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Prieto M.I.,University of Texas at Austin | Moscardelli L.,Statoil | Wood L.,Bureau of Economic Geology
Proceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference | Year: 2014

A detailed geomorphologic and shallow stratigraphic interpretation was performed in three different geomorphological domains of the ultra-deepwater region of the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM) using a set of high resolution bathymetry and subbottom profiles that were acquired at four major oil fields in the Green Canyon and Mississippi Canyon protraction areas. The seafloor expression of the study areas allowed defining three different geomorphological provinces: Minibasin, Sigsbee Escarpment and Disconnected Canopy Province. The geomorphological expression of these provinces is primarily the result of the dynamic behavior of the underlying salt, in which these regions experienced different degrees and types of substrate deformation. Structural deformation affecting these areas has been very dynamic through time enhancing the occurrence of both regional and localized gravity-induced deposits. Regions of high relief along diapiric slopes (e.g.: Sigsbee Escarpment) are affected by headwall failures and the near seafloor stratigraphy reveals the complex dynamic of eroded and re-deposited sediments that have been affected by both gravity- and current-driven processes. This study seeks to improve our understanding of how local bathymetric variabilities (linked to underlying structural controls) interact with gravitydriven and current-controlled processes in the ultra-deepwater region of the GOM to generate the near seafloor stratigraphic record that is observable in our study areas. Copyright 2014, Offshore Technology Conference.


Wang S.,China University of Petroleum - East China | Feng Q.,China University of Petroleum - East China | Javadpour F.,Bureau of Economic Geology | Yang Y.-B.,University of Texas at Austin
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2016

Fast mass transport was identified for gas through nanoscale pores, especially those fabricated from carbon nanotubes and graphene sheets. Even in porous media such as sedimentary rock, it is commonly believed that there exists the well-known Klinkenberg effect due to gas slip. Here, we use molecular simulation to show that the flow enhancement of methane breaks down in calcite nanopores of shale reservoirs. The Klinkenberg effect fails to characterize methane transport through interparticle pores of calcites, and the molecules travel even slower than the prediction of Hagen-Poiseuille equation. The comparison of methane transport in graphene, quartz, and calcite nanopores suggests that this behavior arises from the strong attractive potential and the lack of atomically ultrasmooth surface in calcite, thus leading to the presence of particles sticking at the interface. The Navier-Stokes equation, coupled with a negative slip length and bulk viscosity, can provide a reasonable description of methane flow through calcite nanoslits having apertures greater than 2 nm. Moreover, it is evident that as the pore size increases, the confined methane transforms from a single-file chain to two symmetrical adsorbed layers (extending to ∼0.8 nm), above which a bulk fluid region is present in the central slit. Beyond the theoretical value, the insights gained from this study will advance the exploitation of shale resources and shed light on, more generally, mass transport in nanoporous media. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


Zeng H.,Bureau of Economic Geology | John A.,University of Texas at Austin | Katherine G.,University of Texas at Austin
SEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts | Year: 2011

Study of synthetic models and field data shows that anomalous instantaneous frequency can aid thin-bed and stratigraphic interpretation. Time-frequency analysis of instantaneous-frequency spikes may improve continuity of frequency-spike "events" and presentation of instantaneous-frequency attributes for correlation of stratigraphic and reservoir features. Frequency-spike sections calculated in a proper frequency range highlight mostly seismically thin beds (type II). In the field-data example, frequency-spike sections assist in the interpretation of thick vs. thin beds, facies transition, and channels. © 2011 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.


Van Der Baan M.A.,University of Alberta | Perz M.,Divestco | Fomel S.,Bureau of Economic Geology
72nd European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2010: A New Spring for Geoscience. Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2010 | Year: 2010

Phase mismatches sometimes occur between final processed seismic sections and zero-phase synthetics based on well logs - despite best efforts for controlled-phase acquisition and processing. Statistical estimation of the phase of a seismic wavelet is feasible using kurtosis maximization by constant phase rotation, even if the phase is nonstationary. After estimation, we achieve space-and-time-varying zero-phasing by phase rotation. We demonstrate how a statistical analysis provides pertinent information about the data that can be used for zero-phasing, as a quality control to check deterministic phase corrections, or even as an interpretive tool for highlighting areas of potential interest. © 2010, European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers.


News Article | January 15, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

Oil plunged sharply below $ 30 per barrel Friday after flirting with that level all week, as the market anticipated a flood of new Iranian oil due to the lifting of sanctions. Brent crude on the Intercontinental Exchange in London dropped as low as $ 28.82, and was down over 6 percent Friday early afternoon. West Texas Intermediate crude, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, fell as low as $ 29.13. The moves accompanied a broader plunge in the U.S. markets, with the Dow Jones industrial average breaking below 16,000, and off over 300 points overall. The oil price decline in 2016 has been remarkable. Brent closed out 2015 at $ 37.28 per barrel on Dec. 31. Its low so far Friday was nearly $ 8 cheaper, a decline of some 21 percent. There’s a “trifecta going on here” in terms of factors that are driving down oil prices, said Tom Watters, a managing director at Standard & Poor’s specializing in the oil and gas sector. The three factors are a “stronger dollar, concerns about demand growth, and of course, supply,” he said. A stronger dollar makes oil more pricey for purchase in other currencies, which decreases global demand. Worries about whether demand will grow more broadly, meanwhile, are closely tied to China and the sense that a major consumer of the commodity may want less oil than previously thought. And then, of course, there’s supply, supply, supply, which has been the bottom line here since the oil price plunge began back in late 2014. OPEC’s strategy of maintaining market share, adopted last November, is not having as fast an effect as may have been originally anticipated when it comes to pushing other producers to back down as prices plunge. Russia is at “record output,” Watters said, and U.S. shale has been surprisingly resilient. And now, next up is Iran, which could see sanctions lifted in the next few days. As for the current price and how low it could go, that’s becoming a subject of very hot discussion, with most observers and analysts still feeling that oil won’t go below $ 20, said Michelle Michot Foss, chief energy economist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. But some think it will fall farther than that. “Everybody is searching for a floor, and we just haven’t gotten to it,” says Foss. “It’s going to be a hard landing because of everything else that’s going on out there.”


Zeng H.,Bureau of Economic Geology
Leading Edge (Tulsa, OK) | Year: 2010

Todays seismic interpreters have the luxury of choosing from many tools when performing horizontal seismic facies analysis. If the goal is to predict a reservoir in a stratigraphically complex but structurally relatively simple formation using a 3D seismic data set with a good signal-to-noise ratio, stratal slicing may be a valid choice. Stratal slicing was designed for seismic sedimentologic (both seismic lithologic and seismic September 2010 The Leading Edge 1047 geomorphologic) imaging of seismically thin beds. Major benefits include, but are not limited to, a practical solution to create horizontal seismic display of chronostratigraphic significance, an easy link to paleogeomorphology, a tool for thin-bed imaging, high stratigraphic resolution, and a short interpretive cycle time. However, stratal slicing does have limits and unique challenges. Selecting, picking, and verifying a chronostratigraphic framework for stratal slicing remain the biggest challenges. Identification and handling of residual effects of slicing caused by nonlinear, irregular sedimentation require serious new research. © 2010 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.


King C.W.,Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy | Webber M.E.,Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy | Duncan I.J.,Bureau of Economic Geology
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

Concern over increased demand for petroleum, reliable fuel supply, and global climate change has resulted in the US government passing new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards and a Renewable Fuels Standard. Consequently, the fuel mix for light duty vehicle (LDV) travel in the United States will change over the coming years. This paper explores the embodied water consumption and withdrawal associated with two projections for future fuel use in the US LDV sector. This analysis encompasses conventional and unconventional fossil fuels, corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, soy biodiesel, electricity, and hydrogen. The existing mandate in the US to blend ethanol into gasoline had effectively committed 3300 billion liters of irrigation water in 2005 (approximately 2.4% of US 2005 fresh water consumption) for producing fuel for LDVs. With current irrigation practices, fuel processing, and electricity generation, it is estimated that by 2030, approximately 14,000 billion liters of water per year will be consumed and 23,000-27,000 billion liters withdrawn to produce fuels used in LDVs. Irrigation for biofuels dominates projected water usage for LDV travel, but other fuels (coal to liquids, oil shale, and electricity via plug-in hybrid vehicles) will also contribute appreciably to future water consumption and withdrawal, especially on a regional basis. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Burton D.,Bureau of Economic Geology | Dunlap D.B.,Bureau of Economic Geology | Wood L.J.,Bureau of Economic Geology | Flaig P.P.,Bureau of Economic Geology
Journal of Sedimentary Research | Year: 2011

Lidar collects high-resolution spatial data, making it a popular tool for outcrop investigations; however, few of these studies utilize lidar's spectral capability. Lidar scanners commonly collect intensity returns (power returned/power emitted) that are influenced primarily by distance and target reflectivity, with lesser influence from angle of incidence, roughness, and environmental conditions. Application of distance normalization results in values that approximate target reflectivity. At the near-infrared wavelength of lidar, quartz-rich sandstones are more reflective than clay-rich mudstones. Scans of unweathered core and weathered outcrop were collected to investigate the relationship between lithology and lidar intensity. In unweathered, laboratory samples, intensity shows an inverse relationship to wt. % clay and are positively correlated to wt. % combined quartz, plagioclase, and K-feldspar. A similar relationship was also observed in scans of lightly weathered outcrop, although weathering and moisture diminished intensity contrast between sand-rich and shale-rich intervals. Thus, lidar intensity is a possible remote sensor of lithology, particularly in remotely located and inaccessible outcrops. © 2011, SEPM.


Freifeld B.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Zakim S.,Echogen Power Systems Inc. | Pan L.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory | Cutright B.,Bureau of Economic Geology | And 3 more authors.
Energy Procedia | Year: 2013

A major global research and development effort is underway to commercialize carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a method to mitigate climate change. Recent studies have shown the potential to couple CCS with geothermal energy extraction using supercritical CO2 (ScCO2) as the working fluid. In a geothermal reservoir, the working fluid produces electricity as a byproduct of the CCS process by mining heat out of a reservoir as it is circulated between injector and producer wells. While ScCO2 has lower heat capacity than water, its lower viscosity more than compensates by providing for greater fluid mobility. Furthermore, CO2 exhibits high expansivity and compressibility, which can both help reduce parasitic loads in fluid cycling. Given the high capital costs for developing the deep well infrastructure for geologic storage of CO2, the potential to simultaneously produce geothermal energy is an attractive method to offset some of the costs and added energy requirements for separating and transporting the waste CO2 stream. We present here the preliminary design and reservoir engineering associated with the development of direct-fired turbomachinery for pilot-scale deployment at the SECARB Cranfield Phase III CO2 Storage Project, in Cranfield, Mississippi, U.S.A. The pilot-scale deployment leverages the prior investment in the Cranfield Phase III research site, providing the first ever opportunity to acquire combined CO 2 storage/geothermal energy extraction data necessary to address the uncertainties involved in this novel technique. At the SECARB Cranfield Site, our target reservoir, the Tuscaloosa Formation, lies at a depth of 3.0 km, and an initial temperature of 127 °C. A CO2 injector well and two existing observation wells are ideally suited for establishing a CO2 thermosiphon and monitoring the thermal and pressure evolution of the well-pair on a timescale that can help validate coupled models. It is hoped that this initial demonstration on a pre-commercial scale can accelerate commercialization of combined CCS/geothermal energy extraction by removing uncertainties in system modeling.

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