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Explorer Geophysical Corner

Since 1984 the Reservoir Characterization Project at Colorado School of Mines has been working on shale reservoir development. RCP began its first study at Silo Field, Wyo., recording the first land 3-D multicomponent (9C) seismic survey focused on characterizing the Niobrara fractured reservoir. The result of RCP’s work led to the first horizontal drilling in the Rockies in 1990 and led to the drilling of the most successful well in the field.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

We joined the Houston Geological Society shortly after arriving in Houston as new-hire geologists in 1984. We met thousands of fellow geoscientists by attending, and organizing, hundreds of technical talks for 39 years. We learned about exciting discoveries, plays and technology from those who made them happen. Along the way, we became friends with a few legends. We are grateful for the deep friendships that arose while serving as HGS volunteers. With a grateful heart, we are happy to share our committee’s plans to celebrate the centennial year.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The decade of the 1960s was both hectic and productive in the international petroleum industry. During those years, I worked for three oil and gas companies: Shell; the state-owned Corporacion Venezolana de Petróleo, or CVP; and Philips Petroleum Corporation. The geographical locations were diverse: surface exploration in western Venezuela; the Maracaibo oilfields and Caracas; The Hague, in the Netherlands; Balikpapan, Indonesia; Bartlesville, Okla.; and Lafayette, La. One of my most fruitful experiences took place in Maracaibo, when I had the opportunity to work with a four-man team from the Institut Français du Pétrole, known as IFP – the French Petroleum Institute. They had been sent to Venezuela to conduct regional geological studies in support of the newly created CVP.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

If there are secrets hidden in and around the Hockley Salt Dome, geologist Mike Allison wants to find them. To do that, he uses his company’s drone technology. He founded Raptor Aerial Services, which specializes in aerial drone photography and videography.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Working in arduous desert conditions and leading a team of explorers in the 1930s and ‘40s from the company that would come to be Aramco, Max Steineke put Saudi Arabia on the world petroleum map. A definitive, book-length biography of Steineke is yet to be written, but what follows outlines his career and contributions to petroleum geology and exploration during a period and in places far from the comforts, facilities and technologies enjoyed today. And yet, his exploration output from a single basin remains unparalleled, and his story offers valuable insights.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the race to find the best mix of clean fuel sources, many oil companies are reinventing themselves more broadly as “energy companies” and including geothermal energy, hydropower, solar and wind farms among other sources in their projects. In this context, hydrogen has recently become very important for most energy companies worldwide and offers significant potential to enable the transition to a clean, net-zero-emissions world economy.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The need for helium is growing and supplies in the United States are dwindling, creating an economic opportunity for geoscientists whose knowledge and skills are ideal for this niche industry. In Arizona, known for its helium-rich formations, a growing number of companies are leasing land and drilling for the gas.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the world of oil and gas, an increasing number of plays in stratigraphic traps are being made – in large part due to ever-evolving seismic technology. The Discovery Thinking forum at the annual IMAGE conference in August served to highlight some of these plays in offshore frontier basins and the role that geophysics played in their discovery. “We are seeing more giant stratigraphic fields, and seismic is the key,” said past AAPG President Charles A. Sternbach, chair of the Discovery Thinking forum. “And, we are seeing more oil found at greater depths. Unconventional plays are migrating outside of the Western Hemisphere.”

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

People often associate Utah with spectacular canyons cut into the Colorado Plateau, the state’s five national parks, incredible skiing in the beautiful mountains, the opportunity to wade around in the briny water of Great Salt Lake or hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Visitors to the state, as well as most of its citizens, don’t think of Utah as a major producer of oil and gas. However, Utah has consistently ranked among the highest oil and gas producers in the United States.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Depleted horizontal oil and gas wells could have a second life storing renewable energy, according to researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Because renewable forms of electricity generation like solar and wind require low-cost energy storage, the NREL researchers propose using depleted hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells to store electrical energy in the form of compressed natural gas to be released to spin an expander/generator when electrical demand is high.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 April 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online Traditional Course
Wednesday, 1 January 2014, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

Learn to critically evaluate current issues that can impact growth and sustainability of oil and gas ventures.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 25 March 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The presentation describes a well established fracture modeling workflow that uses a standard 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and data from one core to build predictive 3D fracture models that are validated with blind wells.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 23 July 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

As commodity prices have dropped, many shale plays have become uneconomical as statistical plays and have increasingly become recognized as geological plays demanding new insights from data.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Friday, 20 January 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas is one of the more exciting shale plays in the United States at the current time.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 16 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This presentation describes a proven workflow that uses a standard narrow azimuth 3D seismic, conventional logs, image logs and core data to build five key reservoir properties required for an optimal development of shale plays.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 March 2015, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

A detailed biostratigraphic analysis and stratigraphic framework of the Paleocene and Eocene Chicontepec Formation in the Tampico-Misantla basin, onshore eastern Mexico, was conducted using 33 wells.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 February 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

Projects in several shales will be discussed, including Marcellus, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Fayetteville, Montney, and Barnett, as will several seismically-detectable drivers for success including lithofacies, stress, pre-existing fractures, and pore pressure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 17 March 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium will provide information on which tools, processes, and procedures all geoscientists, engineers, and technical professionals working in shale plays need to understand and implement.

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

This presentation will look at well placement vertically in the pay, well azimuth and well trajectory with explanations of how geology and post-depositional effects can make the difference between a successful well and a failure.

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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