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 Geophysical Corner

It is well known that machine learning is based on complex statistics and programming, which for most of us, are not straightforward. When it comes to choosing the best technique, either supervised or unsupervised, the decision might not be easy and sometimes may even be overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Luckily, much research has been done recently to help geologists find an ideal starting algorithm, or the best machine-learning package. Here we discuss how just focusing on your choice of parameterization in a given machine-learning algorithm is one easy way to obtain better results without having to switch from technique to technique.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

The small town of Cunningham, Kansas lies about 65 miles straight west of Wichita on U.S. Highway 54. It was incorporated in 1887 as a commercial center for farmers and ranchers in that part of south-central Kansas. Hard winter wheat was the main cash crop, while herds of beef and dairy cattle were a close second source of income. This activity characterized the culture of Cunningham into the early years of the 20th century. That is, until a new industry was introduced to Kansas when, in 1915, oil was discovered in the El Dorado field northeast of Wichita.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

There are two main oil and gas producing sedimentary areas in France: the Paris Basin and the Aquitaine Basin. The presence of oil seeps and bitumen deposits has been known since ancient times in the western part of the Aquitaine basin, a 35,000-square-kilometer triangular polygon bordered to the north by the city of Bordeaux, to the east by Toulouse and to the south by the Pyrenees Mountain chain separating France from Spain. These hydrocarbon shows were observed close to surface anticlinal structures such as the Sainte-Suzanne dome, southwest of Pau or in the caprocks of salt diapirs at Salies de Bearn and Dax to the north.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

There are times when national and local forces combine in such a way that the entire hydrocarbon value chain is realized in a frontier area over the course of only a few years. Such was the case for the natural gas fields in southwestern Wyoming over the decades of the 1920s to the ‘40s.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Here’s one sign of change in university- level geoscience education: This year, for the first time, both recipients of AAPG’s Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award are female geology professors. Their careers have followed different paths and include contrasting professional interests, but the stories of their respective educational histories share several common links. That story starts with James Taylor. And chocolate chip cookies.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Super basin applications and analogs continue to drive the future. As we learn more about them, we discover how valuable super basins are to exploration and development. As a result, AAPG continues its initiative to showcase some of the world’s greatest petroleum basins with the fourth Global Super Basins Leadership Conference.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

During the 1980s, early prospecting in deepwater margins was the simple extension of prolific updip producing basins that were charged. However, the migration of petroleum exploration and development into deepwater was fraught with challenges. For engineers and geologists, one of our biggest challenges was to overcome our collective lack of understanding about the geology of deepwater. We had to revisit everything we thought we knew, one paradigm shift after another.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

In the business of oil and gas exploration, it’s all about managing risk. Companies are more likely to drill where there are strong indications of hydrocarbons from field and seismic data, nearby wells and discoveries – and preferably, all of the above. So, when the federal government officially opens the doors in the near future to the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for commercial drilling, it could be like watching a game of poker.

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

Fault seal potential is an essential step in determining the potential for fluid migration and assessing risks during hydrocarbon exploration. Multiple assessment tools have been developed and focus on (1) lithological juxtaposition, of permeable and impermeable stratigraphic units, and (2) fault rock sealing, assuming that clay material gets smeared along a fault zone. Most of these tools rely heavily on well log data, whether it is collected and analyzed in 1-D or 3-D settings.

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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)
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)
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)
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)
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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