AAPG: Unconventional thinking parlays advances

The oil and gas exploration business has advanced because its people exercised unconventional thought, and more strides are possible, a Chevron Corp. official told the American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual conventional Apr. 12 in New Orleans.

Alan Petzet
OGJ Chief Editor-Exploration

NEW ORLEANS, Apr. 13 -- The oil and gas exploration business has advanced because its people exercised unconventional thought, and more strides are possible, a Chevron Corp. official told the American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual conventional Apr. 12 in New Orleans.

All exploration workers have had to break the mindsets of the people from whom they learned the business, said Bobby Ryan, vice-president, global exploration, for Chevron Global Upstream & Gas.

In the US Gulf of Mexico, Ryan said, “we always seem to have some new play, and it’s a credit to the way people think.”

Ryan surved Chevron’s worldwide exploration staff and offered examples of former “truisms” that have gone by the boards. A few of them:

• Shales are seals and sources, not reservoirs.

• A big gas discovery a long distance from market has no value.

• There are no reservoirs in deep water.

• I’ll drink all the oil found in Alaska.

• Oil will not be found deep because it’s too hot.

• The Gulf of Mexico has no thrust faults.

• Color has no place in seismic displays.

• All maps have to match perfectly.

• Salt is basement.

• There are no prospects in more than 600 ft of water.

Unconventional thinking, Ryan added, is badly needed in the fields of technology, access, economics, public policy, and the environment.

Contact Alan Petzet at alanp@ogjonline.com.

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