There's little that's conventional about this year's Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC), slated this year for a new location and boasting a technical program that is cutting edge in content and expertise.
URTeC 2015 will be held July 20-22 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.
Now in its third year, URTeC has become a much-anticipated event in the industry for its integration and collaboration between geoscientists, petroleum engineers and other energy professionals.
This year's meeting is particularly noteworthy given the ongoing intrigue in the global oil industry, where most, if not all players are scratching their heads about where the tumbling oil prices - and demand - might be heading.
Underpinning this situation is the astonishing ascent of the United States to recognition as the swing-producer of crude oil, resulting from the last few years of massive production volumes from domestic unconventional shale resources.
Feast of Information
Of course, the industry members represented at URTeC are the very people behind that production, but no matter your grasp of these oil-rich rocks, there's always more to learn.
URTeC offers a smorgasbord of information about the exploration and production of unconventionals, ranging from geosciences, production technology advances and more.
There will be a plethora of experts participating, particularly with the trio of sponsors comprised of AAPG, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).
The scheduled program includes more than 280 technical presentations, both podium renditions and ePapers, according to technical program co-chairs and AAPG members Tom Blasingame, professor of geology and geophysics at Texas A&M University; Gene Sparkman, vice president of technology transfer for Lumina Technologies Inc.; and Eugene "Skip" Rhodes, new plays and shale technology director for Pioneer Natural Resources.
Add two plenary sessions, interactive panels, networking receptions, nine short courses, the Operators' Forum and more, and it promises to be a very busy and informative few days.
Even with so much going on, organizers have ensured it will be easy to zero-in on what works best for you.
The co-chairs emphasized that "a special effort was made this year to cluster subject matter and topical niches into a conference grid that allows registrants to pursue their areas of interest without managing competing topics in different session rooms."
They noted also that most of the technical sessions for 2015 include a "team presentation" that brings together the multidisciplinary aspects of integrated case studies.
Show Up Hungry
Topical luncheons, a popular part of past URTeC meetings, are once again on the schedule - and are sure to be a draw for attendees.
The luncheon presentations will kick off Monday with a talk focused on making money in a low price environment.
This one has the potential to be standing room only, considering that commodity prices are the overriding topic du jour.
A somewhat surprising and welcome post-conference event is also on the schedule.
It entails a selection of 8-10 upstream operators who will deliver presentations on North American plays that will provide a uniquely powerful close to the URTeC meeting, according to the technical program co-chairs.
The 2014 gathering drew 5,291 attendees, somewhat more than the 4,370 in 2013.