Explorer Policy Watch

Shortly after lunch on Oct. 14 people began filing into the ballroom of the Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills Hotel. They included attendees of the 2009 AAPG Mid-Continent Section meeting, members of the general public and two busloads of students from local high schools.  They were there to participate in a conversation about energy – its past and its future. 

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

A recent AAPG Geosciences Technology Workshop examined the contributions, challenges and responsibilities of geoscientists in estimating resources and reserves.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

How big is big? A team of U.S. Geological Survey geologists is doing a new assessment of – and taking a “long” look at – the unconventional potential of the Arkoma Basin.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Geophysical Corner

This month’s column deals with determining reservoir heterogeneity in Athabasca oil sands from surface seismic data. 

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

As North America tries to obtain energy security it will have to rely on more unconventional resources to fulfill its energy needs over the next decades – and balanced with that is the need for stewardship of the environment and the need to develop more sustainable strategies.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

The Petroleum Technology Transfer Council has been awarded a $4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to provide training opportunities focused for U.S. independent producers.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

European researchers, inspired by gas shale successes in the United States, have started a database in hopes of finding similar success for their continent.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

Sweet smell of success: A run of offshore discoveries have made Brazil the oil industry’s story of the century – and the celebration there may just be starting.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

AAPG’s Distinguished Lecture program is reloaded and already off to a fast start for a season that will send speakers around the world, in some cases, to places never before traveled by the program.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Article

Show me the money: Investors are looking for new opportunities to spend their capital. Let’s make a deal?

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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