the knowledge of the world is just a few clicks away on our computer. But it used to be that you needed to go to a library to find information that you didn’t have on your own bookshelves or personal files. I’ve always been drawn to libraries. The quiet as you walk through the stacks; the smell as you open an old book; the feeling of being surrounded by all this knowledge right at your fingertips is special. I still like libraries. But I am thankful that now I can access information from across the globe from my home office. And thanks to the vision and foresight of AAPG members decades ago, so can you. Its mission and scope have expanded since it began in 1990, and today Datapages, Inc. is an aggregator of geoscience information from more than 60 publishing partners worldwide.

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

The Southwest Section Convention sizzled in the Fort Worth heat in late June, marking the first in-person section convention since the pandemic, and attracting a larger than anticipated number of geologists and geophysicists. Southwest Section organizers were thrilled with the large number of on-site registrations resulting in sellout ticketed events at the Radisson Fort Worth meeting site.

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

AAPG Pacific Section thrilled attendees with a stunning interactive Google Earth-based virtual field trip. Imagine being able to experience the stunning and intricate layered geology of the Monterey Formation through a Google Earth high-resolution, interactive program. Richard Behl, geology professor at California State University at Long Beach, likes to take geologists into the field, walking through the cool surf and sunny climate. At the Pacific Section virtual conference in late June, Behl offered up what he described as a “Monterey Formation Bucket List” of beach outcrop stops traversing more than 500 miles along the California coast from Crystal Cove and up to Bowling Ball Beach near Point Arena. That was only the start of the multiday technical program that was both innovative and technically enriching.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Overall, machine learning has introduced us to a whole different world that has taken geoscientists by surprise. However, the real question is how much can we trust the machine? How accurate can it be? And the most intriguing question of all – can machine learning replace the interpreter? We will analyze three machine learning processes to assess the pros and cons of utilization of convolutional neural networks for fault prediction versus interpretations made by the user in a highly complex polygonal fault section of a 3-D seismic reflection dataset.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The future for a petroleum geoscientist might seem more uncertain these days as the transition to cleaner energy begins. Fewer students have their ambitions set on oil and gas careers and industry professionals are beginning to question how their knowledge and skills will fit into a world of new energies. But, as many observers have noted, oil and gas will continue to play a key role in fueling the energy system for decades to come. As well as being needed to explore, geoscientists will be the bedrock for many emerging roles prompted by the transition because of their expertise in the subsurface.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Energy developer Nacero Inc. recently announced plans to build the world’s first natural gas-to-gasoline plant that will operate entirely on renewable energy. The approximately $7 billion plant, which will be located just outside of Odessa, Texas, will use the abundant natural gas resources in the Permian Basin and ultimately produce 115,000 barrels of gasoline a day for markets in Texas and the Southwest. It will be the nation’s first natural gas-to-gasoline manufacturing facility, according to Nacero, with two others planned by the company in Arizona and Pennsylvania.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In his multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, President Joe Biden is including funds for new energy sources in an ambitious attempt to cut carbon emissions. The plan includes developing advanced nuclear reactors and reclaiming domestic uranium mining – a boon to nuclear energy proponents. While states have been erecting wind farms for electricity generation, some scientists believe increasing the nation’s reliance on nuclear power makes more sense than renewables. After decades of improvements to design and cost, modern nuclear reactors have been shown to be the safest and one of the most affordable forms of clean energy – and capable of the heavy lifting needed to reverse the country’s ever-growing emissions, said AAPG Member James Conca, a 33-year Earth and environmental scientist and consultant for federal and state environmental and energy agencies as well as industry.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

OPEC+ and the United Arab Emirates appear to have settled their spat over production levels for now, but the “prisoner’s dilemma” of the current oil market remains, and that could have long- term ramifications for the industry.

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

Climate change is not only happening in the atmosphere but also in the anthroposphere; in some ways the former could drive or exacerbate the latter, with extreme weather excursions and extreme excursions from societal norms occurring all over the earth. Accomplishing geoscience for a common goal – whether that is for successful business activities, resource assessment for public planning, mitigating the impacts of geological hazards, or for the sheer love of furthering knowledge and understanding – can and should be done by a workforce that is equitably developed and supported. Difficulty arises when the value of institutional programs to increase equity and diversity is not realized.

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Request a visit from Sherilyn Williams-Stroud!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

While there are many habitats that are associated with the deposition of organic-rich marine and lacustrine source rocks, one important pathway is linked to the onset of increased basin subsidence associated with major tectonic events. A key aspect is that this subsidence is spatially variable, with the uplift of basin flanks contemporaneous with the foundering of the basin center, resulting in a steeper basin profile.

Request a visit from Kurt W. Rudolph!

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)
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 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)
DL Abstract

Local sea-level changes are not simply a function of global ocean volumes but also the interactions between the solid Earth, the Earth’s gravitational field and the loading and unloading of ice sheets. Contrasting behaviors between Antarctica and Scotland highlight how important the geologic structure beneath the former ice sheets is in determining the interactions between ice sheets and relative sea levels.

Request a visit from Alex Simms!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
DL Abstract

This presentation is a survey of subsurface machine learning concepts that have been formulated for unconventional asset development, described in the literature, and subsequently patented. Operators that utilize similar subsurface machine learning workflows and other data modelling techniques enjoy a competitive advantage at optimizing the development of unconventional plays.

Request a visit from Shane Prochnow!

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

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)

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