Now that the ACE Centennial Celebration in Houston is behind us, I just have to congratulate some of the many committees, Members and staff who contributed to its success. With around 7,800 total attendees, it came close to projections. More importantly, I cannot adequately describe the number of Members who approached me with kudos and congratulations on AAPG hosting such a remarkable event. The truth is, without the aforementioned people, it would not have been possible.
At the Gala, the 100th Anniversary Committee and the General Convention Committee were rightly credited for their efforts, and they certainly had tremendous influence on the event’s success.
Highlights from ACE
But perhaps less recognized in the presentations were the efforts behind some of the other events by other committees and special interest groups.
First, on the Saturday preceding ACE was the day-long PROWESS/AWG/SEG Forum: “Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology: 100 Years,” which included the world premiere of a new documentary funded by the AAPG Foundation: “Rock Stars: Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology.” (See related article.)
On Sunday, the History of Petroleum Geology Committee held its forum as a special session commemorating the centennial with a series of papers, which ran the gamut from the scientific foundations of petroleum geology before the founding of the AAPG through the development of technologies and discoveries throughout our first century.
Throughout the week, the convention featured displays and presentations on the First 100 Women Members in AAPG, the Preservation of Geoscience Data Committee’s display of cores from the many and varied reservoir types representing some of the major oil and gas discoveries over the last 70 years, along with a range of data and media taken from the last 100 years of oil and gas exploration.
On Tuesday the Division of Professional Affairs luncheon featured a talk by the legendary Wallace Pratt, portrayed by an actor, which made for a remarkable performance. Also on Tuesday, the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Energy Minerals Division began a two-day, joint forum on “The Next 100 Years of Global Energy Use,” which featured a look forward to the upcoming challenges the industry faces.
On Wednesday, a special session on major deepwater fields in the Gulf of Mexico balanced out the robust technical sessions. And of course, there were all the usual featured sessions, luncheons and forums that make up the ACE.
I just want to issue a special thanks to all of these Members and committees, as well as acknowledge the support by the Houston Geological Society in making ACE a successful event – especially in an otherwise problematic year for events in general. And, of course, thanks to the AAPG staff who worked tirelessly to make it all come together.
Now we embark on the next century.
As I mentioned in last month’s column, the Advisory Council has prepared a new long-range/strategic plan for going forward.
Based on the assumption of oil remaining in the $50 price range for the foreseeable future, the plan includes a careful analysis of the demographic trends of membership, a forced ranking of AAPG products and services, recommendations on modifying or cutting many of AAPG’s programs, such as online education, CD/DVD sales and other programs and associated committees.
Some of these have been implemented, and more will be before the end of the fiscal year. This will include a focus on the cost of governance, such as reducing face-to-face meetings and associated travel with more virtual meetings.
Many changes will be necessary to reduce the cost of operations for AAPG. Other discussions will include increasing revenue, though those changes will likely require more time.
In all, this year is a pivotal year for the AAPG, in order to make it more nimble and adaptable to a rapidly changing business and social environment.
One item of note: even if oil jumped in price, it appears that business trends will continue to change rather than returning to the previous status quo.
The ultimate goal is for the AAPG to continue to be the “go to” association for petroleum geoscience, regardless of market conditions and budgeting constraints.