The Importance of Mentorship

I have just returned from the 2020 International Petroleum Technology Conference held in mid-January in Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For those not familiar with the IPTC, it is basically an international multidisciplinary upstream E&P conference in the eastern hemisphere, rotating between the Middle East and Asia.

This was the first international multidisciplinary, intersociety oil and gas conference held in Saudi Arabia. It had a record-breaking attendance with more than 18,000 attendees from more than 1,080 companies and more than 75 countries. There were more than 600 speakers with more than 700 technical presentations along with the 250 exhibitors. The sponsoring societies that make up IPTC are AAPG, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers..

One of my official duties was to participate in the Society Presidents Panel discussion. After a short presentation from each of the society presidents, we answered questions from the audience. It was a great event, and I had the pleasure of getting to know many of the people that represent AAPG in the Middle East Region.

As stated, IPTC is an intersociety event. AAPG participates in several other intersociety events. These events are very important, not only for AAPG but for the oil and gas community, and I want to highlight each one.

Image Caption

Mike Party shares a brief but meaningful moment with a falcon at the IPTC 2020 cultural event.

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I have just returned from the 2020 International Petroleum Technology Conference held in mid-January in Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. For those not familiar with the IPTC, it is basically an international multidisciplinary upstream E&P conference in the eastern hemisphere, rotating between the Middle East and Asia.

This was the first international multidisciplinary, intersociety oil and gas conference held in Saudi Arabia. It had a record-breaking attendance with more than 18,000 attendees from more than 1,080 companies and more than 75 countries. There were more than 600 speakers with more than 700 technical presentations along with the 250 exhibitors. The sponsoring societies that make up IPTC are AAPG, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers..

One of my official duties was to participate in the Society Presidents Panel discussion. After a short presentation from each of the society presidents, we answered questions from the audience. It was a great event, and I had the pleasure of getting to know many of the people that represent AAPG in the Middle East Region.

As stated, IPTC is an intersociety event. AAPG participates in several other intersociety events. These events are very important, not only for AAPG but for the oil and gas community, and I want to highlight each one.

NAPE Summit

NAPE Summit – formerly the North American Prospect Expo – is coming up in February. The American Association of Professional Landmen runs the event with partnering organizations the Independent Petroleum Association of America, AAPG and SEG. NAPE’s main event is in the first part of February in Houston with a summer event in August, also in Houston.

I remember when NAPE got started in 1993 in the Westin Galleria. I went to the event that year with our exploration manager at Wagner and Brown Ltd, Earl Sebring. I have made every single winter NAPE since and will be in attendance again this year.

Middle East GEO

In March, I will be headed back to the Middle East, Bahrain to be exact, for the Middle East Geosciences Conference and Exhibition, which is a joint event between AAPG, EAGE, SEG and commercial partner Informa Markets. GEO started in 1994 and is held every other year. This will be the 14th GEO, with the last conference in 2018 having an attendance of more than 4,000 from 53 countries and 76 exhibitors from 19 countries. Over the three days of the conference, 420 technical papers were presented. These are very well attended events with great technical presentations, and I’m looking forward to attending.

OTC

In the first part of May, Houston will host the Offshore Technology Conference. AAPG is one of several sponsoring organization for OTC. The conference began in 1969 and last year, for the 50th anniversary event, there were more than 59,000 attendees from 111 countries and more than 2,200 exhibiting companies. More than 350 technical papers were presented along with 23 topical breakfasts and luncheons and eight panel sessions.

It’s a noteworthy year for AAPG and the geosciences community. The current chair of OTC’s Board of Directors is AAPG Member and senior vice president of strategic initiatives and partnerships for BP America, Cindy Yeilding, and AAPG Member Buford Pollett with the University of Tulsa is the Program Committee chair.

URTeC

Next up is the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, which is managed by AAPG with partners SEG and SPE. URTeC’s goal is to bring together a multidisciplinary approach to the unconventional resources. The first URTeC was in Denver in 2013, and the conference has grown to the point that URTeC 2019, back in Denver, had more than 6,000 attendees and more than 300 technical presentations.

This year’s event will be in Austin in late July, so watch for more details and plan to attend.

Last fall, the first URTeC event outside of the United States was held in Brisbane, Australia. This year, the societies will have a second international URTeC in Bueno Aires, Argentina. This event should be exciting, since Argentina is starting to develop the Vaca Muerta shale play.

Midland YP Leadership Group

I will wrap up this month’s column talking about our younger members, the young professionals. I encourage all of our more senior members to help out the next generation of geologists. Remembering back to when we all started our careers, most of us were fortunate that someone took an interest in us and acted as a mentor. Look around and find a YP that you might be able to help to navigate their early career path.

In that spirit, I have started a Midland YP leadership group. My motive is very selfish – I have a great sense of pride for my involvement in the West Texas Geological Society, the Southwest Section of AAPG, and especially AAPG. If we do not help mentor and develop the future leaders of the geological societies, the societies will just go away. We need to pass on the skills and years of experiences learned, sometimes the hard way, on how to put together conferences and field trips and how to be an effective leader for the geological community.

I put together a list of 15-20 people that have been in leadership positions within both the geological community and the oil and gas industry and a list of roughly 100 young professionals in Midland. We plan to have around four events per year and bring together about 15 mentors and 45 young professionals each time. I am happy to report that we had our first meeting at the Petroleum Club of Midland on Thursday, Jan. 23.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Help YPs become involved with your local society.

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