NEOS Magazine: In The Zone, Issue #3

ITZ_blog postA new volume of the NEOS Company Magazine – In The Zone – is now available.  Click here to access a digital copy.  Hard copies will be available in the coming weeks.  To request your own copy, please email Lydia Jordan at

Featured in this issue is the announcement of our Seismic Imaging Group, as well as how we are maximizing legacy G&G investments in the current downtown.  Furthermore, we explore how statistical pattern recognition techniques (aka predictive analytics) are unlocking insights among multiple geo-datasets.

When Geos Hit the Road: Petra

Petra1CMOh and our Senior Exploration Project Director had the good fortune to be in Jordan this weekend as part of a business development swing through the greater Mediterranean and Levant region.  The Sunday downtime destination? Petra – a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and one of Smithsonian Magazine’s ’28 Places to See Before You Die.’

The visit lived up to the accolades.  Of all the places I’ve been in my life, I’d have to say this was the most spectacular. The visit was borderline spiritual and other-worldly.

Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans, an Arabic people who inhabited northern Arabia and the Levant. They were the premier traders of their time, controlling the major trade routes between Greece and Rome to the west and present-day Yemen, Oman and India to the east. They amassed incredible wealth and used some of it to create the most epic capital city in the world at that time.

The carved ancient city is entered through a Siq, a 1-mile long narrow fissure in the sandstone rocks caused by the erosive forces of episodic flooding. The Siq – and most of the rocks in which the carvings are made – belong to the Umm Ishrin formation, an Upper Cambrian (500 million years ago) massive weathered sandstone that was deposited in a fluvial (braided stream) environment. Evidence of aeolian (sand dune) deposition also exists. The multiple colors of the massive sandstone (yellow, grey, red, brown and mauve) give Petra – and especially the Siq – an amazing and ever-changing color palette as the day progresses and the angle of the sun evolves.

I agree with the Smithsonian – get there if you can!



Quantifying the Value of Information – Neuquen Development


Click here to continue reading this article on the Value of Information that we co-authored with Palantir and which was published in OilVoice on the 1st of September. Palantir used their economic modeling and asset optimization software to determine the economics of Vaca Muerta shale development under four different scenarios, in which the quantity and quality of subsurface G&G informaton varied.

The conclusion: investing $1,000 per sqkm to acquire and interpret multi-physics data in an attempt to highgrade acreage and identify sweet spots has a 10x ROI and roughly doubles the resource additions from the 30 well program.

An Emerging Hydrocarbon Province – Lebanon (Part 6 of 6)

LBN NarratedSlideshowA 13-minute narrated slideshow describing some of the exciting findings about the oil & gas exploration potential of Lebanon is accessible by clicking here or on the image above.

Click here to learn more about the Lebanon neoBASIN project on the Global Programs page of the NEOS web site.

NEOS Presents on Myanmar’s Oil & Gas Exploration Potential

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

There is a renewed global interest in Myanmar. Not only are travelers eager to visit the once forbidden and untarnished country-scape, but the energy industry is also focusing in on the country’s geological make up and all the oil & gas exploration potential that comes with it.

NEOS Geoscientist, Matt J., who recently visited Mayanmar and presented a paper (with a fellow colleague) will be presenting on Myanmar and its energy landscape to MS in Global Energy Management students at the University of Colorado, Denver Business School later this August. If Myanmar is of interest to you, come on by or tune in remotely to discover more.

The Future of Myanmar’s Energy Landscape: Asia’s Next Frontier

Thursday, 27th August 2015

CU Denver Business School

Click here for more information on the event.

Friday Fun: Seismic Reptiles

Seismic Reptiles

The image above can be found on a really cool blog post from the Agile Geoscience team. It basically shows what happens when the power of machine learning algorithms and multi-layer neural networks are over-extended, in this case identifying ‘hidden reptiles’ among the reflection layers of a seismic section.

The original work (equally cool, albeit less geoscientifcally oriented) was done by our friends at Google, and is accessible by clicking here. As one commenter on the Google blog stated, “it’s neural networks on LSD!”



NEOS Buys Onshore Seismic Data Processing Business

NEOS teaser homepage_FINAL
I’m not sure if you’ve seen it yet, but NEOS just announced our acquisition of the onshore seismic data processing business of ION Geophysical’s GX Technology group.

Click here to read the press release.

This transaction involves a group of about 25 Denver-based folks who originally started as AXIS Geophysics and which ION acquired back in 2002.  This team commercialized the technologies and workflows for anisotropic and azimuthal processing, which ultimately found great utility in fracture detection and sweet spot imaging for hard-rock and unconventional source-rock reservoirs.

More recently, the Denver office has incorporated many of GXT’s depth migration and tomographic imaging techniques into its workflows, positioning the entity as an industry leader in onshore depth imaging for complex fold- and thrust-belt geologic regimes, as well as pre-salt plays like those found in Kazakhstan and in the onshore basins along the South Atlantic Margin, including those in Angola, Brazil and Gabon.

As our loyal Sweet Spot readers know, NEOS has focused on non-seismic imaging methods since our launch in 2011. What you may not know is that we have long coveted having an in-house seismic capability, and this acquisition now provides us with the ability to offer a true multi-physics imaging solution to our customers.

DR_eye_candy_IL130Though this group – which will be known moving forward as the NEOS Seismic Imaging Group (SIG) – will continue to offer stand-alone data processing and imaging services, we are also excited about how we can extract maximum value for our customers by combining seismic and non-seismic measurements, attributes and methodologies.

One of the first obvious areas we’ll be working on is the incorporation of seismic attributes at the reservoir interval (e.g., rock brittleness, fracture density, fracture orientation) into our Predictive Analytics methods.  But of course there are many others, including the ability to undertake true multi-physics inversions.

Check back over the months ahead to learn more about this addition to the NEOS family.


An Emerging Hydrocarbon Province – Lebanon (Part 5 of 6)

LBN PlaysNEOS identified four distinct play types in the 6,000 sqkm area assessed on the Lebanon neoBASIN project:

  • A Triassic interval (BLUE) which is geologically similar to the gas and condensate fields of Syria’s Palmyride Belt to the northeast of the survey area;
  • A deeper (and potentially more gas prone) Paleozoic interval (PURPLE) also analogous to the Palmyride fields;
  • A Triassic interval in the near-offshore (BRICK RED) which is likely to be gas prone;
  • A Jurassic interval (YELLOW) which is geologically similar to the oil & gas fields producing south of Lebanon.

The locations on the image above are intentionally disguised in terms of their geo-spatial locations and size (some of the areas shown above are depicted as being smaller compared to those actually assessed as prospective); actual locations of these highgraded play types would, of course, be revealed to licensees of the Lebanon neoBASIN Knowledge Library.

It is interesting to note that the actual interpretation suggests that several areas are prospective for multiple play types, meaning we have ‘stacked plays’ that should reduce the overall exploration risk in these locations given the possibility of multiple targets.

To learn more about this neoBASIN project, visit the Lebanon Global Programs page on the NEOS web site.

Summer Reading List: Age of Ambition in the New China

ageofambition_mech_1.inddI found this one on another Summer Reading List belonging to the Managing Director of the management consultancy, McKinsey & Company.

It’s written in a very approachable style similar to Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat – it weaves together a series of life stories from those who have experienced life in China over the last 70 years and lived first hand the country’s ascendency from an economic backwater to an economic powerhouse.

As described in the review in The Wall Street Journal,

“Age of Ambition is a splendid and entertaining picture of 21st-century China, painted by a young American who moves with ease around the country rather like one of Mao Zedong’s proverbial fishes. With a sharp eye and a keen nose, Mr. Osnos, a well-connected writer for the New Yorker, introduces us to the people living in a country undergoing “a transformation one hundred times the scale, and ten times the speed, of the first Industrial Revolution, which created modern Britain.”


Age of Ambition was awarded the 2014 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize.

An Emerging Hydrocarbon Province – Lebanon (Part 4 of 6)

Significant increase (log-scale) in intra-horizon resistivity as one moves up-section in the Cretaceous

Significant increase (log-scale) in intra-horizon resistivity as one moves up-section in the Cretaceous

On the Lebanon neoBASIN regional reconnaissance project, we acquired EM resistivity data from roughly 45 ground-based magnetotelluric (MT) stations that were deployed throughout the survey area.  Challenging topography and dynamic geo-political conditions on the ground didn’t always let us deploy the stations where we wanted to, but we did get some interesting results nonetheless.

The MT method relies on three primary sources of electromagnetic (EM) energy, all with different frequency ranges and, therefore, depths of penetration. High-frequency signals originate from lightning, in particular ongoing equatorial lightning strikes; intermediate frequency signals come from ionospheric resonances; and low frequency signals are generated by variations in the solar wind.

Driven by advances in sensors, DP and modeling methods, can computing power, MT has become one of the most important tools in deep Earth imaging with a capability to image to subsurface depths of 10,000 meters or more.

For hydrocarbon exploration, MT is mainly used as a complement to seismic imaging. This is especially true for scenarios that can be problematic for seismic, such as sub-basalt and sub-salt plays. In addition, while seismic is able to image subsurface structure, it cannot detect changes in resistivity associated with hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon-bearing formations.

By measuring both electric and magnetic responses simultaneously and processing the data using statistically rigorous mathematics, MT allows resistivity variations to be mapped with depth in the subsurface. Under the right geologic conditions, MT can differentiate between structures bearing hydrocarbons and those that do not.

In the image above, we analyzed the MT data in several different ways, initially in an unconstrained fashion and then in a constrained inversion where we also considered the measurements from, and structrual models being generated using, airborne-acquired gravity and magnetic data.

The multi-measurement integration and interpretation yielded very good results.  In the 2-D constrained EM resistivity section shown, you’ll note several interesting features:

  • First, the fairly clean resistivity delineations among the key stratigraphic horizons;
  • Second, the insight EM resistivity information can bring to fault mapping, including the displacement along faults;
  • Lastly, the interesting intra-horizon resistivity increase as one moves up-section within the Cretaceous.

The scale here is logarithmic, so this is roughly a 10x increase in resistivity taking place within a 500-800 meter thick interval.  Equally curious is that it’s taking place along and adjacent to a deeply penetrating fault.  Simply an aberration? Noise in the data? A change in lithology? Or a change in fluid type at the highs abutting the fault?

Interesting to contemplate, isn’t it???

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