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Explorer Historical Highlights

In 1994, while chairman and CEO of Barrett Resources, I got a call from my good friend Ray Thomasson, who said, “Bill I have a prospect Larry McPeek has worked up in the Wind River Basin that you might find interesting.” I’d worked every feature of geology in Wyoming’s Wind River Basin and was familiar with about every well drilled there during my career, so I frankly considered myself somewhat of an expert on the basin ... The Cave Gulch Prospect was located along the Owl Creek Thrust in a geologically complex area.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG Honorary Member and University of Oklahoma geoscience professor Roger Slatt speaks to the vital yet dwindling role of research consortia in advancing education and scientific advancement.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Subjectivity in interpretation is a persistent problem in the use of machine learning for oil and gas exploration. This and other topics will be discussed at the 14th Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition in Bahrain this month.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

It is one of the most remote places on the planet and home to the largest sand desert in the world. Virtually uninhabited and underexplored, the Rub’ al Khali basin, known as “the Empty Quarter” in Arabic, covers more than a fourth of the southeastern part of the Saudi Arabian peninsula. While the area has been explored in the past, perhaps most notably by Max Steineke, the American geologist known for making the first oil discovery in Saudi Arabia in 1938, and then publicly again in the early 2000s by international oil companies, the basin appears to be of increasing interest once more.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Proposals to ban hydraulic fracturing in the United States have drawn a wide range of responses from analysts, with projected effects ranging from cataclysmic to trifling. Legislation to phase out fracturing was introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives earlier this year. That turned up the heat on the controversy, as did the emergence of Sen. Bernie Sanders as the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders and Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a bill titled the “Ban Fracking Act” in January.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Introduce the theory and practical applications of machine learning within the Subsurface as a means to help improve data-driven decision making within Geoscience teams. Plan to attend 'Intro to Energy Machine Learning for Geoscientists'.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

AAPG’s Rift Basin Evolution and Exploration: The Global State of the Art and Applicability to the Middle East and Neighboring Regions GTW took place from 3-5 February 2020 at the InterContinental Regency Hotel in Bahrain. We welcomed 52 attendees from 19 different companies and 7 different countries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Welcome to an interview with Matt Bell, Co-Founder of Strategic Piece, who talks to us today about what it takes to take a new technology from the idea stage to successful launch and commercialization. Matt is involved in AAPG’s U-Pitch New Technology Showcase, where he provides support and guidance to companies needing to build markets as well as potentially obtaining capital.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
wwwUpdate Blog

The Honors and Awards programs provide a means for recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions by professional geologists, especially in the area of exploration for petroleum and energy mineral resources, and by other professionals who further the goals and objectives of the industry's science, profession, and this Association. The motivation toward scientific and professional achievement which such recognition stimulates is much to be desired.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Latin America Blog

AAPG Distinguished Lecture Program Latin America & Caribbean Region Tour 2019 reached more than 145 participants from 5 Universities of Colombia, Peru and Mexico.

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)
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)
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)
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

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

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)
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

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)
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

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)

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