Greetings from my home office in Austin during the perfect storm of pandemic and negative oil prices! This year has been a roller coaster of record production falling to lowest production and lowest oil prices in history, resulting in unprecedented layoffs, not only in the oil industry, but other industries as well. But, this lowest of lows too will pass, since our dependency on hydrocarbons will still last until renewable resources are better established.
As 2020-21 president of the Energy Minerals Division, I have the honor to follow in Edith Wilson’s footstep after a year-long intensive involvement within the changing environment of energy. Edith opened my eyes to alternative energies and spreading the word about EMD’s mission to look beyond the traditional oil field to provide efficient and economic energy resources to the world. Especially, during this trying time of the pandemic that has reduced our need for fossil fuels, it is ever so important for our membership to think beyond our traditional roles and embrace new technologies and scientific advancement in alternative energies. Especially, geoscientists who have been laid off might want to explore the variety of resources AAPG and EMD have to offer.
EMD Leadership Meeting
Despite the postponement of an in-person AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in June, we held our annual EMD leadership meeting via Zoom, led by past President Edith Wilson. We welcomed our newly elected President-Elect Justin Birdwell, who will bring outstanding experience through his involvement in the tight oil and gas committee and newly elected Secretary Claudia Hackbarth, whose involvement with EMD as Gulf Coast Section councilor in the past few years has greatly improved our organization.
We heard and received excellent reports from our different technical committee chairs and about the various activities in which our United States and international councilors were involved. While our coal, bitumen/heavy oil, tight oil and gas, hydrate, uranium, critical minerals and new geothermal committees gave very interesting reports, the energy economics and technology committee outlined a “beyond bad” picture for this year, due to the oil war, pandemic and weak pre-pandemic financial stress. Please check out their detailed report at the EMD website.
Many of our committee chairs had prepared their first ever TED talks for this year’s ACE and those and other reports can be found on our website through AAPG EMD. Please stay tuned for next year’s ACE and International Conference and Exhibition EMD program ranging from geothermal, solar, emerging plays in critical minerals and others. Claudia Hackbarth and Milovan Fustic have graciously agreed to continue as the ACE and ICE EMD chair positions, respectively, for 2021.
For my time as president in 2020-21, I laid out my business plan focusing on the changing energy environment including tight oil and gas, outreach to prepare and attract students to further study energy applications, and getting involved with AAPG’s sustainability project. A lot of this could not be done without the help from our head of communications, Mike Bingle-Davis, who also serves as vice president for the next year and Diane Keim, our AAPG liaison who keeps our organization running. Mike will ensure to provide EMD’s presence on Linked-In, Twitter, and Facebook and updates on EMD’s website. Please stay tuned and stay healthy through this difficult time.