American Association of Petroleum Geologists

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April 7-10, 2002 • Vancouver, Canada

Sponsored by AAPG Research Committee

Conference Conveners
Michael A. Abrams
Energy & Geoscience Institute
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
801-581-8856
Email

Jean K. Whelan
Dept. of Marine Chemistry & Geochemistry
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1047
508-289-2819
Email

Near-Surface Hydrocarbon Migration:
Mechanisms and Seepage Rates

Review Abstracts

A follow up to the May, 1994 Hedberg on Near Surface Expressions of Hydrocarbon Migration

Purpose: Critically examine migration mechanisms responsible for movement of micro- and macro-seepage as well as active versus passive seepage.

Attendees: The conference brought together workers from various disciplines (geology, geophysics, reservoir engineering, etc.) to discuss state-of-the-art concepts, methodologies, case histories, and future directions relating to this subject.

Sessions consisted of both oral presentations and posters organized by summary topics, case studies and new developments.

Key topics to be discussed include:

  1. near-surface migration processes
  2. seafloor biota and gas hydrates associated with seepage
  3. seepage rates and flux (episodic)
  4. permanence of oil and gas fields (fault sealing and trap integrity)
  5. role of hydrocarbon seeps in the analysis of subsurface fluid flow
  6. enhancement of surface geochemical interpretations

The relationship between surface geochemical anomalies and subsurface accumulations is often complex. The mechanism for hydrocarbon migration from the subsurface hydrocarbon accumulations and source to the near-surface is poorly understood and limits interpretation of surface geochemical data. Recent studies that emphasize quantitative measurements of near-surface fluid flow and migration pathway analysis using 3-D seismic grids are providing new insights into the seepage system.

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