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Explorer Division Column EMD

Buckminster Fuller, the American designer, inventor and visionary said, “We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” In the Energy Minerals Division of the AAPG, we hear that calling and embrace it. In our 2019-20 fiscal year, we welcome the return of longtime leaders as well as an influx of new ones to our design team.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Explorer Emphasis Article

The two most compelling words in the Middle East oil industry today might be “natural gas.” And there are other, increasingly important word pairs not usually associated with the Middle East oil industry, like “unconventional resources” and “renewable energy.”

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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)
Workshop
Barranquilla, Colombia
Tuesday, 24 March Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The AAPG Latin America & Caribbean Region and the Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists (ACGGP) invite you join us for GTW Colombia 2020, a specialized workshop bringing leading scientists and industry practitioners to share best practices, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for future collaboration. The 2-day workshop brings together technical experts and industry leaders from Colombia and throughout the Americas to take a multidisciplinary look at future opportunities for exploration and development of Southern Caribbean Frontier Basins.

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

This presentation will look at well placement vertically in the pay, well azimuth and well trajectory with explanations of how geology and post-depositional effects can make the difference between a successful well and a failure.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
Online e-Symposium
Thursday, 28 April 2011, 12:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m.

The Niobrara Petroleum System of the U.S. Rocky Mountain Region is a major tight petroleum resource play.

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)
VG Abstract

In 1991, Gulf Indonesia and its partners discovered South Sumatra Basin’s first major gas field at Dayung in the Corridor PSC. A key feature of this field is that most of the reserves are held within fractured basement rocks of pre-Tertiary age. 

Request a visit from Charles Caughey!

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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Request a visit from Ameed Ghori!

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

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