Unlock the Potential: Ventura

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Over the past 150 years, California’s Ventura Basin has been one of the world’s most productive regions, yielding nearly 4 billion barrels of oil.

Coinciding with the shale boom and the subsequent search for sweet spots in the Monterey Shale, as well as recent multi-hundred-million barrel discoveries in the nearby San Joaquin Basin, explorationists have grown intrigued by the untapped hydrocarbon potential in a basin presumed to be past its prime. However, since most of the area is densely populated, environmentally sensitive and topographically challenging, ground-based seismic acquisition is impractical — not to mention expensive.

NEOS GeoSolutions conducted a 1,300 square mile survey that combined all available geological, geophysical, geochemical and petrophysical datasets. This information, obtained from the public domain, third-party sources and NEOS’s own archives, was combined with newly acquired gravity, magnetic, and hyperspectral data, and then simultaneously integrated and interpreted using a Multi-measurement Interpretation (MMI) methodology.

To continue reading the rest of this case study (or to view more case studies from the Unlock the Potential series), click here.

Hart’s E&P: NEOS Performs Integrated G&G Study on a Mature Basin

Make sure you pick up this month’s [April] issue of Hart’s E&P Magazine and be captivated as you read up on how the NEOS methodology injects new life into an old basin in the article titled, Ventura Basin Still Holds Hidden Treasure.

The article takes a close look at the various facets of its Ventura basin-scale survey, including a detailed look at the NEOS multi-measurement methodology of accessing and simultaneously integrating and interpreting all available geological, geophysical, geochemical and petrophysical data. It is this methodology that has armed Ventura operators with the additional data and insights to allow for years of exploration ahead.

Grab an issue today and learn more about new promises for old Ventura Basin.


NEOS Global Program Locator

NEOS has just launched a new extension to our website called Global Programs, to give our audience a clear understanding of where we currently operate, how we apply our multi-measurement methodology to basins both new and old as well as to offer a preview of programs that are under development.

To date, our global activity has taken us to some of the more interesting and exciting basins around. To highlight a few…

  • The Ventura Basin in California has been active for more than 100 years. Despite the basin’s extensive history NEOS has revealed the discovery of new sedimentary depo-centers, extensional players as well as regional fault systems.
  • In the newer Neuquén Basin in Argentina, the interest in this high potential basin is really beginning to take off. NEOS gathers unique, high-resolution geophysical data using its proprietary airborne sensors in order to better understand the basin-scale geologic features allowing E&P Operators to highgrade their existing acreage positions.
  • In the Appalachian Basin, in the Eastern United States, NEOS has provided geo-scientific insights into the surface, near-surface and subsurface in the Marcellus and Utica Shales allowing operators to identify geo-hazards.

Learn more about our involvement in these basins and how we applied our multi-measurement methodologies of integrating and simultaneously interpreting a wide variety of data resources and measurements in order to generate more accurate, highly constrained models of the subsurface.  Take a moment to visit our website, neosgeo.com and click on Global Programs. Look around and play around by hovering over each pin on the map to learn more about NEOS and our global experience and expertise.


Updated: NEOS Narrated Slideshow

Well, after a year in the spotlight, it came to be time to retire our original narrated slideshow and to replace it with a newer model. Below you’ll find the latest edition, updated to reflect the latest round of projects we’ve been undertaking for our clients in conventional and unconventional basins around the world.

Click here or on the image below to start the slideshow, which will open in a new window.

Geostatistics Applied: Ventura Basin Case Study

NEOS’s multi-measurement methodology provides a variety of tools to help the explorationist interpret the subsurface with greater accuracy and confidence. One of these tools, embedded within our NeoSphere software platform, applies a proprietary statistical technique to all acquired geo-datasets and the attributes calculated therefrom (e.g., Bouger gravity, reduced-to-pole magnetic data, microseepage indicators) to mathematically determine the measurements and attributes that best correlate with known fields (or high producing wells) in a designated area of investigation.

Once these ‘correlative anomalies’ are determined (from among several dozen possible variables, the importance of which vary from basin to basin), the software applies pattern recognition algorithms to identify the same set of correlative anomalies in areas without well control. In essence, the software is searching for undiscovered fields (or well locations) that share the same set of ‘geo-anomalies’ as the discoveries and best producing wells in an area of interest.

The methodology is applicable in both conventional and unconventional plays, and can be used to ‘hunt’ for a variety of geological and reservoir attributes, including hydrocarbon accumlations (producing fields), reservoir sweet spots (high-production well locations), and fracture swarms.

In the image above, the geologic objective function was set to ‘probability of a hydrocarbon accumulation’ in the Pico formation of California’s Ventura Basin. The hottest colors correspond to the areas that are projected to be most conducive to liquid hydrocarbon accumulations. The black dots correspond to wells (or groups of wells) that have been drilled into, and produce from, the Pico. You will note that there is a very good correlation between the predicted hot spots and the well locations.

Even in this relatively shallow (and therefore highly drilled) geologic horizon, there are still several indicated hot spots that have yet to be drilled. The results become even more interesting at depth, where the number of well penetrations into the geostatistically identified anomalies is even smaller and, therefore, the corresponding exploration potential is even higher.

As with any measurement or tool, the interpreter doesn’t blindly follow the output, but instead uses the insights provided to de-risk previous exploration concepts and to identify possible new leads worthy of further study. Nonetheless, the methodology shows great potential for adding new life into this old basin, and for optimizing the deployment of human and financial capital to the most promising exploration and development opportunities in any operator’s portfolio.

See Ventura in a New Light

California holds a soft spot in my heart. I went to college there. Met the mother of my children there. And strengthened my passion for geology while hiking the awesome Bay Area outcrops along Half Moon Bay and the Marin Headlands.

California also served as the site of my first legitimate job (I’m classing Burger King as illegitimate!) when I worked as a reservoir engineer for Exxon in Thousand Oaks (Ventura County).

My first assignment in 1985 was attempting to forecast the future production from the Monterey Shale using something called Fetkovich Dimensionless Type Curves (in refreshing my memory on what these are, I now know why I moved into marketing!).

With so much of California flowing through my veins, I thought it very appropriate that one of our first geoscience programs as a rebranded “NEOS” would be in the Great State of California – and in beautiful Ventura County, no less!

Ventura was once a hotbed of oil and gas activity, with the basin producing more than 4 billion barrels since the first field was discovered in 1861. Exploration activity tailed off significantly in the 1980’s as producers shifted their focus to perceived greater opportunities internationally and felt pushed out by the state’s increasingly onerous regulatory climate.

Now, Ventura is becoming hot once again. The Monterey Shale – which extends over a good portion of southern California – has added to the intrigue, especially as E&P producers look for the next great shale play. But the biggest driver may be OXY’s 2009 discovery of a reported 150+ million BOE field deep in the San Joaquin Basin, near Elk Hills.

While OXY’s discovery is somewhat removed from the Ventura Basin, it has prompted many E&P operators to re-visit the exploration potential of California. Now, explorationists are wondering what new play types might be lurking deeper in the geologic columns in southern California’s prolific hydrocarbon basins. We put together our Ventura neoBASIN program to shed some new light on the questions geoscientists are once again asking. To learn more, watch our narrated slideshow: