As we move into the final quarter of 2015, the global oil and gas industry continues to readjust to the ongoing softness of world oil prices.
While the current slump in oil prices has created uncertainty and hardships for many geoscientists in the industry, the AAPG is working not only to assist members with career programs to reduce the pain of redundancy, but also to support members seeking to develop their careers as geoscientists.
In the Middle East, massive oil and gas reserves aside, the industry also has had to make adjustments to cope with this new price environment. Despite this current malaise, the AAPG in the Middle East continues its mission to promote this region as the global center of excellence for petroleum geology.
With the expectation that the last barrel of oil produced on the earth will come from the Middle East, the talent, technology and techniques to do this will possibly be shaped by the industry in the Middle East. This exciting prospect drives the AAPG in the region to deliver high-quality and relevant learning opportunities to the geoscience community in the Middle East.
In doing so, the AAPG also endeavors to shape the geoscience community in the region.
A good example of this is the strength and energy of student and Young Professional involvement in AAPG activities. This strength and energy were highlighted by the third-place finish by the team from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia, at the global AAPG/AAPG Foundation's Imperial Barrel Award competition held in May at ACE in Denver. This was the fourth time in six years a team from the Middle East finished in the top three in the global competition. Congratulations to Mohammed Al-Bahrani, Ardiansyah koeshidayatullah, Muhammed Hammad Malik, Faisal Al-Shuhail and their faculty adviser – Khalid Ramadan, for their tremendous efforts.
The success of the Middle East teams at this prestigious international event confirms the preeminence of petroleum geoscience in the Middle East.
The factors responsible for this success can be linked to the following:
- Geoscientists in the Middle East get to work on the largest oil and gas fields in the world. These fields, which will continue to produce well into the future, will benefit from the latest technical innovation to ensure maximum recovery.
- The Middle East has outstanding sedimentary geology and a complete geologic column. Geoscientists in the Middle East are able to view much of this column in surface outcrops that are mostly free of feature-covering vegetation.
- The Middle East has extremely prolific carbonate reservoirs. Geoscientists in the Middle East can work on these difficult-to-understand reservoirs with many of the top global experts in carbonates.
- The transition of many Middle East countries to knowledge-based economies has seen an extensive investment into post-secondary education. New universities in the Middle East bring new facilities to grow the instruction of petroleum geology.
The points listed above are the pillars that support AAPG's strategy and vision in the Region. Over the coming months and years this vision will guide AAPG in ensuring geoscientists in the Middle East have access to high-quality learning and networking opportunities.
The AAPG believes these opportunities also will benefit geoscientists from all corners of the world.
To illustrate this, the technical program for GEO2016 (the largest geoscience conference in the Middle East to be held in Bahrain in March 2016) promises to be extremely rich. A record number of 625 abstracts were received for this event from more than 37 countries around the world.
So while the industry adjusts to the new oil price environment, the AAPG continues to promote the Middle East as the global center of excellence for petroleum geology, where geoscientists from around the world can learn and expand their knowledge.