AAPG turns its sights this month
toward a city surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful and
Salt Lake City is the setting for the 88th AAPG Annual Meeting,
to be held May 11-14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
An enormous technical session featuring more than 850 talks, 18
field trips and a variety of short courses has been built around
the theme “Energy, Our Monumental Task.”
Complementing the technical program, of course, is the huge exhibits
hall showcase, where about 300 commercial and non-profit exhibitors
will be demonstrating and discussing their products and services
— much of it featuring the very latest in cutting-edge technology.
Also in the exhibits hall will be the Career Center and Virtual
Special technical offerings include four
- History of Petroleum Geology Forum: Lessons
from Discoveries, at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 11.
- An EMD/DPA session on Bullish Commodities,
Crisis in Investor Confidence and Meeting Regulatory Challenges,
at 8 a.m. Monday, May 12.
- An EMD/AAPG session on The EarthScope
Initiative — A New View Into the Earth, at 10:15 a.m. Monday,
- A DPA/EMD/DEG Governmental Affairs Forum
on Public Lands Access in the Rocky Mountains, at 3:20 p.m. Monday,
And this year’s Michel T. Halbouty Lecture, slated at 5:10 p.m.
on Monday, May 12, will feature W.J. “Bill” Barrett and Peter Dea
talking about Rocky Mountain Monumental Gas Discoveries — ROCKS
AND ROLES — Five Decades of Talent, Mentors, Old and New Breed
of Leadership and Entrepreneurship.
“We have something for everyone,” said Tom Chidsey, this year’s
convention general chairman.
“The technical sessions cover a wide range of topics,” he continued,
“including new play concepts, deepwater sequence stratigraphy and
deposition, reservoir modeling, salt tectonics, biostratigraphy,
lacustrine reservoirs, coalbed methane and national security as
it relates to petroleum.
“Anyone who attends is going to get the most bang for the buck
because of the training, field trips, state-of-the-art technology
and latest petroleum research offered here,” he said.
The Salt Palace, site of the only previous AAPG annual meeting
ever held in Salt Lake City (1998), is located in the downtown area
near hotels, the new light rail system, various tourist attractions,
restaurants and shopping.
Optional social activities planned for attendees include a dinner
cruise on the Great Salt Lake; an “AstroEvent” at the Clark Planetarium;
and a “Springfest” at the nearby Snowbird Ski Resort.
But a big reason for attending a meeting in Salt Lake City is
the setting itself.
“Utah is perhaps one of the greatest geologic natural laboratories,
many located in five national parks and eight national monuments
and national recreation areas,” Chidsey said. “The field trips offer
visits to ancient lacustrine, fluvial, deltaic, carbonate and eolian
reservoir analogs; there are spectacular thrust faults, normal faults,
folds and salt tectonic features.
“In fact, from downtown Salt Lake City you can observe anticlines
and synclines composed of the same Jurassic strata that produce
oil in the Thrust Belt only 40 miles away,” he said.
“Southeast is the spectacular Wasatch Range, displaying Precambrian
through Mississippian metamorphic and sedimentary rock and Tertiary
granite, rises over 11,000 feet, sculpted by Pleistocene glaciers,”
he continued. “To the southwest is one of the world’s largest open
pit copper mines, and to the west the Pennsylvanian-Permian outcrops
of the Oquirrh Range.
“The valley was formed by major Basin and Range normal faults and
modified by shoreline deposits of Lake Bonneville 12,000 years ago,”
he said. “Its salty remnant and the valley’s namesake, Great Salt
Lake, lies just to the northwest.”
As usual, pre-meeting events — various short courses, field trips
and social activities — will be held for early arrivers. The Teacher
Program, for example, begins on Saturday, May 10.
The meeting begins in earnest at 4 p.m. Sunday with the opening
session and awards ceremony, followed by the traditional Icebreaker
in the exhibits hall. Technical sessions begin at 8 a.m. Monday,