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Play Types

Explorer Historical Highlights

In 1965, G.T. Philippi, a Shell geochemist, made the novel proposal that petroleum was generated from organic matter in sediments that had been buried deeply enough to be exposed to warmer earth temperatures, converting the organic matter, with heat and time, to petroleum.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition will feature a variety of field trips that will bookend the meeting, spanning from March 26 to April 8.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG’s newest Hedberg Conference, “Fundamental Controls on Shale Oil Resources and Production,” will be held April 28-30 in Beijing, China.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Among the array of not-to-be-missed technical sessions at the upcoming 2017 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE), “Major Deepwater Fields of the Offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico” is grabbing its share of attention.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Sidney Powers Memorial Award: Celebrating the career of Larry Meckel.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Search and Discovery Article

Subsurface electromagnetic (EM) measurements, namely galvanic resistivity, EM induction, EM propagation, and dielectric dispersion, exhibit frequency dependence due to the interfacial polarization (IP) of clay minerals, clay-sized particles, and conductive minerals. Existing oil-in-place estimation methods based on subsurface EM measurements do not account for dielectric permittivity, dielectric dispersion, and dielectric permittivity anisotropy arising from the IP effects. The conventional interpretation methods generate inaccurate oil-in-place estimates in clay- and pyrite-bearing shales because they separately interpret the multi-frequency effective conductivity and permittivity using empirical models.  We introduce a new inversion-based method for accurate oil-in-place estimation in clay- and pyrite-bearing shales. The inversion algorithm is coupled with an electrochemical model that accounts for the frequency dispersion in effective conductivity and permittivity due to the above-mentioned IP effects. The proposed method jointly processes the multi-frequency effective conductivity and permittivity values computed from the subsurface EM measurements. The proposed method assumes negligible invasion, negligible borehole rugosity, and lateral and vert ical homogeneity effects.  The successful application of the new interpretation method is documented with synthetic cases and field data. Water saturation estimates in shale formations obtained with the new interpretation method are compared to those obtained with conventional methods and laboratory measurements. Conventional interpretation of multi-frequency effective conductivity and permittivity well logs in a clay- and pyrite-rich shale formation generated water saturation estimates that varied up to 0. 5 saturation units, as a function of the operating frequency of the EM measurement, at each depth along the formation interval. A joint interpretation of multifrequency conductivity and permittivity is necessary to compute the oil-in-place estimates in such formations. Estimated values of water saturation, average grain size, and surface conductance of clays in that formation are in the range of 0.4 to 0.7, 0.5 micro meter to 5 micrometer, and 5×10 - 7 S to 9×10 - 7 S, respectively. The proposed method is a novel technique to integrate effective conductivity and permittivity at various frequencies. In doing so, the method generates frequency-independent oil-in-place estimates, prevents under-estimation of hydrocarbon saturation, and identifies by-passed zones in shales.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Search and Discovery Article

The driving forces for conventional accumulations (structural or stratigraphic traps) are Forces of Buoyancy which are due to differences in densities of hydrocarbons and water. In contrast, the driving forces for unconventional tight accumulations are Forces of Expulsion which are produced by high pressures. That is an enormous difference and creates unconventional petroleum systems that are characterized by very different and distinctive characteristics. The Force of Expulsion pressures are created by the significant increase in volume when any of the three main kerogen types are converted to hydrocarbons. At those conversion times in the burial history, the rocks are already sufficiently tight so the large volumes of generated hydrocarbons cannot efficiently escape through the existing tight pore system, thus creating a permeability bottleneck that produces an overpressured compartment over a large area corresponding to the proper thermal oil and gas maturities for that basin. The forces initially created in these source rocks can only go limited distances into adjacent tight reservoirs (clastics or carbonates) above or below the source. The exact distance will vary depending on the pressure increase, matrix permeability, and fractures of that specific tight reservoir system. In general, the distances are small, in the orders of 10s to 100s of feet for oil and larger for more mobile gas systems. Those exact distance numbers are subject to ongoing investigations.   A plot of the pressure data versus elevation for a given formation is critical in determining whether an accumulation is conventional or unconventional. Conventional accumulations will have hydrocarbon columns of 10s to 100s of feet with the pressure in the hydrocarbons and that in the water equal at the bottom of the accumulation (at the HC-water contact). In contrast, the unconventional accumulations will show HC column heights of 1000s of feet with the pressure in the hydrocarbon phase and the water phase being the same at the top of the accumulation (at the updip transition zone). Those significant differences are critical for understanding and differentiating these two play types. Because the system is a pore throat bottleneck with very little or minimum lateral migration, the type of hydrocarbon s are closely tied to the thermal maturity required to generate those hydrocarbons. Thus the play concept begins with two important geochemical considerations: (1) where are the source rocks and what are the kerogen types and organic richness (TOC), and (2 ) where are they mature in the basin for oil, condensate, and gas in the basin. These parameters will very quickly define the fairway for the play. Then one has to add the critical information on the reservoirs themselves: composition (brittleness), thickness, and reservoir quality (matrix porosity and permeability). In summary, these tight unconventional petroleum systems (1) are dynamic , and (2) create a regionally inverted petroleum system with water over oil over condensate over gas for source rocks wit h Type I or II kerogen types.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Africa Blog

Network, interact and share expertise with fellow petroleum scientists while learning the latest unconventional reservoir techniques and technologies.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

Seven exciting GTWs in the Middle East Region in 2017!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

You are invited to prepare a poster display for presentation for the workshops coming up this spring.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Bangkok, Thailand
Tuesday, 28 February 2023, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This course is for geologists, environmental scientists, and geological regulators, policy makers and investors who are interested in carbon capture and storage. The course will cover: the role of CCS within decarbonisation as an aspect of earth system science; why CCS is necessary; how CO₂ is captured in industrial processes and how it can be used industrially; the factors affecting geological storage; how CO₂ stores are monitored for leakage; how CCS will be regulated; how CCS will pay for itself; and the social licence for CCS. The course will be delivered in simple non-technical language suitable for non-specialists.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Tuesday, 21 February Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This workshop will be held Feb 21-22 in Oklahoma City, and will bring together industry practitioners, government and state agencies, nonprofit and academic institutions in a first of its kind event that will spark new ideas, motivate interdisciplinary and multi institutional collaboration and support the establishment of best practices for cleaning up and repurposing wells across the nation.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monday, 2 October Tuesday, 3 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

AAPG and EAGE have teamed up to deliver the upcoming New Discoveries in Mature Basins workshop to be held from 2-3 October 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Save the date! Registration to open soon.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 27 November Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars and save the date to attend the 5th edition of the AAPG Siliciclastic Reservoirs of the Middle East GTW which will be held for the first time in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia from 27-29 November 2023. We look forward to having you on board for the new edition of these popular series.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Muscat, Oman
Monday, 13 November Wednesday, 15 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Exciting announcement for all geoscientists interested in structural styles. The 3rd edition of the AAPG Structural Styles of the Middle East is coming back to Oman from 13-15 November 2023. Come join us to learn all the latest developments on the topic!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 9 October Wednesday, 11 October 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for the 4th Edition of: "Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East" workshop. The workshop will be hosted by AAPG in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia 9-11 October 2023.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 8 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

“Wait! There is a short cut. Turn right from here”. That’s probably the sound of an electric current bypassing the resistive hydrocarbons, in a maze or network of porous media, when traveling from transmitter to receiver. This workshop will serve the participants need with the up to date advancements in describing and characterizing low resistivity and low contrast pay, and eventually, maximize resources.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 21 June Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Secure energy supply and energy immediate availability are key subject for a peaceful and sustainable growth in developed countries and in particular in Europe. This workshop will bring together professionals working in industry and in academia to share experiences, present-day work and future visions related to all geo-subjects involving exploration and development of energy sources in the subsurface.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Paramaribo, Suriname
Thursday, 2 November Friday, 3 November 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Barranquilla, Colombia
Wednesday, 8 February Thursday, 9 February 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Join technical experts, industry leaders and government representatives for an interactive in-person workshop highlighting onshore and offshore E&P opportunities, new technologies and sustainable development strategies working in Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tuesday, 9 May Wednesday, 10 May 2023, 8:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.

Plan now to attend an interactive in-person workshop with industry leaders, government representatives and technical experts working to help Brazil maintain its E&P capacity while transitioning to a decarbonized economy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Short Course
Bridgetown, Barbados
Wednesday, 1 March Thursday, 2 March 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 2-day, in-person course describes the range and variability in deepwater sedimentary systems and equips participants to build predictive models of subsurface geology for more successful exploration and development. A primary goal of this course is to enable subsurface teams to more effectively characterize and rank deepwater/offshore projects on a regional and global scale.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lviv, Ukraine
Thursday, 21 September Friday, 22 September 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Join us for a workshop where experts will  explore the Carpathian foreland and the Dnieper-Donetsk rift basins with a focus not only on hydrocarbons, but the utilization of geothermal resources, hydrogen exploration and CCUS.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Lisbon, Portugal
Wednesday, 21 June Thursday, 22 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

This 3-day conference brings together diverse experts working on modern and ancient turbidite, MTDs, contourite and hybrid/mixed systems in order to improve the present-day knowledge, models and predictive power.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Field Seminar
Lisbon, Portugal
Tuesday, 20 June 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Come along on this 1-day field seminar and tour outcrops in the Serra de Montejunto, just north of Lisbon and on the coast from Porto Novo to Paimogo. Instructors: Ricardo Pereira, PARTEX Oil and Gas & Instituto Dom Luiz Gil Machado, ChronSurveys Lda & Instituto Dom Luiz Fees: To be determined Limit: 20 Participants Includes: Hotel Ground Transportation Snacks and Refreshments Lunch and Dinner Guidebook Departure Time/Location 20 June 2023 8:30am SANA Metropolitan Hotel Note:Transportation to start point is not included in the costs of this trip. Please bring clothing for hot day time temperatures (sun hat/ sun glasses/ sun cream etc.). Participants must wear suitable and comfortable light trekking shoes. Aims To gain or increase an understanding of the tectono-sedimentary processes of continental extension and rifting supported by outcrop observations, with focus on deep-depositional marine systems. Discuss implications for prospective petroleum systems. Promote debate and nourish new insights between attendants. About the Field Trip The Lusitanian Basin records the proximal events of syn- to post rift evolution of the hyper-extended West Iberian Margin, showing some outstanding examples of the combined tectono-stratigraphic depositional systems. Here, the Late Jurassic reveals diverse aspects of mixed marine depositional systems including not only submarine fans and turbidites, but also the build-up of carbonate reefs and shoreface to fluvial clastic sequences. Throughout the field trip the different depositional aspects can be observed in detail to demonstrate how such depositional systems can vary in time and space. Observation of these outcrops allows a better understanding on how deep-water depositional systems can change within a sub-basin and help improving the understanding of reservoir properties.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 January 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This 1-hour web-cast will arm the G&G asset team professionals with a core-competency understanding of these critical field realities, with direct reference to recent documented field experience and learnings

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 23 April 2015, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Recent laboratory studies have revealed previously unknown behaviors in shale gas which unlock secrets of permeability and sweet spots in shale gas reservoirs. The presentation presents the findings and also goes into detail about how the new information can be applied in order to potentially improve recovery in reservoirs.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 9 February 2022, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

 This talk will provide information to better understand the principles of surface geochemistry (SG), how best to use SG data in exploration or development programs, how to develop a cost effective sampling and analytical program, and will also explore best practices for the interpretation and integration of SG data.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Monday, 15 June 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Ray Leonard will be talking to us about 'Climate Change, Covid-19 and the Effect on Energy’s Future'. Fossil fuels have led to a profound increase in world living standards but resulting emissions of CO2 and methane into the atmosphere are a primary factor in climate change. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has resulted in a significant decrease in world economic activity, which in turn has led to a major, if temporary, decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, particularly CO2. Join Ray Leonard via Zoom on June 15 at 12:00 GMT+1

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Saturday, 3 October 2020, 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.

Join us to hear KB Trivedi,  Petroleum Geologist, discuss the paradigm of sequence stratigraphy has it enters a new phase. Webinar will be presented via Zoom on 03 October 2020, 8:00 am CST

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 13 December 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The course will review core data, petrophysical comparisons, rock physics modeling (including pseudo logs and mechanical properties).

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
London, England
Monday, 13 July 2020, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.

Dr Jem Woods, Imperial College London, will introduce The DECC Global Calculator, an open-source model of the world’s energy, land and food systems that allows you to design your own version of the future up to 2050 and see the implications for the climate.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 22 May 2014, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The surprising emergence of several new exploration plays and new ideas on the basin history demonstrates that we have much more to learn and harvest from this natural laboratory of sedimentary processes.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
London, England
Wednesday, 24 February 2021, 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Since the first explorationists discovered the subsurface potential in Tunisia, the country’s institutions took the role of a partner rather than only a regulator. Today, one of ETAP missions is promoting exploration opportunities in Tunisia through both regional and targeted approaches, including sharing knowledge, high-quality data and best practices. ETAP commits to supporting continued drilling activity in mature areas and encouraging/incentivizing exploitation of new and emerging plays.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 19 November 2020, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Hear John Kaldi speak about Integrated Approaches to Determining Net Pay: Caveats & Lessons Learned. Webinar presented via Zoom on Thursday 19 November 2020 at 11:00 SGT (GMT+8) Singapore time.

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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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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