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Torvela T.,University of Aberdeen | Bond C.E.,University of Aberdeen | Bond C.E.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd.
Journal of Structural Geology | Year: 2011

Theoretical models are often used to aid interpretation of geological data. For fold-thrust belts, structural and kinematic models have existed for over a century. While greatly contributing to our understanding of thrust systems, the usage of models can result in oversimplification and false kinematic interpretations. This paper investigates how and if experts use structural models in the interpretation of a seismic image from a deepwater fold-thrust belt. The results show that in the majority of cases experts produced interpretations that were compliant with key features in existing structural models. Those interpretations that were less compliant to existing models, better accounted for features present in natural and experimental analogues. This has implications for the general applicability of structural models in interpretation. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Bond C.E.,University of Aberdeen | Bond C.E.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Wightman R.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Wightman R.,Now at Oil Search Ltd. | Ringrose P.S.,Statoil
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2013

Greenhouse gas mitigation through geological storage of carbon dioxide is dependent on rock formations storing CO2 effectively. Secure containment for periods of 100 × 105 years nee7ds to be verifiable. The effectiveness of geological storage is reliant on the chemical and physical properties of the geological storage complex and its ability to inhibit migration of CO2. Petroleum reservoir data and field evidence show that fracture networks often act as pathways for fluid movement, potentially allowing fluids to migrate to the surface within the time scale of interest. We demonstrate the importance of predicting the effects of fracture networks on flow, using a case study from the In Salah CO2 storage site, and show how fracture permeability is closely controlled by the stress regime determining the conductive fracture network. Our results demonstrate that fracture network prediction combined with present-day stress analysis can be used to successfully predict CO2 movement in the subsurface. Key Points CO2 migration in the sub-surface is controlled by conductive fractures CO2 migration is anisotropic Present day stress controls the conductive fracture network ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Muir R.J.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd.
Geology Today | Year: 2015

Current desktop technology is largely mouse-driven, but many analysts predict that in less than five years we will have a professional workforce that have only experienced learning in a touchscreen environment. Midland Valley have developed a digital mapping tool for smartphones called FieldMove Clino, which has been downloaded more than 20 000 times over the past year. The free version offers an effective way of introducing students to digital field mapping. However, many geoscience departments and teachers of field mapping have yet to make the switch from traditional paper-based methods to digital technology. This article aims to answer some of the frequently asked questions about digital field mapping and outlines some of the advantages for improving field skills and geological thinking in students. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Geologists' Association & The Geological Society of London.


Kloppenburg A.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Grocott J.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Hutchinson D.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Hutchinson D.,University of Tasmania
Economic Geology | Year: 2010

Cu-Au-Mo porphyry-type and Cu skarn-type mineralization in the Bingham mining district of Utah are temporally and spatially related to a suite of monzonite and quartz monzonite porphyry intrusions comprising the Bingham complex. Structural control on mineralization at the Bingham Canyon mine has been described at the scale of individual large-scale folds and fracture sets but no integrated pattern for the synmineralization deformation structures has emerged from earlier research. In the work reported here we have investigated hitherto largely unrecognized components of deformation (translations, rotations, and strains) associated with emplacement of many cubic kilometers of granitic rocks in the intrusions of the Bingham district. We have used both the local three-dimensional static mine model and the regional context in digital kinematic two- and threedimensional forward and reverse modeling to identify a geometrically valid and admissible fault framework for the Bingham district and a kinematic solution for this framework through time. The results indicate that porphyry intrusions and associated mineralization were emplaced during reactivation of a basement-dictated linked system comprising two sets of northwest- and (north)-northeast-trending strike-slip faults. Both sets operated as transfer faults during extensional collapse of the Sevier orogen in the Eocene. Each fault set is characterized by overstep geometries with relay ramps breached by faults (re)activated in extension. Strike-slip was accompanied by progressive dilation of the extensional faults in fault oversteps to permit emplacement of composite stocklike (low aspect ratio) intrusions. The kinematic fault framework identified provides a new structural context for porphyry- and skarn-type mineralization at the Bingham Canyon mine, with potential for linking mineralizing fluid flow to three-dimensional structure and the development of that structure through time. ©2010 Society of Economic Geologists.


Johnson G.,University of Calgary | Johnson G.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Mayer B.,University of Calgary | Nightingale M.,University of Calgary | And 2 more authors.
Chemical Geology | Year: 2011

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is considered a viable option for reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere from point sources such as coal-fired power plants. Monitoring of CO2 storage sites is widely considered necessary for safety reasons and for verification of injected CO2 in the reservoir. The latter is crucially dependent on the ability to determine CO2 trapping mechanisms and to assess pore-space saturation of CO2. Thus far, attempts to determine CO2 pore-space saturations at CO2 injection sites have had limited success. Here, we present data from the Pembina Cardium CO2 Monitoring Project in Alberta, Canada, that demonstrate that changes in the oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) of reservoir water can be indicative of the extent of pore-space saturation with CO2. The δ18O value of injected CO2 at the injection site was +28.6‰ (V-SMOW) and δ18O values of reservoir water at eight observation wells varied between -13.5 and -17.1‰ (V-SMOW) before CO2 injection. After commencement of CO2 injection the δ18O values of reservoir water at three observation wells increased between 1.1 and 3.9‰ due to the presence of large quantities of injected CO2 and equilibrium isotope exchange between water and CO2. Our calculations revealed that reservoir water fully saturated with CO2 would only result in increases of δ18OH2O values of 0.4‰. Hence the observed larger increases in δ18O values of reservoir water indicate free phase CO2 with estimated pore-space saturations ranging from 12% (corresponding to a δ18O increase of 1.1‰) to 64% (δ18O increase 3.9‰) of the non-oil saturated pore-space. Contributions to oxygen in the system from mineral dissolution were calculated to be less than 0.01% of total oxygen and therefore did not alter the δ18O value of the reservoir water significantly. Hence we conclude that changes in the δ18O values of reservoir water caused by the presence of injected CO2 can be used as a tracer for CO2 plume migration in the subsurface provided that the injected CO2 is isotopically distinct. Furthermore, we submit that the extent of the changes in the δ18O values of the reservoir water provides a quantitative assessment of CO2 stored in dissolved form (solubility trapping), assuming no density driven convective overturn, and as free-phase CO2 (structural, stratigraphic and hydrodynamic trapping) thereby elucidating the trapping mechanisms within the reservoir. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Johnson G.,University of Calgary | Johnson G.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Mayer B.,University of Calgary | Shevalier M.,University of Calgary | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control | Year: 2011

During CO2 storage operations in mature oilfields or saline aquifers it is desirable to trace the movement of injected CO2 for verification and safety purposes. We demonstrate the successful use of carbon isotope abundance ratios for tracing the movement of CO2 injected at the Cardium CO2 Storage Monitoring project in Alberta between 2005 and 2007. Injected CO2 had a δ13C value of -4.6±1.1‰ that was more than 10‰ higher than the carbon isotope ratios of casing gas CO2 prior to CO2 injection with average δ13C values ranging from -15.9 to -23.5‰. After commencement of CO2 injection, δ13C values of casing gas CO2 increased in all observation wells towards those of the injected CO2 consistent with a two-source endmember mixing model. At four wells located in a NE-SW trend with respect to the injection wells, breakthrough of injected CO2 was registered chemically (>50mol% CO2) and isotopically 1-6 months after commencement of CO2 injection resulting in cumulative CO2 fluxes exceeding 100,000m3 during the observation period. At four other wells, casing gas CO2 contents remained below 5mol% resulting in low cumulative CO2 fluxes (<2000m3) throughout the entire observation period, but carbon isotope ratios indicated contributions between <30 and 80% of injected CO2. Therefore, we conclude that monitoring the movement of CO2 in the injection reservoir with geochemical and isotopic techniques is an effective approach to determine plume expansion and to identify potential preferential flowpaths provided that the isotopic composition of injected CO2 is constant and distinct from that of baseline CO2.. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Bond C.E.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Lunn R.J.,University of Strathclyde | Shipton Z.K.,University of Strathclyde | Lunn A.D.,University of Oxford
Geology | Year: 2012

Interpretation of uncertain data is the basis for understanding many Earth processes; in particular, uncertain data underpin much of the world's hydrocarbon exploration and future carbon minimization strategies (CO2 storage and radioactive waste disposal). It is therefore crucial to develop techniques and protocols that will improve geoscientists' interpretational accuracy. We asked 184 academic and industry experts to interpret a typical oil-industry synthetic seismic reflection data set and found that just over one-third got the "right" answer. Using multivariate analyses we show that interpretational accuracy is significantly improved for experts educated to the level of a Master's degree and/or doctorate (Ph.D.) (regardless of years of experience). Furthermore, although only 18 of 184 experts validated their interpretation by checking geometric and evolutionary feasibility, these experts were almost three times more likely to produce the correct result than those that did not. These results would not have been apparent from traditional detailed expert elicitation studies, as their sample sizes are too small. Our findings strongly suggest that significant improvements in the reliability of interpretations of inherently uncertain geological data sets could be made by increasing the proportion of people recruited into industry and academia who have a Master's or Ph.D. degree, and by changes to industry workflows and quality assurance procedures to explicitly include validation techniques. © 2012 Geological Society of America.


Desbois G.,RWTH Aachen | Zavada P.,Institute of Geophysics ASCR | Schleder Z.,Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Urai J.L.,RWTH Aachen
Journal of Structural Geology | Year: 2010

Microstructural study of rocksalt samples from an active salt fountain (Qum Kuh, central Iran) enabled to identify the relative contribution of different deformation mechanisms on extrusive salt flow. The microstructural study combined reflected and transmitted light microscopy of gamma-irradiated thin sections, textural analysis of digitized microstructures and Electron Back Scattered Diffraction (EBSD). Deformation microstructures record the strongly variable deformation conditions of salt flow in the diapiric system from the diapiric stem towards the distal part of the mature viscous fountain. High-stress deformation conditions typical for diapiric stems are recorded in the small subgrains within the porphyroclasts of all documented samples. Recovery and recrystallization due to divergent and decelerating flow associated with differential stress drop in the salt extrusion above the diapiric orifice is reflected by abundant growth band microstructures. This study reveals also evidence for penetration of rainwater into the salt mass and documents the switch from the dominant dislocation creep into dominant solution-precipitation creep from the upper part to the distal part of the fountain. This deformation mechanism switch is provided by influx of meteoric water and grain size decrease likely controlled by subgrain rotation and grain-boundary migration recrystallization. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Trademark
Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Date: 2015-09-04

Computer software for analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations; computer software for producing models utilizing seismic attributes and oil- or gas-field well and field data; computer storage media, namely, pre-recorded magnetic tapes and compact discs featuring computer software for analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations, and electronic publications, namely, data sheets, manuals, handbooks and magazines recorded on computer media and related to software for analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations. Stationery, except writing instruments; printed matter, namely, datasheets, manuals, and handbooks relating to analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations and models utilizing seismic, attribute, oil- or gas-field well and field data. Geological, seismic and oil- and gas-field research, and prospecting; conducting geological, seismic and oil and gas-field surveys; scientific and technological consulting, research and design services, all relating to analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations and models utilizing seismic, attributes, oil- or gas-field well and field data; consultancy, information and advisory services related to the foregoing.


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Trademark
Midland Valley Exploration Ltd. | Date: 2015-09-04

Computer software for analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations; computer software for producing models utilizing seismic attributes and oil- or gas-field well and field data; computer storage media, namely, pre-recorded magnetic tapes and compact discs featuring computer software for analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations, and electronic publications, namely, data sheets, manuals, handbooks and magazines recorded on computer media and related to software for analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations. Stationery, except writing instruments; printed matter, namely, datasheets, manuals, and handbooks relating to analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations and models utilizing seismic, attribute, oil- or gas-field well and field data. Geological, seismic and oil- and gas-field research, and prospecting; conducting geological, seismic and oil and gas-field surveys; scientific and technological consulting, research and design services, all relating to analysis, visualization and modeling of structural geological interpretations and models utilizing seismic, attributes, oil- or gas-field well and field data; consultancy, information and advisory services related to the foregoing.

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