Oil and Gas

Oil and Gas | Unconventional Resources

The Geology of a Devonian Gas Shale play: A field workshop in the Appalachian Basin (New York and Pennsylvania, USA)

Course Code: N162
Instructors: 
Course Outline:  Download
Format and Duration
6 days

Summary

The Devonian Catskill Delta complex of the northern Appalachian Basin contains numerous organic-rich ‘black’ shales which serve as source and seal for oil and gas fields in the basin and are prospective reservoirs for unconventional gas plays. This course explores the structural geology of these shales, with a focus on the influence of stratigraphy on their brittle behavior and suitability as unconventional reservoirs. 

Duration and Training Method

A  six-day field course, starting in Buffalo, NY and ending in Pittsburgh, PA, comprising workshops, outcrop and core instruction augmented with topical lectures. Outcrop observations will be coupled with seismic sections, well logs, organic petrology, geochemistry and case studies. A visit will be made to Penn State University to view Devonian core.

Course Overview

Participants will learn to:

  1. Analyze the structural setting of the Devonian organic-rich shales within the Catskill Delta complex of the Appalachian Basin.
  2. Assess the mechanics of basin development, including the roles of compaction, consolidation and stress.
  3. Evaluate mechanisms for generation of abnormal fluid pressure in basins, including the role of disequilibrium compaction in top seal development and the role of hydrocarbon generation in pressure development.
  4. Estimate the timing of hydrocarbon maturation and migration in source beds and the impact on joint initiation.
  5. Evaluate mechanisms of seal leakage by joint propagation, including driving mechanisms for joint growth, velocities of joint propagation and multiple joint driving mechanisms for loss of seal integrity.
  6. Judge the control of lithology on jointing in a fractured reservoir, including joint interconnectivity and concomitant permeability, joint interaction on propagation, cross cutting relationships in reservoir permeability, source and reservoir rock permeability with time and joint density and spacing as a function of bed thickness.
  7. Evaluate the development of composite joints.
  8. Assess relationships between jointing and regional tectonics.

Outcrops of the Catskill Delta complex are found in the deep post-glacial valleys that are exposed on the Appalachian Plateau. The outcrops illustrate the multiphase nature of fl uid pressure generation in a hydrocarbon system within delta complexes at continental margins. This field
trip addresses the following issues concerning the development of hydrocarbon systems within overpressured source and reservoir rocks:

1. Mechanics of basin development
-Compaction
-Consolidation
-Stress in basin development

2. Mechanisms for generation of abnormal fluid pressure in basins
The role of disequilibrium compaction in top seal development
The role of hydrocarbon generation in pressure development

3. The timing of hydrocarbon maturation and migration
-The mechanism for joint initiation during primary migration in source beds
-The mechanism for joint initiation during secondary migration in reservoir beds

4. Mechanisms of seal leakage by joint propagation
-Driving mechanisms for joint growth
-Issues associated with velocity of joint propagation
-Vertical joint growth and horizontal propagation based on surface morphology
-Multiple joint driving mechanisms for loss of seal integrity

5. Control of lithology on jointing in developing a fractured reservoir
-Development of a joint interconnectivity and concomitant permeability
-Joint interaction on propagation
-Cross cutting relationships in reservoir permeability
-The development of source and reservoir rock permeability with time
-Development of joint density and spacing as a function of bed thickness

6. Aspects of pressure compartment geometry

7. The development of composite joints

8. Issues concerning the relationship between jointing and regional tectonics

Itinerary (subject to change)

Day 0:
-Start in Buffalo NY
-Introductory lecture

Day 1:
-Lecture
-Field Stops: Dunkirk, NY
-Silver Creek, NY
-Eighteen Mile Creek, NY
-Sturgeon Point, Hamburg, NY
Overnight in Buffalo NY

Day 2:
-Lecture
-Field Stops: Eighteen Mile Creek, NY
-LeRoy, NY
-Portageville, NY
-Dansville, NY
Overnight in Ithaca NY

Day 3:
-Lecture
-Field Stops: Watkins Glen, NY
-Trumansburg, NY
Overnight in Ithaca NY

Day 4:
-Lecture
-Field Stops: Moonshine Falls, NY
-Union Springs, NY
-Moravia, NY
-Cortland, NY
Overnight in Ithaca NY

Day 5:
-Lecture
-Field Stops: Tioga, PA
-Washingtonville, PA
-Sunbury, PA
-Selinsgrove, PA
-Elimsport, PA
-Antis Fort, PA
Overnight in State College PA

Day 6:
-Lecture
-Core Workshop
-Field stops: Lewistown, PA
-Newton-Hamilton, PA
-Huntingdon, PA
-Frankstown, PA
Overnight in Pittsburgh PA

Day 7:
Travel home

The course is aimed primarily at geoscientists and other technical staff working to understand the role of fractures in unconventional shale gas plays, but should be of interest to all staff working with fractured rocks.

CEU: 4.8 Continuing Education Units
PDH: 48 Professional Development Hours
Certificate: Certificate Issued Upon Completion
RPS is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU. We comply with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognised internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices.
We issue a Certificate of Attendance which verifies the number of training hours attended. Our courses are generally accepted by most professional licensing boards/associations towards continuing education credits. Please check with your licensing board to determine if the courses and certificate of attendance meet their specific criteria.