It has been an interesting and eventful year in Europe for AAPG.
With all the less-than-good news around, we felt it was important to maintain a program of events and activities throughout the year, offering an education program, helping members, supporting the Distinguished Lecturer and Visiting Geoscientist programs, aiding with the networking and business opportunities for exploration and smoothing through the grants program for students offered by the AAPG Europe Region Council.
Although we are constrained by the events in the industry we have still tried to match the wishes of the members and, most importantly, the students, graduates and young professionals as the industry, and the world, needs to go on, and we all know the prospects, exploration and prosperity will soon return.
APPEX Global, our international E&P conference held in London each year, was very buoyant.
For the past 14 years APPEX, the Prospect and Property Expo, has brought together principals, senior managers, business developers and new venture managers for an unmatched opportunity to network and do business with national oil companies, governments, financiers and global E&P deal-makers and decision-makers.
In March earlier this year, 60 exhibitors, almost 550 delegates and more than 80 speaker presentations emphasized the importance of this event on the international calendar.
Next year’s APPEX will be March 1-3.
3P Arctic Conference
Following up this event, in October AAPG Europe held our biennial 3P Arctic Conference and Exhibition, held this year in Stavanger, Norway.
The Arctic is, in terms of hydrocarbon exploration, arguably the only remaining true frontier with major exploration potential, and it is hence of major industrial interest. From a tectonic perspective, the Arctic remains one of the least understood regions of the world, and thus attracts researchers from academia, government and industry.
Although the remoteness and harsh environment of the Arctic makes data acquisition and operations more difficult and costly than elsewhere, this challenge also has an upside in that it invites a more open collaboration among scientists of various disciplines, between companies, and across national borders.
Accordingly, the conference drew an impressive turnout of delegates and boasted 100 presentations in three rooms over the three days with topics that included mapping, hydrates, petroleum systems, orogenies, plates, basins and ridges across the entire Arctic region from the Barents, Canada, Greenland, Norway to Siberia.
Our thanks go to the fantastic and energetic conference chairs: Erik Lundin, David Houseknecht and Sergey Aplonov.
Going back to March 2015, we also ran our Europe Region AAPG Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition; and congratulations go out to all the teams who competed in Prague. They were too numerous to mention each by name, but there were 23 in total from all over Europe, from Kiev to Stavanger, Coimbra to Moscow.
A massive “thank you” goes out to all the sponsors who made this competition as large and successful as it turned out. The winners this year in Prague were Royal Holloway who flew the European flag to the AAPG IBA finals in Denver in June at the ACE, where they beat the other 11 finalists in a hotly fought competition to be crowned AAPG IBA winner for 2016.
AAPG Europe Regional Conference
Thanks also go to Nuno Pimentel and Rui Pena Reis for their excellent vision and stewardship of the annual AAPG Europe Regional Conference and Exhibition in Lisbon last June. Almost 300 delegates, 92 presentations, 68 posters and four field trips made this event a great success. Major sponsorship by Partex, Galp and Repsol was a great help and the conference focusing on “Tethys-Atlantic Interaction Along the European-Iberian-African Plate Boundaries” allowed the freedom to cover a great many topic areas.
The 2016 AAPG Europe Regional conference will be held in Bucharest, on the shores of the Black Sea, May 19-20, 2016.
We were pleased to run several Geoscience Technical Workshops this year. Of particular interest was a GTW in Sicily (a first for AAPG) chaired by Raffa de Cuia, Davide Casabianca and John Cosgrove on fractured reservoirs, which also allowed for four fascinating field trips, including a guided trip up Mount Etna, in the snow, in April.
APPEX Regional 2015
We also recently held our APPEX Regional conference in Nice, France. This was an opportunity to focus regionally on exploration opportunities and prospects. This event was organized in cooperation with the AAPG Africa Region.
I mentioned at the beginning of this piece the importance we place on students, so, apart from the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award competition, which we see as the backbone of our student educational programs, the Europe Region Council have also granted $40,000 to 10 universities who have in turn included another 30 universities in their educational events and field trips. These programs allowed over 400 students to take part in AAPG-funded events in 2015 and we are very keen to ensure an even spread of opportunities to universities throughout Europe, rather than just accepting grant requests from the closest universities or those with higher profiles.
We are looking forward to Tony Dore, the latest Distinguished Lecturer, embarking on a tour in Europe next May and we are busy putting together a program for him.
Our thanks go to Keith Gerdes, AAPG Europe president whose term ended in June 2015. He brought great insight and experience to the Region leadership and we are very appreciative of the time he spent with the AAPG. He handed the leadership baton to Jonathan Craig, whom we all are very excited to work with over the coming two years.
Finally, mention needs to be made of the passing of our friend, colleague and a great former president of the Region, Vlasta Dvorakova. She is deeply missed as she was taken so suddenly from us in June. She worked tirelessly for the AAPG and was always on the end of a phone or Skype to help and support in any way she could.
Here’s hoping for a slightly better 2016 for everyone. If you would like more information on any of the AAPG Europe activities please let us know.