What is “unconventional wisdom?”
It’s the wisdom obtained from half a century of important conferences organized by the AAPG Eastern Section, founded in 1971, which celebrated at its 50th annual conference in Pittsburgh, Oct. 3-5.
The Pittsburgh Geological Society, founded in 1945, co-hosted the conference with the Pittsburgh Association of Petroleum Geologists, created in 1984.
“The theme ‘Unconventional Wisdom’ is intended to reflect not only the unconventional resources and reservoirs that have brought life to the Appalachian basin, but also to appreciate the broad heritage of our science and vocation,” said conference General Chair John Corbett during his address at the conference.
He recognized key organizing members of the ESAAPG committee, including Technical Program Chair Greg Bank, Eastern Section President Brian Panetta, ESAAPG past President Scott Gorham, and Chad Koury, who was responsible for registration, and Dennis Wingrove, who handled meeting logistics.
Langhorne (Taury) Smith joined other awardees at the Sunday opening session. Smith accepted the prestigious John T. Galey Memorial Award for his landmark research on organic-rich shale and hydrothermally altered carbonates.
The Eastern Section proudly honored members for long-term distinguished service, including Ed Rothman, Scott Gorham and Brian Panetta. Honorary memberships went to Tim Carr and Joan Crockett. Ashley Douds accepted the Gordan H. Wood Jr. Memorial Award for her contribution to conventional and unconventional reservoirs analysis.
Technical program highlights were the Monday morning super basin session featuring Charles Sternbach’s presentation on “Super Basin Thinking.”
Appalachian super basins sharpened into focus, beginning with Bill Zagorski’s overview of the Marcellus and Utica Point Pleasant. Micheal Jarvis added detail on production in the Utica Point Pleasant based on range resources production experience. And, reservoir quality makes or breaks the unconventional plays, as Ashley Douds explained in a geochemistry presentation.
The Pittsburgh conference brought in some interesting new topics for attendees, including carbon capture and underground storage, critical minerals found in drill cuttings, and developments in energy storage underground.
Nearby universities and petroleum companies contributed both sponsorship and technical content pertaining to basic rock research, especially Seneca Resources, Cabot Oil and Gas, West Virginia University, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation, CoreLab, Billman Geologic and Wildlands Research.
Corbett introduced the next general chair of the 2022 Eastern Section Conference, Donna Willette of the Illinois Geological Survey. The 2022 ESAAPG is planned for Oct. 23-26 in Champaign, Ill., on the University of Illinois campus. Both general chairs were pleased with the attendance at this year’s ESAAPG and have hopes for high attendance in 2022.