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Explorer Historical Highlights

Before unconventional resources became prevalent in the global petroleum supply, deepwater exploration and development was a significant focus for many larger companies. For deepwater activities to succeed, the petroleum industry was forced to merge its above-ground concerns with the below-ground geoscience and engineering disciplines.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

While the COVID-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt in 2020, crisis led to creativity and opportunity in many parts of the world. For four geoscientists in Colombia, the pandemic became the perfect time to serve their country and their profession. In May 2020, two weeks after oil prices dropped below zero, Colombia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation launched a bidding contest allocating nearly $3 million to finance geoscience research projects for the hydrocarbon sector.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

Natural gas was first commercially discovered in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico in 1921, making this year the Basin’s centennial. The first San Juan Basin natural gas strike occurred one mile south of Aztec, N.M., when the Aztec Oil Syndicate completed their No. 1 State. Production was found at a depth of about 1,000 feet. The gas discovered south of Aztec was piped into town and used domestically throughout most of the 1920s. This was the first commercial use of natural gas in New Mexico or the San Juan Basin. Located in northwest New Mexico and southwest Colorado, the San Juan is one of the largest gas basins in the United States, along with the Marcellus in the Appalachian Basin and the greater Hugoton Field of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer President’s Column

Listening to “A Change Is Gonna Come” as I write prompted me to think about change. For some of us, change is not a comfortable thought because we focus on how change affects our sense of self, or we fixate on the potential loss of comfortable routines and familiar circumstances. For others, change is the stuff of life because it promises something new and exciting. For AAPG, change is inevitable as we prepare to serve future generations of petroleum geologists and geoscientists in closely related fields like environmental geology, geothermal energy and the burgeoning hydrogen industry.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Initially in charge of funding energy research and resource assessments, Houseknecht received a fateful telephone call in 1995 from former USGS Research Geologist Don Gautier, who asked him to participate in a field session in Alaska. Now, 26 years later, David Houseknecht has been awarded the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award for the best AAPG Bulletin article in 2019, which outlines a detailed geological framework of the North Slope to explain the geology of recent discoveries and delineate the potential for future discoveries.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Analog traps are an important part of any geoscientist’s tool kit, and there is no better source than understanding how giant fields form and have been found by past and current generations of explorers. My sojourn into learning about these big fields was in the mid-1980s at Amoco in Denver, part of a task force charged with understanding how to better explore for big, subtle, stratigraphic and combination traps. Meeting weekly for lunch for several months, a team of us reviewed Amoco’s proprietary “Red Book” – a collection of summaries of giant fields worldwide, which included maps and rock properties, but, more importantly, the strategy used in finding each field. In addition, we pulled heavily from AAPG giant fields publications compiled from hundreds of AAPG volunteers.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Unconventional resource development has a remarkable history, combining breakthroughs and advances in both technology and geoscience. The pace of progress might have slowed in recent years, but that history is still being written.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In North America’s history of building pipelines to transport oil, natural gas and petroleum products, somewhere along the way, the process became political. By pulling the presidential permit on the Keystone XL pipeline, President Joe Biden sent a powerful message: Even if a pipeline benefits citizens and trade relations with important allies, and even if it has met or exceeded design and regulatory requirements and secured community support, its fate can ultimately be determined by a whim.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Division Column EMD

What motivates you? How do you keep going? I have been thinking about how we have been keeping motivated over the past year while most of us have been coping with working from home, juggling office space and taking care of children, along with job losses, health crises, and few (if any) interactions or in-person networking opportunities. I know that many of you have been experiencing all or some of those situations and, unfortunately, it is not over yet!

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Asia Pacific Blog

Join us for this free webinar where Dr. Yong Li will discuss the Co-Occurrence of Multi Unconventional Natural Gases in Upper Paleozoic, Ordos Basin, China.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 23 June 2020, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Mauricio Guizada provides an overview of general structural geology of the Andes, with a focus on the Central Andes. His talk covers topics related to onshore exploration, G&G methods in exploration and risk analysis. Join Mauricio Guizada via Zoom on June 23 at 4pm CDT.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 19 May 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium presents and discusses the results of laboratory tests and research relating to determining shale prospectivity in general, and specifically in the Black Warrior Basin, Alabama.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 9 September 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The presentation will focus on hydraulic fracture geometry in shales, the materials used in the fracturing process, and treatment monitoring via microseismic.

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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