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

Change is in the air. How will we choose to deal with it? We make choices every day, in our project work, our investments and our lifestyles. With so much in play, how do we select the right options? This challenge is particularly appropriate to discuss within the Energy Minerals Division, since our members are those in the AAPG who look beyond the conventional, the everyday and the familiar. We focus on opportunities outside of those in the traditional oil field to provide efficient and economic energy resources to the world.

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

As petroleum geologists we must pursue opportunities to learn and grow, to expand our skill sets, to understand how science, technology and business combine to create value.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

With the relatively low price of oil and gas, the identification of bypassed pay in mature oil fields has become increasingly important. Mature fields may be characterized by thousands of wells acquired at different times by different operators. The high density of wells makes this type of field a candidate for analysis using techniques originally developed for 3-D seismic interpretation, such as the development of well-log attributes.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

During the 1950s, Walter Karl Link was considered one of the world's best oil exploration geologists, often compared to Wallace Pratt, John E. Brantley, Everette Lee DeGolyer, Lewis MacNaughton and A. I. Levorsen. His renown aroused the interest of a newly created oil company in Brazil, called Petrobras.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

The Dominican Republic certainly showed faith when it launched its first-ever oil and gas licensing round in July. Exploration in the country dates back to the early 1900s, with little success. Minor oil production from two small fields was recorded during the 1940s and additional drilling occurred in the 1990s, but official estimates have consistently put Dominican Republic proved reserves at zero. Relaunching exploration in the country was a direct mandate from President Danilo Medina’s office, said Nisael Dirocie Matos, director of regulation, importation and uses of hydrocarbons in the Dominican Republic Ministry of Energy and Mines in Santo Domingo. He said the ministry hopes to attract investors in a competitive bidding round, with low cost of entry, frontier exploration opportunities, competitive and simple terms, transparent rules and flexible contracts.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Anyone working in the energy sector knows Argentina’s potential for unconventional resources, particularly the Vaca Muerta Formation in the Neuquén Province. While Vaca Muerta receives the majority of attention and foreign investment, Argentina has five producing basins with great possibilities for exploration and development, said Carlos Lambré, executive secretary of the Federal Organization of Hydrocarbon Producing States.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Trends in exploration are moving away from new ventures and refocusing on proven basins – most likely inspired by the success of the Permian Basin. The Permian Basin is now known as a “super basin,” and has become a beacon of hope for Latin America and South America, which are now known to have substantial super basin potential as well.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

On July 16, 1969, at 9:32 a.m. Eastern Daylight time, Apollo 11 launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Four days later, on July 20 at 4:17 p.m., the lunar module touched down on the moon. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were the first – something to remember and to celebrate.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

'With proven onshore potential, Barbados is set to announce a new offshore licensing round. When in it comes to offshore exploration in the Americas, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Guyana tend to steal the spotlight. Recent studies in the Caribbean, however, show companies that they may need to look closer at countries with a smaller footprint. One such place is Barbados.'

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

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

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

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

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

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

As oil and gas exploration and production occur in deeper basins and more complex geologic settings, accurate characterization and modeling of reservoirs to improve estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) prediction, optimize well placement and maximize recovery become paramount. Existing technologies for reservoir characterization and modeling have proven inadequate for delivering detailed 3D predictions of reservoir architecture, connectivity and rock quality at scales that impact subsurface flow patterns and reservoir performance. Because of the gap between the geophysical and geologic data available (seismic, well logs, cores) and the data needed to model rock heterogeneities at the reservoir scale, constraints from external analog systems are needed. Existing stratigraphic concepts and deposition models are mostly empirical and seldom provide quantitative constraints on fine-scale reservoir heterogeneity. Current reservoir modeling tools are challenged to accurately replicate complex, nonstationary, rock heterogeneity patterns that control connectivity, such as shale layers that serve as flow baffles and barriers.

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Request a visit from Tao Sun!

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

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)
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)

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