An example of what you'll find at this year's Convention Theater:
Instead of showing instructional films or feature presentations,
the theater this year will feature the latest in oilfield technology.
The above graphics show an arbitrary line from a 3-D seismic survey
showing the Upper Eocene Yegua and Cook Mountain section in Wharton
County, Texas, using data from two of eSeis Inc.'s Lithseis processing's
five data sets. What does it all mean? That's why you have to come
to the theater.
If you find yourself tiring of the rigorously-scheduled
technical sessions during the 2002 AAPG annual confab but still
want to learn what's hot 'n' haute in E&P technology, the Convention
Theater is for you.
Historically the theater program at the annual meeting
featured science-themed movies and reruns of the same. When visualization
technology was a new kid on the block, the theater served essentially
as a visualization venue for a couple of years before reverting
to movie showings at the 2001 AAPG Annual Meeting, according to
Sandy Hensley, technical program/abstracts coordinator at AAPG.
But the times, they are a-changin'.
Convention Theater 2002 will feature talks showcasing
a few of the more au courant vendor products. It's representative
of an ongoing trend that began a few years back at some of the regional
society meetings and other events, where the folks who invent and
develop the bulk of the technology that is used to find oil and
gas get to present their wares in a technical session.
In fact, the AAPG international meeting in 2000 included
a vendor session as part of the technical program. Exhibiting vendors
submitted abstracts to be selected to make presentations, Hensley
The Convention Theater 2002 offering, however, takes
a twist on earlier efforts in that AAPG requires that the technology
must be validated by the client, i.e., the client must make the
actual presentation rather than the vendor.
This year's event essentially is a small-scale prototype
for this approach, which has the potential to provide some added
punch to the technology being discussed.
"Having the oil company as the presenter shows the
direct application of the technology in a viable economic environment,"
said Dan Morris, president of eSeis, Inc.
"You're putting the meat on the bones," he said,
"showing how the technology is being applied to complete a successful
exploration program instead of just showing technology for technology's
A case study highlighting eSeis' LithSeis seismic
processing technique will be presented by AAPG member Ken Helm,
geologist at Hurd Enterprises in San Antonio. The talk will focus
on the evaluation and application of LithSeis technology in the
Upper Eocene Yegua/Cook Mountain trend in Wharton County, Texas.
The theater concept, in general, has wide appeal
for a number of reasons.
Besides the relatively small scale, "put-your-feet-up"
ambiance generated by this type environment, presenters can enjoy
the fact they're not being critiqued by a panel of judges.
"It's definitely a more relaxed venue," said Deborah
Sacrey, general vice co-chairman of the 2002 annual AAPG event.
"The technical sessions are so precisely timed, you don't get the
feel and flavor for what's actually going on.
"There's more chance for questions and answers,"
she continued, "and the speakers have more time to get into better
depth and detail on how the technology works."
Indeed, the concept scores high with speaker participants.
"I like the informal nature of the Convention Theater
venue," said another AAPG member, Steve Decatur, who's staffing
and development director at BP. "It should provide the flexibility
to address topics that those present would like to discuss, as opposed
to the more rigid time frames associated with normal presentation
Decatur's talk will introduce and explain IndigoPool's
VirtualProspect. Because this online approach to prospect generation
offers opportunities for both the large and smallest (i.e., a one-person
shop) companies, the presentation is expected to draw a diverse
The talk will review the results of BP's VirtualProspect
pilot program, which included properties on five Gulf of Mexico
(GOM) shelf blocks. Decatur also will provide an update on BP's
July and September 2001 GOM shelf block offerings, and reveal plans
for the future.
Also included on the program agenda at press time
are case study-type talks about MRIL-WD®, ImageGenetics, EarthVision®,
Q-Marine* and Neuralog technology.
The one-day Convention Theater event is scheduled
for Tuesday, March 12, in room 311 at the George R. Brown Convention
(Editor's note: Louise
Durham, an AAPG member and EXPLORER correspondent, will chair this
year's Convention Theater.)