Here we are in 2020. I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year. I want to start the year by extending my congratulations to our officer candidates – to Gretchen Gillis and Susan Morrice for president-elect, Linda Sternbach and Robert Webster for vice president-sections, and Denise Stone and Chandler Wilhelm for treasurer. This is a great officer slate, and I encourage all members to read the bios and the candidates’ statements that will be published in the EXPLORER and posted on the AAPG website fairly soon. The candidates will be in Tulsa in late March to record their interviews, which will also be posted on the AAPG website. These interviews are a great way to get to know your candidates.
One of the functions that the president performs after their term is to sit on the Advisory Council for three years. The Advisory Council is responsible for preparing the candidate slate and presenting it to the Executive Committee for approval. I will be the chair of the Advisory Council next year, and we will be looking at the leadership within AAPG for the next candidate slate. I would ask that if you know of anyone that would be a good candidate for office within AAPG or if you are interested, please contact me. Next year’s candidate slate will include president-elect, vice president regions, and secretary. The National Student Leadership Challenge perfectly explains leadership when they state, “Leadership is not about a box you check, or a single event. It’s an ongoing experience of commitment and service.” It is that commitment and service to the AAPG by our members that make us the great organization that we are.
After a few travel problems, I had the pleasure of traveling to Villahermosa, Mexico to be part of the Asociacion Mexicana de Geologos Petroleros 70th anniversary and help cut the ribbon to open the event. Dr. Efrain Mendez-Hernandez as general chair and Dr. Faustino Monroy Santiago as president of AMGP did a great job organizing the conference. Mexico has a considerable bit of exploration in their offshore blocks, and if you have been watching some of the press releases, you may have seen the announcement about the discovery not far from Villahermosa in the state of Tabasco. The site is called Quesqui, and Pemex Chief Executive Octavio Romero Oropreza stated,“With the analysis of information provided by this well and seismic data in the area, we can confirm today the existence of a giant deposit equivalent to 500 million barrels of crude oil in a 3P reserve.” Pemex hopes to produce 69,000 BOPD in 2020. AAPG had a booth at the conference, and Emily Smith Llinás had several young professionals and students from the Olmeca Student Chapter help with the booth. I got a chance to get to know them a little better over dinner at Fabulosas Papas. Fabulosas Papas (“fabulous potatoes”) had a large selection of baked potatoes with several different toppings. Who would have thought that a loaded baked potato was Mexican food!
To return to the travel problems mentioned earlier, I was planning to go to Lagos, Nigeria for their annual Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists just before I went to Villahermosa. I sent all the information to the Nigerian Consulate in New York to obtain the required visa. The visa was delayed, and two days before I was scheduled to depart for Villahermosa, having already missed the Nigeria trip, I was informed that I would not get my passport back from the consulate before my scheduled departure. The next day I boarded a flight to Dallas, where I walked an application through the passport office to get a second passport. Seems that you can have two passports – the main one is good for ten years and the second for four years. At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, I received my second passport, headed back to the airport, and flew to Houston. I arrived at the Marriott at the airport in Houston around 8 p.m. and was up and on the plane to Mexico City at 6:15 the next morning. I wish I could say the passport story ended there, but while in Villahermosa we were informed by the Nigerian Consulate that they had lost my passport. Needless to say, I was very relieved when I made it through customs in Houston, and I immediately reported my main passport lost and applied for a replacement.
The Year Ahead
Looking forward to this year’s schedule of conventions, the 2020 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition will be held the first week of June and is progressing very well. We have received all the abstracts and are in the process of finalizing the technical program. This might be the most extensive program that we have ever had at an ACE. The new ACE convention model proposed by the Global Events Oversight Committee appears to be doing what it was set up to do. The final details are coming together, and an official announcement will be coming out this month.
All we need now is for you to attend.
The Convention Committee believes that there is something for everybody, thus giving everyone a reason to attend. If you do not find material that is inline with what you want to see, please get in touch and let us know. If you are looking for a certain subject or field that might interest others, we can look at adding to next year’s program.
Also, mark your calendar for theGlobal Super Basin Leadership forum the second week of Februaryto be held in Sugar Land, Texas. This is the third installment, and Charles Sternbach has put together another outstanding program.The Global Super Basin Leadership forum will feature case histories of top and emerging basins undergoing a wave of energy revitalization. Participants will learn valuable geoscience insights and actionable business intelligence from 34 global experts and fellow decision maker attendees to help both onshore and offshore basins catch this wave globally. Details are online at AAPG.org/events/conferences/superbasins.
I am scheduled to give a talk at the International Petroleum Technology Conference in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and will be discussing the Permian Basin. New information just out shows that the Permian Basin, if it were a country, would be the fifth largest producer of oil in the world.
As I have said before, “Geology put the oil there, technology gets it out.” Without the geology, the technology would not matter. Having been in the business since 1978 and having lived in Midland since 1979, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly times in the Permian Basin. The year 1985 was truly ugly. Most had given up on the Basin except for a couple of majors that had large San Andres holdings. You could hardly rent a UHaul to leave Midland – they had to bring them into Midland on transport trucks. When the Permian Basin began to rise again in early 2011, I was asked to give a talk on the outlook for the Basin for one of the road shows done at the time. I discussed the growing Wolfberry and Spraberry plays. I ended the talk with a quote from a Bachman Turner Overdrive song, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Fittingly, the basin that got its start from a well named after the patron saint of the impossible, the “Santa Rita,” continues to do what used to seem impossible.