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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)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Wildfires might be what come to mind when most people think of northeastern Alberta, owing to recent news coverage of the record evacuation of about 88,000 people from the Fort McMurray area. Current events notwithstanding, however, northeastern Alberta is historically best known for its huge bitumen resources.

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

The forum will include presentations given by leading experts from companies who have been successfully operating in the basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Thanks to advancements in data management and seismic sensing, geophysical modeling has become indispensable in the search for oil. What will it become in the century ahead?

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

The workshop aims at providing a state of the art review of the contrasted structural styles of the Middle East. Based on this review, a focus should be dedicated to the implications of these regional styles and structural evolutions on the region’s economical prospectivity in terms of hydrocarbon resources. Among others, the specific challenges occurring during the exploration and production of these resources should be tackled.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Monday, 27 May Wednesday, 29 May 2024, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

In order to support the energy transition, optimizing exploration and production from complex stratigraphic-diagenetic conventional and unconventional plays remains highly important. At the same time, Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) poses new technological challenges that will impact both the industry and academia for decades to come. This 2nd edition will present reviews and discuss technology developments in geological process-based forward modeling achieved during the last 2 years. New perspectives for future technology developments and implementation in industry workflows will be discussed and with the additional focus on CO₂ storage and other sustainability-related applications, the scope of the workshop will be considerably extended.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tuesday, 30 January Wednesday, 31 January 2024, 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 30-31 January, 2024 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Save the date! Registration to open soon.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 4 December Wednesday, 6 December 2023, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The fifth annual AAPG Siliciclastic Reservoirs of the Middle East Workshop will take place in Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia from 4-6 December 2023. This workshop will bring together professionals from the region to share their knowledge and experience related to siliciclastic reservoirs and showcase the best success stories in the industry on understanding and utilizing oil and gas siliciclastic reservoirs in the region.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Monday, 4 March Wednesday, 6 March 2024, 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 4-6 March 2024.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Workshop
Paramaribo, Suriname
Wednesday, 17 January Thursday, 18 January 2024, 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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 27 May 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'New Approaches for Start-Up Success' where we will discuss selecting companies to invest in now, the game changers program now, profile of a successful drone and robotics start-up and how we adapted our pitch for the pandemic. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 27 May 2020.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Wednesday, 20 May 2020, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.

Join us for 'Matching Capabilities and Capacity With Current and Emerging Demand Areas; Building a Business Plan That Reflects the Realities of Opportunities'. Webinar will be presented via Zoom 7pm - 8:30pm CDT, 20 May 2020. During this webinar we will discuss: Matching technologies and companies Keys to Building a Resilient Early-Stage Business Multi-Industry Technology: Robotics as a Service

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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