In the early 1990s, the new realities of a world without walls plunged economic earth scientists into a wonderful but complex and challenging environment of global exploration discovery and learning.
As a result of this dynamic environment, there was an acceleration in the development of new technologies and advanced concepts of petroleum exploration to lower costs and increase efficiency.
Now in the new millennium, we are confronted with hostile and remote geographic frontiers, new basins and play types, and rapidly fluctuating global business cycles. New and improved technological tools are being developed, and massive streams of information have never been more abundant. The new technologies are a tribute to the people in the industry from service companies to independents to large multinational corporations, and yet, to transform them into useful knowledge and creativity requires the intellect, passion, and genius of the individual human mind in concert with team efforts.
The multidisciplined, complex, nonlinear learning systems and innovative new tools now being employed by the petroleum industry are giving it a sustainable advantage to grow and prosper in the complex and exciting world without walls.
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Throughout time, the greater Caspian area has maintained its position as one of the major petroleum provinces in the world. Its early history as a prolific producer of oil is well known. Caspian region exploration dates to the seventh century B.C., during the time of the Median Kingdom in today's southern Azerbaijan. Oil played an important role in the everyday lives of these ancient tribes of the region, and it is still a very important commodity today. The past two decades have seen many important advances in our knowledge of the geological evolution of hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. The success of modern exploration is, to a large extent, based on new advances in both deep and 3-D seismic imaging, as well as improved pressure-prediction and pre-drill oil and gas quality predictive methodologies, to mention just a few. Nevertheless, large areas of the greater Caspian region have remained unexplored due to a variety of factors such as deep-water conditions and zones with high pore-pressures in the South Caspian Sea and The Black Sea, and vast shallow-water regions with harsh winter ice conditions in the North Caspian Sea. This publication contains 12 extended abstracts and 6 full-length papers that discuss technology development, challenges in estimating proven and potential reserves, outcrop-based studies of potential reservoirs, regional tectonics and geodynamic evolution, and source rock and stratigraphic analyses of the greater Caspian area.