Explorer Director’s Corner

Unconventional resources have changed the exploration and production business and are changing our profession. It’s a change for the better, where today geoscientists and engineers work closely to identify prospective areas, drill them and optimize recovery of hydrocarbons from the reservoir.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Focusing on rocks, learning from others and implementing new technologies were the keys to success identified during a talk on “Evolution of Unconventional Oil Plays from Early Innovations to Future Challenges,” at the DPA luncheon held during the recent AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Unconventional resources have propelled the United States to the top of the world’s energy producers, and the downturn is just another opportunity to figure out how to keep getting better.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

There’s little that’s conventional about this year’s UnconventionalResources Technology Conference URTeC), slated this year for a newlocation and boasting a technical program that is cutting edge in content and expertise. URTeC 2015 will be held July 20-22 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Unconventional plays in the Permian Basin are nothing new to the shale scene, as the basin has been horizontally drilled and hydraulically fractured for years. Still, a new approach for evaluating sweet spots, particularly in the Avalon Shale of the play’s Delaware Basin, is slowly changing the way unconventional resources are explored – and perhaps one day, developed.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The chief geologist for a Canadian regulatory agency says the group is working to assess potential risks by better understanding the full geologic framework in the development of oil sands and heavy oil in the province of Alberta.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

With the recent surge in new techniques and technology, as well as new plays put into production, a tremendous opportunity exists in both U.S. and international reservoirs to apply lessons learned to existing reservoirs in order to economically increase production and recoverable reserves.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

With the recent surge in new techniques and technology, as well as new plays put into production, a tremendous opportunity exists in both U.S. and international reservoirs to apply lessons learned to existing reservoirs in order to economically increase production and recoverable reserves.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Regions and Sections

AAPG Europe’s latest Geosciences Technology Workshop (GTW), “Fractured Reservoirs: The Geological, Geophysical and Engineering Tools to Crack Them,” provided the opportunity to visit the island of Sicily, steeped both in beauty and an active geological history. And what is a trip to Sicily without a visit to the tallest volcano in Europe?

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

This may come as a surprise to a number of industry participants, but Utah is home to the largest oil sand resource in the United States. Largest, as in an estimated 16 billion barrels of bitumen and heavy oil.

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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