Russia Group Trains at AAPG HQ

The Experience Was 'Prekransno!' (Excellent)

For 28 days at AAPG headquarters, "Previet!" was being heard a lot.

So was "prinvtsipy otsenki, otsenka plasta" and "Charakteristika kollektora."

That's Russian, by the way, for "evaluation principles," "formation evaluation" and "reservoir characterization."

And, Previet! means "hello."

The reason Russian was being spoken is because 15 up-and-coming geologists, geophysicists and engineers from Lukoil came to AAPG headquarters for 28 days of intensive scientific training as a part of AAPG's newly launched Training Partners Program. Lukoil, with headquarters in Moscow, is the second largest private oil company worldwide by proven reserves and sixth largest by production.

Image Caption

Russian geoscientists, learning in the AAPG classroom.

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For 28 days at AAPG headquarters, "Previet!" was being heard a lot.

So was "prinvtsipy otsenki, otsenka plasta" and "Charakteristika kollektora."

That's Russian, by the way, for "evaluation principles," "formation evaluation" and "reservoir characterization."

And, Previet! means "hello."

The reason Russian was being spoken is because 15 up-and-coming geologists, geophysicists and engineers from Lukoil came to AAPG headquarters for 28 days of intensive scientific training as a part of AAPG's newly launched Training Partners Program. Lukoil, with headquarters in Moscow, is the second largest private oil company worldwide by proven reserves and sixth largest by production.

Six of the guests, plus a translator, were from Lukoil's Moscow office and eight were from Perm, about 1,100 kilometers east of Moscow.

The Lukoil presentations marked the first time an in-house training program of this scope has been conducted by AAPG — and, at AAPG headquarters.

The classroom facility was created as a part of the physical office move by AAPG's geosciences department from the Weeks Tower into the Pratt Tower, where for the first time in memory the entire department — including education, publication and Datapages areas — has all been located in one office space.

Seventeen instructors were involved in providing training on a grad school/postdoctoral level on 19 topics, according to Geoscience Director Jack Thomas, who spearheaded the effort.

"Our mission was to develop a series of concentrated courses focused on strengthening cross-discipline understanding of engineering, geophysics and evaluation of complex reservoirs," Thomas said. "Because of a heavy emphasis on application, each course was reinforced with field trips, case studies and lengthy discussions."

Topics covered ranged from an overview of the energy industry and depositional systems to seismic detection of reservoirs and interpretation and environmental remediation.

While eight-hour days were spent in the classroom, there were also field trips to areas that included a test well site, a 3-D seismic shoot on the historic Burbank Field and a visit to the Halliburton research facility in Duncan, Okla.

To make sure it was not all work and no play, outside excursions included a concert featuring the music of Beethoven, museum tours, country and swing dance lessons, a Tulsa Ice Oilers hockey game and what some most wanted to see — an American football game, which in this case featured the University of Tulsa.

"Tulsa proved to be an excellent location for this concentrated Training Partners mission," said Ron Denton, Geosciences career services manager. "Experts in all phases of the energy business, from drilling to remediation, practiced their profession — and equally important was that each was a skilled facilitator who 'connected well' with participants."

Preparation for the on-site professional students included cultural awareness training for the AAPG staff. Since the Lukoil group was in Tulsa over the Thanksgiving holiday, they had the opportunity to be the guest in the homes of some AAPG staff volunteers for some traditional turkey and dressing.

"Lukoil is obviously insightful in their dedication to developing the future leaders of their company," Thomas said. "They clearly took the time to develop their list of training needs, and Training Partners allowed them the option of 'tailor-made' quality learning in a cost-effective manner."

Following the month-long training, the young geoscientists left with their heads full of knowledge and their suitcases filled with AAPG memorabilia, cowboy hats and plenty of course material for study after they return to Russia.

After the field trip to the Burbank Field, one participant said through the interpreter, "We have fields being developed with ESPs like this one, but we can extract more oil if we follow some of their best practices."

To that, we say "Do svidaniya. Udachi! Uspekhov!"

Good bye. Good luck. (We wish you) Success!