Explorer Article

It’s good to be reminded of this one simple industry fact: “As a rule, geologists love to get out in the field to see classic and interesting outcrops that provide a better understanding of depositional facies, hydrocarbon reservoir systems, and anything related to geology.” That’s AAPG member Mark Longman, this year’s field trip chair for the upcoming AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, set May 31-June 3 in Denver.
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Recent debates have flared in the western United States over federal versus state ownership of public lands. Bills concerning the transfer of some public lands to states have been introduced in the U.S. Congress and many western state legislatures, though none have become law.

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January and early February are going to be busy months for AAPG’s Distinguished Lecture program, with several speakers set to make tours.

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Three speakers from the AAPG-AAPG Foundation’s Global Distinguished Lecture Program will be on tour in November, making stops in the western parts of North America and throughout the Asia-Pacific Region.

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Explorer Director’s Corner


As this issue of EXPLORER goes to print, geoscience students and industry recruiters are gathering on the plains of Wyoming for the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous, the annual job fair of AAPG’s Rocky Mountain Section.

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Explorer Emphasis

The discovery and imaging of a mammoth magma reservoir beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano is a capstone to decades of research. Scientists have long known of a smaller magma chamber, but the new chamber – 4.4 times larger – helps answer the questions about the volcanic system.
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An intriguing program is afoot to assess the hydrocarbon potential of the Niobrara in south-central South Dakota. The assessment program was initiated in 2012, when the American Indian Higher Education Consortium funded a cooperative education program between the Sinte Gleska University on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T).
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At the start of the now-phenomenal shale play bonanza, the thinking in general was that the rocks were homogeneous across an area of interest. Then reality set in as the shale E&P players came to realize via the drill bit that heterogeneity rules, and homogeneity and uniformity are not even bit players in the big picture.
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The “Converting Technology Into Dollars” panel will explore how top-tier organizations lead the way by rapidly improving and deploying unconventional resource technologies and incorporating new learnings across their organizations.

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Explorer Geophysical Corner

The key elements for shale resource evaluation are the mineral content – such as clay, quartz and calcite – the total organic carbon (TOC) content, the brittleness and some mechanical properties of the shale rocks. Geomechanical studies are necessary both for understanding wellbore environment stability and also interpreting well log data, by estimating the mechanical properties of the subsurface.
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