Let NEOS Guide the Way

NEOS_Denver-City-Guide_2014Let’s face it, trade shows are exhausting. An entire day of activity in a massive space with no windows will do that to you. At the end of a long day when you walk out of those convention center doors, what’s the first thing on your mind?  Well, if you’re anything like us – its usually a good drink, delicious meal and most importantly, a comfortable chair.

Well you’re in luck, NEOS has taken advantage of its local office contingent and pulled together a short list of some of the coolest, trendiest, bestest places in Denver for food and libation and we’re sharing it with the [O&G] world.

Should you be in Denver for this week’s URTeC, or even for October’s SEG, may you enjoy the city to the fullest and remain satiated throughout your visit.

Here it is, the holy grail, just for you – The NEOS Denver City Guide.

Eat. Drink. Enjoy. Repeat.

 

 

The Importance of Basement (Narrated Slideshow)

Basement plays a key role in establishing geologic environments conducive to hydrocarbon generation. Learn more about how through a multi-physics approach in which gravity, magnetic and EM datasets are simultaneously integrated, inverted and interpreted, NEOS helps to illuminate the basement and reveal key drivers of reservoir performance beyond the shale. Click on the image below to access the slideshow.

To learn more about NEOS’ approach to basement imaging , visit our Basement page or visit our Resources page for more on NEOS GeoSolutions.

Peek in on NEOS at URTeC

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NEOS is returning to Denver next week for the 2nd Annual URTeC, and we’re so excited we can hardly bear it.  (Come on…I had to pounce on the bear pun opportunity).  For those who might be unfamiliar, the URTeC is the collective vision of the SPE, AAPG and SEG organizations to unite oil and gas professionals in the interest of the latest technologies, trends and solutions for optimization of unconventional plays. Given NEOS’ relevance and experience in unconventional plays, this conference is the perfect venue to present and educate on the value of multi-physics methods.

First, don’t miss our Technical ePaper from the Appalachian Basin.

“Basin Architecture and Marcellus Resource Potential in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania”

M. Velasco, H. Snyder, E. Schnetzler, M. Baber
Monday, 25 August @ 1:50PM

Next, discover how NEOS and multi-physics can help illuminate your basement to see below the shale so that you can better understand thermal regimes, and pinpoint where to drill for optimal recovery and economics.

With your curiosity heightened, stop by the NEOS booth (#617) to learn more about how Multi-Measurement Interpretation (MMI) can help you optimize decisions about where to explore, lease and drill in unconventional hydrocarbon basins.

At NEOS, we’re applying MMI methods to programs around the world.  From Eco-Assurance™ applications in the Marcellus shale play of Pennsylvania to regional reconnaissance in Argentina’s Neuquén Basin, our case histories describe how MMI has provided E&P operators both large and small with the surface and subsurface insights they need to make more informed decisions.

Be sure to peek in to see what we’ve got going on, but bear in mind it’s intriguing and you might want to give yourself plenty of time to explore the NEOS world while at URTeC. We look forward to seeing you in the ‘Mile High City’.

For more related information, visit our URTeC Webpage.

‘I See What You Mean’ at URTeC 2014

Colorado-Convention-Center-blue-bearHave you ever visited the Colorado Convention Center and had that feeling like you were being watched? The truth is, each time you visit, you ARE being watched – by one cute yet curious, 40-foot blue bear. Installed in 2005, this Blue Bear, known as ‘I See What You Mean’, has become an iconic symbol for Denver.

The man behind ‘I See What You Mean’ is Lawrence Argent, a local artist. When large groups of people would travel into town for a convention, Lawrence found himself intrigued by what might be going on behind the convention walls: the constant exchange of information, ideas and ideologies. One day a picture of a curious black bear peering into someone’s window captured his imagination. With an idea in mind, he got to work and the end product can be seen (at 40 ft high, it really can’t be missed) outside this year’s URTeC Conference in Denver, CO.

NEOS is celebrating the popular Blue Bear with a commemorative pin in its honor. Stop by the NEOS booth (#617) to grab yours.

Near Surface Geoscience – NEOS in First Break

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Given heightened environmental awareness among all key stakeholders involved in oil and gas exploration and development, generating insights about geologically associated features on the surface and in the near-surface are becoming nearly as important as insights about reservoirs themselves.

In this month’s First Break, A Multi-Physics Approach to Near-Surface Characterization Over the Marcellus Shale – a NEOS Eco-Assurance case study in support of unconventional shale development and environmentally sound E&P operations.

For more on NEOS’ Eco-Assurance solution visit our website.

Your Basement is Full of Dark Secrets

NEOS_Basement_FacebookA good horror or suspense film can get your heart pounding and adrenaline racing.  Simply thinking of the dark, creepy basements in blockbuster movies like Psycho and Silence of the Lambs is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl.

Have you ever had a similar sensation when evaluating your shale play? Is your basement full of dark secrets that could prove deadly to your E&P program?

Sweet spot locations and the BTU of well production streams are often driven by factors that extend below the shale, including variations in basement topography and composition. Through a multi-physics approach in which gravity, magnetic and EM datasets are simultaneously integrated, inverted and interpreted, NEOS helps to illuminate the basement and reveal key drivers of reservoir performance beyond the shale. By illuminating your basement and seeing below the shale, you’ll better understand thermal regimes, and pinpoint where to drill for optimal recovery and economics…and…it will also help you keep your eyes wide open while watching your favorite thriller.

Don’t be left in the dark.  Let NEOS light the way.

For more information, visit our Basement Imaging page.

NEOS Tech Series: Predictive Analytics to Support Big Decisions

Geostatistical Predictive Analytics is a crucial part of the Multi-Measurement Interpretation (MMI) methodology. The term Predictive Analytics itself is a bit of a buzz term that can be used to describe any approach to data mining to predict trends or behaviors in the effort to identify risks and opportunities.

Among the various approaches to Geostatistical Predictive Analytics are Static Uncertainty Analysis and Correlative Predictive Analytics (CPA) – each deals with a multitude of input data where a toolkit of techniques is applied to produce useful outputs, such as sweet spot maps. At NEOS, we execute these two approaches to mathematically and objectively identify the most relevant geo-measurements that align with the most productive wells or with the location of known wells. In essence, it is this data that provides that key additional insight to the customer, allowing them to make the all-important big decisions.

But what specifically are Static Uncertainty Analysis and CPA? How do they differ and when does NEOS apply each? We’ll start with Uncertainty – stay tuned to Sweet Spots blog for more on CPA.

Quantitative Risk Analysis

We are each faced with uncertainty every day; by definition this means we encounter more than one possibility in many different situations. Who will win the World Cup? While uncertainty is everywhere, only those states of uncertainty where there are personal stakes involved include risk (such as a potential loss or catastrophe). Should I buy this stock? It is this risk that drives individual need to make an educated decision.

To better understand this concept, consider weather. Weather is uncertain. Each day quantitative risk analyses (aka – weather forecasts) are generated for you to make various decisions about how to approach your day. Quantitative risk analysis can be performed a couple of different ways. One source might predict the forecasted temperature for September 15th in Pittsburgh deterministically (with single-point estimates) while another might do so probabilistically (with a range of possible values). A deterministic outcome would give a single value, say 63F with no rain. A probabilistic outcome would give a distribution of temperatures, with a bell curve peaking at 63F and percentage probability (30%) of rain.

We know that the deterministic answer (no rain) is possible, but we understand that there is uncertainty in the forecast and we are accustomed to hearing terms such as “chance of rain” or “probability of precipitation”. While a deterministic answer is useful, a probabilistic answer is necessary to make an informed decision.

In this example, there is uncertainty in the estimate, but unless we have a personal stake and decision to make (we will be in Pittsburgh on September 15th and we need to decide whether to bring a raincoat) that uncertainty does not translate into a risk.

Geostatistical Uncertainty

Uncertainty exists in oil & gas exploration, where there are high stakes and [often] high risk, typically as a result of limited available data and information. This perfect storm scenario makes the uncertainty analysis necessary for operators to make those all too important decisions of where to explore, lease or drill.

“When data is sparse and uncertainty if high, that’s the best time to model things probabilistically.” Patrick Leach

NEOS takes both a deterministic and probabilistic approach to decision making in the presence of uncertainty, beginning with a single common base case conceptual model and ultimately creating a uncertainty assessment that addresses questions, intended for integrated team discussion, like what is the total volume of oil, what are the areas of interest for oil and what may contribute to uncertainty in the area.

As an example, the Oil in Place (STOIIP) model below defines how oil volume is calculated for a formation. While by no means the only important consideration, in place volume estimates and uncertainty models are the foundation of many decisions one has to make in the life of an oil or gas field. For each input parameter in STOIIP, we define an uncertainty model through a set of probability distributions or more complex spatial uncertainty models.  Through Monte Carlo Simulation, the input uncertainties are combined into a model of uncertainty for STOIIP.

Oil in Place Model

Oil in Place Model

Global uncertainty in STOIIP can be represented by its distribution, typically normalized per unit area (square miles in this case).

Global uncertainty in STOIIP (MMbbl/square mile)Local uncertainty can be represented through different maps, such as standard deviation maps, P10/P50/P90 maps or probability of being above a given cutoff.

Global uncertainty in STOIIP (MMbbl/square mile)

Local uncertainty can be represented through different maps, such as standard deviation maps, P10/P50/P90 maps or probability of being above a given cutoff.

Probability for STOIIP being above 50 MMbbl/square mile

Probability for STOIIP being above 50 MMbbl/square mile

Finally, it can be useful to look at the contributions of the different sources of uncertainty with tornado charts.

Contributions of the different sources of uncertainty to the global uncertaintyContributions of the different sources of uncertainty to the global uncertainty

Contributions of the different sources of uncertainty to the global uncertainty

As with our weather example, while a deterministic approach (STOIIP) is useful, including a probabilistic approach is necessary to make an informed decision, which can range from leasing an area, selling it, drilling exploration wells, designing data acquisition surveys, to development strategies.

This means that a good understanding of our clients’ objectives and in particular the decisions they are facing is crucial in order for NEOS to deliver information that helps make those all-too-important informed decisions.

If you would like to learn more about the NEOS approach the Predictive Analytics read this White Paper or see related Sweet Spots blog posts.

Putting Houston’s Size in Perspective

In our industry, it’s hard to avoid spending time in Houston or you might even be one of the lucky ones who calls it ‘home’.  Driving around the city, either as a visitor or as a local, you can’t argue that Houston is a massive metro area.  And it is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, thanks in part to a booming job market, specifically in the energy sector.

But really how big is Houston compared to other large cities? This is where a little perspective can be useful. Recently, Texas Monthly magazine featured an article that superimposed Houston’s city limits over other large metro areas. Take a look: our NEOS colleagues in the Bay Area don’t come close. Like I said, we already knew Houston was a huge city but these visuals really put things in perspective.

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Map showing the 88-miles of Houston’s Beltway 8 over the San Francisco Bay Area

And Houston is still growing. A third freeway loop, the appropriately named Grand Parkway, will soon join the well-traversed 610 and Beltway 8 loops, encircling this 600-square-mile city. I guess the saying stands true, ‘Everything is bigger in Texas.’

NEOS Tech Series: Using Magnetic Data to Locate Abandoned Wellbores

By: Maggie Baber, NEOS Geoscientist

Magnetic interpretation is an integral component of NEOS’s multi-measurement interpretation methodology (MMI). Magnetic data measures changes in a rock’s magnetic susceptibility, or the degree of magnetization in response to earth’s magnetic field. Rocks or materials with high magnetite content have a high magnetic susceptibility.

Magnetics, along with gravity and other MMI measurements, is used to better understand subsurface geology and can assist in mapping faults, folds, lithology changes, intrusions, and mineral deposits in the Earth’s upper crust. NEOS also uses magnetic data to observe changes in basement composition that may be linked to production in overlying shales.

But the application of magnetic data isn’t restricted to subsurface investigation: NEOS takes our magnetic interpretation one step further by interpreting surface and near-surface magnetics to find abandoned wellbores.

Abandoned wellbores, many of which are not logged in public records, pose a serious environmental threat: Wells that have not been properly sealed can leak methane to the surface and damage vegetation, contaminate water, and/or trigger explosions. The EPA estimates there are 1.2 million abandoned wellbores in the United States, many of which are decades old. Of those, 200,000 exist in Pennsylvania alone.

NEOS reduces the impact of abandoned wells on current drilling operations and supports environmentally sound operations by identifying, mapping, and characterizing these features for our clients. This method is especially useful in areas of high well density, where a wellbore may be forgotten in years since operation, as well as in densely forested areas, where wellbores may be hidden by trees.

To locate abandoned wells the NEOS methodology uses airborne acquired high resolution magnetic data. Via data processing, NEOS separates the magnetic signal into two products. The first is a low frequency ‘geologic magnetic’ grid or magnetic signal sourced from the geology alone. It is used to map subsurface geology and observe changes in basement lithology, but it is not useful in determining locations of objects on or near the surface.

The second product, the high frequency ‘cultural magnetic’ grid, is magnetic signature sourced solely from near surface objects. We use this grid to locate and categorize surface or near surface objects with high susceptibility, including abandoned wells.

Most magnetic anomalies we see on this ‘cultural’ grid are associated with known features, such as wells, pipelines, bridges, houses, and other mapped sources of magnetic susceptibility. We check each anomaly using mapped cultural data and satellite images and separate each anomaly into categories.

All remaining, unidentifiable point-sources we categorize as unknown magnetic material and potentially may be abandoned wells.

In a roughly 2000 square mile neoBASIN study of the Appalachian Basin in northwestern Pennsylvania, NEOS identified 9 untagged wells and 21 unknown sources, assumed to be abandoned wells or abandoned magnetic material, for our client.

The cultural grid is separated from the total magnetic intensity and then compared to mapped features, like wells and pipelines.

The cultural grid is separated from the total magnetic intensity and then compared to mapped features, like wells and pipelines.

Anomalies not corresponding to mapped features are checked using satellite imagery. Here are several examples of magnetic anomalies and corresponding Google EarthTM images.

Anomalies not corresponding to mapped features are checked using satellite imagery. Here are several examples of magnetic anomalies and corresponding Google EarthTM images.

 

Unlocking the Potential – NEOS in Upstream Technology

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Andrew McBarnet explores NEOS’ innovative approach to MMI in the article “Silicon Valley Meets the Oil Patch” in Upstream Technology Magazine. Take a look!

The big idea driving NEOS is a rethinking of how geological and geophysical (G&G) data can be harnessed to provide rapid, cost effective answers for E&P companies under pressure to make decisions on where to lease and where to drill.

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