Explorer Article

With the U.S. Department of the Interior calling for updated assessments of the oil and gas resources on Alaska’s North Slope, most surprisingly the tightly regulated 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, geologists are preparing for the possibility of exploring a frontier believed to be rich in hydrocarbon resources.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

The second edition of the AAPG Stratigraphic Traps of the Middle East workshop took place on 11 – 13 December 2017 at the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah hotel, Muscat, Oman. This year we had seventy two attendees from ten different countries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The present day Cretaceous Codell oil and gas development in the central portion of the Denver Basin of Colorado can be attributed to an earlier effort in bringing the Codell to the attention of the industry.

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)
Explorer Emphasis Article

The recent and apparently large oil discoveries on Alaska’s North Slope by Caelus Energy Alaska and Armstrong Oil & Gas, Inc. and its partner Repsol have shown the world that giants may still exist in the 49th state. And, more might be waiting to be found.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Primary research in hydrocarbon generation is yielding new insights into the natural gas geochemical characteristics of conventional and unconventional reservoirs, along with discoveries relating to the geomechanical processes. Welcome to an interview with Chenglin Liu, China University of Petroleum-Beijing, who discusses enlightening new findings regarding the relationship between salinity and hydrocarbon geochemical characteristics.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Don't get left behind! Drones and drone-derived digital data are the hottest growth areas around. Combine your geoscience knowledge with new technology, both on the data acquisition side (fly that drone!) and in the project design and data interpretation (make high-powered maps and see what no one else has seen!). AAPG is offering two courses and a two-day GTW to equip you with practical knowledge you can leverage into a great new career opportunity. Combining a workshop with two courses is a great way to expand your knowledge and save time in your already hectic schedule.'The New Opportunities with Drones: New Needs, FAA Rule Changes, New Technologies' workshop brings together experts, equipment providers, robotics experts, and others knowledgeable in a wide range of commercial drone usage, which includes monitoring in the oil industry, digital outcrop surveying, safety and security monitoring, utility inspection, real estate, agriculture, construction, environmental protection, and more. 'Working with Drone Data 101' short course, is beneficial to anyone interested in learning more about Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and how they can play a part in mapping and information services. Drones are used in the oil and gas industry from upstream to downstream, and in many other industries. The second course, 'Use of Surface Geochemistry in Petroleum Exploration' is a one day discussion of the use of surface geochemistry in petroleum exploration for conventional production. This course will help utilize an additional tool in the toolbox to find conventional oil and gas in mature to unexploited basins.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Basin-scale modeling can provide new insights into depositional processes in extremely complex deepwater and shelf environments. New models can identify previously overlooked or unenvisioned traps, and can help propose the existence of an entirely new reservoir. Welcome to an interview with John W. Snedden, Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis Project at the University of Texas-Austin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

Improving recoverable reserves and optimizing the production from mature fields often involves waterfloods, which can reach the end of their effectiveness, with still a great deal of oil left behind in the reservoir. New techniques and technologies can be used to revitalize the reservoir and get the oil flowing again from the same waterflood. Welcome to an interview with Geoffrey Thyne and Teresa Nealon who discuss the technique of optimizing wettability to recover oil from mature fields.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Learn! Blog

New products can revitalize under-performing wells in mature fields. However, it is important to understand precisely why the well is not producing and to select the treatment that will work for the unique conditions of the well. Welcome to an interview with Olivia Carey, who has committed herself to finding new solutions for wells in need of revitalization. She discusses the products, candidate wells, and increased production using new products. 

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 2 December 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

The gas transport in organic-rich shales involves different length-scales, from organic and inorganic pores to macro- and macrofractures. In order to upscale the fluid transport from nanoscale (flow through nanopores) to larger scales (to micro- and macrofractures), multicontinuum methodology is planned to be used.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 30 June 2020, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Juan Pablo Lovecchio reviews general aspects of rifting, rifts and passive margin formation and evolution through time, as well as elements of petroleum system development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 2 October 2014, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

This course is ideal for individuals involved in Midland Basin exploration and development. Successful development of Wolfcamp shale oil relies on complex inter-relationships (ultimately interdependencies) within and between a wide variety of scientific disciplines, financial entities, and company partnerships. 

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, 21 May 2009, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium introduces you to the practical benefits of thermal profiling for a variety of unconventional oil and gas projects, including tight gas sands, oil shale, low-gravity oil.

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)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Tuesday, 9 June 2020, 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Visiting Geoscientist Susan Morrice shares her personal experience and insight in this talk about opportunities for geoscientists. “Geoscientists have advantages ... They are Time Travellers and have open minds. Bringing this creativity and innovation to your company or starting your own! Challenging times bring silver linings!”

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Wednesday, 31 October 2012, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

This e-symposium will focus on how surface geochemical surveys and Downhole Geochemical Imaging technologies can be utilized jointly to directly characterize the composition of hydrocarbons vertically through the prospect section.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Webinar
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, 4 June 2020, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Salt welds form due to salt thinning by mechanical (e.g., salt-flow) and/or chemical (e.g., salt-dissolution) processes. This webinar explores how we use 3-D seismic reflection, borehole, and biostratigraphic data to constrain the thickness and composition of salt welds, and to test the predictions of analytical models for salt welding.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 26 September 2013, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The presentation will discuss key reservoir information and how to develop a predictive pressure model.

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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