Explorer Article

What does past and present activities on the world's deepwater provinces tell us about the future? (Hint: The answer is 'a lot.')

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

A salt body in the Gulf of Mexico proved the perfect proving grounds for a new geologic technique designed to reduce risk and improve seismic imaging both beneath and below the structure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

What was once unconventional can become commonplace. Remember when fixing a lunch in a microwave oven was rare?

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

Cairo Meeting Set For October 27-30

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Tradition is fine, but one exploration company decided to reject status quo thinking and conventional wisdom. The result: Crazy Horse.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Exploration Activities: When it comes to finding oil and gas potential, the past year's exploration activities may have been very good, indeed.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Scott W. Tinker could be the industry's leading forward-thinker on oil and gas research.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Deep water and subsalt plays are the two hottest exploration frontiers in the Gulf of Mexico and searching for structures below the salt in waters thousands of feet deep is the most exciting play with the greatest potential for reward vs. the risk.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

After years of 'wheeling and dealing' international oil companies are finally beginning to sink exploratory wells in the Caspian Sea. Could the 'exploratory well of 1999' meet that prediction? The next two years should prove it.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Excitement grows as international companies jockey for position in the world's hottest play -- West Africa's deep water field.

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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