Interpretation call for papers

Interpretation for unconventional resources

Development of unconventional resources has exploded in the past few years, oftentimes in advance of our understanding of the underlying petroleum system and reservoir and of the critical elements that characterize a successful unconventional play.  While a paradigm of source/reservoir/trap serves us well as a model for conventional resources, this does not transfer to unconventional resources such as shale plays in which the shale serves as both the source and reservoir. Intuitively, we expect factors such as total organic content, presence of open fractures, formation brittleness, thermal maturity, and stress distribution to have significant influence. But nature continues to surprise us and we find these plays have significantly more complexity and variability than originally envisioned, and we continue to seek ways to develop these resources in an optimal way.

In addition to seeking an understanding of what makes a good shale play, we also face new interpretation problems of how to extract this information from our data. New challenges include characterizing the fracture network created by hydrofrac'ing; application of seismic attributes for high-grading areas within unconventional plays; understanding how fluids flow through these formations over time; interpretation of microseismic data in the context of the reservoir model, fracture treatment, and geomechanical properties; assessing the impact of reservoir heterogeneity; integrated interpretation of geologic, geophysical, and production data to characterize unconventional reservoirs; and estimating the drainage area around a well and the recoverable reserves.

The editors of Interpretation invite papers on the topic "Interpretation for Unconventional Resources" for publication in the November 2013 special section or supplement. Contributions are invited on interpretation across the broad spectrum of geosciences – geology, geophysics, geomechanics, mineralogy, petrophysics, core analysis, geochemistry, microseismic, etc. – as these are applied in the development of unconventional resources:

  • reservoir characterization for unconventional reservoirs
  • fracture characterization
  • applications of 3D seismic for unconventional reservoirs
  • interpretation case studies for different unconventional reservoirs
  • seismic anisotropy and its relationship to producibility
  • fluid flow in dual porosity/permeability systems
  • interpretation of microseismic data
  • workflow innovations for interpretation of unconventional plays

While recent unconventional play activity has concentrated on shales, contributions on other unconventional plays are equally welcome.

Interested authors should submit their manuscripts for review no later than 1 March 2013. In addition, the special section/supplement editors would like to receive a provisional title and list of authors as soon as possible. Authors should submit via the normal online submission system for Interpretation ( and indicate that it is a contribution for this special section or issue. The submitted papers will be subject to the regular peer-review process, and the contributing authors are also expected to participate in the review process as reviewers.

We will work according to the following timeline:

Submission deadline: 1 March 2013
Peer review complete: 26 July 2013
All files submitted for production: 9 August 2013
Publication of issue: November 2013

Special section editors:

John O'Brien
John Eastwood
Mitch Pavlovic
Wayne Camp

Interpretation, copublished by SEG and AAPG, aims to advance the practice of subsurface interpretation.