John Wooden, the Hall of Fame college basketball coach from UCLA was asked about achievement. He said, "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
This Is exactly the approach MPG has used in developing opportunities in intersociety cooperation. Currently, we have approximately 30 joint programs with almost as many sister societies. From conferences to lec1urers to digital data, these joint projects help stimulate growth for our respective associations and provide members with new and more comprehensive products and services.
One of the oldest joint projects is the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). MPG is one of the original members of the OTC. The conference is sponsored by a coalition of industry professional organizations governed by the OTC Board and managed through SPE.
In past years, Wolfgang Schollnberger with BP has represented AAPG on the board; Susan Cunningham with Noble Energy is AAPG's current representative on the board.
Each year we have a technical program sub-committee that provides five to six sessions in the overall technical program. Dan Orange with AOA Geophysics Inc. chairs the AAPG sub-committee of the OTC Program Committee, and Craig Shipp with Shell International E&P is the vice-chair. They do a great service for AAPG and the industry. This year, upstream topics ranged from "Petrotechnical Visualization" to "Significance of Transport Complexes in Deepwater Environments."
In addition to the program, AAPG also has responsibilities within the Conduct Committee. Claudia Ludwig and Alf Klaveness are the AAPG and SEG co-chairs for the OTC Arrangements Sub-Committee.
There were over 50,000 registrants at OTC 2004, and they included the "Who's Who" of the petroleum industry. AAPG's technical program was well received with excellent attendance in its sessions.
The income AAPG receives from the OTC is used to pay part of the costs tor lhe MPG Distinguished Lecture and Visiting Geologist programs.
When asked about the future, Albert Einstein said, "I never think about the future: it comes fast enough."
Last year, four societies - AAPG, EAGE, SEG and SPE - held extensive discussions about working together to organize a new oil and gas conference and exhibition rn the Eastern Hemisphere. During the OTC, the four societies announced one of the newest intersociety ventures - the joint International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC).
This bi-annual event will not only serve our traditional E&P sectors, but also will cover midstream activities and will have a significant focus on gas.
This is the first time our four societies will collaborate to develop a program of this magnitude. The IPTC is designed to have both a strong technical program and a world-class technology eXhib1tion. It will be a comprehensive crossdiscipline conference that will provide a spec al networking opportunity for our members and supporting clients.
The first IPTC will be held Nov. 21-23, 2005, in Doha, Qatar - in the region of one of the world's most extensive gas reserves.
As Einstein indicated, the future is coming fast. But, with all deference to his genius, we think he was a little off on this one. We non-geniuses without lifelong endowments must think about the future. And we did. This looks like a winner.
AAPG's annual meeting is another example of intersoc,ety cooperation. This year the annual meeting was held with SEPM and our host society, the Dallas Geological Society.
I have had numerous comments from both members and non-members on the success of the conference. Especially noted was the quality of the technical program. We thank all of the volunteers from MPG, SEPM and DGS for their exemplary efforts.
Each year I receive a few inquiries about combining MPG's annual meeting with a sister society's annual meeting - usually SEG or SPE. In 1999, then-MPG President Ray Thomasson and SEG President Bill Barkhouse, asked both associations to look into the possibility of combining an AAPG and SEG conference. The joint analysis showed that the logistics were very complicated and each society would be required to take a significant loss in revenue. Also, we had mixed responses from companies and exhibitors. Most importantly, there was not a great demand from the memberships to make this change.
In the end, it was jointly decided to continue to monitor the situation and let the memberships decide when the time was right - if ever.
Thomas Edison said, "There are three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile: One, hard work: two, stick-toit-iveness, and three, common sense."
I do not know if annual meetings will ever be combined, but I do know that all of these characteristics are important in developing intersociety programs.
For now, we are taking Jon Wooden's advice and doing the things we can do. We will do the things we can't do as soon as possible.