Abstracts are listed alphabetically by the last name of the first author.


Subsurface Characterization of the Lower to Middle Miocene Monterey Formation-Equivalent Strata of Long Beach Oil Field: Los Angeles Basin, California

Ayodeji Aina, California State University, Long Beach

Abstract: In spite of being the most prolific petroleum producing basin per square foot in the world, the Monterey-equivalent strata from the deep Los Angeles Basin has been poorly explored and large volumes of technically recoverable petroleum may remain undiscovered. A report from the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that between 1.4 and 5.6 billion barrels of recoverable conventional oil remains in place in the Los Angeles Basin. Little is known about unconventional potential. This study will create a detailed characterization of the Monterey-equivalent, lower to middle Miocene rocks of the Long Beach Oil Field in the Los Angeles Basin.

Most conventional production from the Long Beach Field has been from upper Miocene to lower Pleistocene sandstones but the lower to middle Miocene rocks equally have tangible contributions to the petroleum system of the field. Consequently, the study will analyze both modern and legacy well data for regional stratigraphic correlation and to provide a stratigraphic framework of the older and deeper Miocene Monterey-equivalent rocks. A detailed petrophysical analysis will provide lithological units and define lateral variations that may be due to original depositional facies or structural offset. Lithologic, mineralogic and geochemical analysis of cores and cuttings from the greatest penetration wells will provide the data necessary to characterize the deep lithostratigraphy of the Long Beach Oil Field. Integration of petrographic and petrophysical analysis with regional studies of the basin will help define the lateral distribution of reservoir facies and give us insight into the tectonic and sedimentary history of the early stages of the formations within the Los Angeles Basin.

In the light of the development of the unconventional plays in North America, understanding these deep Miocene rocks are critically important both for their source and reservoir potential.

Presentation Format: Poster
Session: General


A High Density Seismic Hazard Survey in the Los Angeles Basin

Dan Hollis, Sisprobe SAS
Robert W. Clayton, Caltech
Eric Campbell, LA Seismic

Abstract: We are finalizing plans for a large-scale seismic hazard survey of the Los Angeles sedimentary basin for the purposes of determining near-surface (0 to 4 km) velocities, basin structure, microseismicity, and the structure of the underlying crust. The survey will be valuable for creating densely sampled micro-zonation maps of seismic hazards for infrastructure resiliency and for providing better velocity models for strong motion modeling. The survey may reveal structures that show some hydrocarbon potential as well has image the aquifer system in the basin.

This large number of sensors (Large-N) passive seismic survey will sample the basin at 10 sensors per square kilometer, which is about an order of magnitude less dense that a standard industry 3D survey, but would provide ample coverage for determining the basin structure and the 3D velocity variations. The survey will have about 18,000 receiver positions that will be occupied by a rolling grid of 5000 sensors, each occupying a given position for 30 days of passive recording. It will take approximately 4 months for this array to traverse the basin. There will be a fixed array of 200 three-component nodes that will record for the entire duration of the survey. In addition, we are planning on 60-70 deep hole (50m +/-) explosive charges to help determine the shallow P-wave velocities, and to look for possible reflections.

Data products resulting for the survey will be a shear-wave (Vs) model from surface to 2 to 3 km (to be used for Vs100 and deeper Vs for ground motion prediction modeling), P-wave (Vp) model from surface to 4 to 5 km, passive and active reflection imaging, seismicity, sedimentary basement and Moho imaging using receiver functions, and more. Initially, the raw data will be shared with researchers, government, and supporters before being made public.

Presentation Format: Oral
Session: SEG


Exploring New Energy Frontiers with Petroleum Geoscience Talent and Technology

Edith Newton Wilson, Rock Whisperer, LLC

Abstract: The energy landscape is evolving from petroleum dominance to a widening array of renewable, lowcarbon components. Along with wind, hydro, and geothermal, solar has reached an economic threshold that fosters market growth. Storage requirements for electric vehicles and renewable baseload are spurring increased demand for lithium, graphite, cobalt, vanadium and nickel. Geologists who explore for and extract these metals will use skills honed in the oil and gas industry as well as familiar datasets, such as borehole records, surface geologic maps, rock mineralogy, and size statistics. Predictive models of ore accumulation rely on mass transport calculations at assumed heat, pressure, brine composition and mineral equilibria, and are comparable those used to understand oil generation, migration and trapping. Three dimensional geologic models to explore for and assess reserves of metals will benefit from enhanced geophysical techniques, including 3D seismic, as well as the application of play fairway analysis to better predict exploration corridors. Defining the heat resource, drilling, fracking, and circulating brines are also key components to the successful exploitation of geothermal energy. Structural geology and sedimentology studies remain crucial to proper siting, monitoring, and remediation of hydro-electric projects. Geoscientists can also maximize energy efficiency for development of renewable components via the use of low carbon energy resources, and we can apply our environmental experience to minimize the footprint of mines and manufacturing sites. Solar and wind design and construction are fertile ground for the application of geography and GIS skills. In parallel to development of new forms of renewable energy, a shift from heavy to light hydrocarbons for transportation and electricity generation requires traditional petroleum technology to define and extract stranded global gas resources. And, of course, we can always work to green the oilfield by introducing solar pumps and vapor recovery units. As geoscientists and engineers, we have opportunities to transfer our expertise in exploration, development, extraction and remediation to processes associated with cleaner energy production. We can utilize our strengths in creativity, risk assessment, and environmental stewardship to become leaders in sustainable energy development.

Presentation Format: Oral
Session: Creativity & Opportunities

Bio: Edith is the owner of Rock Whisperer LLC, home to global clean energy and climate mitigation projects, and works to engage emerging professionals in energy solutions for a changing world. She is a member of the Geosciences Advisory Board at the University of Arkansas, the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, the Tulsa Global Alliance, and the Society of Economic Geologists. Edith serves as president-elect of the Energy Minerals Division of the AAPG. She is a native of Macon, Georgia, where her mother and grandmother were nationally recognized architects. Edith received her BA in geology from Dartmouth College in 1982, and her MA and PHD in carbonate sedimentology from Johns Hopkins University in 1988. Her career in the energy industry began in Houston with Amoco and BP. In 2000, the Wilson family moved to Oklahoma, where Edith worked with Phillips Petroleum, ConocoPhillips and Samson Resources. Edith shares a love of the mountains with her husband and son. In 2004, she climbed Kilimanjaro (19,431), the highest peak in Africa. Edith has traveled throughout Europe, Africa and the western hemisphere, and is conversant in French, Italian and Portuguese.


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