Explorer Emphasis Article

Digital transformation is taking place in oilfields all around the globe, but the Middle East is pursuing it most aggressively. It is estimated that Middle Eastern oil companies have more than doubled their investments in digital technology over the last four years, said Vivek Chidambaram, managing director of Accenture Strategy, a multinational consulting company.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Historical Highlights

From high-altitude, windswept prairies in southwestern Wyoming, the span of the powerful Wind River and Wyoming Ranges can be seen in the distance. This is home to the Pinedale Anticline Project and the Jonah Field, located in Sublette County, Wyo. In 2000, this was the site of one of the most productive gas fields in the continental United States. Gas reserves were estimated at up to 40 trillion cubic feet. That was enough to serve the nation’s entire natural gas demand for 22 months.

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

I was pleased to serve as the organizer, general chair and creator of the AAPG Global Super Basins Leadership Conference. I will remember it as a highlight of my year as AAPG president and my entire career. I would like to share a few observations resulting from this conference.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Conventional geophysics has hit a few speed bumps, but ongoing research into seismic anisotropy offers new keys to imaging unconventional resources.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Middle East Blog

The fourth edition of the AAPG/EAGE 'Tight Reservoirs in the Middle East” GTW took place on 27 – 28 November 2018 at the Downtown Rotana Hotel, Manama, Bahrain. This year we had 80 attendees from ten different countries.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

For anyone interested in the methods of observing and quantifying the pore systems that control hydrocarbon and flow in unconventional reservoirs, AAPG’s new volume is what you’ve been waiting for. AAPG recently released Memoir 112: “Imaging Unconventional Reservoir Pore Systems.”

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Sidney Powers Memorial Award: Celebrating the career of Larry Meckel.

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)
Learn! Blog

The dynamics of fluid behavior and structural movement on the nano-scale can be complicated and not always what was expected. New research that analyzes the well information and cores using new techniques and technologies is yielding important and useful results. Welcome to an interview with Wen Zhou, Chengdu University of Technology, who discusses recent research findings.

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)
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, 30 October 2014, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.

Cross disciplinary workflows play an important part of successful characterization of shale reservoirs. This course discusses how the artificial kerogen maturity of organic-rich Green River shale affects the petrophysical, micro-structural, geochemical and elastic properties.

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)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

This course introduces the learner to the fundamentals of shale gas, including current theories that explain its origin, and how to determine which reservoirs are commercially viable.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Tuesday, 16 August 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The geochemistry of formation fluids (water and hydrocarbon gases) in the Uinta Basin, Utah, is evaluated at the regional scale based on fluid sampling and compilation of past records.

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 December 2010, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Mississippian-Devonian Bakken Petroleum System of the Williston Basin is characterized by low-porosity and permeability reservoirs, organic-rich source rocks, and regional hydrocarbon charge.

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
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)
Online Certificate Course
Tuesday, 1 January 2013, 12:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.

There are approximately 1,000 oil and gas fields in the world that have been classified as 'giant,' containing more than 500 million barrels of recoverable oil and /or 3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

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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